Category: City Hall
John Gerard Quinn was charged with aggravated assault of a public official for pointing a gun at the police when the McKinney SWAT team raided his house in the middle of the night. His conviction could have resulted in a life sentence.
Yesterday, a jury in Judge Chris Oldner's 416th District Court found Quinn innocent after an eight-day trial.
In the early hours of August 5, 2006 a McKinney SWAT team crashed into and raided his house looking for narcotics. McKinney Officer Jesus Damain Guerrero said that when he saw Quinn standing with a gun in his hand Guerrero fired several shots with one bullet hitting Quinn in his right hand.
The officer explained that he shot Quinn in response to Quinn raising his gun at the him.
Quinn was taken to Parkland Hospital where he was treated and then booked into the Collin County jail. He was charged with two charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and possession of a controlled substance. Quinn posted a $150,000 bond on August 6th.
In February of 2007 the grand jury no-billed Officer Guerrero. And in April of 2007 a grand jury returned indictments against Quinn on a first degree felony charge of aggravated assault on a public servant and a felony indictment of possession of a controlled substance.
At the trial, Quinn charged that the police were covering up their actions. The jury did not believe the officer's story - finding Quinn innocent.
However, in the narcotics charge, the jury found Quinn guilty of less than 1 gram of drugs. Judge Oldner gave Quinn a sentence of 180 days, probated for two years, and including a fine of $500.
John Quinn is an executive who moved into McKinney several years ago. Quinn lives with his son, Brian, who is in his 20’s, and his girlfriend. After the raid, Brian was charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance (between 28 g and 200 g). Brian’s case has not yet come to trial.
Some believe the police raid began with a divorce in 1991.
John Quinn sued for a divorce from Laurie Quinn Houston on charges that she was having an extra-marital affair. Quinn was given custody of his two children but several years later, their daughter moved in with her mother. Several times, the mother asked the court to amend the child support agreement. In a nasty prolonged fight Quinn charged that Houston and her daughter lived in a ‘questionable lifestyle’ that was a charged sexual environment.
This divorce became an ugly, sordid battle involving the children. In response to Quinn's allegations, Houston told the authorities that their daughter told her that Quinn molested her when she was about six or eight years old. Quinn alleged that the “troubled minds’ of his former wife and daughter "concocted a scheme to either get more money from him or divert attention from his daughter's troubles".
In 2004, Houston filed a complaint with Denton County Child Protective Services alleging that Quinn had raped his daughter. Denton CPS investigated, including taping interviews with the daughter. Child Protection told the authorities that they were "unable to determine" the rape allegations. In September, the Denton County legal authorities also dropped the investigation saying that they were unable to make a determination.
Unhappy with the progress of the Denton investigation, Houston also filed the same complaint at the McKinney police department. The Denton authorities did tell the McKinney Police that they believed there was no credible evidence, but the Collin County District Attorney went ahead issued an arrest warrant for Quinn four days after Denton dismissed the charges.
The Collin County charges languished. After a fifteen-month delay, the Collin County grand jury no-billed Quinn only after he had successfully been given a writ of habeas corpus by Collin County former Judge Betty Caton.
In March of 2006, Quinn filed a complaint in the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas suing DA John Roach, Sr., several individuals in the District Attorney’s Office and the McKinney Police Department (as individuals and in their official capacities). His suit claimed that the county and McKinney denied him his constitutional rights. In his complaint, Quinn wrote, “This case tells a story of deception, immorality, greed, incompetence, and pain that is difficult to believe could actually happen in 21th century America under the watchful eyes of supposedly-well-trained public servants. But it did.”
Five months after Quinn sued the police and DA, the McKinney police smashed his door down, shot him and charged him with 2 counts of assault that could lock him up for life.
The DA did ask federal court to dismiss the suit under his privilege under immunity from suits. On March 7, 2007 the court refused to dismiss the suit, but did give the DA immunity “in his individual capacity”, not in his “official capacity”. But after another motion by the DA a Federal Magistrate dismissed the suit on December 21, 2007, writing, “This is in essence a divorce and child custody case gone bad." The judge confirmed the dismissal, the 5th Circuit Court affirmed, and the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
In July of 2008, Quinn has filed another suit – this time in the 429th District Court. This suit is against the McKinney police for shooting him. But this case has also been moved to the federal court. In January of 2010, the court also put this case on ice until the criminal case is resolved.
The federal court gave notice that if Quinn was found guilty, his suit would be dismissed.
Since a jury has now vindicated John Quinn, he can now move forward with his life and his suit against the McKinney police.
The Lucas Mayor, City Manager and a City Council member have offered their resignations following a furor between the Mayor and the City Council.
Today, the Dallas Morning News had an interesting article about the Lucas City turmoil. The post below includes the Newsletter written by the Mayor Bill Carmickle, and the DMN article written by Sam Hodges.
I just wanted to keep all the citizens informed as to what has transpired in the past few days.
Our City Manager, Robert Patrick, has tendered his resignation effective December 31, 2010. Please join the City Council, City Staff and the citizen’s of Lucas wishing Mr. Patrick and his family the best in his future endeavourers [sic]. Many great things have occurred during the time Mr. Patrick served as our City Manager.
City Councilmember Don Zriny, currently serving in Seat 3, also has tendered his resignation effective January 31, 2011. Councilmember Zriny has served the citizen’s of Lucas for the past five years and we the City Council, City Staff and citizens of Lucas wish to thank him for all his time and effort put forth on behalf of the citizens of Lucas. Thanks goes to Councilmember Zriny and his family for all the time spent serving the City of Lucas.
With the developments of the past few weeks, I have decided that now is the time for me to step down as Mayor of the City of Lucas. I have worked hard to ensure that the City has grown in the manner which the citizens desired. At this time, I wish the City and the citizens of Lucas the very best. I hope that the City continues move forward to preserve our quality of life we all have come to love. My resignation is effective December 3, 2010.
Mayor Bill Carmickle
City Councilmember Don Zriny
City Manager Robert Patrick
Lucas in political turmoil with mayor, city manager and city council member announcing resignations this week
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
The Collin County community of Lucas is in political turmoil, with the mayor, city manager, and a city council member all announcing their resignations this week.
Allegations of elected officials interfering with Lucas city staffers have surfaced. A special city council meeting is set for Thursday at 6:15 p.m.
City Manager Robert Patrick resigned Monday, followed that day by council member Don Zriny, then on Tuesday by Mayor Bill Carmickle.
Carmickle could not be reached, but the latest Lucas newsletter announced the resignations, giving no explanation for his own other than “developments of the past few weeks.” His resignation is effective Dec. 3.
Patrick’s resignation letter says that not all elected officials in Lucas, with about 5,400 residents, have accepted the home rule charter giving staffers responsibility for day-to-day operations.
His letter also says, “I cannot stand by and see my staff disrespected by the constant allegations that either we are acting as minions to the mayor, or are pro-development.”
Patrick said in an interview that as city manager for Lucas, where residential lots must be at least one acre, he faced constant pressure over development.
“It’s just very difficult when there are the growth issues knocking on the door, trying to develop areas,” he said. “Then we have the want and need to keep Lucas’ quality of life as it is. Those forces sometimes meet. That’s where the elected and appointed officials are. That can be a difficult challenge -- to balance that need and appear and remain objective.
Patrick added that “staff does need to be allowed do to their job” but said he wasn’t accusing any particular elected official of interference.
Zriny, in his resignation letter, called Patrick “the best city manager this great city could have ever desired.”
In an interview, Zriny, said, “I felt I failed to protect the city manager from the rest of the council.” He said he would elaborate later.
Wayne Millsap, a former Lucas council member, said he hopes Patrick would reconsider resigning, given Carmickle's resignation.
Patrick said he is definitely leaving his Lucas post.
“I have been looking and feel confident that I’ll have employment shortly,” he said.
Patrick’s resignation is effective at the end of the year, and Zriny's is effective Jan. 31.
Another city council member, Philip Lawrence, said he had been assured that city services will not be greatly affected by the resignations.
“It’s never a good thing if you have one person leave, let alone three,” he said. “But the city is fine.”
The Thursday meeting deals only with Patrick’s resignation, said City Secretary Kathy Wingo.