Writing gobbledegook in the dialect of high glaze

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Finger waves cheerfully given on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays – Nice tat, Nurse Leticia…She say, ‘Keep your mind on the doughnut, fool. Forget about the hole!

Waco – Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a jail doctor who kept writing things on the official record that were designed to throw his employers under the bus. His name is John Wells, M.D.

No amount of entreaty, warning, urgent request or admonition seemed to get through to this cat. State jail commission inspectors kept up a steady pace of gigging the Sheriff over it. That’s when the doctor wound up resigning over a case of alleged sexual harassment of a student nurse who was taking a training course at the local community college.

Pronto. (Drum roll.)

The allegations, supported by memoranda signed by the doctor himself: No psychotropic drugs for folks who have been on them for years. As they go cold turkey, they flip out, allegedly get rude with the nurses, and everything is just – lovely, you see.

He was promptly and cheerfully replaced by a Dr. Hodges, the husband of the Sheriff’s first cousin, at the identical salary of $330,000 per year – a contract with no overhead, since McLennan County employs all medical staff other than the doctor.

Now, when our man R.S. Gates requested records of this debacle, he was informed in acid tones by the county executive that the matter was up for review by the open records people at the Attorney General’s office.

They cracked back on the old boy, a young lawyer with the ability, saith the County Judge, to run a bank as an executive vice president, saying it was totally illegal for him to have the documentation he sent them because it was subject to the strictures of FERPA (alphabet soup for the Federal Education Rights and Privacy Act), a measure which renders all such information confidential.

Cue: Thunder and lightning, very, very frightening…

Like, WHERE DID HE GET THIS STUFF, they wanted to know. The Assistant Attorney General involved said even his office was not supposed to have access to this stuff, and…you know.

So, what was it doing on the front page of the local newspaper, in all gory details – what he said, what she said, and the like. We are talking allegations of pure dee gossip with a capital gossip, over here.

Juicy stuff. She: Hispanic. He: Afro-American. Oh, yeah!

From: R.S. Gates
To: Dr. Johnette McKown
, McLennan Commuity College
Subject: Public information act request
 

I am making application for and requesting access to public information related to the release of FERPA information to McLennan County. The release is detailed in Attorney General memorandum letter OR2016-13557. This is not a request for access to federally protected information.

Thank you,

R.S. Gates

Dear Mr. Gates,

Thank you for contacting us. McLennan Community College acknowledges receipt of your request for access to public information. We are unsure of what information is being requested so we are asking you to clarify your request.

Specifically, you request “… Information related to the release of FERPA information to McLennan County.” In this regard you make reference to Attorney General letterOR2016-13557. You also state that “This is not a request for access to federally protected information.”

 The above referenced Atty. Gen.’s letter references materials which were not delivered to the County by the College. (emphasis added) The only material delivered by the College is information subject to FERPA which is federally protected. Under these circumstances, we are asking for clarification of your request. We are happy to reply once we have a clear understanding of your request.

Thank you.

Johnette McKown

Dr. McKown 

I do not believe any clarification is required. I intended the scope of the request to be very broad and comprehensive. I believe it was crafted to reflect that.

I want everything related to the matter that is public information. Faxes, e-mail, text messages, letters, memos etc.

 If you get all of the information together and then decide what is excepted, I will review the public information and tell you if I think it is responsive. The other information should be sent to the Attorney General since they are the only ones who can determine if the information is excepted or not.

Thank you,

R.S. Gates

Said an innocent bystander, a little urchin grown old amidst the homeless and the brave, who requested anonymity because them folks downtown ain’t got pity – none whatsoever, “I thought somebody was supposed to go to jail behind that kind of jive, man. What it is?”

Little voice come from somewhere way back in the alley:

Do your own time, man. Nothin’ don’t mean – like, nothin’, man.”

He say: “Oh, so that’s how that works, huh? Hmmm!”

A Modest Proposal

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The Air Force trained chimps  for the Mercury Program under the regimen of “operant conditioning,” in which an electric shock was applied to the soles of their feet if they made a mistake

Austin – BE IT REMEMBERED: Our military learned the way to win the Space Race with Ivan was to teach the “specimen” to follow orders and be observant – in short, to attend the mission.

WHEREAS: It has come to the attention of the Biker Community that there is something like $15 million in the Motorcycle Safety Fund gleaned from hard-working dudes and dudettes who register their scoots in the Lone Star State, and;

WHEREAS: The funds have as yet been unappropriated for purposes of the safety of motorcycle enthusiasts’ personal safety while riding, and;

WHEREAS: Fatalities and serious injuries continue to mount in the statistical columns of the actuarial charts of the insurance industry, and;

WHEREAS:  Many of the collisions so charted are caused by a failure to see motorcyclists as they proceed with the flow of the traffic on public roadways throughout the Lone Star State, and;

WHEREAS:  Large amounts of folding money are spent each year by riders going through compulsory programs funded by the riders themselves in order to “educate” them that it is very difficult for a motorist to see and take note of their presence as they interact with the traffic in the wiser world of bigger motorcars, and;

WHEREAS:  A large percentage of the aforementioned collisions are adjudged to have been caused by negligence on the part of drivers who are mindful of the fact that it is written that they are supposed to be looking where they are going, and;

WHEREAS:  Somehow, the effectivity of this message seems to be wasted upon preaching to the choir, and;

WHEREAS: It is within the power of the Legislature of the State of Texas to so amend the Highway Safety Code to provide that any motorist found to have failed to observe the right of way of the operators of motorcycles be restrained in a suitable training chair under video surveillance, their bare feet strapped to electrode pedals and electrical shock applied thereto should they fail to observe the proper right of way for operators of motorcycles, the copies of the videos placed in a permanent file, and a special number applied to their license plates so that anyone may look up the record and observe their pain, which, as many generations of American fighting men have been trained while in the Thinking Chinaman position, is merely the sensation of weakness leaving the body, and;

WHEREAS: This method of operant conditioning proved so successful in training the Space Monkeys for flight in the Mercury Program of the Great Space Race;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,

THAT WE THE PEOPLE OF THE LONE STAR STATE OF TEXAS DO HEREBY AND HEREON DECLARE THAT SUCH REMEDIAL TRAINING FOR THE DING-A-LINGS WHO CAN’T ATTEND AT THE WHEEL BE CHARGED NOT LESS THAN $200 PER HOUR WHILE UNDERGOING AVERSIVE OPERANT CONDITIONING AT THE HANDS OF CERTAIN CERTIFIABLY SADISTIC PUBLIC SERVANTS WITH A PROVEN ABILITY TO ENJOY THE PAIN AND SUFFERING OF OTHERS UNTIL SUCH TIME THEY SUSTAIN A HEART ATTACK, BECOME PSYCHOTIC IN THEIR BEHAVIOR, OR VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO RELINQUISH THEIR DRIVING PRIVILEGES FOR LIFE.

As we leap forward into the pages of history, forget not our mission:

LET’S MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

Motorcycle ‘user’ fees near impossible to regain

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Compulsory motorcycle helmet use reached a spastic orgy of statist reasoning in the U.S., with allegations of public health hazard leveled at those who chose it best to let those who ride decide, in state after state.

“Money beats soul – ever time.” – Jim Morrison, “Roadhouse Blues”

Austin – When it comes to the hassles between bikers and the statists who like to tell them how to live their lives, the story is all about the money.

In the upcoming Legislature, the biennial will be one in which the Texas Senate proposes appropriations, rather than the House of Representatives. That’s how they do it in Austin, alternating between one and the other chamber each two years.

Word is that Democratic Senators haven’t yet decided just how their legislative strategy will work in attempting to claim most of a $15 million balance of the Motorcycle Safety Fund remaining after the most recent Legislature’s appropriation of roughly a quarter of an unused $17 million that had accumulated from motorcycle registration fees.

One could easily argue that those funds are for asking permission to use one’s vehicle on the highways and roads of the state, in return for a registration number by which to apportion motor fuel use taxes collected at the pump back to the states in which the vehicle shares the road with passenger cages and commercial motor freight trucks.

They compromised on releasing only $4.1 million to the Department of Public Safety for its efforts to educate riders in the facts of life regarding auto-bike collisions on Texas Highways. That left the unappropriated remainder in the unused columns as counterbalance to those earmarked to be spent.

The bargain is straightforward enough; those who take a sanctioned rider safety course are exempted from having to wear a brain bucket.

They are allowed to ride their scooters in peace, as either crash test dummies, or organ donors – their option – once they have taken the rider safety course and elected whether to donate their organs by checking it off on their motorcycle endorsement on their driver licenses.

Such a deal.

Essentially, the Legislature created the “user fee” for motorcyclists when the huge majority of states enacted compulsory helmet laws in return for massive U.S. DOT grants for highway construction.

Following a landmark court decision in which it was held that a person may not be compelled to comply with a law when it is a matter of personal safety, the largest majority of states, including Texas, backed off their former statist demands for brain bucket compliance.

The Texas bureaucracy started charging a special fee on motorcycle registrations, and then the Legislature failed to use the money by refusing to appropriate the  dedicated fund for its stated purpose.

They let it add up, year after year, and used it as a balancing fund to keep the state’s spending money, and the budget, in balance.

But the Texas DOT cast collective eyes on the loot. They have established a “Share the Road” program aimed at auto v. motorcycle questions of dominance of the highways and streets. It rivals the DPS Rider Safety Program, funded mostly by the students who take the course in pursuit of a motorcycle endorsement.

According to information shared by the office of Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, the DPS siphoned off funding for other purposes.

Scholarly papers and lengthy studies concluded that because of the relative size ratio of auto and truck to motorcycle and rider, most drivers find it difficult to see scooters on the road.

Add to that the braking efficiency of two-wheelers and you get the reason why heavier vehicles often strike bikers from the rear, knock them off their ride, then run over them.

No mention here of how they might not have been looking, something one is obliged to do in the operation of a motor vehicle on a public roadway.

Since the average motorcycle enthusiast is either a skilled craftsman or a white collar worker in his mid-forties who makes above average pay, the argument goes, let them be the ones who decide what is best for their personal safety when riding Texas roads on two wheels.

Of resulting head injuries, a huge percentage are permanently disabling. The argument goes that though it may not be society’s role to decide what you want to do about your beano when you ride, it’s society who picks you up off the road, transports the injured to the hospital, treats the permanent wounds, and pays off unemployment and disability benefits when a victim can no longer support himself.

The conflict between statist reasoning and libertarian self-sufficiency could not be more starkly delineated.

Going in to the most recent Legislature, motorcycle fatalities numbered nearly 500 in 2013, up by five percent from 2012 – and accounting for 15 percent of the state’s motor vehicle deaths.

Critics point out that the previousyear was exceptionally cool and wet in its first two quarters, resulting in a 5 percent decrease in fatalities due to a decided drop in motorcycle excursions. The resulting increase was just a gain back from the previous decrease when the weather turned dry and warm in the following year of 2013.

The bottom line: Activists are rumbling that one of the main items on the agenda for the Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting at Twin Peaks Restaurant, Waco, on May 17, 2015, was how to approach the Legislature to get the entire $17 million released for it designated use – motorcycle safety, and not building roads and funding Highway Department PR campaigns.

When DPS CID officers and local police moved in on a biker rumble complete with flying fists and brandished firearms, the meeting never happened – and most biker activists, the core group of them, who usually meet in Austin, were arrested and placed under a “gag order” that severely restricted their association with other bikers or attendance at biker functions, if they wanted to keep from violating their conditions of bond.

The huge majority of those people did not engage in any violent activity, choosing mostly to low crawl to safety in restrooms and a walk-in cooler.

To McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, it didn’t matter. He directed police to place all present and identifying themselves as members of any kind of motorcycle club, support, or riding club, under arrest for the conspiracy offense of engaging in organized criminal activity leading to capital murder and/or aggravated assault.

That cancelled not only discussion at the C of C meeting on May 17 in Waco, but at the state house for the remainder of the closing Legislative session.

And there is no end in sight. Not one pending case has been scheduled for trial.

That’s not the only thing breaking the biker community’s rice bowl.

Motorcycle tourism in states under the yoke of the statist requirements of brain bucket use lags far behind those where the nation’s major biker rallies are held. One’s mind turns immediately to Bike Week and Sturgis, legendary names like Laconia.

Jail paper trail tells tale of shame in mental cases

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McLennan County’s incarceration per capita is one of Texas’ highest, and tops the rate of incarceration in the Russian Federation…

We think they’re excellent operators (LaSalle Corrections) and, unfortunately, sometimes things like this happen.” – McLennan County Judge Scott Felton.

Waco – More than 500 pages of documents obtained in a Public Information Act request reveal a pattern of witholding medication from inmates with a history of psychiatric treatment prior to their incarceration at the McLennan County Jail and the Jack Harwell Detention Center.

The practice led to more than one reprimand from the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, an occurrence which led to much concern among top officials in the Sheriff’s Office Jail Division.

In one example, former Jail Doctor John Wells discontinued medication for an inmate because he “was not taking all of the recommended medications and have ben rude with the nurses. As a result we discontinued his medications.”

The text message came in reply to a Februrary 2 inquiry from Jail Captain Ricky Armstrong, who wrote “When you have time will you look at _______ ______ he was on meds for seizures and has been dc (discontinued)…His family has called stating he has violent seizures if he doesn’t take his meds. I explained to them that if he wasn’t taking his meds then you would stop them. The nurse has stated it was stopped on the 30th but there was a task asking to start them again.”

Wells replied, “______ was not taking all of the recommended medications…” in his explanation that he inmate was rude to the nurses.

Earlier in their dialogue, Armstrong noted that the jail commission issued a “technical assistance for not following normal operating procedures in reference to medical not sending an email to jhdc (Jack Harwell Detention Center, operated by LaSalle Corrections) in reference to medical files.”

A “technical assistance” is a memo placed in the file for future reference and advice from the commission’s inspectors.

The record shows that an inmate committed suicide in the privately operated detention center after making a previous overt attempt at suicide while in custody at the county jail, located right next door.

Armstrong asked, “Do you know approx how many inmates we have on Psych medications…?” Wells replied that “26 percent were on psychotropics and that accounted for 11 percent of the monthly pharmacy cost,” which was $18,059 in January.

Armstrong asked in reply if that included the Jack Harwell Detention Center, and Wells replied, “No.”

It was not an isolated incident, according to an e-mail from former Lt. Karen Anderson, who wrote Wells on August 27, 2015 in an e-mail, “Dr. Wells, Capt. Armstrong has been informed this week while at the Jail Conference that Jail Commission will no longer issue any Technical Assistance on the Mental Disability/Suicide Screen Form. It must be completed IMMEDIATELY on all inmates admitted. This will be a PASS or FAIL. Please make sure the Nursing staff is aware of this matter.”

An e-mail from Capt. Armstrong to Wells the next month emphasized the problem, saying the jail commission was tightening their scrutiny of “some jails.”

On September 30, he wrote Wells, saying, “A couple of months ago we discussed Suicide prevention training for the intake nurses. It is required training per our policy and therefore it is a TCJS requirement. Our inspections are usually in February but the Assistant Director Shannon Herklotz told me last week in a class that it is possible for some jails to be inspected twice in the same year. He stated that he has told his inspectors to change the months they inspect facilities so that the jails will not have an approximate date of the inspection. Therefore, I would like to get some documentation on Suicide training for our intake nurses as quickly as possible.”

The problem had a long-term history in the paper chase, as it turns out.

In a series of e-mails dating April 26, 2010, Karen Anderson noted in a message to Wells that she wished he would “Please reply to Kristy and myself on the matter of inmates that are active clients with MHMR (Mental Health-Mental Retardation). I agree with Kristy if they are confirmed MHMR clients. If they have been evaluated by MHMR and have been placed on specific psytropic meds by MHMR, we should probably continue them on those meds. Let us know your thoughts.”

An earlier e-mail from Kristy Lohr at MHMR to Anderson noted “It was brought to my attention by David Baker that Dr. Wells is making changes to the medication offered in the jail. From David’s understanding, there are a number of medications the jail will no longer provide to inmates including some of the psychotropic medications. MHMR’s position is as follows…

We understand not STARTING inmates on expensive psychotropic medicaitons while in jail. However, we want to make sure that our active clients who are on those medications at the time of admission to the jail will be able to continue the meds while there. It is IMPERATIVE that this occurs to maintain the stability of our clients.

Please let me know how medicaitons will be handled for inmates who are active MHMR clients and on those medications prior to arrest. Thank you.”

Wells’ reply was succinct. He wrote Anderson the same day, saying “I feel that if Ms. Lohr or anyone else has any questions or opinions, regarding the practice of medicine at our faciity. I think that is IMPERATIVE, they contact me so, that we may discuss these medical issues.”

Timely reply to inmate grievances in these regards became an issue on October 15, 2015, when then Lt. Karen Anderson wrote Wells, cautioning him that “I told Freddy I understand the amount of grievances can be overwhelming at times but our Policy, Section IV, Chapter 8 states ‘as soon as possible but not to exceed 15 days. I told Freddy Jail Commission audits us on this info and we must adhere to policy.

He returned a grievance to Det. King this morning that was 19 days old.”

A confidential source whose son has been prescribed psychotropic medication since he was five years of age – a period at this point of 20 years – told we of The Legendary that her son did without his medication for a period of six weeks after being processed into the inmate population at the Jail earlier this year.

Upon his transfer to the Jack Harwell Detention Center operated by LaSalle Corrections, he was again denied his medication for an extended period, until his problems overwhelmed him and he was placed in a medical segregation unit.

For a brief period, he was returned to the general population, according to his mother, but when difficulties with former associates from the streets arose, he was returned to the medical segregation unit; there he languished without medication again for a number of weeks.

The two jails are separated by an alley the width of a city street. MHMR’s offices in downtown Waco are only a few blocks distant from the administrative offices of the Sheriff’s department.

To free the ‘millenials’ from the inability to question authority

Scott Gates

Scott Gates, Minister of Irritance, explaining the Texas Public Information Act, its many subtle uses and dynamics…

Marlin , TX – As the industrialized world began to emerge from a feudal system of landlords and ladies who dictated living and working conditions for agrarian peasants, an educational system emerged in the militarized society of Prussia, a province situated in an unhappy flatland with few natural boundaries, difficult to defend.

It is a system of fractionalized time periods divided by bells in which platoons of students stroll from class to class to learn how to take tests based on yes or no, multiple choice answers – a system in which the notion of independent thought is designed to invoke feelings of resentment and fear, creative inquiry is ridiculed, asking questions is punishable by painful disciplinary procedures and the isolation resulting from that course is nearly unbearable.

They called it gymnasium. We call it high school.

But it doesn’t really fit the American land mass, a continent guarded by two oceans, multiple mountain ranges, torrential rivers, impenetrable swamps, hostile deserts…

However, it works well in an economy in which farmers are paid through government control not to grow crops, inspectors of every stripe serve as policemen who “enforce” administrative rules masquerading as laws which govern a system much more rigid and authoritarian than anything dreamed up by barons and earls, dukes and duchesses, kings and queens.

It is done through a rigid control of information. The authorities operate from the standpoint that it is up to them to decide what is and is not good for the individual to know through a system of classification and secrecy that rivals anything the medieval mind ever devised.

It works great when you are preparing for the next meat grinder industrialized world war financed on a cost plus basis by international financiers with play money to lend, currencies based on the full faith and credit of treasuries long since bankrupt and operating on an impossible burden of debt service.

B. Franklin, printer, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said it best:

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Activist bikers stymied by the ultra-violence of the Twin Peaks massacre witnessed a near total shutdown of their channels of communication on May 17, 2015 at a restaurant in Waco, Texas, when police acting as agent provocateurs incited a gunfight, then began to spew some of the most colorful disinformation ever devised in the history of broadcast journalism, including a mythical blanket “gag order” that in reality applied only to the principals and legal representatives involved in one criminal case, that of State v. Clendennen for the capital offense of engaging in organized criminal activity leading to capital murder and/or aggravated assault. It is identical to every other vague, ill-defined conspiracy charge pronounced by a magistrate on that unhappy day.

In a word, the war was on.

The remedy proposed, an independent biker news network, is within the grasp of every person with a cell phone. Listen in on a discussion held at Marlin, Texas, on Saturday, Julty 23 in a Mexican restaurant on I-45, so chosen in avoidance of spending one Lincoln-head penny in the hell hole redefined by David Koresh as W-A-C-O (We ain’t comin’ out…).

As Lord Buckley once said, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, knock me your lobes…” – The Legendary

Butch Moss

Bulldog Assault Coxswain of the Gator Navy, Butch Moss of the Sons of Liberty Riders and co-founder of Texas Biker Radio Network

‘…any future malevolent and medical and cognitive dysfunctions on the part of Debbie Tucker, R.N.’

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Waco – Staying healthy with a chronic medical complaint or getting well from wounds and sickness while locked up in McLennan County is no doubt a complicated affair. Hundreds of pages of official documents bear testimony to that fact.

One must read between the lines amid the numerous complaints by inmates and their families, the most common being about not being able to obtain medication – even when it’s been provided and placed in the hands of medical staff at the McLennan County Jail.

All things being equal and allowing the benefit of the doubt, it’s easy to get the impression that one should give that a lot of thought before placing one self in a position to spend time in any jail.

That’s before you read the notes on the case of a person referred to only as “Inmate Woodall.” It gives a rational person pause in a moment of clarity. 

Amid the 530 pages of material obtained by a Public Information Act request regarding the state jail commission’s various investigations of inmate complaints, this one stands out in sharp relief.

Like any medical records released to the public, the recollections of Dr. John Wells about the macabre treatment of an abdominal wound by a jail medical staff member licensed as a Registered Nurse are heavily redacted.

We don’t know who Woodall is, or how his abdomen became wounded. What little we do know is to be found in an alarming series of memoranda from Jail Captain Ricky Armstrong to Dr. Wells, and his response in a “letter of recommendation” regarding what he described as “malevolent medical and cognitive dysfunctioins on the part of Debbie Tucker, R.N.”

What we do know is that as an inmate at the county jail, Woodall relied upon the nursing staff for care of what Dr. Wells described as an abdominal wound that had been healing “without complications, signs of deterioration or increased infections…” – until it became necessary for his hospitalization due to Tucker’s treatment, based on the recommendation of “Carrie R LVN” – on the morning of January 22, 2016.

Wells discovered “rapid and stark changes…from the prior days.” He recommended an immediate transfer to a local hospital.

To be sure, there are photographs accompanying his report, but they were excepted from the materials obtained through a public information request.

By checking the charts, Wells determined that Woodall’s wound “had been wrapped in a plastic trash bag the night before…”

He noted in his letter, “A plastic bag could potentially produce a ‘greenhouse’ effect which increases the heat, moisture and growth of infectious bacteria at an accelerated rate…

This is both an unauthorized and deleterious form of wound and dressing care. Applying a heat producing nonabsorbent dressing to an already moist and saturated wound site is a receipt for developing speedy bacteria growth and skin breakdown. This is neither a wound care technique that is taught in nursing, nor at this facility. This inmate was hospitalized for several days and was diagnosed with ____________ and treated with substantial ______ antibiotics and placed in isolation.

The application of the plastic bag to this type of wound also shows limited clinical experience and medical cognitive functions. As a result, of these actions it is my opinion that the other nursing staff members, McLennan County and I may be held liable for any future malevolent medical and cognitive dysfunctions on the part of Debbie Tucker, RN.”

Further documentation in a memo from Armstrong reveals that Tucker had “already resigned.”

The record is made murky by its disorganized presentation in a form lacking chronological relation; it’s unclear if the complaint resulted in what the bureaucrats who ride herd on Texas jails call a nasty-gram – a “Technical Assistance Memorandum” – signed by the jail commission’s Executive Director Brandon Wood.

One wonders what the infectious complication to Woodall’s abdominal wound may have been, but it is frightening to consider that it was severe enough to have resulted in a stay in an isolation ward of a local hospital, according to John Wells, M.D., who voluntarily walked away from a $330,000 per year contract as the jail doctor at the McLennan County Jail, treating inmates and supervising a medical staff employed by the Sheriff’s Office.

One is reminded of the tales of prisoners of war held by the Japanese in southeast Asian jungles during World War Two, men who developed a “jungle sore” one afternoon and died the next day of rampant systemic infection in the tremendous heat and humidity of the triple canopy jungle.

Memo proves Jail staff aware of suicide attempt

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Michael Martinez

Waco – Evidence has surfaced through a public information act request that the McLennan County Jail medical staff was aware of a previous suicide attempt by an inmate who later hanged himself at the privately operated Jack Harwell Detenction Center on Nov. 1, 2015.

According to a memo from Captain Ricky Armstrong to former Jail Doctor John Wells, members of the medical staff made an inadequate effort to see to it that staff members of LaSalle Corrections medical staff knew of the danger Michael Martinez presented to himself when they transferred him to the Jack Harwell Detention Center.

I was told we failed to note a recent history of suicide attempt…” Armstrong wrote to Dr. Wells on Nov 5, following Martinez’ death.

A state jail inspector named Jackie Semmler “informed me that the Jack Harwell Detention Center was placed into administrative non-compliance today due to violation of jail standards that were found…” in the hanging death of Martinez.

He further noted that, “TCJS (Texas Commission on Jail Standards) will be reviewing our files when they come for our inspection.”

The failure to comply was due to a failure to make a note on a standard uniform health status form that the previous suicide attempt had taken place. In addition, there was a failure to deliver an electronic copy of Martinez’ jail medical records to go with the hard copy of the file.

If we have one file that we send to JHDC and we do not provide a hard copy and an electronic copy, we will fail our inspection,” Armstrong wrote.

McLennan Sheriff’s Office arrested three guards employed by LaSalle corrections later that month when an investigation showed Martinez had been hanging in his cell for 3 hours, but falsified records showed that they had checked on him within the half-hour time frame required.

Martinez was reportedly alone in his cell when he died of asphyxiation caused by hanging by a piece of cloth.

Sheriff Parnell McNamara announced that Milton Walker, Christopher Simpson, and Michael Crittenden had each been charged with tampering with government records.

According to the Texas Constitution, no matter who operates a jail, the County Sheriff is responsible for supervision of prisoners at the county jail, as well as to serve writs and processes of the courts, seize property after judgment, and enforce traffic laws on county roads.

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LaSalle Corrections guards Milton Walker, Christopher Simpson, and Michael Crittenden

Reyna sweats file info, Michael Morton law

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McLennan District Attorney wants more staff, budget to assure he is not subject to punishment for violation of the Michael Morton law

“The kid thinks a monster killed his mother.” – then Assistant DA Ken Anderson, speaking of Michael Morton’s son Eric, according to an assistant, Kim Gardner, who worked for Anderson in 1987 

Waco – The little boy told his grandmother, and then gave an investigator a statement that proved he saw the killer take his mother’s life with a two-by-four. He described him as a “monster” with “red hands” – his way of saying the killer’s hands were stained with his mother’s blood.

But jurors never had a chance to hear the child’s testimony because attorneys for the Innocence Project proved in a “Court of Inquiry” ordered by the Texas Supreme Court that Ken Anderson knowingly lied to the judge in the 1987 murder trial of Michael Morton when he said he had no further evidence to present in the case.

The child’s exculpatory statement could have prevented Morton from serving nearly 25 years in the Texas penitentiary for the murder of his wife, an act he did not commit.

A Williamson County Judge ordered Anderson to serve 10 days behind bars at the county jail, pay a $500 fine, surrender his law license, and perform 500 hours of community service following his conviction for criminal contempt of court, tampering with evidence, and tampering with government records.

He was released from jail after 5 days because of his good behavior behind bars. He had previously resigned his elected office as a Criminal District Judge.

In a grueling two days of depositions, Anderson repeatedly claimed he did not remember knowing of the exculpatory evidence he neglected to turn over to the defense. One may read the transcripts of the testimony by clicking on these files:

https://static.texastribune.org/media/documents/0702_Morton_KenAndersonDepositionVol1_103111.pdf

https://static.texastribune.org/media/documents/KenAnderson11.11.11DepoVol.2.pdf

If Abel Reyna has said it in public once, he’s said it a hundred times.

“I don’t want to look at the front page of the paper 20 years from now and see my picture with a headline that says the District Attorney is charging me with a violation of the Michael Morton Act.”

He has declined to prosecute cases based on certain indictments, refused to present others to the Grand Jury, and generally made noises about how difficult it is to know what is and is not to be redacted or witheld from the public record.

The complex issues arise from the Legislature’s enactment of the Michael Morton Act, SB 1611, in 2013. The act amended the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure’s rules of discovery in Section 2 of Art. 39.14.

When the new law took effect on January 1, 2014, it completely nullified a previous policy of allowing each District Attorney’s office in jurisdictions in 254 Texas counties to set their own policies as to how and when discovery of the witnesses and evidence to be used against a defendant will be discovered.

According to a determination by the State Bar’s Ethics Committee handed down in November, 2014, the previous mix and match rule is “obsolete because the act requires an ‘open file policy by all Texas prosecutors without requiring defendants or their lawyers to agree to any restrictions on their use of materials in the file except as provided by this act.”

The only items exempted are prosecutors’ work product and “other information (such as information about victims and children) that is made confidential by law.”

When the Legislature recently acted to automatically seal all juvenile records unless prosecutors find a reason to keep certain parts of them public, McLennan Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna was quick to let the Commissioners’ Court know in a budget workshop that he needs more staff and larger budget to help him make those determinations.

He said the same thing he’s said repeatedly since 2014 about not wanting to go to jail and lose his law license at some future date because it has been determined in a disciplinary tribunal that he witheld information on discovery that would have tended to exculpate the accused had it been turned over to the defense.

His reasoning is that there are numerous state agencies who make decisions about what is and is not proper to be disclosed that are based on other than solid legal determinations. Makes no difference, he told Commissioners. He’s still liable for the oversight – even at a point decades in the future.

One may hear an edited recording of Reyna’s remarks by clicking here:

Cossacks move to oust Reyna in Twin Peaks cases

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Abel Reyna is disqualified to prosecute cases against Cossacks and Bandidos, according to motions by two members of affiliated clubs

Waco – The prosecutor has to go, two defendants accused of engaging in organized criminal activity at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015, have alleged in court papers.

McLennnan Criminal District Attorney is like a gambler playing cards alone against the house at 3 am, said two defendants in the Twin Peaks cases who have filed civil rights suits against him. With every hand, he doubles down against the house. Sooner or later, he is going to run out of chips.

Matthew Clendennen and Burton Bergman told District Courts in a motion to have him replaced by an attorney pro tem in their cases that he disqualified himself as a prosecutor and became a witness when he made a decision to charge them as members of criminal street gangs.

Now that he is the subject of a civil rights suit, he is engaged in the criminal cases as a matter of his personal financial interest, said Dallas criminal defense attorney F. Clinton Broden in a press release.

One may read the motion by clicking here.

Part time clerk, $15hr to $90K in 7 years, a bargain

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Dustin Chapman, who is up for the newly proposed post of County Administrator – starting salary $90,000 per year, up from $75K – started in 2010 for $15 per hour

“Fire the personnel department. Don’t just stop there. Remodel the building, so they can’t even find the place where they used to work…” – Robert Townsend, “Up the Organization”

Waco – County Judge Scott Felton spoke in glowing terms of his proposed move to elevate former file clerk and grant writing specialist Dustin Chapman to the post of County Administrator.

In a budget workshop, Felton said that the proposed salary of $90,000 yearly is worth “about half” what a similarly qualified candidate would make as an “executive vice president” of a bank, or the “chief operations officer” of a CPA firm.

With his Baylor law degree and his experience in county government, Chapman will receive a $15,000 per year increase from his present title of “Chief Administrator.” He’s not alone. The Human Resources Coordinator is up for a yearly increase that is just a whisker under $10,000.

As County Administrator, if the new position is in fact created, Chapman would have direct responsibility to each of the members of the Commissioners’ Court to coordinate with each department head of the county government.

Judge Felton said the new position would be similar to that of a City Manager, a radical departure from the more traditional, more rural and less citified, role of the Commissioners’ Court, as defined in the Texas Constitution.

To a man of the law, words, their exact definitions, really matter.

Recently, an Assistant Attorney General delivered an opinion that if Chapman is acting as an administrator, then his status as an attorney who serves the Commissioners Court is not subject to the attorney-client privilege that renders all matters involved totally confidential.

Hence, we of The Legendary, were allowed to know and inform the public that the records of an alleged sexual harassment claim between a student nurse and the Jail Doctor were off the record not only to ourselves, but to the members of the Commissioners’ Court – and to representatives from other media.

When Commissioner Lester Gibson quizzed the Judge about whether the position will be advertised in order to allow others an “equal opportunity” to compete for the position, he received his response couched in the semantics of ceramics, in the dialect of high glaze, shining on under the fluoescent glare of the overhead lamps.

“What did the lawyers say? They all right with it?” Gibson asked. Felton’s reply was rather vague, emerging from the fog with what sounds like a weakly enunciated “Yeah…” or something like that.

One may judge for himself by listening to the video furnished by the Court: