McLennan Commissioner Will Jones’ motion created a second class of elected official with no obligation to disclose financial facts
Six Shooter Junction – BE IT REMEMBERED: After local officials sent Tax Collector Buddy Skeen, the next to last Democrat in the McLennan County Courthouse, to the pen for his dealings in vehicles, the Commissioners’ Court made all department heads and elected officials file financial disclosure statements.
When that policy began to chafe, the all-GOP tribunal yearned for a more liberal policy, so they had the law firm of Haley & Olson draft a proposed change in the rules. This would have required appointed department heads to merely file an affidavit of possible or de facto conflict of interest, either potential, or actual.
They discussed the matter for more than an hour on a day in May back in 2015, then voted to defer their action. On May 26, they voted on a motion by Will Jones to adopt Subchapter A of an ethical statute in the Texas Local Government Code that requires justice court judges, county commissioners, and the County Clerk to reveal their financial worth and obligations. That expensive piece of legal work wound up on the cutting room floor. Only Commissioner Kelly Snell opposed all this tap dance. He was the lone hold-out on the Court.
In a vague colloquy, Commissioner Jones said the department heads should file a statement of conflict of interest.
We are unable to find the formal order.
Nevertheless, the action created a two-tiered system of classification of elected officials that exempts from financial disclosure such officials as the Tax Assessor-Collector, the Sheriff, and others who have direct jurisdiction over foreclosure and seizure of real property and valuable personal property.
It’s a genuine bird’s nest sitting on the ground for mortgage lenders, derivative hedge fund operators, bankers, mortgage brokers, and other land hustlers who took everyone to the cleaners in the 2008 burst of the “housing bubble.”
Someone should have put a yellow tape around Wall Street while the detectives picked up the pieces and analyzed the DNA in the blood and feathers found on the trading floors and in the back offices of counting houses coast to coast.
After all, since they were too big to fail, it became the obligation of We The People to “bail” them out. Tsk. Tsk.
Only through action of public information law were we able to obtain the documentation of what has occurred here, again, where it can’t happen. No way. No how.
Good luck with negotiating the rapids of foreclosure the next time the prime starts jumping around like a rattle snake in the final throes of its death agony. There is no way you can get your case in court if you miss the extremely narrow deadlines of the non-judicial foreclosure State of Texas. If the folks at the Sheriff’s Office file a notice of foreclosure sale before you know you’re in trouble, you get no chance to make the lenders prove up their allegations of chain of title – something they might not have.
Very slick. So mote it be.
This is the order that didn’t make it into the record…
Dominique Alexander led the downtown BLM protest march that claimed the lives of five Dallas Police Officers by sniper fire on July 7
Dallas – A black Dallas activist whom police arrested on 10 outstanding warrants following an August 10 confrontation with Mayor Mike Rawlings during a City Council meeting is receiving a massive “good time” credit for time served in the past and to be served in the present on a 2-year sentence for the violation of probation
A Dallas Criminal District Court Judge sentenced Alexander to 10 years probation for the first degree felony offense of causing severe bodily injury of a child by shaking a baby in 2009.
According to a confidential source, Alexander, former president of Next Generation Action Network and an associate of Black Lives Matter, will receive 15 days credit for every day served behind bars at the time of his arrest for injury to a child and the same credit will count for every day served behind bars on his present sentence following the revocation of his 10-year term of probation.
Judge Gracie Lewis of Dallas Criminal District Court No. 3 ordered the change on September 12, according to the notation in a follow-up criminal judgment, because “it [is] appearing that the back time credit is incorrect.”
Alexander organized the Black Lives Matter protest march in downtown Dallas during which 5 police officers lost their lives to sniper fire on July 7. A number of men armed with AR-15-style sniper rifles were in the crowd that marched along Main and Commerce Streets near El Centro College. They reportedly fled in multiple directions, disappearning in the fleeing crowds of people when shots rang out from a parking garage overlooking an open parking lot the size of a square city block below where a major DART bus line interchange is located on a corner by a McDonald’s fast food restaurant.
Many of the officers killed were assigned to the Transit Police division of the Dallas Police Department.
Police killed the sniper who remained in the garage in an explosion of a bomb placed by remote control with a robotic tractor after prolonged negotiations failed over a period of several hours.
According to published reports, court officials revoked Alexander’s probation after they proved that he had missed appointments with his Community Supervision Officer, left Dallas County in violation of the court order, failed to complete anger management classes, and has not paid all his court-ordered fees.
The day of his arrest, Alexander had denied a request by then Dallas Police Chief David Brown to cancel a march scheduled to proceed through downtown that night.
Alexander’s criminal background includes convictions for theft by worthless check, evasion of arrest, making a false report to a police officer, forgery of a check, theft of more than $1,500, and injury to a child.
Supporters of Next Generation Action Network and Black Lives Matter claimed in media interviews that authorities moved to silence Alexander by ordering his arrest.
Lawyer Vanessa A. Gonzalez decided the embarrassment of getting arrested for drunk driving should exempt a prosecutor from publicity
Austin – The Office of the Texas Attorney General issued the opinion that though an attorney retained by the General Counsel of Baylor University reads the pubic information act a certain way, they are still obliged to release the basic information on the arrest for drunk driving of a prosecutor who handles numerous DWI cases.
An opinion issued in June states that certain information that would interfere with the detection of crime is indeed excepted, as well as highly personal information that would embarrass a defendant accused of a crime. However, the basic information about an alleged crime and the person arrested for that crime is a matter of public record.
Ms. Gonzalez, who is representing the Baylor Police Department for the Austin firm of Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado, Acosta, LLP, stalled until August.
One wonders what they teach the students at the School of Journalism at Baylor University.
Now, kiddies, this is called the headline, and this is the picture, and what you write under it is called the cutline because back in the old days, pictures were produced from half-tone engravings cut into sheets of lead and antimony, and what you wrote underneath…etc.
But if an alumnus of our law school who sends folks to the pen for drunk driving gets busted on campus for the same thing, well, that’s EMBARRASSING and we don’t have to air our dirty linen in public because, after all, if it weren’t for this august bastion of education, Waco would basically consist of a truck stop, and…Well, you know the drill.
As you know, Kristen Parker of the McLennan Criminal District Attorney’s Office got busted for driving drunk, and it’s a very, very big deal.
Melissa Pool demonstrates stress hold used on her at the local jail
Somewhere South of Houston – On a frosty night a couple of years ago, Melissa Pool’s entire family wound up in jail over a shop lifting charge for which her juvenile daughter should have been released.
Ordinarily, police write a summons for Juvenile Court and release defendants for petty crimes to the custody of their parents.
When she and her cousin proved uncooperative with Wal-Mart loss prevention specialists at the Bellmead Super Center, they called the local police force.
The two officers who responded ordered the child to put down her cell phone, and when she refused, they began to struggle with her.
Mrs. Pool fairly shouts her opinion over the phone, “She was under no obligation to do anything, anything at all, as a child!”
That’s when Mrs. Pool and her husband Victor arrived. The fighting took place inside a small office with one-way mirrored windows in the entry vestibule. Her child could see out, but they couldn’t see in.
But they could hear, and what they heard alarmed them as parents.
They forced their way in and fought to protect their child.
Surveillance tapes shown in court make that clear.
But juries who heard their trials were not impressed. They convicted both for interference with the duties of a public servant in separate proceedings. She was sentenced to one month behind bars, her husband to six months, both terms to be served in the McLennan County Jail.
“I’m not turning myself in to do the time in that jail,” said Melissa Pool in a phone call. She wouldn’t say where they are, only that they’re somewhere “a little south” of Houston.
“I won’t go to a jail where they rape women.”
She is vague on the details of what she heard, or where, but insists that women are raped in the Waco Jail.
Earlier this year, the Sixth District Court of Appeals at Texarkana rejected her appeal after the court system sent it there from Waco to “level” the number of cases heard in any of the state’s 14 intermediate courts of appeal.
Because she attempted to defend herself, the justices noted, the transcript shows a great deal of confusion about just how evidence was presented on her behalf, the way questions were asked.
There was even more confusion when a prosecutor made a motion that she was “incompetent” to conduct her own defense. Judge Cates of McLennan County Court at Law No. 2 agreed and repeatedly admonished her. He also told her he could not give her legal advice as to how to phrase questions.
The appeals court ruled that Cates was within the discretion of the Court to appoint standby counsel and proceed on that basis.
The judges agreed with Cates that Mrs. Pool appeared to be of competent intelligence, but simply lacked competent acumen in her legal skills.
In a second point on appeal, the appeals judges ruled that the trial court was within bounds to accept her waiver of counsel.
The transcript shows an exhaustive series of examinations both pre-trial and during the case in chief in which Cates attempted to let her know the dangers of self-representation, and the responsibilities inherent in taking on the role of defense counsel.
They concluded, “On this record, we cannot conclude that the trial court erred in finding Pool’s waiver of counsel knowing and intelligent.”
They affirmed the judgment of the trial court.
In an interesting note, Mrs. Pool said that after the trial was over, the judge stopped to talk to her in the corridor outside the courtroom.
“This was after he had taken off his judge’s robe. He asked me, ‘Have you ever thought about going to law school?'” she remembers.
What happened to the shop lifting charge agains her daughter?
“They dropped the charge against her,” said Melissa Pool.
Officer Sellers of the Bellmead P.D., now retired, struggles with the Pools’ daughter at Wal-Mart to make her give him her cell phone
McLennan Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna faces disqualification
Waco – The lawyer representing two Twin Peaks defendants made a motion to reopen the hearing seeking the disqualification of DA Abel Reyna as prosecutor in the Twin Peaks caes.
Thomas Brandt, an insurance lawyer representing Reyna and McLennan County officials has refused to answer interrogatories ordered by 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson on the grounds that to answer would violate the attorney-client privilege and that he knows of no such provision in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
F. Clinton Broden, who is representing defendant Matthew Clendennen, a former member of the Scimitars Riding Club, an associate club of the Cossacks, and Hill County Cossacks President Ray Nelson, said he will go so far as to subpoena members of the McLennan Commissioners Court as witnesses in the matter.
Chapman, on the other hand, was asked for no information that would include that which is privileged on the basis of attorney-client relations.
Broden said that though rare, the rules of criminal procedure do allow for interrogatories in criminal cases in the interest of conserving Court resources.
Both defendants agreed to the procedure with the proviso that if this easier, more expedient remedy should fail, they could reopen the hearing to obtain the information sought, according to Broden’s motion.
The central fact involved is that Reyna has a huge financial interest in obtaining guilty verdicts in the cases of bikers who were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
The grounds for his disqualification are that he became a necessary witness when he directed the Waco Police to arrest every person wearing a motorcycle club patch under that charge. His role at that point changed from prosecutor to policeman.
He faces millions of dollars in judgments in dozens of federal civil rights cases filed so far.
County Commissioner Kelly Snell was a lone holdout in the policy change in financial disclosure requirements for County officers
Close checking shows that a previous story about the lack of requirement for the McLennan Sheriff to file a financial disclosure statement by April of each year is accurate despite protests from McLennan Citizens for Good Government.
On May 26, 2016 the Commissioners Court ordered only Justices of the Peace, County Commissioners and County Judge Scott Felton to file such disclosure statements, and directed department heads who work directly under the supervision of the Court to file affidavits of actual or potential financial conflicts of interest by adopting Subchapter A of Section 159 of the Texas Local Government Code.
Subchapter B provides that the Court may require the Sheriff, County Tax Assessor-Collector, District Clerk and County Clerk to make the filings. They were thereby exempted from the new policy, which amended a previous order from 2012.
In that order, everyone with supervisory responsibilities were required to make financial disclosures because of the criminal prosecution of a Constitutional Officers for fraudulent financial dealings in his office.
County Judge Scott Felton determined that the requirement of filing a financial statement is an invasion of the privacy of persons who do not necessarily have the responsibility of such decisions, but recommended that requiring them to file an affidavit disclosing conflict of interest is much more practical.
After extensive discussion spread over two successive sessions of Commissioners Court, they adopted the policy that is current.
By listening to the audio recording, one may see that Commissioner Kelly Snell was the only one who opposed the change in policy, the vote being 4 to 1 in favor.
We don’t need any e-stinking badges…put blue in Martian, professionally spoken in the dialect of high glaze
Behold, it is written. When you ask the folks down at the cop shop for the basic, first page information on an offense or an arrest, they will respond “promptly.”
Our man paid a visit today a month after the arrest of Kristen Parker, assistant District Attorney and frequent flyer in prosecuting DWI offenses.
Brad Wigtil, the Chief of the Baylor University Police Department, displayed his oh-so-professional reluctance to cough up the information.
“We’ll have to agree to disagree,” he said. No prompting needed.
So far, so good.
That was until the infra-dig moment when – brother to brother – our man pointed out to him, “Say, now, fella, did you know you can go to jail for this here?”
The attorneys cannot be charged for the offense of withholding the information.
True story. It’s an offense of the magnitude of – let’s say – a DWI, a Class B misdemeanor – to refuse to let anyone – anyone at all, know that at a certain time, in a specific location, this person known by this legal name, did then and there commit a specific offense, was arrested and charged with the offense, their property disposed of in this manner, and so forth.
It’s all there. The young lady, whose date of birth is redacted, was apprehended at two minutes before closing time 1:58 am, in the 1500 block of James Ave in case 16-0720 on August 13 by Officer J.S. Swanson who cleared by case by arresting her for DWI. No drugs were detected, and she is further identified as the Kristen Kay Parker who stands five feet, 8 inch, weighs 140 pounds and gazes at the world through blues eyes from beneath a helmet of blonde hair. She was in the company of two other persons, driving her silver colored 2012 VW Passat 4-dr Sedan. A third person, whose name is similarly redacted, received her car and left the scene of the arrest driving it.
How do we know?
At the time, the Chief was professional and reasonable about it, saying that the office of the general counsel of Baylor University was in consultation with an attorney named Vanesa Gonzalez from the law firm of Bickerstaff, et. al., and that – well, no dice.
That was then.
Promptly at 5 p.m., he e-mailed the requested information because, well, just because. But it follows that when one learns the attorneys will not face a criminal offense of the magnitude of DWI because of their legal advice, and that he, as custodian of the public record, will – well, that’s when the shoe is placed on the other foot, as in certain medieval ceremonies of great drama teaching moral lessons veiled in allegory, etc.
No one changed their opinion, but, hey, we now have the information we sought.
You are an eyewitness to this news, complete with quotes from the black and white statutes of the Public Information Act:
INFORMATION IS POWER; INFORMATION WITHHELD IS POWER, TO THE THIRD POWER, CUBED AND USED AGAINST WE THE PEOPLE
There is a clear-cut pattern. Not only does the Sheriff acquire a large percentage of his campaign finances from mortgage lenders and land developers, he acquires lucrative gifts from them worth tens of thousands of dollars, an ethical no-no in a state where such gifts are limited to the value of $50.
Amid revelations that McLennan Sheriff Parnell McNamara’s land dealings in acquiring two lots in an exclusive development and extending a two percent deed of trust to a local banker for more than $800,000 on seven acres of commercial property, we stumbled on to another provocative finding.
The McLennan County Commissioners Court dropped a requirement they passed in 2012 for all department heads and Constitutional Officers to file a financial disclosure statement for scrutiny by the Texas Ethics Commission and the public.
As of May 26, 2015, the Sheriff is no longer required to disclose his real estate dealings, as he had previously. According to the minutes of the Court, this policy change was made to relieve certain department heads who have no such dealings from the necessity to file such detailed information for public scrutiny.
But under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, a County Sheriff is responsible for recording and conducting foreclosure sales on properties financed by mortgage bankers. When the housing bubble burst in 2008, knowledgeable observers nationwide learned pronto that most such filings are not only vague and difficult to interpret, most of them are completely bogus.
For instance, allegations of ownership of foreclosed property are secured in Sheriff’s sales by filings of “.docx” documents in the private files of lenders, and go unrecorded in public records of County Clerks. The title claims on millions of parcels are filed under the signature of the mysterious official, “Linda Green,” one of the busiest executives on record, who operates in 50 states.
Lenders can’t any more prove chain of title to properties financed under predatory lending policies at subprime rates that baloon later in the life of the agreement than you or I can. When one adds to this revelation the provision of a Texas Penal Code statute prohibiting bribery by proscribing a public servant’s acceptance of a lucrative gift from a constituent over whom he has direct jurisdiction, it raises the eyebrows.
But when there are multiple records of a long list of questionable transactions, including a pawn shop loan on a personal gun collection obtained through the gift of the widow of a local land developer at 240 percent vigorish, one longs for a forensic audit to explain exactly how all this works out for We The People.
Kenneth McDuff’s career with Texas prisons spanned three decades
Waco – Old time lawmen don’t look back on the days of their most dramatic success with anything other than an eye of clarity; there is no real romance in the kind of hard work it takes to clean up the messes left by sociopathic criminals. There is no glamour available in sticking the needle in a condemned man’s arm and consigning his soul to eternal perdition, only the precise process of building a case that won’t cave in when the big, bad wolf huffs and puffs.
And then, in the interest of public health and common decency, the law goes to work cleaning up the mess the crooks left behind.
In a casual interview regarding the true nature of tracking down what, exactly, Kenneth McDuff did with his victims’ bodies – where did he leave them like a sack of garbage after a twisted picnic – retired Texas Ranger Matt Cawthon reacted to a question about the condemned serial killer’s last words.
“How much store do you put by Kenneth McDuff’s last words?”
“What were they? What did he say?”
Asked in the execution chamber at The Walls in Huntsville if he had any last remarks, McDuff reportedly said, “I am ready to be released. Release me,” as the lethal cocktail flowed into his veins on November 17,1998.
Colleen Reed, kidnapping and murder victim
Only days before, McDuff had agreed to tell a team of crime scene investigators exactly where he left the remains of Colleen Reed, 28, a popular Lower Colorado River Authority accountant McDuff and his fall partner had kidnapped at an Austin car wash where she was scrubbing her Mazda sports car late at night. Witnesses said they heard her scream as they watched a Thunderbird matching the description of McDuff’s car speeding away the wrong way on one-way 5th Street.
It had taken six years to persuade the killer, the only person to ever serve time on Texas’ Death Row twice, to give up the precise locations where he left the bodies of six women – most of them prostitutes – after he made parole in October, 1989 during the height of the release of prisoners from Texas penitentiaries due to overcrowding by order of a federal judge.
McDuff was tried and convicted, sentenced to death, for the murders of Ms. Reed and Melissal Northrup, a convenience store clerk he snatched from her job at the corner of New Road and I-35 in Waco.
According to Cawthon, McDuff was most concerned that the guards not interfere with his comissary privileges, and he negotiated leniency for his newphew, who was doing time for a federal drug dealing conviction, in return for his cooperation.
Ms. Reed’s final resting place was diagrammed in a thick and overgrown stretch of river bottom land at Falls on the Brazos, near a bridge, where Cawthon and a team of law men dug holes in frustration for hours, shovels in hand, trying to follow the diagram.
“We weren’t getting anywhere. Finally, we got a maintainer in there and it was slicing five or six inches off the top with each pass; but we still weren’t finding anything.”
That was when the Inspector General of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Institutional Divison made the most unusual arrangement to have McDuff brought to the scene, heavily shackled and wearing a baseball cap in the back seat of a Ford Taurus.
Retired as of 2011, John Moriarty is a New York cop with 22 years experience as an investigator at TDC, 10 of them in the top job of inspector general. He authorized McDuff’s excursion from his place on death row at Ellis 1 – a never-before happening not since repeated. He was one of a team of 10 appointed by Governor Ann Richards to track down violent parole violators and repeat offenders accused of very vicious crimes.
“He (McDuff) was never allowed out of the car,” said Cawthon. As he sat surveying the scene, the searchers stood in a group around the car and explained the problem. McDuff pointed with his chin, and said, “You see that sapling over there? Make a pass with that thing and see if she’s not buried there.”
As the blade bit into the brush and dirt on it first pass as directed by the serial murderer who liked to torture and slowly kill his victims, it exposed the top of Ms. Reed’s skull where it lay in a shallow grave.
“It broke it open,” said the Ranger.
At the time, he told an Associated Press reporter they had deferred their efforts while they made a decision on how to complete the excavation.
“He knew exactly where he left her. That’s how psychopathic he was. He played those killings out over and over in his mind. He enjoyed it.”
And then the moment passed, and the three of us, two law men and a retired crime reporter, looked around ourselves and came back to our senses. In the bright morning sunshine of the filling station’s coffee area, we resumed being who we are today.
Three little old men with gray whiskers and grandbabies made the shy acknowledgement that, yes, evil is as disturbing as can be. It was hard to meet our companions’ eyes.
That’s how much store a man who was there puts in the last remarks of Kenneth McDuff, serial killer.
Chris Rogers, a reporter for the NBC outlet, KCEN-TV News 6
“And all the federales say, they could have had him any day…” – Townes Van Zandt
Waco – The posse was waiting when I arrived at the agreed place for the interview.
Bill Johnston, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, sat in the afternoon glare by the door of the coffee shop at a table with an attractive young lady on a Mac, cooling his heels.
When I strolled through the door, they exchanged glances, and I sat down at a table opposite to keep both eyes open.
Johnston went out to an uncomfortable place to sit on the porch in the glare of that evening sun, its merciless beams slicing slant-wise across a square block of pavement on the courthouse square. He chatted up a man with his back to the wall, seated at a table amid the swirling dust and confusion of a noisy construction site next door, complete with bouncing boards and the loud motor of a materials handling machine/forklift/scoopmobile doo dad scooting around and around in the miserable heat of a post-Dog Days afternoon.
No one in his right mind would sit in such a place if not for the appointed duty of serving as lookout at a listening post in an ambush. Johnston went away, and the little electronic beast in my pocket lit up to say that Chris Rogers of Channel 6 was at the place, waiting for my arrival.
Funny, he was nowhere to be seen – until he walked through the door of the long, narrow place decorated with excellent framed photos, dark-stained furniture and a bare, minimalist décor in pleasant contrasting shades of iron gray, a consignment of cool.
GET OUT! NOW! IT’S A SET-UP, my handlers texted. Whatever.
Had the walls been painted a dark shade to shoulder height and cream above, topped with a tin ceiling, lined with booths, and plastered with Pearl posters depicting the “Law West Of The Pecos” and Budweiser’s old trademark panorama of “Custer’s Last Stand,” we would have been back home in a Texas beer joint.
Here, two dollars and a half buys you a demitasse of excellent espresso and an old-fashioned glass of ice cold sparkling mineral water – a little something to get your old bony heart started.
Rogers, a youthful man with a close-shaved beard that barely covers his chin and a lot of peach fuzz unknown to the harsh touch of the razor’s edge, a boyish Adam’s apple hiding behind the loose Windsor knot of his tie, and a look that said, “I can see you, but I wouldn’t want to be you,” stood over the table and submitted to a snapshot.
He suggested we take a place at the table outside in the afternoon glare and noise, curbside at Sweathog Central.
I told him the same thing I had his News Director, a fella named Gebhart, when he proposed the interview. “Why not?” We were only running twenty minutes behind schedule, and I had said my prayers in the cool of the morning, long before I had ever heard of this duo, Gebhart and Rogers. So I didn’t object when he told me to sit with my back to the parking lot across the lazy expanse of Austin Ave.
Just another funky day in Six Shooter Junction, the place where the six refers to the shooter’s perspective – where the target is at twelve o’clock high.
It’s a nice town.
So nice that Rogers’ other contribution to KCEN’s news day that day was all about the former Baylor University football coach Art Briles’ abject apology over the fact that a co-ed had been raped by a varsity squad member, and for some reason, no one seemed to much care, until the gender politics of Title IX loomed on the horizon – long after the fact.
Alderman Bob and many flags unfurled, even old Judge Starr, the former Solicitor General of the United States of America, got slapped around on camera by infuriated wimmens as they lopped off his head and went off to teach some law. He was corrected when he said he didn’t have time to read every e-mail that came across his – ah, virtual – desk. Could they take that out of the interview? Could they start over? Non. The News Director for CBS’ outlet declined.
It was as confusing as this interlude. One was compelled to ask, “What is Briles sorry for? He seems to have kept it in his pants. He’s just unemployed, that’s all.”
Texas. When the pigskin is in the air, it is accompanied by flying banners and blaring brass, a holy crusade in a ritual of armored combat. Farm team of the corporate thugs who play on Sunday afternoons and Monday nights. The business of America is business. Ask Nixon.
Somewhere, a jukebox warbles, Willie and Julio, crooning, To all the girls I’ve loved before…
It turns out that Rogers is gifted in the art of asking the same question a half-dozen different ways, then starting over, and over, and over. Bright young man. He’ll go far in Six Shooter.
No big deal. Such instruments are only the underpinning of the currency – a house of cards in a land of make-believe teetering on the brink of disaster and a time when, like the old-timers who lived through the Great Depression would ball their fists, grimace, and say, “There was no money! Why can’t you understand that?”
Besides, my confidential sources had intimated that I should establish all this – pronto – and get a complaint to the Attorney General of the State of Texas – right away!
I explained that I knew better. That office never gets involved in complaints from private citizens.
Then why did I do it, he asked, a small smile riffing around the corners of his stone face.
I put it to him. Who wants to play that classic of “The Games That People Play,” as described by Dr. Eric Berne, M.D. in his book of that title? He looked a little quizzical when I mentioned “The Little Professor,” that know-it-all and erudite feller who runs around lecturing his companions about his abundant experience and sophisticated posture in the wiser world unknown by present company – a relic from the paisley wallpaper of the dreaded sixties.
We didn’t get into “Let’s Pull A Fast One On Joey,” “Now I’ve Got You, You Son Of A Bitch,” or “Let’s You And Him Fight.”
Rogers is a quick study. You could see it in his eyes.
Why didn’t I ask the Sheriff himself?
Because most of my requests for information are automatically shunted to the able staff behind the bullet proof glass window in the lobby. My written request sent to the Attorney General, along with the requested material long since released to the mighty organs of public opinion, for review.
The Sheriff is only rarely compelled to answer my questions. I’m never invited to the “press conferences” in the big conference room with the easels filled with the orange-tinted mosaic of mug shots following mass arrests of sex fiends, motorcycle gangs, dope heads, and other such arch-enemies of society.
If my friends say send it to the AG, no problem. Coming right up.
Said Pat Davis of the AG’s office, a public information officer, “We litigate and counsel state agencies…If the DA wants us to be involved, yeah, we would become involved…Any allegation should be directed either to the DA, or the local district court.” Jerked the phone up and called me to say so. A half-hour before the interview was scheduled.
SHADES OF THE MASKED MAN…
Isn’t it true my confidential sources consist of only one person, an ex-employee who is retired from the Texas Rangers?
One is tempted to ask, “Where is the shame in that?” Rangers traditionally served with one-man, one-riot expedience to move through the people and teach them how to fight back against Indian attacks, range wars, fence cutting, and mass murder, prairie fire, gang rape, baby snatching, and scalping.
Ex-CUSE me! Mama dominoed in Oak Cliff. I guess that means I need a Green Card to “visit” with folks from the other side of the Trinity? Cue Jimmy Reed doing “Bright Lights, Big City.”
No. The truth is, my sources are the dozens upon dozens of professional peace officers who embody the process of investigations. He could look it up, but it’s yesterday’s news. I got the information after the Open Records Division of the Office of the Attorney General ruled that the reports are public information. Costs a lot of money in staff time. Our efforts – we the people – are abusive in the high and mighty face of the custodians of record.
The truth is, campaign finance records show that numerous heavy hitters are involved in the mortgage brokerage or home finance industries – in a non-judicial foreclosure state – in which the Sheriff’s Office has the Constitutionally enumerated and ministerial duty to conduct foreclosure sales and keep records thereof.
Therefore, the closing instruments on parcels of property owned by the Sheriff are as revelatory as any others. The industry serviced by the people so described is directly under the Sheriff’s jurisdiction in 254 Texas counties.
In other news, a Hollywood starlet was spotted topless on the beach at…and coeds wildly indignant about guns passed around giant dildos on the Old Main of the University of Texas At Austin…
CUT TO: A commercial about that which is NEW! and IMPROVED!
Wot dis mean, Cholly, is dat what you got is OLD! and INFERIOR!Go read: Beecroft, Tracee, “Foreclosure Fraud 101 – Uncovering The Secrets Banks Don’t Want You To Know, #1 How To Analyze Foreclosure Documents For Fraud,”Kindle Edition. Only 28 pages in length, it takes about a half-hour to read its brisk prose in the dialect of take a number, we’ll be right with you. It’s kind of like the “What we lost in the latest crash, boys, in Addis Ababa” style of pragmatic extremism. Go, baby! Go!
Strong. In the garlic sandwich department of STRONG!
As it turns out, in most cases of foreclosure litigated non-judicially in states like Texas, the first people know about the process is after the property has been sold at a Sheriff’s foreclosure sale.
There’s only one problem. The banks can’t really prove they owned the property to begin with.
No interview has been broadcast.
Not a problem.
Now, what was that little ditty about the money supply and the fractional reserve?
Just put a twenty-dollar gold piece on my watch chain, so the boys will know I died standing pat. Chisel it on my tombstone: “Here, eternally consigned to the soil, is yet another $200 millionaire.”
One last thing: The folks at the McLennan Appraisal District and the McLennan County Clerk’s Office were as nice and obliging as anyone could be. The way I was treated in those venues is what public service is really all about. I am grateful.