SPARKS FLY AT REPUBLICAN CLUB LUNCHEON OVER TWIN PEAKS
Barry Johnson hammered on Reyna’s alleged improprieties in office…
WACO – Embattled DA Abel Reyna drew first blood in the Republican primary race – by attacking the local daily newspaper’s coverage of his career in office.
More than 700 party and elected officials crowded the assembly hall at the Texas Ranger Museum to hear the elected DA and his challenger Barry Johnson go at each other, hammer and tongs.
DA Abel Reyna emphasized his money saving innovations of pre-trial intervention, a streamlined docket that encourages defendants to enter guilty pleas, and his promised courtroom presence over his two-term tenure.
He concluded his remarks by referring to clubs of motorcycle enthusiasts who were the subject of mass arrests on May 17, 2015, as “gangs,” and their defense lawyers who are using Johnson as their “puppet.”
Challenger Barry Johnson, a hometown Waco native whose father was a Justice of the Peace and a District Judge has practiced in civil law at Dallas for many years.
He was quick to remind a largely stone faced crowd that McLennan County taxpayers face a liability of an estimated $350 million in civil rights cases stemming from the Twin Peaks massacre.
In highly critical remarks, he explained that the personal involvement in decision making in the cases as to exactly how to structure the charges against 177 arrestees as engaging in organized criminal activity, a first degree felony, exposed the county government to liability issues, where a more noncommittal role would have maintained the DA’s office in the privilege of governmental immunity.
He returned to the alleged mistake in legal judgment repeatedly in a highly structured question and answer, rebuttal and brief series of statements moderated by a party official.
In answer to criticism leveled at his lack of criminal trial experience, he pointed out that the procedures are actually very nearly the same.
Both candidates discussed pro and con the pending federal investigation first uncovered by the local daily paper.
Reyna drew thunderous applause when he denounced the editorial content of the Waco “Tribune-Herald” as “fake news.”
Editoria Page Editor Bill Whitaker and Courthouse Staff Writer Tommy Witherspoon sat by in high catoque during the chivaree.
One may hear the program in its entirety by clicking the arrow below:
Two-term incumbent DA Abel Reyna denounced critical press reports…