Suspended Hearne PD officer still wearing gun and badge

A suspended Hearne police sergeant still works an off-duty security job in uniform while he is paid to not work for the City of Hearne, according to a local club manager.

Sgt. Stephen Yohner, a.k.a. “Sgt. Tallywacker,” was suspended with pay on March 31, 2017 for sending photos of his gonads to “one or female employees” of the City of Hearne and carrying on extramarital affairs while he was supposed to be supervising a patrol shift, according to court documents. But Sgt. Tallywacker still works as needed at a private club in Bryan where alcohol is served, according to the manager of that club.

I’ll omit the name of the club and the manager for now, but the manager told me this morning that Sgt. Tallywacker worked in uniform as recently as Friday night. I could not reach Hearne Police Chief Thomas Williams for comment, and Mayor Ruben Gomez and Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron have not yet responded to my emails.

Has anyone at city hall considered the potential legal problems that could arise if the city allows a suspended officer to work private security? Hearne has an unusually high rate of police shootings for a city its size, and Sgt. Tallywacker was involved in such a shooting in 2012. Just imagine what would happen if he had to use his weapon off duty, even if it was a clean shoot. … Read more

Anthony Weiner, make way for Hearne Police Sgt. Stephen Yohner

A Hearne police sergeant was suspended because he texted photos of his gonads to “one or more female employees of the City of Hearne” and because he “carried on extramarital relationships with one or more mistresses while he was supposed to be supervising a patrol shift,” according to a court document that I filed over the weekend.

Mayor Ruben Gomez previously confirmed on April 4, 2017 that Sgt. Stephen Yohner (or “Sgt. Tallywacker,” if you prefer) had been suspended with pay, but he did not give a reason for the suspension. Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron, City Secretary Linda Pecina, and City Attorney Pro Tem Tangerlia Felton have since fought to keep the information from becoming public, and the attempted cover-up may be a bigger story than anything that Sgt. Tallywacker has done.

The sexual misconduct revelations are found in a motion that I filed in State of Texas v. Rodrick Jackson, where I represent City Councilman Rodrick Jackson against a bogus assault charge filed by Hearne PD. The lead investigator on the case was none other than Sgt. Tallywacker, and we are set for a jury trial on May 4, 2017. My motion asks the court to order city officials to turn over the records concerning Sgt. Tallywacker.

That would be a routine request under normal circumstances, because state and federal courts ruled long ago that prosecutors must share exculpatory evidence with criminal defendants, including evidence related to the credibility of anyone that the government intends to call as a witness. These, however, are not normal circumstances. … Read more

Robertson County News endorses Booger County Mafia

I owe Robertson County News publisher Dennis Phillips a debt of gratitude. I wanted to blog about the upcoming elections in Hearne, but Dennis lit a fire under me yesterday, forcing me to hurry up and git ‘er done. So grab some Lysol, gather the wife and kids around the iPhone, and get ready for another excursion into small-town corruption and cronyism.

In this week’s edition of the News, Dennis endorsed Mayor Ruben “The Godfather” Gomez and Councilman Emmett “Mankiller” Aguirre for re-election, as well as challenger (and former Councilwoman) LaShunda White, a.k.a. “LaShunda Sellout.” In other words, Dennis endorsed the Booger County Mafia candidates.

Normally you would expect a journalist (or someone purporting to be one) to oppose corrupt politicians, and normally you would be right, but then Booger County isn’t exactly normal. For that matter, neither is Dennis.

Back in 2015, I reported that Dennis and his employer accepted $30,000 (or 30 pieces of silver, if your prefer) from city officials for the alleged purpose of remodeling the headquarters of the newspaper.  Ever since then, Dennis and the News have been dutifully supportive of the corrupt ruling class, i.e., the Booger County Mafia, and harshly critical of the reformers on the city council. Where I grew up, we would call that a payoff. In Booger County, it’s called business as usual.

According to Dennis, the Mafia candidates are the best choice for economic development and “progress” in Hearne. I suppose that’s true if you define “economic development” as giving taxpayer money to Dennis and his employer.

Seriously, what self-respecting editorialist would endorse Ruben Gomez for mayor? Gomez’s name is synonymous with corruption, and for good reason. Just Google “LawFlog” and “Gomez” and read for yourself.  On September 9, 2015, for example, I reported that the mayor’s sister, Sylvia Montelongo, had written nearly fifty thousand dollars worth of hot checks to the city for utilities, but her electricity had never been turned off. … Read more

CopSync CEO fired after revelation of possible bribery

CopSync CEO Ronald A. Woessner was fired last weekend, according to a March 28, 2017 press release, and I’m wondering if it had anything to do with my earlier posts about an alleged private stock sale to officials in Robertson County, Texas.

As I reported on January 6, 2017, a law enforcement source told me that Dallas-based CopSync made the private stock offering to county officials shortly before they voted on a contract with the company, which specializes in data sharing among law enforcement agencies. In response to a letter from me, Mr. Woessner did not expressly confirm the Robertson County incident, but he seemed to confirm the general practice of making private stock sales to government decision makers.

On January 30, 2017, I reported that CopSync’s outside directors hired a Florida law firm to investigate the allegations in my letter, and the following day I reported that my law enforcement source had been interviewed by the FBI. I’ve since asked CopSync officials for information about the internal investigation, but I never received a response. … Read more

An update on Hillary Clinton and her lawyers

This morning the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission and the Office of Bar Counsel were served with copies of a lawsuit that could compel them to investigate three attorneys who represented Hillary Clinton during the investigation of her private email system.

In September, I filed grievances against attorneys David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson (as well as Mrs. Clinton herself) based on public reports suggesting that they had destroyed evidence related to the email investigation.  Within six weeks (and as I predicted), the complaints were either being stonewalled or had already been dismissed.

In my October 19, 2016 post, I explained why Maryland law obligated the grievance commission and the bar counsel to investigate my complaints, but my arguments to bar prosecutors were ignored. This was not particularly surprising, because nowadays it usually requires a lawsuit to get bar prosecutors and attorney grievance commissions to follow the law.

The lawsuit served today asks the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court to order the commission and bar prosecutors to investigate Mr. Kendall, Ms. Mills, and Ms. Samuelson, and lawyers for the commission and prosecutors have 30 days to respond in writing.  I’m anxious to see how they will try to defend the indefensible. … Read more

Auctioneer files suit over botched raid on car sale

Imagine you’re a contractor who shows up at a job site and on your first day of work you get arrested and charged with engaging in organized crime just because some dirty cops wanted to retaliate against the people who own the business. That’s pretty much what happened to Israel Curtis.

Since 2015, I’ve blogged about how officers of the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force botched a televised raid on an automobile auction in Anderson, Texas.  Mr. Curtis, a professional auctioneer, was hired to conduct the auction, and today he filed a federal lawsuit against Grimes County Sheriff Donald Sowell, Grimes County DA Tuck McLain, and former Montgomery County Sheriff Tommy Gage, among others.

As I reported back in October, all criminal charges were dismissed against Mr. Curtis. According to Mr. Curtis, Lt. Sclider admitted that Mr. Curtis got “caught up” in the arrests because they needed at least three people to bring organized crime charges against business partners Les Shipman and Jerry Williams, but even the felony charges against Mr. Shipman and Mr. Williams were reduced to a single Class C misdemeanor each, i.e., the equivalent of a traffic ticket.

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Former Dallas DA sued for burglarizing home of oil heir

Shortly before midnight last night, I filed a federal lawsuit against former Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins for sending an assistant DA and four armed investigators to burglarize the home of my client, Albert G. Hill, III, in 2013. According to the lawsuit, Mr. Watkins was worried about a March 7, 2013 state court hearing where Mr. Hill’s attorneys planned to question Mr. Watkins about prosecutorial misconduct, so he sent his goons into Mr. Hill’s home to try to find dirt / leverage before that hearing.

It didn’t work. As most people in Dallas already know, the March 7, 2013 hearing went very badly for Mr. Watkins, and Judge Lena Levario dismissed all criminal charges against Mr. Hill after hearing evidence of retaliation, bribery, and widespread corruption in Mr. Watkins’s office.  In September, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a blistering opinion that outlined the efforts of Mr. Watkins and his staff to frame Mr. Hill and his wife, Erin, on the trumped-up charges of mortgage fraud.

Unfortunately, the burglary and the trumped-up criminal charges were only a small part of a scorched-earth campaign against Mr. Hill by members of his own family, particularly his father, Albert G. Hill, Jr. (a.k.a. “Junior”). My client is the first-born great-grandson of H.L. Hunt, Jr., the founder of Hunt Petroleum, and his family is one of the wealthiest in America.  In 2009, at the age of 39, Mr. Hill learned that his great-grandfather bequeathed most of his assets to Mr. Hill in a trust that he created shortly after Mr. Hill was born in 1970.

The lawsuit explains that Mr. Hill’s father and other relatives hid the trust from Mr. Hill and acted like it never existed, instead parceling up H.L. Hunt, Jr.’s assets among themselves.  When Mr. Hill started questioning other family trusts in 2007, the family panicked and declared war.  According to the lawsuit, family members and their allies ultimately bribed Mr. Watkins to bring the bogus criminal charges against Mr. Hill, hoping to shut down the civil litigation.

Now if that sounds like a tall tale, just consider the fact that the FBI caught Mr. Watkins’s chief investigator, Anthony L. Robinson, accepting a $200,000 bribe in an unrelated case, and Robinson pleaded guilty in June.  Robinson cooperated with the FBI, and my sources tell me that Robinson wore a wire and recorded Mr. Watkins discussing bribes. I do not yet know whether Robinson participated in the burglary of the Hill’s home, but I do know that four of the five alleged burglars worked for Robinson. … Read more

FBI questions witness about sale of CopSync stock to Robertson County officials, and Hearne audit to be released this evening

Yesterday one of my sources informed me that an FBI agent interviewed him on January 19, 2017 about allegations that CopSync, Inc. offered an insider stock deal to Robertson County commissioners shortly before those commissioners voted on a contract with the company. My source, a local law enforcement officer who previously worked in Robertson County, is the same person who brought the CopSync transaction to my attention.

I emailed CopSync officials yesterday evening to ask whether they were aware of an FBI investigation, but thus far no one from the company has responded. As I reported yesterday, the non-employee directors of CopSync hired an outside law firm to investigate the same transaction.

In other Booger County news, a forensic audit of the City of Hearne’s finances is scheduled to be released at a city council meeting this evening.  Hearne citizens originally circulated an initiative petition to force an audit of city finances after learning that city officials used taxpayer funds to purchase football tickets and flat-screen televisions.

The Booger County Mafia representatives on the city council, including Mayor Ruben Gomez and Councilman Emmett Aguirre, voted to sue their own constituents in order to keep the referendum off the ballot, and then-City Attorney Bryan F. “Rusty” Russ, Jr. even hid some of the petition signatures in an effort to keep it off the ballot.  Fortunately, the voters tossed some of the Mafia representatives from the council last May, and the new council members approved the audit.

Last April, I filed suit against Mr. Russ on behalf of former mayor Milton Johnson for tampering with the petition signatures. On January 10, 2017, U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman denied Mr. Russ’s motion to dismiss the case, and I am planning to take Mr. Russ’s deposition in late February. I wonder how many times he will plead the Fifth.

Special counsel investigating alleged stock deal with Robertson County officials

Earlier this month, I reported allegations that CopSync, Inc. offered an insider stock deal to Robertson County officials shortly before commissioners voted on doing business with the company, and this afternoon I learned that the Dallas-based company hired a Florida law firm to investigate those allegations.

Michael D. Harris, a former lawyer for the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission, wrote in an email this afternoon that his firm would be investigating on behalf of the non-employee directors of the company. Mr. Harris wrote that his investigation likely would be completed late next week “unless we find other areas of inquiry.” CopSync has contracts with hundreds of local law enforcement agencies around the U.S., and as I noted in my earlier post, a December 23, 2016 letter from the CopSync CEO infers that the private offerings may have been common practice.

After my last post, Robertson County Judge Charles Ellis indicated that he was unaware of a private stock offering, but other county officials have remained silent (DA Coty Siegert previously indicated that he was unaware of the private stock sale). Meanwhile, one of the non-employee directors of CopSync, Joel Hochberg, resigned from the board on January 16, 2016, i.e., ten days after my blog post about the suspicious stock offerings to government officials.

Mr. Hochberg was a business partner with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and both men are major investors in CopSync. Their relationship appears to have soured, however, because Mr. Hochberg is one of the two victims in the criminal fraud case pending against Mr. Paxton in Collin County.

The CopSync board appointed Larry Schafran to fill the vacancy created by Mr. Hochberg’s resignation, according to a January 20, 2017 report that the company filed with the SEC. The report noted that Mr. Schafran, a New York investor, was also being appointed to the company’s audit committee. Mr. Schafran has served on numerous boards and appears to have a lot of investing experience, so I have to wonder if Mr. Hochberg resigned in order to bring Mr. Schafran on board and protect his investment.

 

Were Robertson County Commissioners bribed by a company with ties to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton?

It looks like two of my story lines have crossed. According to one of my law enforcement sources, county commissioners in Robertson County, Texas (a.k.a. “Booger County”) were allowed to purchase stock in CopSync, Inc. at a private sale shortly before they voted on a contract with the company. And one of the major investors in that company is none other than Texas Attorney General Kenneth “Righteous Ken” Paxton.

Righteous Ken, meet the Booger County Mafia.

On its website, CopSync claims that it contracts with more than 500 local law enforcement agencies to help them integrate information among themselves and outside agencies. A letter that I received from the company suggests that private stock offerings to government decision makers may have been a common practice. If so, a lot of people could be in a lot of trouble.

Here’s the original email that I received from my source, a former law enforcement officer in Robertson County:

I’m not sure if you heard this before but I was told today by an elected official (buddy) that there were several elected officials in the basement of the Robertson County Courthouse for a meeting just prior to Robertson County purchasing the Copsync equipment. The meeting included all Commissioners, Constables, and the Treasurer and her husband (maybe more elected but I didn’t pry). All were offered stock in the company in which all did purchase (including Constable Angele and his mother in law (she was not present)). I was told Jan Roe had her own private meeting later to purchase at a different time in private. The stock was offered for $.10 a share. (my source stated it was worth more at the time). I’m not familiar with the stock market or any rules however it sounds pretty fishy to me?

Let me know if this helps or if I need to dig further for information.

For the record, my source did purchase stock that day and is a Constable.Read more