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

While Dallas cops were being murdered in the streets, state liquor agents were told to stand down and go home

According to heavily redacted text messages, a regional commander ordered state liquor agents to stand down and go home on July 7, 2016 while five Dallas cops were being murdered on the streets.

A little more than an hour after learning that Micah Xavier Johnson was randomly targeting white police officers at a Black Lives Matter protest, and while Johnson was still at large, Major Victor Kuykendoll of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage ordered his agents to avoid the area of the shootings and go home.

The following day, after Johnson was killed by a Dallas PD tactical robot, TABC brass nonetheless canceled operations and ordered agents to stay in their offices and avoid areas where “anti-police” activities might be going on. You can read all the text messages by clicking here.

Nearly two weeks after the shootings, on July 20, 2016, the major sent a long CYA email to various agents defending the stand-down order. Here’s an excerpt:

…I did not convey this out to everyone at the time, but we did reach out to Dallas Police Chief Brown following the attack on his officers to offer our assistance with whatever he or his officers needed and offered our condolences for the officers injured and killed along with their families and co-workers. I understand that times were very busy for him and his staff and we did not receive a response to our offer. Had we been requested, I would have expected each of you to perform whatever task(s) that they needed with the pride and professionalism you show every day. In the future, I would rather us send a delegate, preferably a supervisor, to whatever command post exists at the time and offer our assistance in person with the folks that are coordinating these efforts on the ground.

It sounds to me as if nobody from TABC offered to help until Johnson was dead and the bullets had stopped flying. And what’s this about “Had we been requested…”? As an ex-cop, I find it hard to fathom that any cop would think that he needed to wait for a request for help. No instinct or duty should be more fundamental to a cop than protecting the innocent, even when it puts the cop’s life in danger. So when a heavily-armed murderer is roaming the streets and a massive manhunt is under way, you don’t wait for someone to ask you to intervene, you just do it. … Read more

Hearne City Attorney resigns abruptly. Good riddance.

Hearne City Attorney George Hyde and his assistant, Sarah Griffin, abruptly resigned this afternoon just hours after I sent them an email asking inconvenient questions about a recall petition for my client, Councilman Rodrick Jackson.

george-hydeMr. Hyde also serves as the managing partner for Denton Navarro Rocha Bernal Hyde & Zech, P.C., a law firm headquartered in Austin, and in his resignation letter he suggested that his firm was withdrawing because of all the discord and dysfunction in the city. What he failed to mention was his firm’s outsized role in creating the discord and dysfunction.

For months, Mr. Jackson and my other clients, Councilwomen Shirley Harris and Martha Castilleja, have accused Mr. Hyde and Ms. Griffin of representing the interests of the Booger County Mafia, particularly Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron, over the interests of the city council.  In my November 2, 2016 blog post, I suggested that Mr. Hyde and his firm may have formed an unholy alliance with Boy Wonder wherein the firm received outrageous fees in exchange for representing the interests of Boy Wonder against the council. Consider this excerpt:

In a two-month period, the city’s new law firm billed more than $29,000.00 in legal fees.  That’s far more than the outrageous fees that Rusty Russ charged when he was city attorney. The city council was not provided an itemized bill for the charges, so Mr. Jackson, Ms. Harris, and Ms. Castilleja tried to block the expenditure until details were provided.  According to Mr. Jackson, however, Asst. City Attorney Sarah Griffin informed them that the bill had already been paid by Mr. Naron, and she said the city charter gave him the authority to make the payment without council approval.

If Ms. Griffin’s firm was deeply involved in major litigation on behalf of the city, I might be able to understand a $29,000.00 bill.  But Mr. Jackson said he is not aware of the firm’s involvement in any civil litigation.  So what were the charges for? I suspect Boy Wonder has been running up legal bills for his own projects.

In the November 2 post, I included a link to a November 1, 2016 letter that I sent to Mr. Hyde and Ms. Griffin regarding their suspicious behavior, and you can read that letter by clicking here.  On the following day, they sent me a snarky response, implying that only they had the right to represent Mr. Jackson, Ms. Harris, and Ms. Castilleja. In other words, they suggested that my clients had no right to use another attorney besides them. … Read more

Alcohol sold illegally at Texas convention of liquor cops

Oh, the irony. The executive director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission allowed illegal alcohol sales at a regional conference of state liquor cops in Austin,  according to a retired TABC supervisor,  and that could lead to criminal charges against the director and one of Sherry Cookher cronies.  The agency also paid its deputy executive director more than $12,000 per month to attend a police academy full-time at government expense, even though his job does not involve any law enforcement duties (more on that below).

Darryl Darnell, a retired TABC supervisor who now works as a deputy constable, filed a complaint on November 7, 2016 against Executive Director Sherry Cook because the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators sold alcohol without a permit during its September conference.  That might not be a big deal but for two things: (1) as chairwoman of NCSLA’s southern region, Ms. Cook presumably was in charge of the conference; and (2) Ms. Cook’s agency sends regular people to jail for selling alcohol without a permit.

And then there’s what happened after Mr. Darnell filed his complaint. On Monday, TABC Captain Andy Pena called to speak with Williamson County Pct. 2 Constable Rick Coffman (Mr. Darnell’s current employer), but he was routed to Sgt. Leo Enriquez.  I spoke with Sgt. Enriquez yesterday, and he told me that Captain Pena said he was calling as a “professional courtesy” to let Constable Coffman know that Mr. Darnell had filed a complaint against Ms. Cook, whom he identified as the TABC executive director.

That phone call might be a felony.  According to Texas Penal Code § 39.06(b), “[a] public servant commits an offense if with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he discloses or uses information for a nongovernmental purpose that: (1) he has access to by means of his office or employment; and (2) has not been made public.” Mr. Darnell filed his complaint against Ms. Cook solely as a private citizen, and he made no mention of the fact that he worked for the constable. … Read more

Robertson County DA Coty Siegert joins the Booger County Mafia

This is a long post, but there’s some really juicy stuff in here, so get yourself a cup of coffee and settle in. We have news about the latest inductees to the Booger County Mafia, including Robertson County DA Coty Siegert and Hearne Interim City Manager John Naron, plus enormous and unexplained legal bills, international intrigue, and a federal investigation that could hook a former Hearne city manager, a former councilwoman, and other members of the Mafia.

First, Coty Siegert. For most of this year, my clients and friends have been telling me that Coty sold his soul to the Mafia and, for most of this year, I’ve been giving him the benefit of the doubt. No longer.

coty-siegertTwo weeks ago I was contacted by the vice foreman of the Robertson County Grand Jury, and he confirmed what my friends have been telling me since January, namely that Coty is protecting Bryan F. “Rusty” Russ, Jr. and the other Mafia kingpins. In July, you may recall, I sent a letter to the grand jury because Coty was ignoring my request that he investigate Rusty for tampering with voter petitions.

While serving as city attorney for Hearne, Rusty had intercepted the petitions and held them in his office rather than allow the city secretary to turn them over to the county for certification.  The petitioners wanted to force a forensic audit of city finances, but Rusty wanted to block the election, apparently because he feared what the audit might reveal about him and his cronies (and now I’m wondering whether he was trying to hide the shady business deals that triggered the federal investigation).

In my letter to the grand jurors, I asked them to take matters into their own hands (as the law allows) and investigate Rusty, regardless of what Coty did or did not want.  According to the vice foreman, whom I’ll call “Mr. X”, Coty has been running interference ever since.  Mr. X said he told Coty after the August grand jury meeting that I needed to be brought before the grand jurors (as I had requested).  Coty replied that he could not subpoena me, although he would contact me by phone to see if I would appear.

What a load of bunk. Here’s an excerpt from a letter that I sent to Coty yesterday: … Read more

Prosecutor who buried cases against Clinton lawyers was an Obama donor

File this post under “not surprised.” Elizabeth Herman, the chief deputy bar prosecutor in D.C. who dismissed my grievances against Hillary Clinton’s lawyers, had previously donated to President Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

Cheryl_D._MillsOn Friday, I received a letter from Ms. Herman explaining her refusal to investigate attorneys David Kendall, Cheryl Mills, and Heather Samuelson, and it prompted me to do a little digging about Ms. Herman.  According to Federal Election Commission records, she made two donations of $250 each to President Obama’s campaign during the 2008 election cycle, and donations of $200 and $250 during the 2012 election cycle. I think we can figure out which Presidential candidate she is supporting in 2016.

So what was Ms. Herman’s purported rationale for refusing to investigate Mrs. Clinton’s attorneys? Blind faith in the Obama Administration:

It appears that your concerns were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”). The FBI and prosecutors declined to file charges against Ms. Clinton, her attorney, or those who allegedly assisted her in deleting the emails. We are satisfied that the misconduct alleged was properly reviewed.

That doesn’t pass the laugh test, so this morning I sent a letter to Ms. Herman’s boss, D.C. Disciplinary Counsel Wallace E. Shipp, Jr., and a letter to the D.C. Board on Professional Responsibility. Here’s the letter to Mr. Shipp: … Read more

Judge Walter Smith and Judge Harry Lee Hudspeth, this ain’t over yet

Judge-SmithThis morning I appealed the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council’s order dismissing the misconduct case against retired U.S. District Judge Harry Lee Hudspeth of Austin.  In a letter to an appellate committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, I also appealed the Fifth Circuit’s latest order concerning the sexual misconduct charges against retired U.S. District Judge Walter S. Smith.

As my regular readers know, I submitted evidence that Judge Smith grabbed and groped a female deputy clerk in his chambers, then Judge Hudspeth covered up the crime while he was serving as chief judge.  At this point, my appeal has less to do with Judge Smith or Judge Hudspeth than with the Fifth Circuit’s propensity to sweep judicial misconduct under the rug.  I’ve reprinted the entire letter below: … Read more

Judgment Day is coming to Grimes County

Since last year, I’ve blogged about the dirty cops at the Montgomery County Auto Theft Task Force who launched a televised raid on an auto auction in Anderson, Texas, seizing 56 vehicles without first determining whether any of them were stolen. Rather than admit their mistake, task TUCKforce agents and Grimes County District Attorney Tuck McLain tried to cover up the incident by framing my clients on organized crime charges.  Now the whole thing is blowing up in their faces.

Yesterday Grimes County District Judge Donald L. Kraemer ordered the cops to release all 56 vehicles because, as we’ve said all along, not one of them was stolen (nor were there any “paperwork problems” as task force agents had claimed). You may recall that task force commander Joe Sclider and his crew arrested Les Shipman, Jerry Williams, and Israel Curtis on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.  Yesterday all charges were formally dismissed against Mr. Curtis, while Mr. Shipman and Mr. Williams pleaded no contest to a Class C misdemeanor charge of selling cars without a license. A Class C misdemeanor is the legal equivalent of a speeding ticket, punishable only by a fine of not more than $500.

Mr. Curtis’s case is probably the most egregious and the most tragic.  As I first reported in February, Mr. Curtis is a professional auctioneer who was hired to sell the 56 cars, he had never met Mr. Williams before the morning of the auction, and he had only met Mr. Shipman a month earlier when he signed a contract to serve as the auctioneer.* Mr. Curtis will testify that Lt. Sclider said he was arrested because the task force needed a third person in order to file an organized crime charge. In other words, Mr. Curtis showed up to do his job and ended up in jail with his business and reputation destroyed, all because some dirty cop wanted to file an organized crime charge against someone else. Yeah, and you thought you lived in a civilized country. … Read more