The worst DA in Texas?

John C. Paschall

This week marks the launch of, the unofficial and completely unauthorized campaign website of Robertson County District Attorney John C. Paschall. Is Paschall the worst DA in the history of Texas? Read and decide for yourself.

UPDATE:  The Bryan-College Station Eagle actually reached Paschall for an interview. You can read the story in today’s newspaper. Judging from what Paschall said, it sounds like he was more drunk than usual.

An open letter to Scrappy Holmes

Clifton L. “Scrappy” Holmes

Dear Mr. Holmes,

As you know, I represent the six women who have accused your client, Steve Mulkey, of sexual misconduct at Union Grove Independent School District. According to a story that ran on the KLTV website yesterday, you said Coach Mulkey “has had his career and life destroyed by slanderous lies, and is forced to resign because he does not have the financial resources to fight the accusations.”

Let’s get our facts straight here. Your client didn’t just decide to throw in the towel after a termination hearing. No, he refused to answer any questions at all from the school district. Granted, I don’t know what your hourly rates are, but I can’t imagine that Coach Mulkey would suffer financial ruin if he decided to spend 2-3 hours answering questions.

Regardless, I don’t believe it’s in your client’s interest to turn this into a credibility contest. I have six transcripts that I could post, plus a couple of photographs. I also have another eight corroborating witnesses who have not yet testified (because we only had time for the six victims’ testimony on August 15, 2012), but I could get written or audio witness statements and post them online.

You haven’t seen any of this, so you really don’t have any way of knowing whether your client resigned because of “slanderous lies.” And you haven’t seen the evidence because your client threw in the towel before the fight started. Whereas my clients have offered to take polygraph tests, we have yet to hear anything from your client about taking a polygraph test.

My clients have been through enough already, and I am not going to sit on the sidelines while you or anyone else tries to impugn them as liars. If you’re wondering how bad this could get, you should consider that we’ve heard from an ex-wife or two, and we know why they divorced your client. And yes, I’ve been told about what happened in Greenville. Bottom line, we can make this just as ugly as y’all want it. But then that’s not really in anybody’s interest, is it?

/s/ Ty Clevenger




Coach Mulkey resigns from Union Grove

As reported in the Longview News-Journal today, Coach Steve Mulkey resigned from Union Grove ISD. According to the News-Journal article, “[school] officials have not said what the investigation involved.”  Well, anyone who has been following this blog knows exactly what the investigation involved, but I’ll add some details.

On August 15, 2012, six women were deposed (under oath) by two school district attorneys in the presence of the superintendent, a court reporter, and me.  The names of three victims were already known, but three more stepped forward.  The nature of the testimony varied from verbal solicitation and providing alcohol to minors to the forcible rape of a 14-year-old girl.

In my opinion, we had enough evidence to convict Steve Mulkey criminally, but for the expiration of the limitations period. In addition to the women who testified, we have produced the names of two male witnesses who can corroborate some of the victims’ testimony. One of these men told me that Coach Mulkey held him by the throat against a wall and warned him not to talk about Coach Mulkey’s ongoing relationship with one of the female students.

The school district asked us not to talk about the investigation while it was ongoing, and we respected that. But now the cat is out of the bag, and it’s time to say a few words to the folks on the Supporters of Coach Jerry Sandusky Steve Mulkey Facebook page. Nobody wants to believe that a friend, relative, father-figure, etc. has done something scandalous or immoral. I get that, because I’ve been faced with troublesome accusations against friends and relatives. Some turned out to be true, and some were false.

In either case, you have to withhold judgment until you hear the whole story. Granted, only a handful of us have heard the evidence, so I’m not asking Mulkey’s friends to consider him guilty, at least not yet.  But instead of waiting to hear what some of us already knew, you started shooting the messengers and blaming the victims. Shame on you, especially those of you who smeared the victims as tramps, sluts, etc. You had better pray to God that he shows you more mercy than you showed them. If your daughter got raped as an adolescent, would you want people talking about how she was a slut and she probably brought it on herself?

A lot of people were angry that we posted information on Facebook. Well, Facebook did exactly what we wanted it to do: it identified new victims and new witnesses, particularly among the target population. Unconventional? Sure it was unconventional, but so what? Unfortunately, the publicly-known victims were attacked so viciously that it probably deterred other victims / witnesses from coming forward. But the truth is going to come out, regardless of whether anybody likes it.

The state board of teacher certification has given Coach Mulkey until September 18, 2012 to submit a written response to the allegations against him or appear in Austin for an investigative interview. Alternatively,  he could surrender his teaching certificate. I’ll post an update when I hear something.

In the meantime, my earlier offer still stands. If Coach Mulkey wants to tell his side of the story, we’ll post it here.

A federal judge who thinks she’s above the law








Today I sent a letter to Lamar Smith, chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, about Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, a U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C.  Here’s an excerpt:

…Judge Huvelle knowingly assigned herself to a case that implicated her in a crime, then refused to step aside when I objected to her conflict of interest. Shortly thereafter, she summarily dismissed the case with prejudice and sanctioned me $123,802.17 in retaliation.

You can read the rest of the letter here.  As explained in that letter, Judge Huvelle’s escalating misconduct has been brought before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit three times. Thus far, the Court of Appeals has taken no action.

I’d really like to know what the connection is between Judge Huvelle and Patrick Kearney, an attorney with Selzer, Gurvitch, Rabin, Wertheimer, Polott, and Obecny, P.C., a firm in Bethesda, Maryland. If the average attorney had done half of the things that Kearney has done in Judge Huvelle’s courtroom, he’d be in prison. Yet she keeps protecting him. Why?

Walter SmithThe addendum to the letter also mentions Walter S. Smith, Jr., a U.S. district judge in Waco, Texas.  Did Judge Smith dismiss a federal racketeering suit to protect a state district judge who was his friend?  Is the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit covering up Judge Smith’s longstanding alcohol problems? Did he grope a female courthouse employee while he was drunk? How many trials did he preside over while he was drunk? (One witness told me she saw him drinking at lunch during the Branch Davidian trials). I think the public deserves answers to these questions.

While I’d like to think these problems are uncommon, my experience suggests otherwise. Shortly after I began practicing law, I had a case before a federal judge in another state. Some local lawyers told me the judge appeared to be having manic episodes on the bench, so the Court of Appeals quietly put him on leave.  After a year, he was put back on the bench, and now he is the chief judge for that district.  I’m informed that his moods can still be erratic, leading lawyers to wonder whether he is taking his medication. Who monitors that? I’m all  in favor of rehabilitation and privacy, but what about protecting the public?

In the addendum, I also urged Chairman Smith to read two articles that appeared in the Houston Chronicle in 2009, both by Lise Olsen: “Secrecy may help protect misbehaving judges” (Dec. 14, 2009) and “Secrecy of chief federal judges questioned” (Dec. 30, 2009). If the federal judiciary is not willing to police itself, then Congress needs to create an independent oversight organization, perhaps something akin to the Government Accountability Office.

Meanwhile, I might just write a book about the things that lawyers and judges (particularly federal judges) get away with. If you have any tips, send them my way (tyclevenger at If nothing else, I can blog about it… at least until some federal judge suspends the First Amendment.