The Pasadena Police Officer’s Union has formally endorsed Kim Ogg for Harris County District Attorney. This endorsement by 200 first responders reflects that law enforcement officers know Kim Ogg has a tough, fair, common sense plan to make Harris County safer as the next District Attorney.
“Kim Ogg has always been a friend and proponent of law enforcement, a fighter against criminal gangs, and a champion of victims’ rights throughout her professional career,” says James Anderson, President of the Pasadena Police Officers Association.
“Police officers know that current policies and poor decisions currently being made by the Harris County District Attorney make it harder for them to keep our communities safe,” says Ogg. “By and large, cops choose their profession because they want to protect and serve others. They don’t want DNA evidence sitting on shelves untested because it means burglars and rapists remain on the street instead of in jail. They want a District Attorney who shares their values and will prioritize the investigations they know are most important to their constituents,” said Ogg.
Eric Fickerssen, the chair of the Pasadena Police Union’s Political Action Committee writes, “Her (Ogg’s) experience will be invaluable in bringing a new professionalism and transparency to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.”
Documents received today by the Ogg Campaign reveal the Harris County District Attorney remained silent for months about the destruction of evidence by the office of Precinct 4 Constable, even as hundreds of Harris County residents were being wrongfully convicted.
That is the shocking news today as D.A. Devon Anderson finally released e-mails between Constable Herman’s staff and her prosecutors during the period between February 2016 and Anderson’s public admission on August 19, 2016 that as many as 21,000 pieces of evidence were missing or destroyed.
The emails reveal that in April, Anderson’s office received an email disclosing that more than 400 people had already been convicted in cases where the evidence had been already been destroyed, in some cases even before the accused appeared in court. Anderson didn’t notify her own courtroom prosecutors until late August. She didn’t notify defense attorneys and defendants until September 6th.
That is nearly four and a half month’s delay after knowing specific cases where hundreds had been convicted.
Ogg had asked for a Court of Inquiry to be convened by the County’s presiding judge and a special prosecutor to investigate the mass civil rights violations—focusing specifically on Anderson’s delay in notifying her own prosecutors, the defense bar and those who were wrongfully convicted. Ogg today received a response from District Judge Susan Brown, denying her request by citing a “current investigation under way.”
“This was not simply a bad decision by Devon Anderson, this was an intentional violation of hundreds of citizens’ constitutional rights,” said Ogg.
“Lawsuits will be filed, convictions will be overturned, and the tax dollars which should be spent making us safer will be wasted.”
The District Attorney has now dismissed more than 100 drug cases; more are certain to follow.
“The Anderson administration’s mismanagement and unethical decisions endanger us all. Jailing rape victims, hiding evidence, and defending the courtroom misconduct of her key personnel don’t make any of us safer. Instead of building a trustworthy justice system, Devon Anderson’s lack of transparency has become a common theme in scandal after scandal.
Fairness. Equal Justice. Safety.
Kim Ogg has now formally requested Harris County Administrative Judge Susan Brown initiate the process to convene a court of inquiry to investigate Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson for possible civil rights violations arising out of the Precinct Four evidence scandal.
“Devon Anderson’s own admission that she knew about destroyed and missing evidence in Harris County Precinct Four in February 2016, yet failed to notify her own trial prosecutors until after the news story broke on Aug. 19, is probable cause that Official Oppression occurred,” said Ogg.
Ogg first appealed to the District Judges of Harris County to take help initiate an independent investigation into the actions of District Attorney Devon Anderson and her assistant prosecutors.
Ogg has been a prosecutor, a criminal defense lawyer, and has litigated several high profile civil rights cases on behalf of police officers. Ogg has criticized the pattern of bad judgement by Devon Anderson during her short three-year tenure. Texas Monthly magazine is the latest to join the growing chorus of news organizations questioning Anderson’s judgement.
“The result of the latest evidence scandal in Precinct Four is that dozens, maybe hundreds of individuals have been wrongfully convicted, and the responsibility sits with the DA herself. Devon Anderson’s poor management and bad judgment will be the subject of many future lawsuits for civil rights violations and could cost Harris County taxpayers millions of dollars,” said Ogg.
Safety. Fairness. Equal Justice.
Media inquiries should be directed to Dolcefino Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org
21,000 pieces of criminal evidence may have been destroyed in the Pct. 4 Property Room. More than 140 cases have been dismissed. 1000s of prosecutions are jeopardized. Innocent people may have been convicted. Devon Anderson’s failure to take prompt action will likely result in hundreds of cases filed against the County.
Today, Ogg issued a call for an independent special prosecutor to investigate possible civil rights violations by Devon Anderson and her office.
“Devon Anderson admits knowing by the end of February 2016 that evidence in a number of cases had been destroyed. On March 14th, she was aware of 56 possible cases. By May 26th, there were at least 382 filed cases with missing evidence. In spite of the undisputed duty to disclose these facts to the accused as well as her prosecutors, Devon Anderson did not do so until August 19th, only after news of the scandal broke on TV.”
“It is the job of the District Attorney to make sure justice is served”, says Kim Ogg. “Sending people to jail when you know evidence is missing doesn’t make people safer. Innocent people may have been sent to jail, or now have criminal records. Given the number of cases involved and the obvious conflict of interest, a special prosecutor must be appointed to address this situation immediately.”
There is a pattern here.
When the Devon Anderson learned a few HPD Homicide Officers lied about their work on murder case, she kept it a secret from the public for months. Until the media found out.
When Devon Anderson learned a mentally ill rape victim was left in jail for weeks during Christmas, she took no action. Until the media found out.
When Devon Anderson found out evidence had been destroyed in Pct. 4, she kept it a secret from prosecutors and defense lawyers for months. Until the media found out.
“These scandals are exactly why so many people do not trust the criminal justice system in Harris County. Playing games with evidence has no place in our justice system. These tactics jeopardize convictions, cost taxpayers money, and deprive the accused of an honest day in court.”
When asked would she would have done had she been DA, Kim Ogg stated “The minute I knew evidence had been destroyed, I would have made sure that fact was disclosed immediately, to the accused as well as the prosecutors, as required.”
We should be tough on crime, but we cannot cheat, it is not justice. Let’s restore justice.
Safety. Equal Justice. Fairness.
The Harris County District Attorney is failing to keep Houston area families and businesses safe from burglars.
There were more than 32,000 burglaries in 2015. 97% of the victims will never have their cases solved.
Now we know one of the reasons why. More than 80 percent of the DNA evidence collected by Harris County lawmen since January 2015 from burglary scenes has never been tested to identify the suspect.
This help explains why the clearance rate for burglaries is less than 3%, the lowest in the nation.
The most recent excuse from the Harris County Institute of Forensic Science (the crime lab): “We just can’t get around to it. “
“That may be acceptable to Devon Anderson, but it is unacceptable to the victims whose cases could be solved, and it is not acceptable to me,”, says Kim Ogg, candidate for Harris County District Attorney.
“When someone’s home is violated, they want the person who did it caught. With DNA now available from many burglaries, the DA’s job is to make sure the scientific evidence is tested and utilized to prosecute the suspects. The fact that police time is being wasted collecting DNA and fingerprint evidence, which the DA refuses to have tested, is criminal.”
Data obtained by the Ogg campaign in June revealed that in Harris County, hundreds of rape kits sat on shelves for 6 months to a year without being tested and now we know the burglary testing has been totally shelved. “Management of evidence is prosecution 101. This is a failure of leadership by the elected DA.”
Ogg says the immediate solution is use of criminal forfeiture funds for a one-time fix to eliminate the backlog, and leadership from the front to obtain sustainable funding from Harris County Commissioner’s Court.
Meanwhile, the District Attorney has ballooned her budget by more than 20 percent, from $58 to $70M since 2014.
“Last month I called on Devon Anderson to use asset forfeiture funds, money seized by criminals, to end the rape kit backlog. She refused. I expect she’ll have the same response on burglary evidence, and it is because she is out of touch with the needs of real people who want to feel safe in their homes and whose livelihoods depend on their businesses.”
While evidence goes untested, the District Attorney’s budget has ballooned by twenty percent in just three short years, up to $70 million dollars a year, while she wastes asset forfeiture funds.
Ogg will meet reporters in the middle of a neighborhood of homes, apartments and businesses along the 1700 Block of South Kirkwood, the site of four burglaries just in the last week.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson is refusing to turn over internal emails about the jailing of a rape victim for 27 days over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
The jailing of a rape victim known as “Jenny” triggered national outrage, and Kim Ogg was the first of many to call for an independent investigation of Anderson and other ‘key personnel’ responsible for the decision.
“The public has a right to know who made the decision to incarcerate a rape victim despite her life-threatening mental health condition. The District Attorney has defended the practice, claiming it was necessary and legal, yet refuses to turn over documents that would show whether that is true or not,” says Ogg. “Internal email communications between Anderson, her prosecutors and investigators are likely to reveal facts that show jailing the crime victim was not the only option and that the excuses Anderson has made for her actions are false.”
The Harris County District Attorney’s office claims the e-mails must be kept secret because of the lawsuit the rape victim has filed against the county. Ogg believes that the citizens of Harris County will likely end up paying millions of dollars for Anderson’s practices and the harm inflicted on innocent crime victims.
“In thirty years of crime victim’s rights advocacy, I have never seen anyone more brutalized by prosecutors. If Devon Anderson wanted the public to know the truth, she would release the emails immediately.”
The District Attorney’s rationale for jailing a rape victim reveals a deeply flawed view of justice—and judgment unworthy of the office of chief criminal lawyer for the people.
The “facts” Devon Anderson claims as the basis of her decision have been called into question by the victim’s attorney.
And the DA claims she was protecting the victim. Yet, the victim was placed in the general population of a jail known for violence, neglect and death.
No rape victim ever deserves this fate, and it is deplorable that the District Attorney continues to defend this outrageous decision.
In total, whether Devon Anderson is lying or telling the truth about the official actions taken in this case, it’s clear that Devon Anderson can’t be trusted to enforce victims’ rights.
We need a change.
I will bring criminal justice reform to the District Attorney’s Office, and make sure all victims are treated fairly and with compassion.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson uses money seized from criminals to pay for office supplies and cell phone bills.
Why won’t she use the money to help rape victims?
Today, Kim Ogg called on Devon Anderson to write a check from asset forfeiture funds to end the backlog of untested rape kits. Today.
Rape victims deserve answers. Today.
It takes twice as long today to test a rape kit than it did when Devon Anderson took office. That means a woman assaulted over the July 4th weekend may not have her evidence tested until next year.
“This is a public safety emergency. Devon Anderson could write a check today to fix the backlog, Where’s Devon?”
Crimes of sexual assault are personal to Kim Ogg. Her mother was once the victim of a frightening kidnapping and attempted sexual assault. It has shaped Kim’s long fight as a crime victim’s advocate.
Fairness. Safety. Equal Justice.
Even after you are found innocent of a crime, you will still face the stain on your criminal history. The records can keep you from getting a job or housing.
It isn’t fair.
Kim Ogg believes the Harris County District Attorney’s office should help innocent Houstonians clean up their criminal arrest record. Ogg is not waiting until she gets elected in November to make it happen.
This Saturday, April 16th, the news media is invited to witness lives being changed at Cullen Missionary Baptist Church between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm.
Ogg and a team of volunteer lawyers will be on hand to review the criminal records of Houstonians who were wrongfully arrested, or who successfully completed their probations. Those with eligible cases will be referred to partnering law school clinics at U of H, South Texas College of Law, and TSU for additional help.
The best news is this legal help is free, courtesy of the Ogg campaign for Harris County District Attorney. Ogg will be available to talk to reporters at 12:30 pm.
Cullen Missionary Baptist Church is located at 13233 Cullen Boulevard, Houston Texas, 77047.
“People with criminal records have trouble getting jobs, housing and education. When the government gets it wrong, and it hurts somebody, then the government needs to make it right. We can start right now by helping people clean up their records,” said Ogg.
The “Clean Up Your Record Days” have already helped dozens of low- income Houstonians.
Media Inquiries about the Saturday event can be directed to Wayne Dolcefino at 713-389-0810, email@example.com
Long time Harris County crime victims’ advocate Kim Ogg is calling for a criminal investigation into the dentist’s actions that left 4-year-old Nevaeh Hall severely brain damaged following a dental procedure. The lawyer for the child’s family claims her dentist, Dr. Bethaniel Jefferson, physically restrained her, gave her excessive doses of medication, and waited four hours before calling 911.
Ogg says, “If these allegations are true, a Harris County Grand Jury criminal investigation should begin immediately. In the law there are differences between a medical mistake and potentially criminal conduct,” says Ogg, “The District Attorney has the responsibility to find out exactly what happened to this child.”
Ogg is challenging District Attorney Devon Anderson in November for the job of Harris County District Attorney.
Ogg is available for comment.
Media Inquiries may be directed to Wayne Dolcefino at 713-389-0810 and firstname.lastname@example.org.