Harris County State District Judge Steve Kirkland has soundly rejected attempts by the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to hide financial records from the public.
The Rodeo had gone to court to try to block requests from Dolcefino Consulting for security records and any records of settlements for sexual assault or harassment, arguing a current rape lawsuit involving the rodeo protected it from state charity laws.
“Judge Kirkland delivered a clear message Friday morning that the rodeo isn’t the sacred cow it pretends to be, and that charity laws require them to follow the law”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting.
Dolcefino’s Investigative communications firm has already questioned the small ten percent of Rodeo donations going to student scholarships. Questions about payments to law enforcement personnel became an issue after both Houston Police and the Harris County Sheriff’s Office claimed they couldn’t find a single incident report of alleged crime at the rodeo for the entire two-week event.
“Given that the rodeo solicits donations and volunteers all throughout the Houston community and doesn’t want to open up its financial records, I find it concerning”, says Houston Attorney Ben Roberts of the Pinkerton law firm.
The Pinkerton law firm has sued the Rodeo in the rape case of Brie Ana Williams, the young women brutally assaulted during a warm up trail ride event put on by the Los Vaqueros trail ride group.
Los Vaqueros was not allowed to participate in this year’s rodeo parade, but the rape happened in 2012, and the Rodeo only pulled the plug after the lawsuit was filed and became headline news.
The rape lawsuit is probing what the Rodeo knew and when they knew it.
“Imagine that every year when March rolls around, all you hear about is the rodeo, and you hear about the trail ride and the parade coming through town…and one of the men that raped her is continuing to ride in this parade, smiling and waving to children as if nothing ever happened. It is a slap in the face and constantly reopening very deep wounds”, says Roberts.
Dolcefino Consulting has already filed a criminal complaint against the Rodeo and has also asked for records detailing lobbying expenses and details of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s Caribbean and Central American Investments.
“Hopefully our District Attorney will take a message from the judge too and give the Rodeo an ultimatum, cough up the records or get charged with a crime,” says Dolcefino. “The legislature made this a crime for a very good reason. It is time for Ms. Ogg to act.”
The Harris County District Attorney has filed a sealed court motion to recuse her office from further investigation into a Dolcefino Consulting criminal complaint filed against Mayor Turner for hiding e-mails.
Judge David Mendoza, the ethics counsel for Kim Ogg informed us of the decision Thursday.
The reason: Dolcefino Consulting served as Communications Advisors to Ogg in her campaign for District Attorney.
“One of the reasons I wanted to help Ms. Ogg become District Attorney was because of her promise to me to be aggressive on issues of public integrity. If I had known then she would seek to recuse herself from investigations involving my firm I would have told her no,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “I find it odd that when my office complained on a powerful Democratic politician our Democratic DA got a sudden case of conflict of interest.”
Dolcefino Consulting accused Turner of hiding e-mails with Maya Ford, a virtual goddaughter to Turner, and the beneficiary of consulting contracts since Turner took office. Ogg’s office has been sitting on the complaint for 5 months, and there is no evidence they’ve even asked City Hall to show them the e-mails.
“In my view, the District Attorney is already in violation of the law too, since it required them to respond within a month to our complaint,” says Dolcefino. “Houstonians should be asking some tough questions about public integrity in this town.”
Judge Mendoza says the Turner case also became intertwined with the prosecution of Cypress Creek EMS for violating state charity laws. The Northwest Harris County Ambulance company faces criminal charges stemming from a complaint from Dolcefino Consulting after refusing to turn over payroll records for 911 employees. Ogg has now asked for a special prosecutor to take over that case, even though it has been ongoing since she became District Attorney fifteen months ago.
The FBI is probing possible fraud in the 911 service in ESD #11 and employees of CCEMS recently testified in front of a grand jury.
“It is no secret my office has been highly critical of Ms. Ogg’s alleged office of Public Integrity,” says Dolcefino. “Kim Ogg has now been District Attorney for fifteen months.”
Records obtained by Dolcefino Consulting show Ogg’s office waited five months to tell the Houston Independent School District after we formally complained some Democratic school board members were hiding phone records. By the time HISD turned over the records, the phone records we wanted had been discarded. The DA let them get away with it.
Early this year Ogg’s office falsely claimed our complaint about Democratic HCC Board Member Adriana Tamez was unfounded. Dolcefino Consulting turned over hours of video surveillance and utility records proving Tamez did not live in the District she was elected to represent. The Public Integrity Unit claimed they did a thorough investigation, but refused to turn over records showing the public what they did or didn’t do.
“Our District Attorney has the authority to initiate investigations without a formal complaint, but those are their rules. Now, when my Investigative Communications Firm complains, they play games, and now want to hand off the hot potatoes,” says Dolcefino. “In this town, a growing number of people are hiring us to help get them justice. Ms. Ogg could have chosen to help us clean up the town, but she isn’t.”
Does Houston Community College (HCC) Board Member Adriana Tamez actually live in the house she claims? Taxpayers deserve an answer.
We are waiting for answers.
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg is now hiding answers too.
The DA’s Public Integrity Unit claims a complaint filed by Dolcefino Consulting against Tamez is unfounded. Kim Ogg claims the Unit did a thorough investigation.
Dolcefino Consulting is calling them out.
Did they even talk to Tamez? Did they review days of hidden camera video?
WE WANT THE TRUTH.
Maybe it’s not against the law anymore to live outside the neighborhoods you are supposed to represent. Maybe the sworn affidavit Tamez signed in 2015 doesn’t matter.
“Ms. Tamez has refused to tell voters where she lives,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting, “If our video is an illusion, she should issue a statement about where she lives. District Attorney Kim Ogg has given the HCC cesspool the license to ignore the rights of voters. Shame.”
The DA letter to Tamez was shared with board members by one of their high-priced lawyers.
Taxpayers paid for that too.
DA Kim Ogg should recuse office
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg remains silent on Mayor Sylvester Turner’s illegal withholding of city e-mails sent on a private server. She has ignored our request for an interview.
“The idea that the District Attorney hasn’t already picked up the phone and told the Mayor to release the e-mails he is hiding is sad,” says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The silence from Ms. Ogg is deafening. Taxpayers are watching. Mr. Turner is routinely conducting city business on an outside e-mail server and he’s hiding them.”
Dolcefino Consulting has filed a formal criminal complaint that Turner is hiding e-mail communications with Maya Ford, the Mayor’s goddaughter. Ford started a media firm called Ford Momentum, three days before Turner got elected and got a number of City Government related contracts. Ford also detailed allegations of ethical misconduct by the City Garbage Director in e-mails to the Mayor.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is already said to be reviewing the misuse of city e-mails by the now former Press Secretary, Darian Ward.
“It personally pains me to call her out. It is now time for Ms. Ogg to recuse her office and select a Special Prosecutor to investigate the transparency violations at City Hall,” says Dolcefino.
At least some of the e-mails the Mayor is hiding concern the scandal plagued recycling contract, won by Spanish Company, FCC. One of the biggest owners of FCC is George Soros, whose Political Action Committee contributed $250,000 to the Ogg campaign. Ogg has recused her office in other cases with much smaller political contributions involved.
“As someone who worked to helped get Ms. Ogg elected, I am personally and professionally disappointed she hasn’t lifted a finger to get City Hall to follow the law, Dolcefino said. “I have zero confidence, and I mean zero confidence in the Public Integrity Unit.
Some of the e-mails the City is illegally withholding have been kept from the public for more than a year. The Mayor has ignored repeated requests to let the sunshine in.
Adriana Tamez is a District Trustee on the scandal plagued Houston Community College System. She is elected to represent particular neighborhoods in Southeast Houston District 3.
That’s why it SHOULD matter where she actually lives.
In early December, Dolcefino Consulting filed a criminal complaint with Kim Ogg’s office after verifying allegations Trustee Tamez was actually living in a high rise on Allen Parkway, outside the District she was elected to represent. The video evidence raised serious questions about a 2015 sworn affidavit Tamez signed when she ran for office.
We turned over video surveillance footage, utility records, marriage license application and a sworn affidavit from an employee of Dolcefino Consulting, who supervised the surveillance on Ms. Tamez. The DA’s office acknowledged our complaint by letter and never called us once to discuss it, even to question how we did the surveillance, or found the records.
After just six weeks, which included the long Christmas Holiday, the Chief of the Public Integrity Unit sent us a letter saying there was “insufficient evidence” for perjury or aggravated perjury charges, ignoring the question of where Tamez lives. There would be no grand jury. No strong message that it matters where you live.
Then HCC, through their expensive lawyers, shared with the HCC Board a totally different letter sent to Tamez from Integrity Chief Paula Hartman.
“After a THOROUGH review we find the allegation UNFOUNDED.
“I supervised the surveillance of Ms. Tamez and now demand to see this “thorough” investigation released to the public, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of Dolcefino Consulting. “The Kim Ogg I know promised to take these kinds of cases to a grand jury. Now that her office has attacked the credibility of our complaint, let’s see what the DA’s office bothered to do before clearing this Democratic office holder.”
“I am ready to go the grand jury tomorrow and testify under oath. How about it Ms. Tamez, why don’t you come too, and tell the grand jury where you live”, says Dolcefino. “In the meantime, I challenge Tamez to look her constituents in the eye and tell them where she actually lives.”
HCC trustees have refused to investigate where Tamez lives. The District Attorney has now given them political cover to keep failing in their jobs to protect voters.
We are not surprised.
“A federal judge recently called HCC a cesspool. She was dead on. It is a government agency controlled by a political action committee that wants to make sure Adrian Tamez is there voting their way. It is shameful,” says Dolcefino. “It is more shameful that a Public Integrity Prosecutor would give them cover like this.”
Last week, the HCC Board voted to censure Trustee Dave Wilson, in part for hiring our firm to investigate the waste of taxpayer’s money at HCC. The investigation exposed rampant conflicts of interest and a gravy train for lawyers, but it also verified Wilson’s allegations that Tamez did not live where her sworn affidavit says she lives, certainly not now.
“If it doesn’t matter where politicians live, then let’s just say so. Folks from Kingwood can represent the third ward, and the West side can be represented by a guy who lives in Southeast Houston,” says Dolcefino. “Why don’t we stop pretending these sworn campaign statements mean anything.”
Dolcefino Consulting has also filed a criminal complaint in recent days against Mayor Sylvester Turner, who has been using a law firm server to conduct city business. Ogg has been silent. Instead, she should have already subpoenaed the records if the Mayor won’t turn them over.
Public Integrity matters, at least it should.District Attorney Correspondence re Tamez Complaint
In her final television ad of the 2016 Campaign, Kim Ogg shares a deeply personal story. Kim’s own mother was kidnapped by a rapist in the early 1960’s, surviving only because she jumped out of a moving car to save her own life.
“That attack left terrible scars on my mother that she carried her entire life. Advocating for fair and compassionate treatment of other crime victims has been my life’s work,” says Ogg.
Ogg says it is why the jailing of a rape victim by Devon Anderson has defined the 2016 campaign for top prosecutor.
“Devon Anderson has jailed rape victims before, and she has said she would do it again. That’s bad public policy that discourages survivors from reporting sex crimes to police. In contrast, I have vowed never to jail rape victims. This issue gives the public a clear choice about the kind of leadership in criminal justice they want.”
Ogg wants Anderson to release emails between her prosecutors and key management figures. The victim’s mother and has vowed to hold those responsible, accountable. Anderson has refused to release the records, instead issuing statements and recently blaming the victim’s mother.
“This election is about judgment and it is my strong belief that we will be safer when we treat crime victims with respect and handle evidence competently rather than jailing victims for ‘safekeeping,’ a term recently used by Devon Anderson in explaining the indefensible.”
Ogg’s ad asks for the public’s support to help her continue her life’s work as Harris County’s next District Attorney. Ogg, a recipient of many awards for crime victims’ advocacy over the years, says about both ad and election:
Devon Anderson’s office jailed a fragile rape victim for 27 days. Now Ms. Anderson and her supporters are attacking the victim’s mom for trying to bring justice back to the District Attorney’s Office.
Enough is Enough.
“When I am District Attorney the prosecutors who lied to Jenny and her mom will be held accountable”, says Kim Ogg. “We don’t jail rape victims to make them talk. EVER.”
“Prosecutors who engaged in civil rights violations in this case, or others, have no place in the District Attorney’s Office.”
That is why is it sad that Devon Anderson’s Attorney Friend and Campaign Supporter Rusty Hardin has tried to change the subject, releasing selective e-mails in a thinly veiled assault on the victim’s mother.
“This is exactly why Devon Anderson should release all internal e-mails about this horror story TODAY”, says Ogg.” Anderson’s office has tried to keep the e-mails a secret. Why?”
E-mails now obtained from Jenny’s attorney reveal evidence the District Attorney’s Office lied to her mother. They promised Jenny would be supported every step of the way by a victim’s advocate. Attorney Sean Buckley says that never happened.
“Devon Anderson jails rape victims, hides destroyed evidence and jails people who may be innocent. Devon Anderson ignores civil rights violations and misconduct. When I am District Attorney the message will be clear. Justice will be served. This election is about judgement, and justice.”
Jailing a rape victim will make other sexual assault victims afraid to come forward.
That makes us less safe.
Safety. Equal Justice. Fairness. We don’t jail rape victims. Period.
BACKGROUND FOR MEDIA
Here are some of the e-mails Devon Anderson wants to keep secret. They were provided by Jenny’s Attorney Sean Buckley.
Dec 20 th , 2015
Jenny’s mom discovered she was put in jail, not a psychiatric facility as promised by prosecutors.
Let us quote her “This is really unacceptable for a victim of rape to be put her in jail”. That is EXACTLY what Jenny’s mom says in her television ad.
On Dec 23th …” she is being held as a prisoner… she is a caged animal ready to explode.”
On Dec 26 th Jenny’s mom discovers her mentally ill daughter is not only in jail, but in the general population with suspected violent criminals. Jenny’s mom is sick from cancer and pleading from afar.
“She has a black eye… this needs to be fixed ASAP’.”
Devon Anderson is on the e-mail chain but the address is wrong.
December 28 th , Jenny’s mom demands Devon Anderson’s e-mail after trying to call her.
“She is not a criminal. She has a black eye and is not stable on her meds… This all violates Jenny’s victim rights. If someone hurts Jenny in jail, your office will have
The new University of Houston poll shows Harris County voters want Kim Ogg to be the next Harris County District Attorney.
The poll shows incumbent Devon Anderson down by 7 points, with just a few weeks to go before this important election.
The latest poll is proof that Harris County voters want change, starting with a new District Attorney who will keep their families safe. They want a District Attorney who fights for fair and equal justice, and spends their tax dollars fighting violent criminals. They want a District Attorney who will end the abhorrent practice of jailing rape victims.”
“While I am encouraged and grateful to learn that our support is growing in neighborhoods all across the Houston area, real change can only be accomplished if you vote.”
Safety. Fairness. Equal Justice. The time has come.
A new Ogg campaign TV ad will feature the mother of a rape victim jailed by District Attorney Devon Anderson. The victim is anonymously identified as “Jenny” in her lawsuit against Harris County.
Jenny’s story gained national interest when Anderson declared that she stood behind her office policy that caused an innocent mentally-ill rape victim to be jailed. This practice was decried by experts all over the country. Anderson has defended the practice, causing the crime victim’s mother to speak out in a new ad campaign.
“I’d like to tell Devon Anderson,” says Jenny’s mom, “jail is for rapists and other violent criminals. It is no place for innocent victims like my daughter.”
“It has been a hallmark of my professional career, and my promise to the citizens of Harris County, to treat all crime victims with dignity and respect. In this upcoming election, voters will have the option to elect a District Attorney who believes that a conviction should never be at the expense of crime victims.”
“Devon Anderson’s judgement has made us less safe. Taxpayers will be paying for this bad judgement.”
Safety. Equal Justice. Fairness.
TO WATCH THE VIDEO, FOLLOW THIS LINK: https://1drv.ms/v/s!AlQ6Az7hsGCIgaJ005QD6H00YIiXvA
Duane Buck was sentenced to death row after an expert pscyhologist testified he was more likely to commit violent acts in the future because of his race. Buck is African-American.
The United States Supreme Court has questioned the sentencing, which has sparked outrage across the country. Juctice Sam Alito said “ what occurred is indefensible.”
What has our District Attorney done? Devon Anderson refuses to join the call for a new sentencing hearing. She has been silent. What message is she sending to the African-American Community?
“This is yet another case of horrible judgement. Duane Buck was found guilty. In a fair hearing he may be sentenced to death again, but it must be a fair hearing. When I am District Attorney I promise race will never be used as a factor in who we prosecute and the sentences we seek. We are better than this,” says Ogg.
Ogg will issue a challenge to the District Attorney to join the call for justice.
“Devon Anderson should go back and re-read the law books on justice. She stands silent while her prosecutors use race. She defends jailing rape victims. She hides news of destroyed evidence. None of this makes us safer.”
Ogg will be available to the media at 10:00 am Saturday morning (10/8/2016) during an important event held by the Houston Metropolitan Chapter of 100 Black Men. “Keeping our Kids Out of the Criminal Justice Pipeline.”
The TSU School of Business, 3100 Cleburne Street. Houston, Texas 77004.