Monday, October 08, 2007

KHOU Questions the Integrity of the Justice System in Fort Bend County

I have to admit I am not a huge fan of Houston, Texas’ KHOU’s news program. In particular, I don’t like it when they go after a private citizen with premature as well as flimsy evidence and destroy his life. But in this case, it is just the opposite.

KHOU aired a story that is well past due and seems to have solid basis.

I’m writing of their recent story on the racketeering and money laundering charges filed against eight Rosenberg roofers by their former boss and friend, Brett Holden, owner of Holden Roofing Company in Fort Bend County.

According to the story, Holden, with the help of his friend, Assistant District Attorney, Mike Elliott, filed criminal charges against his former employees, charging that they over-ordered roofing materials and withheld some of the fees that they charged their clients. Skimming, they say, money laundering, or such the like. Holden felt that they did this to have funds in order start up their own roofing company, something the 8 roofers hotly deny.

The story also mentions the fact that days earlier, Holden made a $1000 donation to the campaign of Annie Elliott, Mike Elliott’s wife. Something that defense attorney Don Bankston says is a conflict of interest: “It’s enough of a conflict of interest that [District Attorney] John Healey recognized it . . . “.

But here’s the thing that is new to me, at least. The Rosenberg Police Department do not appear to be very supportive of the DA’s office. Rosenberg Police Lieutenant said it this way:
“I think that, and this has been stated before, that the indictments were premature I think that additional work could have been done, questions could have been asked.”
Further investigations by a new prosecutor has revealed that there was no evidence of money laundering. Some of the evidence was not a theft as originally presented. And that the defendant was correct. Yet still, the indictments still stand and the DA’s office have not moved forward on this case after almost 2 years.

If all of this is true, then it is really disheartening. As someone who lives in Fort Bend County, it is disheartening to see that justice can be twisted and perverted to fulfill the needs of personal friends, indeed to cause harm to those whose only crime appears to be wanting to go into business for themselves.


Anonymous said...

That is very interesting to say the least. I am shocked the Rosenberg Police Chief would turn on the DA's Office, as I recall they were out actively campaigning for Healey in the last election, walking side by side in my neighborhood with Mr. Elliott. I also remember a Herald Coaster article, about 2 years back where Holden Roofing made a large donation to the Rosenberg Police Department's SWAT Team I believe. It seems that maybe Rosenberg is now trying to save face and point the finger all at Elliott and make him the lone escape goat, when they were also a big part of the initial push to file charges. Those poor ex-employees have had their reputations destroyed by Mike Elliott and the Fort Bend DA's Office as well as by the Rosenberg Police, who only changed their tune when confronted with the facts. Seems like someone dropped the ball here and now the County, City, and Holden may have some civil liability. A prime example of shotty police work, backdoor politics, and I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine closed door deals. Fort Bend County needs a change in police leaderships and at the DA's office.

Anonymous said...

You raise some interesting points. Yet you have to remember that the people protesting were asking for a trial date. It appears that not only did the DA do a personal favor by indicting these people, but now he will not even allow them to have a trial. This just continues to run up their legal expenses and to destroy their lives. It is obvious that Mike Elliott is the real criminal in this case and should be criminally prosecuted for his actions in this case. For an Assistant District Attorney to use the system like he has cast a shadow on the criminal justice system as a hole. Yet, these are not the only people making the same allegations against ADA Elliott. Attorney Rusty Hardin is also making the very same allegations in a different case. Hardin has been on TV attacking Elliott personally for his dishonesty and lack of ethics. Hardin also believes that Elliott should be criminally prosecuted for his actions in that case. Yet these are not the only allegations against Elliott. There is an allege cover up where he assaulted his now ex wife and a plea was worked out where he would not be prosecuted if he attended counseling. He falsified a government document when he applied for farm tags for his personal vehicle. Still not prosecuted, but Harris County prosecuted Judge Betty Brock Bell for the felony offense when she did it. This is also the same prosecutor who demanded to be allowed to carry a firearm into the courtroom. When asked why he wanted to carry a gun in court, he simply stated because the law says I can. The Ft Bend Judges all disagreed and have not allowed him to do so.
As to the Rosenberg Police Dept. they were but a pawn in this case. Their lack of professionalism and good old boy politics only assisted ADA Elliott in committing the criminal acts against these 8. Yet the DA John Healey will not do anything to put an end to the antics of Elliott. Yesterday on the Needville School Fire Case, Attorney Rocket Rosen again made similar allegations against both Elliott and Healey.
While I am no fan of Criminal Defense Attorneys, there sure appears to be a large number all making the same allegations against both Healey and Elliott.
My opinion is that the real criminals are running the criminal justice system in Ft Bend County. The real criminals are the prosecutors who are using their office for personal gain and not the job that they were sworn to do. Back in the 90’s Healey got his job when the DA was impeached from office. It looks like it is time for another impeachment trial in Ft Bend County.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that a person like Mike Elliott is quick to hand out the harshest penalty for a first time offender, but when he is accused and guilty, the punishment is forgiveness. Doesn't the law state that if you are charged with a felony that you cannot hold a government position?