Posts Tagged ‘Harris County Sheriff’

The Harris County Sheriff announced disciplinary action Friday on that mess over at the jail. We are talking about dismissals and suspensions involving 35 folks. Also on Friday, Rep. Sylvester Turner announced the endorsement of two local Latino State Reps. Here is a bit of what Kuffer said about the Sheriff’s Friday announcement and its impact on mayoral politics:

Most people – for better or worse – just don’t pay that much attention to this stuff, and those that are paying attention are either already aligned with a particular candidate or who are political junkies like me who may not be sure who they are voting for but who have a pretty good idea who they’re not voting for. I don’t think any of this has changed anyone’s vote, is what I’m saying.

Here is all of Kuffer: http://offthekuff.com/wp/?p=66804.

Let me put up a bit of what Teddy Schliefer wrote last month on the Sheriff deciding to run:

Garcia, who declined to comment, will portray himself as a fiscally responsible executive who has directly managed a large, complex agency and strengthened the financial health of the sheriff’s office, the sources said.

This is what the Chron reported on Friday:

At Friday’s news conference, Garcia – who is widely believed to be running for mayor but has held off announcing formally – defended his department and blamed the organization’s chain of command structure for creating the environment that allowed (Terry) Goodwin’s situation to fester unchecked.

“That’s the way we were always doing it – until we realized that we needed to improve it,” he said. “We learned about this and understood there could have been faster responses earlier on; it’s changed now. We wish the earlier documentation created bells and whistles to go off, but apparently it didn’t.”

Here is the entire Chron article: http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Sheriff-fires-6-disciplines-others-over-6222905.php?cmpid=gsa-chron-result.

And then this from Ted Oberg on Friday night:

Goodwin’s mother called the punishments, and particularly the one- to 10-day suspensions handed out a “slap on the wrist.”

“Ten days? I’m furious,” Mashell Lambert told ABC-13. “For what they did to our son just 10 days? This is not what I call justice. This is a slap on the wrist. They say and watched our mentally ill son deteriorate and prepare his cell to commit suicide and did nothing.”

Here is the entire Oberg piece: http://abc13.com/news/hcso-takes-action-against-35-employees-over-inmates-jail-cell-condition/680224/.

Kuffer is smart and so are the folks that run the mayoral races. I am just going to say that none of the other candidates faced these type of challenges when they launched their campaigns. It is kind of tough to say “vote for me and don’t pay attention to Oberg and the jail mess.”

And then it gets worse, err better, err interesting – depending on where one stands. Yesterday, Goodwin’s mom and Quanell X called for the Sheriff to resign and it got a lot of run on the local news last night.

Here is a bit from the Channel 13 story:

“If you didn’t know, Adrian Garcia, you should have known. You are incompetent and I want the citizens of Harris County, I want everybody in Houston and surrounding areas to understand, if this were your son, would three days punishment be enough for his heinous treatment,” said Goodwin’s mother, Mashell Lambert.

“Adrian Garcia was not in the dark about what took place with this brother in this jail. Adrian Garcia was kept in the loop,” said Quanell X.

And here are parts of the Sheriff’s response:

“The people of Harris County rightly expect and demand accountability and transparency in their government. My administration strives every day to give the public the highest level of transparency and accountability. I’m proud of that fact.

“When I took over the county jail there were many issues and challenges and I have implemented many reforms that have contributed greatly to our public safety. We no longer just warehouse inmates, as had been the practice for many years prior, but now there is incredible time and effort to helping those once in our custody to live more positive and productive lives. Under my leadership inmate GED instruction, vocational education, spiritual ministry and counseling has been a priority since I took office – a priority that wasn’t there before.”


“The county jail will circulate about 120,000 inmates this year, I have nearly 5000 employees, and on any given day there are about 9000 inmates in my custody of which almost 30% are suffering from a serious mental illness. We have dramatically reduced the jail population in Harris County and improved the conditions of those in our custody and at the same time coming under budget four consecutive years. This isolated incident should not let this track record be forgotten.”

You can check the full statement of the Sheriff, as well as the rest of the Channel 13 story here: http://abc13.com/news/activists-demand-sheriff-garcia-to-resign-over-jail-abuse-claims/682784/.

And then there is this from today’s Chron:

Though he has yet to declare, Garcia is widely expected to a run for mayor. Quanell X said other leaders in the black community had asked him to refrain from criticizing Garcia’s handling of Goodwin because it could hurt the sheriff’s chances.

“We thought when we finally elected a minority sheriff that minorities would be treated better – we were duped,” Quanell X said. “If Garcia runs Houston like he runs the jail, we’re all going to hell in a hand basket.”

Here is today’s Chron article:

I am sure that some folks will be dismissive of the call for resignation because Quanell X is involved. These folks will say since Quanell X is in the mix, it probably helps the Sheriff politically. That’s silly. The Sheriff certainly wasn’t dismissive. After all, the Sheriff put out a pretty lengthy response on a Sunday night.

I am also a bit puzzled by what Quanell X said. Who are African American leaders who are worried about the Sheriff’s chances for mayor?

Now let’s replay what Kuffer said:

Most people – for better or worse – just don’t pay that much attention to this stuff, and those that are paying attention are either already aligned with a particular candidate or who are political junkies like me who may not be sure who they are voting for but who have a pretty good idea who they’re not voting for. I don’t think any of this has changed anyone’s vote, is what I’m saying.

It is on the news and if you have the flat screen on, it made it into your living room or den. It may not have changed anyone’s vote, but it probably doesn’t help if the voter is undecided. Stay tuned!

The ‘Stros are 11-7. Can you believe? What is our best start ever after 18 games?

Andrea White has a piece on an effort to get a statue of President Lyndon Baines Johnson for Downtown H-Town. Here is Andrea’s article:

I am OK with that but I think it needs to be in a location folks will visit, like NOT across the street from the Downtown post office.

What I thought was Cecily Strong’s best joke was one that didn’t get a lot of laughs. Here it is:

“Let’s give it up for the Secret Service. I don’t want to be too hard on those guys. You know, because they’re the only law enforcement agency that will get in trouble if a black man gets shot.”

You know! You are not supposed to joke about the President’s security.

I think she did a good job.

Will Blue Bell ever serve another scoop? Check this tweet:

Lisa Falkenberg @ChronFalkenberg • Apr 24
Give that brewery an extra good scrub, @ShinerBeer. This Texan can do without #bluebell. But I can’t do without you.

How about this tweet:

Nick Mathews retweeted
Reid Laymance ‏@ReidLaymance 3h3 hours ago
After three weeks, Astros on pace for 99-63.

I don’t know about that.

In 1979, 1980, 1986, and 2006, the ‘Stros started out 13-5 for our best ever starts after 18 games of course.

We scrap the DH over the next three days as we visit Petco.

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Governor Abbott hailed the federal judge’s ruling that temporarily halted the President’s action on immigration. Here is what our Governor had to say:

“Judge Hanen’s decision rightly stops the president’s overreach in its tracks. We live in a nation governed by a system of checks and balances, and the president’s attempt to by-pass the will of the American people was successfully checked today.”

Where does the Governor get this “will” stuff from? Last I heard from different sources was that a strong majority of Americans back the President’s actions on immigration. It looks like the Governor is making up his own facts on this.

Then this came out:

JORGE RAMOS retweeted
Luis V. Gutierrez ‏@RepGutierrez 1h1 hour ago
“We may be delayed, but we will not be deterred.” @RepGutierrez stmt on prelim injunction of #ImmigrationAction http://1.usa.gov/1L6tnFI

Last week there was a rumor that the Harris County Sheriff was going to get into the Mayoral race this past Friday. Well, it obviously didn’t happen. I don’t know how those rumors get started. I will say this, nobody has called or contacted Commentary to say he is running. We will just have to wait and see as some folks are now speculating that he is having second thoughts.

Yesterday I mentioned that pitcher Tim Hudson has 13 career shutouts to lead all active MLB pitchers. Name the pitcher with all-time career record for shutouts?

Here is what you aren’t seeing in today’s Chron sports section – this online story:

Former New York Yankees second baseman Chuck Knoblauch took a shot at the legendary franchise for honoring admitted cheater Andy Pettitte.

Pettitte’s son Josh posted the news on Twitter and said Yankees will retire his father’s No. 46 and honor him with a plaque in Monument Park on Aug. 23.

Heard it here first. @Yankees are making August 23rd Andy Pettitte day. Retiring #46 and honoring him with a plaque in Monument Park!!
— Josh Pettitte (@JPettitte21) February 15, 2015

Knoblauch, who played with the Yankees from 1998-2001 and won three World Series during that span as Pettitte’s teammate, wasn’t too thrilled with the news.

He sent the following tweet:

Chuck Knoblauch @chuckknoblauch Feb 15
Congrats to 46. Yankees retiring his number. Hopefully they don’t retire it like his HGH testimony.

Knoblauch has a fair point in noting Pettitte’s past. Though Pettitte ranks third in wins and first in strikeouts in franchise history, he had a disgraced moment when he admitted to HGH use. However, Pettitte’s honest and heartfelt apology as well as his overall demeanor contributed to him being beloved. Contrarily, Knoblauch had a testy relationship with the media and fans, which led to him being more disliked.

Knoblauch is probably just bitter that his honor from the Twins was stripped because of his domestic violence arrest while Pettitte is still being honored despite his past.

Who cares if Pettitte was given a pass?

Hall of Fame great Walter Johnson of course had 110 career shutouts.

There is supposed to be an announcement coming from The Yard later on today.

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I am waiting for The Dean to put out the over-under on when Health and Human Service Commission top dog Kyle Janek will turn in his resignation.

New ‘Stro Evan Gattis will wear the numero 11. Name the Hall of Fame great who wore the numero 11 for the ‘Stros in 1967? Hint: He has something in common with Gattis.

$57,000: That is how much the Harris County Sheriff has in his campaign account for those wondering if he will make the race for H-Town Mayor. Commentary thought he would have a lot more than that, after all, you need a lot more than that. Meanwhile, State Rep. Sylvester Turner is sitting on a million or so assuming he can use it and spend it. Council Member Oliver Pennington has $116,000 in his account. Council Member Stephen Costello has $275,000 plus another $250,000 that he has raised in the last week.

As a member of the Texas Legislature, Rep. Turner cannot raise campaign funds until after the legislative session ends. But he is sitting on a million and he can still call potential donors and ask them to write him a check in June.

Council Members Costello and Pennington are picking up checks right now. Same goes for the other candidates.

The clock is ticking so to speak on the Sheriff. Of course, we all know his situation. Once he says he is running for H-Town Mayor, he has to turn in his Sheriff’s badge and then the GOP Commissioners Court will name a GOP Sheriff.

We also know that H-Town’s fundraising rules are in a state of flux right now so what is to prevent the Sheriff from holding fundraisers, raising money and build up his war chest under the guise of getting ready for his 2016 reelection bid– wink, wink – and then hold off on making a Mayoral announcement until the Spring or early Summer. He could go this route but risk missing out on going through the early screening and endorsement processes of various groups and organizations.

The other challenge he faces is the reluctance of “players” to stand on the sidelines and wait until he makes a decision. All the other candidates are reaching out to the “players” and securing commitments. It is hard to “keep your powder dry” these days.

The conventional thinking from the handicappers the day after the campaign finance reports were submitted is that Rep. Turner has an edge – some may go on and say he is the frontrunner. Commentary won’t go there. I prefer to wait to see what happens over the next five months. Now that fundraising has begun in earnest and “players” are focused on November, 2015, let’s see which campaigns can grow, generate a buzz, and engage the electorate.

Back to the Sheriff’s $57,000 question – to use a football term – let’s see if they are good at clock management so stay tuned!

Hall of Fame great Eddie Mathews of course wore the number 11 for the ‘Stros in 1967 and like Gattis, Mathews played with The ATL.

We now have four catchers on the roster – huh!

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Commentary tweeted this last night:

Marc Campos @MarcCommentary • 11h 11 hours ago
Just heard a H-Town mayoral candidate is conducting a survey tonight. #HouNews #Election2015

Commentary learned last night that in the week before Christmas a Mayoral candidate was conducting a survey of H-Town voters.

In the horse race they included the Harris County Sheriff, Ben Hall, Bill King, Council Members Oliver Pennington and Stephen Costello, State Rep. Sylvester Turner, and Chris Bell.

Some of the stuff they asked about are what qualities do you want in your next Mayor: Lifelong Houstonian, knows about pensions, worked on a gang task force, and experience in growing the economy.

Apparently, the interviewer revealed that pensions and roads/transportation were getting the most love from the voters that were participating in the survey.

I sure hope the following from H-Town City Hall is just a failure in communications. It is about the Valero deal and Council Member Robert Gallegos claiming the Mayor threw him under the bus. This isn’t characteristic of the Mayor. Here is a bit from the Chron:

(THIS IS FROM CHRON.COM) Asked about community concerns, Mayor Annise Parker quickly noted that Valero informed Gallegos of the deal months ago.

(THIS IS FROM TODAY’S HARD COPY) Asked about community concerns, Mayor Annise Parker promptly – as Gallegos put it – threw the councilman under the bus.

“Valero contacted the district council member in August, they met with the district council member in September, they met with the district council member in October. I do not know why the district council member chose not to hold public meetings,” she said. “The idea that it was completely under the radar is not accurate.”

Gallegos said after the meeting that he was “disappointed” in the mayor’s comments, noting Icken’s staff had been negotiating the deal for a year and a half, long before he joined the council last January. Gallegos said he did not organize community meetings because Valero officials assured him they had cleared their plans with neighbors.

“I asked had they gone out to the community and notified the community, and they said yes,” Gallegos said. “That’s what brought my concern, is that according to the individuals that came to public session yesterday, they said they were not aware of this.”

I would actually say she threw him under the bus and then ran over him – OUCH!

Name the first Black Cuban to play in MLB?

Just when I mentioned things were slowing down the week before Christmas Eve the President went out and announced he was moving to normalize relations with Cuba. It is about time!

Here is how the Chron E-Board led off today’s take:

President Barack Obama’s dramatic, potentially historic move to end America’s half-century-old stalemate with Cuba is both wise and welcome, and we hope it ends with a lifting of the long-standing U.S. trade embargo against the island and full normalization of relations between the old Cold War foes.

Here is the entire Chron take: http://www.chron.com/opinion/editorials/article/A-historic-shift-5964187.php.

You have to figure the issue will get some major run in the 2016 GOP presidential primaries. Here is from Reuters:

Former Florida Governor – and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidate – Jeb Bush was cited by USA Today as saying, “I don’t think we should be negotiating with a repressive regime to make changes in our relationship.”

Although a growing number of U.S. lawmakers favor more normal ties, those lawmakers are still mostly Democrats, and after big midterm election gains in November, Republicans will control both houses of Congress in the new year.

Senator Marco Rubio, a Cuban American Republican, said he would use his role as incoming chairman of a key Senate Foreign Relations Committee to try to block the plan and was committed to doing all he could to “unravel” it.


Americans are largely open to establishing diplomatic relations with the Cuban government, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll of more than 31,000 adults conducted between July and October.

Around one-fifth said they opposed such a move, while 43 percent said the United States should restore relations with Cuba and around 37 percent said they were unsure.

This will certainly be part of the President’s legacy. What a gutsy move! Nice job!

On a related note, Commentary is interested in how this might impact MLB.

I don’t know what to say about North Korea getting into the movie critic business. I am just absolutely stunned that a Seth Rogen flick nearly shut down our nation’s movie theaters.

I tweeted this last night:

Marc Campos @MarcCommentary • 13h 13 hours ago
How about a #WhiteHouse screeing of #TheInterview?

Of course, that is not going to happen.

In 1949, Minnie Minoso of course became the first Black Cuban in MLB when he took the field with Cleveland.

The ‘Stros said they will continue to be on 790 AM.

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