Justice watch....There is a case over at the courthouse this past week that has tied up a judge, two assistant DAs, a couple of defense attorneys, a jury, court reporter, bailiff, and court clerk. It involves a 74-year-old Fulshear resident, Jamie Roberts, the current mayor of Fulshear and formerly on the board of trustees for the Lamar CISD for many years. Roberts ran afoul of a Fulshear resident who has since died, but accused him of “stealing” two aluminum carports from his property.
Roberts, who is defended by well-known Houston attorney Rusty Hardin, said he was acting as Mayor and took down the carports because they were on city property.
Even though it was never proven that the carports were on the resident’s property or that he even owned the carports, the DA’s office threw the book at Roberts. They accused him of felony theft, official oppression, and attempted official oppression.
Since the complainant, who had two criminal convictions himself and accused his own wife of official oppression, had since died, the felony theft case was dismissed after two years. However, the official oppression and attempted official oppression cases are now being tried as misdemeanors.
Wait until you hear where the official oppression comes from. One charge is based on the fact that Roberts ordered a survey, paid for by the city, to find if the carports were on public land or not. He is being accused of personally benefitting from this although he was acting under the color of mayor when he removed the carports.
The other charge is because the city sent the now-deceased complainant a notice of unkept weeds after a neighbor complained. The notice threatened a $2,000 per day fine, which is a Fulshear city ordinance. Prosecutors claim this was illegal and in retaliation for deceased resident’s complaint.
This trial over these misdemeanor charges has lasted from last Tuesday through Monday with Friday off because a juror was sick.
This waste of court time was initiated by Assistant District Attorney Mike Elliott. You remember him. He’s the same one who pursued charges against roofers because they quit working for Elliott’s friend who owns a roofing company. In that case, charges were dropped right before going to trial, but the former employees had to hire attorneys and fight their reputations for several years.
It was revealed that the roofing company owner had made substantial donations to Elliott’s wife when she ran for District Clerk.
And it is felt that the current vendetta against Roberts had its genesis in politics involving the District Clerk’s election.
According to testimony in the current trial, the policewomen who investigated the incident reportedly failed to turn over notes to the defense which might clear Roberts.
What many people wonder is why District Attorney John Healey continues to let Assistant DA Elliot act like a loose cannon. One of these days, Mike Elliott is going to bite off more that John Healey can chew. So many times courthouse watchers have said that Healey lets Elliot skate right up to the edge. Of course there is always a DA election in a couple of years.
There are those calling for a state bar association investigation. I’ll throw in with that.
Oh, by the way.....I came in third in the Women’s Charity Gin Tournament. Judy Kveton won first and Camelia Aldridge was second. I keep forgetting to tell you because I’m really not even third place good. But on the Saturday morning of the playoffs, at 9 a.m., I left FM 1092 and Hwy. 6 and drove all the way around on Hwy 6 to Hwy. 90-A and caught only one red light.
I knew then that Lady Luck was running with me that day. I even warned the other players when I got there.
But after I came in third, I forgot to buy a Lottery ticket.
Anyway, an old tradition is for the winning women to play the winning men who won their gin tournament. It’s called the “Battle of the Sexes,” almost as if it’s some huge athletic event. Believe me, it’s not.
All this takes place this week at the Swinging Door on Hwy. 359. I’ll let you know next week who won that. I know you can hardly wait.