Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Declaration of Independence?

Sometimes the updates come almost faster than you can type them.
My subject is the Harris County Grand Jury and its investigation of the Houston Police Department batmobiles and of, it seems, the Harris County District Attorney.  Monday I wrote this laying out the basic plot and admiring the fact that the grand jury was standing up and doing its job.  A couple of hours ago, I posted this, considering that oak trees grow from acorns (not the metaphor I used and I found a much better youtube clip than one of a tree growing, but it's serviceable here).
Now, with a nod and a tip of the hat to the vigilant Paul Kennedy.
It's confirmed.  The grand jury in Houston is in fact investigating possible criminal conduct in the office of the Harris County District Attorney.  That's not exactly manning the barricades, but it's not being the silent majority, either.  It's not what grand juries do in this carefully choreographed system.
The Harris County Grand Jury asked today to extend their term beyond its scheduled expiration date at the beginning of November.  And they asked Judge Susan Brown of the 185th District Court, the judge who empaneled them, to appoint a special prosecutor to assist them.  In fact, she appointed two.  (I gather that she hasn't yet ruled on the grand jury's request to extend their term.)
Here's Anita Hassan at the Houston Chronicle.
Brown's order was the first official sign that the grand jury was setting its sights on the DA's office.
"After considering the grand jury's request and the applicable law, the court finds the Harris County District Attorney and her office are disqualified from participating in the grand jury's investigation of possible criminal conduct by members of the Harris County District Attorney's Office," Brown wrote.
The grand jurors did not divulge details of possible misconduct by prosecutors, Brown's order said.
If someone has a copy of the judge's order, and wants to send it to me, I'll be happy to post it.
Runaway grand juries don't get that way by chance. I don't know where this will wind up.  What I do know is that when the people start to take back their government, it can be hard to stop them.
The Tea Party knows that.  The Occupy Everywhere folks know that.  And maybe they know it in the Harris County Grand Jury.


  1. Runaway Grand Jury. I thought they were a myth.

    From your writing you've always impressed me as a Peter Finch type.

  2. Well Red Hot Damn on a Saturday Night with a Bottle of Jack! Thanks for the post, Jeff. I needed some cheering up tonight.