When he left the Harris County DA’s Office recently, Kim Ogg’s outgoing first assistant made it clear he couldn’t “anticipate or adjust” to each aspect of Ogg’s transformation philosophy. Ogg succeeded an effective, police-oriented prosecutor, Devon Anderson, in a Democrat-dominated election in which every Republican in the Courthouse was thrown out by the voters.
Not only are we not on the same page as Ogg – we’re not even in the same book!
Like the former first assistant, Tom Berg, the HPOU – which includes as its members all but a few HPD officers – can’t adjust either. Our priorities are as different as night and day, guilt or innocence.
HPD officers risk their lives 24/7 to keep safe the citizens of Houston. We catch violent offenders with the expectation that the DA – with its dedicated non-partisan prosecutors – will throw the book at these gun-toting suspects, serial rapists, wayward thieves and various repeat offenders.
Ogg has written a new book. It is so light on true criminal justice that it wouldn’t hurt anybody if she – and the inexperienced members of her prosecution team – threw it at any individual facing felony charges.
In her book, there was no room for veteran prosecutors not used to kowtowing to the defense.
In her book, a felon arrested by HPD or those from any other Harris County law enforcement agency would be entitled to a lower bond than ever before under the administration of Ogg’s predecessors. Should this individual commit another felony while out on bond, in Ogg’s book, he or she would be able to get a second bond.
In other words, in Ogg’s book, there is no such term as bond revocation.
In her book, there certainly is an appropriate vocabulary word: DYSFUNCTION. Maybe she shouldn’t have let a number of aggressive veteran prosecutors leave their Courthouse offices. Her office, sad to say, has become a political party haven, not a headquarters for men and women who know the good guys from the bad guys and act accordingly from initial charges to final arguments.
And then there is the Alfred DeWayne Brown case. Seems as though there is a legal development every week. The latest was the state comptroller’s decision not to pay Brown an estimated $2 million in compensation for the 12 years he spent on death row. The comptroller, Glenn Hegar, cited jurisdictional questions. The compensation issue might be headed to the Texas Supreme Court.
We are talking about an accused cop killer here. New evidence resulted in Brown’s release from the Texas Death Row. In Ogg’s book, Brown is “actually innocent.” This position was supported by the findings of Ogg’s special prosecutor assigned to investigate the case of the murder in the death of Houston Police Officer Charles Clark and a clerk in a check-cashing storefront. The “prosecutor” had little if any experience in cases like this one. But he reads from Ogg’s book.
We’ve never been sure that Brown is “actually innocent” – a necessary tactic needed for the compensation to which so-called innocent people who have served long prison terms are entitled. A competent DA would not be so quick to trigger compensation to an individual that most of the evidence showed to be guilty of two murders. A competent DA would be ever mindful that if Brown didn’t do it, there is a cop killer still on the loose. It still could be Brown. Rather be safe than sorry. Ogg is – shall we say – sorry.
HPOU President Joe Gamaldi aptly vented about the Ogg book in the latest general membership meeting. What he said bears repeating here for the record.
The Union will support competent candidates who file against an incumbent with an apparent disdain for police officers and the job they do. This position will hold true in next year’s primaries – both Democratic and Republican – and, if necessary, the November General Election.
In our book, Kim Ogg must go.