AG has to threaten lawsuit for DA to comply

Attorney General Threatens Lawsuit Against DA for Open Records Violation

Waco, TX–After the McLennan County District Attorney refused to provide public information relating to former Constable Stanley Hickey’s Official Oppression prosecution, the Office of the Attorney General determined that the DA’s office “violated the Public Information Act.”


In a determination dated 4/27/22, Assistant Attorney General Charles Falck advised McLennan County District Attorney Barry Johnson he had four days to release public information or the Attorney General would file a lawsuit to compel release of the information.

The Determination Letter was in response to a complaint filed by R.S. Gates over the failure of the District Attorney to release information related to the Indictment of retired Constable Pct. 4 Stan Hickey.

Falck Wrote: “The McLennan County District Attorney’s Office violated the Public Information Act by failing to release responsive information..”

Gates is employed as an investigator for Vyper Investigation and Legal Support LLC. Gates has followed the case since shortly after the offense date of 6/29/18. Then Constable Stan Hickey, whose precinct includes Gates, was indicted almost a year after the offense for Official Oppression. Gates noted Hickey was very involved in local politics and endorsed the current Constable Pct. 4 Charlie Gurrero in the March Primary.

Gates said “What you have is a McLennan County Elected Official (Hickey) engaged in criminal conduct and another McLennan County Elected Official (Barry Johnson) engaged in criminal conduct to cover up the original offense.”

Gates points to Texas Government Code Sec. 552.353:

Sec. 552.353. FAILURE OR REFUSAL OF OFFICER FOR PUBLIC INFORMATION TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO OR COPYING OF PUBLIC INFORMATION. (a) An officer for public information, or the officer’s agent, commits an offense if, with criminal negligence, the officer or the officer’s agent fails or refuses to give access to, or to permit or provide copying of, public information to a requestor as provided by this chapter.

Gates, who has been a licensed Texas police officer for more than 30 years,  has extensive experience with the Texas Public Information Act and secured a similar ruling from the Attorney General when former District Attorney Abel Reyna withheld public information in violation of the Act.

Gates points to Texas Failure to Identify statute. He notes charges are not dropped because the police later determine the identity of the person.

Sec. 38.02. FAILURE TO IDENTIFY. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally refuses to give his name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully arrested the person and requested the information.

Gates says he found it very interesting Hickey was given an almost $8K raise while under indictment.


 It is further confounding considering the recent disposition of the same charges against a jailer. The Jailer was fired after being indicted. She was given 12 months probation while Hickey received 6 months in his pre-trial agreement and continued his employment until he chose his successor.

 A review of the information withheld, in violation of the law, by the DA establishes motive for the DA not to release the information. The first notable thing is the victim was not contacted and appears to have had no input on the disposition of the case. It is additionally notable in his statement, not only does Hickey not take responsibility for the offense, he blames the victim. Pre-trial intervention represents it is an alternative to the judicial system where the interests of justice are met. Those interests include the suspect taking responsibility and the rights of the victim. Both were clearly ignored in this disposition and it is compounded by the DA breaking the law to cover it up.

If you are curious why this was not “news” the prevailing theory is that the public is not smart enough to understand the issue and if they can’t understand, it is not news.

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From Williamson County

County Judge Dan M. Gattis is a lame duck head of the Commissioners Court in Williamson County. He took offense to social media posts by Sheriff Robert Chody. He allegedly threatened the Chief Deputy saying he would zero out the budget of the Sheriff if the Sheriff did not stop “tweeting” about county business.

Here is the interesting part from this article:

Visiting Judge Sid Harle ruled in favor of an assistant county attorney who argued in court Tuesday afternoon that the judge was not legally entitled to a probable cause hearing that Gattis requested Tuesday.

This is relevant because Commissioner Will Jones was granted a probable cause hearing which resulted in the dismissal of two felony charges against him.

Some are liking this to the spat between the Travis County DA and the Governor. This one is interesting in that it was a threat, not an actual action. Another subject that could prevent prosecution is the fact the entire Commissioners Court would have to approve the budget and Gattis could not follow through on the threat without the assistance of other members of the Court.

It will be interesting to see how this one turns out.

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We are infamous!

College Textbook for Texas Government.


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When the law ignores the law.

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Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely

12/1/15 Jones offers to pay Ben Matus to drop out of the race for County Commissioner Pct. 3. Jones said he was just trying to do the right thing.  Later interviews tell a different story.

2/3/16 District Attorney requests investigation by Texas Rangers. (Link)
I don’t think it was revealed that a Grand Jury recommended the investigation.
Recently, information regarding McLennan County Commissioner Precinct 3, Will Jones and his Administrative Assistant, Susanne Nemmer was brought to my attention. It is the recommendation of a current McLennan County Grand Jury that the following information be provided to the Texas Rangers for further investigation, if needed.

3/2/16 District Attorney receives anonymous letter alleging bribery. (Link)
This document is interesting because this is the first time the Anti-bribery statement comes up. That’s important later.
Interesting that the author states they fear retribution.

6/29/2016 Ranger Pena makes recommendation for full investigation for attempted bribery, a felony. (Link)
The really important thing to note here is how many people signed off on the recommendation. Note that each signature includes a note with the Ranger Chief approving the investigation.

7/6/16 Ranger interviews Jones. (Report) (Video)
Couple of things about the interview. Jones says he did it to save money. He also said his wife, an attorney, was involved in the decision. Jones, in his own words estimates he would save $40,000.00 if Matus dropped out. Listen to the statement about the District Attorney. Sounds like he believes the DA will fix it for him.

8/3/16 Appointment of presiding judge. (Appointment)
No motion to recuse 54th District Court Judge Matt Johnson has been found. While odd, the motion by the District Attorney addresses the issue.

8/9/16 E-mail from Ranger to AG about a conversation with Jones. (E-Mail)
It is interesting because it says Jones was concerned by the recusal of the local judge.

8/10/16 This is the motion by the DA and the Order signed by the judge GRANTING recusal of the DA. (Motion/Order)
This is the important part:
Although the undersigned is not disqualified to act in this matter as a matter of law, it would be in the best interest of justice and society to appoint an attorney pro tern because the Defendant is a County Commissioner for Precinct 3 in McLennan County, Texas and votes on budgetary and human resource matters brought before the Commissioner’s Court by the District Attorney’s Office.

2/3/17 Ranger sends e-mail to AG (Link)
From the e-mail:
There have been a couple anonymous phone calls to my office from McLennan County citizens expressing their concerns with Commissioner Jones. The rumor “around town” is Jones’ attorneys are going to get him off on a Misdemeanor, and Jones still feels like he did nothing wrong. The citizens feel like “politics” won again as Jones will go unpunished or the offense will be lessened. The callers are also upset about Jones intentionally swearing into office and signing certain forms.
Thinking those certain forms are the Anti-Bribery Statement. Why be obtuse if it was no issue?

3/21/17 AG files Information (Link)
Never see a black man charged by information.  Extra preferential treatment. Normal people just have a warrant issued and the police pick them up and put them in jail. This is so convoluted it took a while to figure out what happened.

3/21/17 Magistrate arraignment and Order (Link)
Nothing really interesting here. Normally it is a $2,000.00 bond for a Class A misdemeanor.

3/22/17 Ag sends e-mail to defense attorney outlining the plea offer. (Link)
Interesting part of the e-mail:
As I mentioned in our earlier meeting, as part of the deal Mr. Jones cannot plead no contest.
Apparently his attorney asked about pleading no contest and also asked about pre-trial intervention.

4/5/17 Complaint filed with AG. This was prior to Jones entering a plea. (Link)
This is a criminal complaint filed with the Ranger who forwarded it to the AG. The date is important and the complaint is the basis for complaints later found by a magistrate to be probable cause to support a warrant. As a result of this complaint, the AG called complainant and said they had looked at every aspect of possible charges and the engaging in organized criminal activity statute only applied to street gangs.

4/7/16 Follow-up to phone conversation with AG (Link)
It is interesting that there was never a response to this email and it was not furnished in response to a public information at request. Compare to Twin Peaks warrant.

5/5/17 Jones pleads guilty to Offering a Gift to Public Servant. (Link)

6/8/17 Complaints filed in Caldwell County and warrants issued. (Warrant 1, Warrant 2)
The powers that be lost it for a couple of reasons. Decide for yourself.
1. Everyone assumed only a police officer could file a complaint.
2. Everyone assumed only a local magistrate could make a probable cause determination.
Neither assumption is true but if it was true, it would make it much easier to take care of special people and cover up illegal activity.

6/9/17 Defense attorney notifies AG of new warrant. (Link)
This is where it gets predictably interesting.
Dunnam wrote to AG:
Gates, who was fired from the local Sheriff’s office, came to him this morning and gave him a copy of a complaint against Will Jones.
Gates left the Sheriff’s Office over a decade ago and was not fired. This is a blatant lie and attempt to deceive the AG.
Dunnam wrote:
Since this is an issue that we discussed and everyone looked at, I felt you should be made aware.
This is interesting. Now the question is, did the AG authorize Jones to commit a felony offense because they were sure they were the only people who could prosecute the offense. Did the AG allow him to commit a felony so he would enter a plea to a lesser, earlier offense? They did discuss it and were aware of the issue March 2nd 2016.
AG replied:
Also please let me know if they actually try to arrest Mr. Jones.
Wait, WHAT! The man is a convicted criminal and she is concerned about “Mr. Jones”
It gets better. Dunnam wrote to AG:
District Judge Judge Strother in Waco is going to consider the arrest of Will Jones in relation to 15.17d of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
What is 15.17d?
Art. 15.17. DUTIES OF ARRESTING OFFICER AND MAGISTRATE. (d) If a magistrate determines that a person brought before the magistrate after an arrest authorized by Article 14.051 of this code was arrested unlawfully, the magistrate shall release the person from custody.

Art. 14.051. ARREST BY PEACE OFFICER FROM OTHER JURISDICTION. (a) A peace officer commissioned and authorized by another state to make arrests for felonies who is in fresh pursuit of a person for the purpose of arresting that person for a felony may continue the pursuit into this state and arrest the person.
(b) In this article, “fresh pursuit” means a pursuit without unreasonable delay by a peace officer of a person the officer reasonably suspects has committed a felony.

So Strother used a statute written for out of state police officers to dismiss charges. The statute provides a means for and out of State office in fresh pursuit of a felon to make an arrest in Texas. Here, not only was there no fresh pursuit, there was no out of state police officer. It was a warrant. The AG was aware but no objection noted in response to a public information act request.

Remember this part from 8/10/16?
Although the undersigned is not disqualified to act in this matter as a matter of law, it would be in the best interest of justice and society to appoint an attorney pro tern because the Defendant is a County Commissioner for Precinct 3 in McLennan County, Texas and votes on budgetary and human resource matters brought before the Commissioner’s Court by the District Attorney’s Office.
This is what the Dunnam e-mail said:
I am told that the McLennan County Assistant DA Michael Jarrett will be there for the State. This is supposed to be at 10:00am this morning. The DA has not recused at this point, but I still felt it important to advise you.
Please consider the recusal of the DA was approved by a judge. The AG was aware of the recusal. The defense was aware of the recusal. You have to wonder how all of a sudden it was no longer in the interest of justice and society.

6/14/17 Motion filed with the judge who issued arrest warrants. (Link)
The issue of probable cause was actually determined in  an opinion of the 10th Court of Appeals in 2015. If you did not know, the 10th Court is in Waco and it was a Waco case decided.(Link)
From that opinion:
We reiterate that the affidavit does not have to establish the suspect’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or by a preponderance of the evidence.
As you can see above, they abandoned this plan. You have to wonder why. Did Strother step up to “Fix” it. Did Strother/DA/AG hatch a plan to “Help a brother out”? Why indeed? They could have run it by the Grand Jury who could of no-billed the charge. They didn’t and I think it is important to know why they chose to use a statute that was not applicable to to make two felony charges against the Commissioner go away.

6/17/17 Judge dismisses charges (Link to news report) (Other News report)

6/27/17 The manner in which the charges were made to go away was very questionable. I filed a request with the court for information. The court replied there were no responsive documents. (Link)

7/13/17 Strother pitches raise to Commissioners. (Video)
Strother says he has made the request before. No records exist of him making the request in the past.
Strother says he will allow the other Judges to make their case for raises. Later revealed he was making request for all staff of all District Courts.

7/15/17 Despite the cover-up by a district judge, the information turned up anyway. (Arraignment Form) (Warning)
Strother appears to take the position these are not judicial records but are court records not subject to Rule 12. The question a reasonable person would ask is, was there any doubt in the mind of the court what information was requested. If there was no doubt, why not make the information available? Why indeed?

8/10/17 Public hearing on the tax rate. The hearing is required by law. The County Judge believes 2-3 minutes is adequate to address a $100,000,000.00 budget.

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Even Kool-Aid has an expiration date

I found this post sufficiently funny to warrant a blog post.

I find it a little hard to believe this Kool-Aid is still being peddled to the Sheep. If they can avoid thinking about what is really going on by dismissing me then their safe place is, once again, a happy place.  At least the sheep could embrace something other than news from the turn of the century.

I think the latest spin is that Parnell did not give me a job. While some sources report I am unemployed, the reality is, I have not been unemployed since I started working. More Kool-Aid for the sheep.

The subject of debate on this post was the recently released video of the horrendous assault that took place in Chicago. It is horrific but now the perpetrators have been charged with a hate crime.

My point was, when an alleged hate crime happened in McLennan County, it made the front page of the paper but no one was brought to justice. In the last century, the police would have sought resolution. If a fraud, they would have exposed it. If true, they would have exposed the perpetrator.  My point was, by ignoring an allegation of a hate crime, the racial division was expanded. I think the police have the authority to stop the division. If you want to debate that, I can do that. If you want to dismiss the discussion by recycling expired Kool-Aid, just return to your safe place and be a good snowflake.

Jim Parks if fond of saying “You can’t wake someone who is pretending to be asleep.” If you are feeling froggy and want to dance, my profile is public. I am eager to discuss it. If not, got back to your safe place and drink your Kool-Aid.

Here is the original post and my reply.

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Plenty of money.

Saw this posted today and thought it was interesting.


This case was called the most expensive in McLennan County history. I don’t think there was ever a total cost published anywhere.


Same judge was involved in an interesting matter at the trial of a co-defendant of Love.


Here is the interesting part I remembered.


The DA breaking the law was, like the basis for the dismissal, about text messages. Here is part of the letter the DA sent to the Attorney General.


If they had gotten a warrant for text messages in the capitol murder case, the case would not have been dismissed. They thought public information would require a warrant.

Perhaps the DA should get some training related to text messages because they have kicked his ass now on two occasions.

Discuss it here

Photos above linked to articles where possible.

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Shhhh. It’s a secret.

Ran across this in the Trib today. I remembered I made an inquiry about it a few months ago.


KXXV report  /  Press Release courtesy

10th Court case involving Waco Narcotics and David Starr.

This is the correspondence from back then:


The response:


Do you believe information existed at the time of the request? This is the news article I included with the request.


On 3/7/16, I requested assistance from the Attorney General:


In April, I received this response:


Nine months on paid vacation. Good work if you can get it. This is why few people pursue public information. They make it VERY difficult. The main point is that some requests establish a baseline so when information turns up later, it gets very interesting.

Waco Criminal Attorney Blog


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This is how we got here.


I ran across this post on social media and it occurred to me this comment embraces exactly what is wrong with society today.

Here an educated person identifies a huge injustice and says they are happy about the injustice because it is favorable to them. Rallying against an injustice is difficult and may return criticism so the solution is to rationalize the injustice and simply move on. No need to get your hands dirty.

Just when you are safely on your way to your happy place of moral and intellectual superiority, some jerk stops by to question your path.


How to deal with Cognitive Dissonance? Don’t bother re-evaluating the problem, that ship has sailed. Now is the time to attack the source of the dissonance. It was previously stated fighting an injustice could have consequences so it is far better to attack anyone who threatens your happy place. Yea team.

One of my favorite activists shared the link below.  Worth the read and worthwhile to follow her social media posts.


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imageIt started by attending some training by Texas Carry in Hillsboro. One of the topics covered was Texas Preemption law Texas Local Government Code Sec. 229.001. This is the law that prevents a municipality from requiring you to get a million dollars liability insurance because you own a firearm. It is a statutory limitation on government.

imageThe guy who put on the training, Terry Holcomb Sr.,  was integral to the passage of HB 905 which modified the State Preemption law to include knives. Before the legislation was passed and took effect on Sept. 1st 2015, a person in possession of a common pocket knife might find themselves charged with an offense for violation of a city ordinance which made a lock-blade knife illegal. 

imageWhile doing some research for a different violation, I found McLennan County was violating the law by prohibiting access to the courthouse with a pocket knife.

What do you do when they are ignoring the law. The majority of people think you should just go along and do as you are told. Be reasonable. 

I filed notice with the Judge, his assistant, the Sheriff and all of the commissioners.

I provided links to the statute and the House Bill.


The only response received was in reference to the pending public information act requests. No acknowledgement of the allegation they were breaking the law. Wait, one Commissioner did respond and is looking into it. He is not one of the Commissioners who is up for re-election.

On 2/16/16, Commissioners’ Court was scheduled to meet.


I filed a public information act request for the detailed agenda. It is a pretty common request and since Commissioners voted to only meet half as often, should have been simple to get me the information.  Remember taxpayers got a huge bill for a new website and Commissioners said it was to make information more accessible. The detailed agenda is 490 pages and the Judge has to be compelled by law to give access to the public to this document.


I did not receive a response to my request for the detailed agenda. On 2/2/16, I went to the courthouse to follow-up on the outstanding request for public information and attend the meeting of the Commissioners’ Court.

I was denied access to a public meeting and denied access to public information. If the Legislature said they have no authority to make rules, ordinances, policies, laws related to my pocket knife, what else could it be?

Basically you have a director of Data Processing who has a 6 figure compensation package and still did not know for months back-ups were not being done. In fact, checking a little farther, the wrong information was being accessed and backed up.  They are covering up a major data breech, and allocation of taxpayer funds were actually funding the breech. A private company with no contact in place accessed records they were not authorized to access. That is a data breech.


You have to wonder why it took almost two years to discover the problem. The Judge had to be forced by law to make the detailed agenda available, he had to be forced by law to make the letter from the attorney available, he had to be forced by law to make the contract available. The County Judge prohibited me from accessing the information before the public meeting and when I attempted to access the public information and the meeting, they made up some rule to deny me access.

This is from the contract:


You have to wonder who was supposed to be reviewing the monthly monitoring reports?

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