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DA won’t bring charges against CM Jones

Houston Politics:

Harris County prosecutors who reviewed ethics complaints against City Councilwoman Jolanda Jones have concluded that criminal prosecution is not warranted.

In a letter to the City Attorney David Feldman the Harris County District Attorney’s Office said it had determined that “there is insufficient evidence to prove Ms. Jones committed a crime.”

The case was referred to the DA in July, a month after the OIG report cited her for using city employees to help run her personal law practice and instructing her staff not to meet with investigators looking into her alleged misconduct. There is still the ethics complaint pending, for which a three person panel has yet to issue its decision. According to Mayor Parker in a statement, that won’t happen till after the November election, so stay tuned. Mary Benton has more.

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12 Comments

  1. joshua bullard says:

    Of course she wasnt charged,she never was going to be charged,not by the harris county d.a for that matter.I thought it was a joke when i heard that attorney david feldman referred charges to the d.a s office because jolondas been working with all the lawyers in that building for over ten years”they all know each other”now if feldman would have referred to the “travis county da’s office”then you may have seen some charges filed against jolonda,but he didnt do that,he could have but he didnt.
    Everybody knows the county doesnt get involved in citypolitics and the d a rules it a political issue not a criminal one-rightfully so becuase its clearly a political issue-not a criminal issue,therefore i will spend the remaining portion of this statement on the non existant campaign of canidate jolonda jones.i dont know if everyones been living under a rock the last couple of months but jolonda doesnt have even one campaign sign city wide,shes not making any campaign appearences at all,shes effectlly not campaigning.this is my take,shes got over a hundred and fifty thousand in campaign funds”at the ready” i think she thinks she will let her name stand alone on the ballot and see if she wins-not spending the contributions-the problem with that theory is the d a wont come a looking but the feds will-just ask jerry eversole hell tell ya,therefore i quess i better be the first to break the news to council member jolondas jones-here goes-spend every penny of campaign funds you got and i mean every penny,put sighns all over the city,by radio time maybe even a tv commercial and when every penny is gone and you dont have to worry about the feds looking for where the money went,then have a huge election night party on the eigth floor of one park place plaza by the four seasons and let the chips fall where they may.
    “jo”everybodys watching this time,make it count
    respectfully submmitted joshua ben bullard

  2. Paul Kubosh says:

    Charles,

    Once again you cover the news no one else seems to want to do. Good workl

  3. Jules says:

    According to the Chronicle, Jones says “I am again asking that the Review Panel bring this matter to a close.”

    Parker says “However, it is my recommendation that the three-member panel looking into the ethics questions not resume deliberations until after the November election. I view this option as the fairest way to avoid any unintended interference or undue influence in the political process. ”

    If Jones wants the Review Panel to continue before the election, they should. I’m not sure why Parker thinks keeping this open makes the election more fair.

    Let’s get this behind us.

  4. JJ says:

    Jules — Seems to me that Parker is thinking about her reelection, not Jones’s. Parker is the deciding vote on the panel. The complainant’s representative votes to send it to Council, Jones’ representative votes NOT to send it to City Council, thus Parker gets to decide. And if it goes to Council, Parker has to figure out how to run things while the whole electorate watches her. Believe me, her campaign staff don’t want any voters to watch a City Council session run by Parker. Try it sometime. It’s a world away from Bill White.

    To my reading, the Panel was put in place to review complaints that come in out of the blue, from some third party or from another Council Member acting alone. Some former City-employed staffer puts in a complaint, “this Council Member made me hand out campaign literature from 9am to 5pm on a Tuesday when I should have been working at City Hall.”

    This complaint against Jones came not from the technical complainant (CM Sullivan, apparently acting because he felt he had to as Chair of the Ethics Committee) but rather from a written report by the Inspector General concluding that there had been violations.

    In my mind, it is 100% clear that the Panel should refer it to the City Council. That should take about 5 minutes to decide. It’s an Inspector General report!

    However, I am not sure which way Parker would go since I am sure she would focus on the politics of it — and not on the ethics/integrity/morals, etc. — but I’d bet the farm that she absolutely doesn’t want to decide right now!

  5. Jules says:

    JJ – I think you are exactly right. Parker is postponing this to help her own re-election. I have seen her in council in person and on the Council video several times. I don’t know why people like her so much.

  6. robert kane says:

    Honestly, I haven’t followed this that much, but to me on the surface it seems like making phone calls while at your job or sending a fax…..or a million faxes come on… let’s look at Congress or the Senate,no?

    I have always said I don’t agree with everything Jo does but she does represent her constituency and I respect her for that as much as I disagree with her most of the time

  7. Jules says:

    Robert – yes, I think Jo Jones for the most part represents the people. Parker, for the most part, represents business (for example, giving Walmart a $6M+ tax break while she and her staff misrepresent the 380 contract to Council and the public).

  8. JJMB says:

    Jules — I disagree re Parker as a business stooge. I think she just screws up everything she does, regardless which constituency she is trying to curry favor with at any given time. For example, with the Port appointment, that was a classic labor union, liberal Dem “for the people” move that went against “business”. But she was wrong to try to take over what is by law the Council’s appointment, she was wrong to try to remove the only Latino, wrong to try to remove one of two women (the labor replacement was white and male), wrong to remove someone who Port watchers thought was smart and paying attention, wrong to try to “buy” votes of Council Members by promising them “goodies”…

    More accurately, criticism if her should be that she is usually on the wrong side of an issue due to a misplaced and mistimed desperate attempt to keep a group voting for her so she can rack up the pension credit years (she gets 2 for every year of service thanks to an amendment she proposed and got passed), keep flying around the US on first class trips, and keep pretending that she is a “leader” and a smart person. More and more who have seen her up close have figured out that she is neither if those last two things.

  9. Jules says:

    JJMB – Parker may not be a business stooge in general – just a stooge for Walmart. I am pretty well informed about the Ainbinder (Heights Walmart) 380 but not about a lot of other issues. In that case, she is firmly on the side of Walmart and against the residents of the area.

    I can’t tell if she isn’t smart or if she just lies to get her way. Less than a week before the Ainbinder 380 was placed on the Council Agenda, she went on the radio and called it “interest free”. The interest rate on the Ainbinder 380 will be at least 4.25% and as high as 10% (it could possibly be higher).

    This wasn’t some obsure little ordinance – this was an ordinance she held 2 public meetings about. This was an ordinance that she said over and over that we went to the developer, the developer didn’t come to us – she initiated this 380 agreement.

    This radio interview was linked from the City’s Koehler Street Development web site (the City’s site to promote the Ainbinder 380) until they took the website down (some time after the Council vote), even though Parker staffer Tim Douglass was informed about this “error” the morning after the interview.

  10. […] can see the panel report at the link above. Last week, the DA declined to bring charges against CM Jones in the matter, so this was the last item on the to do list. At the time, Mayor […]

  11. Scarlett O'Dell says:

    Our DA protects her buddies and buries her head in the sand on felonie for her friends. Vote mike Anderson! Show Lykos door!