Rep. Reynolds convicted of six misdemeanors

He actually got off easy since he was facing felony charges.

Rep. Ron Reynolds

A Montgomery County jury Friday found state Rep. Ron Reynolds guilty of six counts of misdemeanor solicitation of professional employment – a lesser charge than the felony barratry charge he faced.

Reynolds stood and stared straight ahead as state District Judge Lisa Michalk read the verdict. The case is now in the punishment phase, and will continue Monday morning, almost a week after the Missouri City Democrat was re-elected to a third House term.

Prosecutor Kelly Blackburn declined to comment, stating that the case is still ongoing.

Reynolds declined comment after his conviction, referring questions to his attorney, Vivian King.

“I am not happy with it because I still believe there was no intent. It should have been a ‘not guilty’ verdict,” King said.

Her client last fall was arrested in a sting operation along with seven other Houston-area attorneys. All were accused of participating in an “ambulance chasing for profit” scheme that revolved around a four-time felon, Robert Ramirez Valdez of Conroe.

Attorneys for Reynolds said Friday’s jury conviction of six counts of misdemeanor solicitation of professional employment would not bar him from continuing to serve on the state Legislature.

See here and here for the background. I like Rep. Reynolds personally, and he’s been good on the issues, but this is unacceptable. It’s not the first time he’s faced charges of this nature; the first time the case was dropped due to some problems with the lead investigator. As my high school band director used to say, once is a mistake and twice is a habit. This is a bad habit for any lawyer to have, let alone an elected representative. My advice to Rep. Reynolds would be to announce that this is his last term in office, then spend the extra time he will have after the spring getting his ethical affairs in order.

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