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Once more with more prosecutors

This time, it might work.

Kim Ogg

The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is asking county commissioners once again for more prosecutors to handle fallout from the botched Houston drug raid that left a Pecan Park couple dead earlier this year.

The latest $1.96 million funding request that will go to Commissioners Court for consideration Tuesday would add 10 positions to the office, including seven felony chief prosecutors and three investigators housed in the Civil Rights Division.

“What leaders fund speaks to what they think is important and our investigation of the Harding Street shootings is one of the most significant matters we have seen in decades,” District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement to the Houston Chronicle. “Community trust depends on us getting to the truth sooner than later; we need to add experienced prosecutors to our Civil Rights Division to handle an investigation this deep and wide.”

[…]

Already, it seems the latest proposed expansion may have more support from the politicians who hold the county’s purse strings. Previously, two Republican commissioners generally voiced their support for adding prosecutors, but this time Democrats look poised to back it as well.

“I’m proud that the district attorney and I have reached common ground in working with an independent consultant to help create a strategy that fosters public confidence in our criminal justice system,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia said. “This additional resource is critical to supporting our law enforcement officers.”

Similarly, Precinct 1 Commissioner Rodney Ellis — who opposed the request last time around — said he will back it.

“The Harding Street tragedy raises concerns that are bigger than one officer — it’s about an entire system that needs to be held accountable,” he said. “I have worked with the DA to ensure this new request includes robust oversight by an independent third party to identify the failed safeguards that allowed for any miscarriage of justice to occur.”

See here for the previous update. If nothing else, it looks like Ogg took to heart the reasons why her previous asks were rejected. She’s already got the two Republican commissioners in line, so passage appears assured, and it’s just a matter of whether or not Judge Lina Hidalgo makes it unanimous. (Also of note: unlike the previous times, I’ve not gotten an email from the ACLU or TOP opposing the request.) Assuming nothing unexpected happens and this does go through, I’ll be very interested to see what they turn up. I feel confident saying there’s more to that botched raid than we know about right now.

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2 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    She could keep Amir Mireskandari on the books, looks like he’s helped out a lot, or maybe he’s a GAMBLE! HA!

  2. Bill_Daniels says:

    Looks like Ogg got her wish:

    https://www.click2houston.com/news/ogg-adds-10-to-staff-investigating-botched-harding-street-raid

    I guess I just don’t understand why investigations like this take so long. You process the crime scene, you take statements from anyone left who is still alive, you do a heavy dive into their backgrounds, you interview the neighbors, investigate the dead……how long does all this really take, and why is this work being duplicated over and over? The Texas Rangers purportedly are working on this. Seems like they should be taking the lead here, with HPD and Ogg’s office being briefed along the way, as necessary.

    HPD seems to have disqualified itself already. As to the D.A.’s office, if they are dependent on HPD for the evidence, they seem to be disqualified, too. The D.A.’s investigators didn’t find those remaining slugs, either. Their people couldn’t even be bothered to dig out all the bullets lodged in the home’s walls. I’m supposed to trust HPD and the HCDA’s office after that?