Friday, June 13, 2008

Republican Scandal Plagues Harris County Government

Today, a group of Harris County Democratic candidates held a
press conference to call for new leadership and an end to the scandal and
corruption that has plagued county government under Republican control.

"Our county government is in crisis due to the unethical actions of several public officials. These Republican officeholders have cost Harris County taxpayers millions of dollars in law suits and legal fees and eroded the public's confidence in our county government," said David Mincberg, Democratic candidate for Harris County Judge. "The only way to clean up Harris County government is to bring in new leadership that will be accountable to the public."

Over the past several months, a number of Harris County Republican officials have been mired in scandal:
* District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal recently resigned amid ethics allegations that include using official resources for campaign activity, the exchange of racist and sexually explicit emails on his government computer, as well as amorous emails to his administrative assistant, who had use of county car and received $11,000 a year raise.

* County Commissioner Jerry Eversole is under investigation by the District Attorney and FBI over whether he used political contributions for personal benefit, including a golf trip to Florida, clothes and gym membership, as well as the use of office resources for campaign activity.

* Sheriff Tommy Thomas has cost the county millions in legal fees for his department's numerous violations of Harris County residents' civil liberties. And his office his poised to cost taxpayers millions more in a new law suit over improper surveillance on the Ibarra brothers who had filed a complaint against the department -- even though they were not suspects in any crime.

* County Judge Ed Emmett has failed to take any steps to reign in the rampant corruption and unethical activity within county government. In the wake of all of this scandal, Emmett commissioned an ethics task force to report back 90 days from February 13th. As the 90 day deadline passed, Ed Emmett told the Houston Chronicle he had forgotten about the ethics report. [5/14/08]
"Those who enforce the law must first obey the law, and we have seen clear examples of current office holders not following the law," said District Attorney candidate and former Police Chief C.O. "Brad" Bradford. "It's time for a change from business as usual in Harris County. Time to take sexism, racism, religious persecution and willful violations of court orders out of our county government. We need change you can trust to obey the law, respect the principle of justice and pursue the truth."

Mincberg and Bradford were joined by Adrian Garcia, candidate for County Sheriff; Diane Trautman, candidate for Tax Assessor-Collector; Vince Ryan, candidate for County Attorney and Loren Jackson, candidate for District Clerk.

For more information on the Harris County Republican scandal, visit:

Harris County Democratic PartyPress release by Amber Moon.

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