Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

US Judge, TX AG in scrap over seized records lost

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:22 AM
Original message
US Judge, TX AG in scrap over seized records lost
Corpus Christi Caller-Times. Emphasis mine:

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack is incensed at Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott for seizing X-rays, some of which are now missing, that are key to federal and state investigations into potentially fraudulent diagnoses of the lung disease silicosis.

Jack made national headlines last year when she issued an opinion that the majority of more than 10,000 silicosis lawsuits before her were about litigation rather than medical care and that the "diagnoses were driven neither by health nor justice: they were manufactured for money."

...

Four armed agents from Abbott's office visited the storage facility where thousands of X-rays related to the case were being housed on behalf of the federal court with a subpoena June 23, threatening to arrest the storage supervisor if he did not turn them over.

When Jack learned July 5 that the state attorney general's office had removed the X-rays, she ordered the office to return them by noon the following day, according to court records. Forty boxes of X-rays came back, but an inventory by records custodian Gary Cosgrove showed that 152 X-rays are missing.

"Let me tell you that real, real clearly. It may be a criminal matter, and we're going to have to turn this over to the appropriate people," Jack said during an Aug. 11 telephone hearing that included representatives from Abbott's office. "The arrogance of taking those documents from a federal court supervised depository is astounding. You all took documents that did not belong to you, under - with armed guards."


(FYI: DUer David Van Os, labor lawyer and co-founder of the Texas Progressive Populist Caucus, is Greg Abbott's November opponent.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. This is what happens when you have 1 party government
Arrogance, a sense that you can get away with anything and a lack of accountability because there is no organized opposition party, much less one that holds bases of institutional power.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It goes beyond one party government
When the Dems were in control of Texas there was a lot of corruption, too, but there was always a faction of the Democratic Party that stood up to the crooked half--people like Ralph Yarborough. The Repubs don't even have an opposition side within their own party. Between Bush and Tom DeLay, they took over their own party first, and the state second. There is no one to tell them they have done anything wrong. They make the Mafia look like petty criminals.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:48 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Funny you should mention Yarborough
Ronnie Dugger, the founder of the Texas Observer, said of David Van Os:

"David, in my carefully considered personal judgment, is the Ralph Yarborough of his generation."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. I knew Ralph Yarborough, I worked for Ralph Yarborough, I was close
personal friends with Yarborough (not really, but I had to stick with the Bentsen paraphrase :) . I worked for Yarborough for about a year, just before he died)...

There's some truth to that. There are some differences in personality, but DVO has that same straightforward honesty and the populist message of Yarborough. I only hope DVO has as illustrious a career as RWY. Yarborough was an assistant Attorney General in Texas when WW II broke out, IIRC, and he left to go fight (never fought, but he played a prominent role in the reconstruction of Japan). When he came back he ran for AG, and came in third. He ran for governor three times, losing each time by a smaller margin. Many historians (and Yarborough himself) believe he won the third time by about 30K votes, but that the state simply announced that Daniels had won by 9K (before BBV, too). Daniels had left the US Senate to run for governor because Yarborough was out-polling Shivers (the incumbent), and the conservatives in charge of the Party didn't want Yarborough to win anything. So when Yarborough lost, he ran for the Senate seat Daniels had vacated, and held it for 13 years, until he was unseated by Bentsen in a nasty primary (in a reversal of CT this year, Yarborough was beaten because of his anti-war stance, and his liberal Civil Rights positions).

Point is, Yarborough was 54 before he won his first elected office. I don't know how old DVO is, but he's got time, and he's got the energy. He'll make a great governor, or Senator, one of these days.

BTW, I've met Ronnie Dugger, too, but he wouldn't remember me. He's a customer sometimes where I work, and we had a brief discussion over something once. I only remember him because my boss introduced us. I've met DVO a couple of times when I ran a political club in Austin, but I don't know if he'd remember me--it was a few years ago. Wow, I almost get around! Well, I used to, before I became a recluse.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #14
17. That's a nice reminiscence
DVO is 56, and Ronnie is pissed that Molly Ivins has endorsed Kinky Friedman, FWIW.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 04:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. The Sopranos ain't got nothin' on the Republicans in Texas
They've been brazenly violating every law that steps between them and their illegal bribes since Bush took office. I doubt they even realize there are laws they are supposed to follow anymore. The whole party thinks it's Judge Roy Bean, who claime he WAS the law.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
luckyleftyme2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:22 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. AIN'T CHANGED A BIT IN 50 YEARS

I don't know why your so upset,been going on for 50 years i know of,just different generation
running it.
people that have never lived there are unaware how corrupt this state is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 06:26 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. Fact.
They have always done whatever they wanted to whoever they wanted without repercussion. It has worked very well for them.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. It's gotten worse.
When the Dems ran things, there was always an opposition branch to the party to try to keep it honest. Didn't completely work, but it helped. There is no opposition anymore.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ananda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:45 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I think of the Sopranos as..
.. a metaphor for America.

The entire country just finds itself enamored with the mob mentality.

People -love- the Sopranos. I find them very disturbing and creepy.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
MagickMuffin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 05:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. These guys are the worst liars EVER.....

The state attorney general's office says it had a right to the records and that there was not enough of a system in place to track the documents or to tell when something was missing, according to transcripts of the Aug. 11 hearing.

While in state custody, the X-rays were kept under lock and key, said Jerry Strickland, the attorney general's spokesman.

"The office of the attorney general is conducting an ongoing criminal investigation," he said. "Two Texas grand juries issued criminal subpoenas ordering that records be turned over to investigators from the office of the attorney general. Relevant records were produced pursuant to valid grand jury subpoenas, and all records were returned to the document repository."

In the transcript of the Aug. 11 hearing, Cosgrove explained that the inventory was conducted by comparing the X-rays returned by the attorney general's office with an Excel spreadsheet prepared jointly by plaintiffs and defendants. He says 152 of them are missing.


Kept under LOCK and KEY, then where the HELL did they disappear too. Seems as though Abbott is protecting someone....
His spokesman also claimed that there wasn't enough of a tracking system in place to track the documents or to tell when something was missing, yet apparently there was according to Cosgrove who discovered the missing X-rays.

These guys are the worst liars EVER.....


Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:17 AM
Response to Original message
8. Yeah, right, "lost"...nt
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 08:25 AM
Response to Original message
9. Paging David Van Os...paging David Van Os...
Milk this for all it's worth. Wheelchair or no, Abbott is no Max Cleland. Time to take him down at the ballot box.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
13. Already in action, Derb:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Czolgosz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
11. Please send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Sample letter:
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sent armed men to take critical evidence from a federal court's secure evidence locker. Now Abbott has lost 152 important pieces of evidence which will ruin the chance to prosecute criminal activity and which will ruin some people's right to seek justice in civil courts.

When Abbott was injured by a falling tree branch, Abbott sued for millions of dollars. Since getting his own millions, Abbott has fought against Texans who want the same access to the civil justice system that made Abbott a millionaire. Now, Abbott has lost critical evidence that will spoil civil cases and criminal prosecutions. How would Abbott have felt if some arrogant public official lost the evidence Abbott needed to prove his multi-million dollar lawsuit against a homeowner who had untrimmed tree branches on his property?

Please tell Abbott that he must stop the political grandstanding which has resulted in this evidence tampering and which has caused Texas citizens to pay for lawyers to defend the illegal Tom DeLay ballot scandal. Instead, Abbott should spend his time representing us against the predatory oil and gas pricing, protecting us against insurance monopolies, and investigating complaints against Texas Residential Construction Commission.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
warrens Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 09:50 AM
Response to Original message
12. Wonder how many of these were from prominent Repukes
I bet the 152 missing are not at random. I bet they were selected to prevent embarassment for connected repukes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
druidity33 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-21-06 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. nah...
probably just the ones that most clearly illustrated fraud and who gained from it... ok yeah, probably the Rethugs who didn't want to be embarassed/prosecuted. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lavenderdiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
18. kicked...
P- I wanted to recommend, but I missed the timeline; I'm sorry! Great story, and being from Texas, I think this story needs to be seen far and wide!! :hi:

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
19. Why did the storage supervisor allow it to happen?
He had to know those were under federal lockup.

Since when do state trump federal?

At the very least he should had made a phone immediately and let them decide what to do.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Four armed TxOAG agents threatened to arrest him
if he did not release the records. For some reason this news took two weeks to reach Judge Jack (from June 23 to July 5):

http://www.nysun.com/article/38133?access=254630

She ordered the records returned within 24 hours, and the OAG complied, but "lost" 152 of the X-rays.

That's the real story at this point, because on deconstruct, why would a rabid GOP Attorney General be investigating claims of possibly bogus diagnoses of silicosis (if you aren't following this, then take a moment and go read the articles).

He's not doing it for the poor Texans and other folks in the US who have a lung disease, I assure you. It can't be to advance the cause of, say, the trial lawyers in the 10,000 cases; those are almost always Democratic donors (who haven't donated shit to the David Van Os campaign, FWIW).

He could be protecting the doctors who made the diagnoses by X-ray (which I am told, is impossible. Asbetosis can be diagnosed by X-ray, but not silicosis.) And there are quite a few physicians on Abbott's donor lists.

But if this is accurate, then he has unquestionably damaged his re-election prospects with a brazen and blatantly-unethical-at-best power play on behalf of his campaign contributors.

I knew Abbott was stupid and partisan, but even this is ridiculous.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Sgent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 09:17 AM
Response to Original message
20. One of my great goals in life
is to avoid pissing off a lifetime appointed federal district judge.

This guy could be locked up for contempt... while in office and w/o a real trial. Sure he could appeal -- and win -- and be locked up all over again on more contempt charges.

Seeing how the State of TX probably has more than one case in front of her...

I just can't think of what kind of idiocy had to enter this person's head to demand documents under federal court seal be released to him -- or arrest the federal custodian.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fed-up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:12 PM
Response to Original message
22. Just learned about silicosis in "Trust Us, We're Experts" by authors of
"Toxic Sludge is Good For You", Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber and the cover-up of the "Hawk's Nest" deaths in West Virginia in the 1930's


http://www.answers.com/topic/hawk-s-nest-incident
Directory > Reference > Wikipedia > Hawk's Nest incident
Hawk's Nest incident
The Hawk's Nest Incident involved injuries and deaths as the result of the construction of the Hawk's Nest Tunnel near Gauley Bridge, West Virginia as part of a hydroelectric project. The three mile tunnel, diverting the New River under Gauley Mountain, was constructed by Union Carbide beginning in 1927. In the tunnel, they discovered silica and the workers were asked to mine this valuable mineral used in the electroprocessing of steel, but were not given masks for protection, even though management wore such masks during the short times they visited for inspection. As a result, many workers, mostly poor and African American, died from silicosis, sometimes as quickly as within a single year. There are no definitive statistics, but several sources agree that resulting fatalities probably totalled approximately 700 of the 2000 workers.



http://www.prwatch.org/books/experts.html
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-22-06 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. There are few mines or miners in Texas
There are, however, several large corporations in Texas that own mines. As important friends of his, I still don't think that's who Greg Abbott is trying to protect, IMHO.

If the silicosis diagnoses are bogus, then the companies owning the source of the silica are off the hook. The nine doctors who made the diagnosis in over ten thousand cases, however...

Still trying to follow the money here.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-23-06 06:02 AM
Response to Original message
24. "a shocking level of arrogance and disrespect"
The attorney general of the state of Texas has exhibited a total disregard for the rule of law.

U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack

Im not surprised. Greg Abbott is part of the silk-stocking social clique that runs Texas government as if it were their private club.

David Van Os

According to a widely reported story, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbotts office forcibly removed x-ray records that were part of pending federal court cases from the federal courts storage facility without the permission of the judge, and 152 of the x-rays have now gone missing.

Abbott sent armed agents to the facility where the records are being stored by the federal court. The agents brought a subpoena and threatened the storage supervisor with arrest if he didnt cooperate. Greg Abbott is a lawyer and an officer of the courts; seizing court records from the courts storage facility without consulting the presiding judge demonstrated a shocking level of arrogance and disrespect, said David Van Os, Democratic candidate for Attorney General and Abbotts challenger in this years general elections.

When Judge Jack learned of the removal of the records on July 5, she ordered Abbott to return the x-rays by the next day at noon. When the records custodian reviewed the records that Abbott returned, he found that 152 x-rays were missing.

Judge Jack was not amused by the Attorney Generals conduct, as quoted from transcripts of an August 11th hearing she conducted:

The arrogance of taking those documents from a federal court-supervised depository is astounding. The attorney general of the state of Texas has exhibited a total disregard for the rule of law by doing this. ...These are peoples personal x-raysand because of the Attorney General of the State of Texas malfeasance, theyre gone.


Van Os, who is taking his whistlestop tour to all 254 Texas counties and speaking in public at every county courthouse, said further:

"Im not surprised by this arrogant conduct. Greg Abbott is part of the silk-stocking social clique that runs Texas government as if it were their private club. This it the same Greg Abbott who lets the Texas Department of Transportation hide its contracts with foreign companies, who uses the taxpayers money to file legal briefs and maps on behalf of the Republican Party, who employs Tom Delays cronies, and who refuses to challenge the oil companies on behalf of the people of Texas. Seizing and then losing working peoples personal medical records from a court file is par for his course.


This kind of thing wont happen when Im Attorney General, Van Os continued. The Texas Attorney Generals office will belong to the public and serve the public as the framers of the Texas Constitution intended.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Mon Sep 22nd 2014, 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Latest Breaking News Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC