Voices Empower
 

Truth v. Fiction: Judge John Devine v. Medina

by Donna Garner

Judge John Devine is running against Judge David Medina in the upcoming July 31, 2012 run-off for Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court (TSC), Place 4.  Every Texan will have to make a choice between these two men because this is a statewide run-off race, and their names will appear on every Texan’s ballot.  Early voting starts on July 23 – 27 with the final voting on July 31, 2012.

Yesterday Conservatives in Action (CIA) sent out a damaging piece against Judge John Devine (http://redsonja-conservativesinaction.blogspot.com/2012/07/foreclosure-reprimanded-for-judicial.html).  Some of the content was “she said, he said” allegations based upon personal opinions and hearsay.

However, I felt the following CIA accusations did warrant some further research on my part; and here are my findings:

CIA QUOTE AND ACCUSATION:  “The supposedly ‘drunk driving’ charge was in reality an improper lane change and Justice Medina denied the charge of ‘drunk driving’ and exercised his constitutional right to a jury trial.  He told me that a video showed that he was not drunk and that he had made an improper lane change.”

MY RESEARCH: I have carefully researched David Medina, and it is very clear that his problems involved much more than a “lane change.”  I used a broad array of credible sources, listed them for verification purposes at the end of my article, and published it on 6.14.12 — “Judge John Devine Is a Divine Candidate.”

To read the full article, please go to:http://libertylinked.com/posts/9928/judge-john-devine-is-a-divine/View.aspx

I have excerpted portions of that article that scrutinize David Medina’s very troubling background and have enclosed that portion at the bottom of this page.

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CIA QUOTE AND ACCUSATION: “I spoke to Sam Harless husband of State Representative District 126 Patricia Harless.  This is what he told me.  State Representative Harless ran against Devine in 2006.  During the campaign Devine wrote a despicable letter and addressed it to Sam Harless accusing Patricia Harless of having an affair and that their son was not Sam’s son.  This was not the only allegation that Devine accused Sam and Patricia Harless of doing.  But this one was the most shameful and sinful accusation.  Do we really want this vile perennial candidate Devine to sit on the Texas Supreme Court?  Absolutely NOT!”

MY RESEARCH: When I asked Judge Devine about the “despicable letter” that he is accused by Sam Harless of sending, Judge Devine said, “Sam Harless needs to produce the original copy of the letter because I nor my campaign staff would ever send such a hurtful letter.”

After Judge Devine and I got off the phone yesterday, he and his campaign manager, Elvie Kingston, tried to remember the details of the 2006 campaign.  Elvie recalled that she had tried at one point to get Sam Harless to realize that it was his own sister-in-law who had sent the letter about Patricia Harless.  A tape recording of the sister-in-law’s confession had been made; but when Elvie tried to get Sam to listen to the recording, he refused repeatedly to do so.Bottom line: The “despicable letter” was sent to Sam Harless by his sister-in-law and did not come from Devine or anyone associated with his campaign.

More research — In 2006 John Devine ran against Patricia Harless for the Texas House, District 126.  (Devine lost 47.75% to Harless’ 52.25% in the 2006 Republican primaries.) It was during that heated election that Patricia Harless’ automobile dealership came under scrutiny because of the many lawsuits (found in the court records) against the Harless Dealership.

To buy a car in Texas, a person has to have a Social Security number and a Drivers’ License.  The Harless Dealership was accused of taking illegal immigrants to the local flea market where they would purchase stolen cards for $200 or $300 to use in the purchase of vehicles. Then the Harless Dealership would charge the illegals a significant down payment for in-house financing at an extravagant sum. Since the illegals were paying week-by-week, the first time that they would miss one payment, the Harless Dealership would sweep in, repossess the car, and turn right around and sell that same car, executing this type of scam three or four times in one month.

Judge John Devine was very upset that vulnerable and uneducated illegals were being scammed by the greedy dealership Patricia Harless operated. When Devine, during the House campaign, objected publicly to the fact that the Harless Dealership was flying the Mexican national flag over their businesses to attract unsuspecting customers, Patricia Harless immediately took the flags down.

Patricia Harless is a member of Texas Lawsuit Reform (TLR), and they are the ones accusing John Devine (a trial judge) of trying to get rid of tort reform. As Judge Devine has stated publicly, “I as a judge have no authority over the tort reform laws. That is the legislature’s responsibility. Mine is to follow the law.” Evidently various people keep trying to get Judge Devine to give an opinion on tort reform law; but as a judge, he must not express his views on that issue one way or another because he would then be accused of making prejudicial decisions in his courtroom. ==================

CIA QUOTE AND ACCUSATION:  “Sam Harless emphasized that ‘Devine has no morals, no integrity’ and that he needs a job because his house was foreclosed…According to Harless this information is common knowledge…Devine was sued by American Express Centurion Bank and the American Express Centurion Bank won the suit.  Devine appealed to the Court of Appeals Ninth District of Texas at Beaumont and the results were basically the same.”

MY RESEARCH: During the campaign of 2008, unbeknown to the Devines, their sensitive information had been stolen by an employee of Countrywide Mortgage who then sold the information to Black market credit thieves – not once but four times because the Devines had four mortgages on various properties.

Meanwhile, Nubia Gomez (John Devine’s wife who was born in Venezuela and grew up in Colombia) was carrying a high-risk pregnancy which resulted in the death of their little baby Elizabeth. (The Devines have six surviving children:

During the time that the Devine family was reeling with grief over the loss of Elizabeth, they experienced several hundred thousand dollars in unauthorized credit purchases and theft of their investments as a result of the identity theft committed by the employee of Countrywide Mortgage.

The attorneys who were suing Bank of America (the bank that acquired Countrywide’s assets) invited the Devines to join the class action lawsuit.  The Devines declined, choosing instead to let the Bank of America buy back their home via an agreed foreclosure proceeding because the maximum recovery in the class action was limited to $50,000, and the liability of the house was far greater.  Bottom line:  The Devines did not have their house foreclosed on “because they needed a job” as charged by Sam Harless.

More research – The court records show that the American Express case came back from the Court of Appeals with John Devine winning on one of the two points of contention. This case relates back to the I. D. theft previously explained.

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CIA QUOTE AND ACCUSATION:  “The Law firm that Devine represents or represented Woodfill & Pressler LLP in Houston, is being sued for 30M.  And for some reason the entire law firm is being sued. Appears to me that what people are saying about Devine is backed by evidence that he ‘lives paycheck to paycheck’ and his behavior of resigning his 190th District Court bench without any explanation is irresponsible to the people that voted for him.  When Devine walked off the job in 2002 he had been in office since 1996.  He left his bench without notice and packed his ‘bags’ which included valuable pieces of art and antiquities valued at about $40,000 all bought with campaign funds.”

MY RESEARCH: First of all, John Devine does not own Woodfill & Pressler LLP law firm and is certainly not responsible for the decisions made by the partners in that firm. John Devine did work on a few cases with Mr. Woodfill but had no authority over the decisions made by the firm.      Secondly, in 2002 Judge Devine had been the District Judge (190th) for eight years. In his  eighth year, he decided it was time for a change.  As stated by John Devine, “ I gave the Governor two weeks’ notice, and the legal community was well aware of my planned departure for weeks ahead of time to run for County Attorney.  It is a law that any District Judge must step down before running for a non-judicial position.”

Thirdly, because it is perfectly legal for a judge to decorate his court room with items bought with campaign funds, Judge Devine decided to decorate his court room with different kinds of meaningful flags and Constitutional memorabilia. He then donated these items to be auctioned off by pregnancy crisis centers – e.g., Tomball Crisis Pregnancy Center, Brenham Crisis Pregnancy Center – to help these centers raise money for their pro-life cause.

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EXCERPTS ABOUT DAVID MEDINA’S TROUBLING PAST FROM MY 6.14.12 ARTICLE:

*The documentation is appended at the end of the article for verification purposes.

 DAVID MEDINA’S DUBIOUS RECORD 

In June 2002, Medina was pulled over by a Harris County Constable and almost hit the deputy’s car.  Medina refused to identify himself, smelled of alcohol, could not walk steadily, failed the eye-movement test, and refused to take a breath test.

Medina got himself a high-priced lawyer (Rusty Hardin), pled guilty to a lesser offense, and only had to pay $500.

Then in 2008 a grand jury returned felony indictments against Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife.  Mrs. Medina was accused of setting a blaze with an accelerant found in their garage that caused almost $1 Million worth of damage to three homes in their Spring, Texas, neighborhood, including their own 5,000 sq. foot home.

What made investigators suspicious is that the Medinas had been sued in June 2006 by a mortgage company. The suit was filed because the family had missed five months of payments. The investigators also learned that the Medinas owed $1,900 in fees to their homeowners’ association.

In a November interview with the AP, the Medina’s financial problems were publicly revealed. Ironically, the losses from the fire were not covered because unbeknownst to the Medinas, the homeowners insurance policy had lapsed.  After the fire, the Medinas sold their home in Spring and moved to Austin, Texas.

For this felony, Mrs. Medina’s bail was set at $20,000.  TSC Judge David Medina was indicted for tampering with evidence (a felony), and his bail was set at $5,000. Dick De Guerin was Mrs. Medina’s lawyer.

To show how politically rotten this whole situation became, the District Attorney (Charles A. Rosenthal, Jr.  — also a Republican) decided to dismiss the grand jury’s indictments because of a procedural error made by the DA’s office.

By law, grand jury deliberations must be kept secret; but the jury foreman did state, “The testimony of the arson investigator is what we went on…Draw your own conclusion if it was sufficient.”

Both the grand jury foreman and the assistant foreman (an experienced civil trial lawyer) said the DA’s office had already decided beforehand to oppose the indictments against the Medinas. The foreman stated, “If this was David Medina,  truck driver of Baytown, Texas, he would have been indicted three months ago.”

Even though the grand jury had returned guilty indictments against both the Medinas, the DA’s office managed to get the judge to void the grand jury’s vote. To keep the grand jury members from telling their side, the prosecutor placed an injunction over them that gagged them from talking under threat of jail time.

Ironically, District Attorney Rosenthal himself was later forced to leave office because of love notes and sexually explicit messages sent from his office.

DAVID MEDINA BREAKS CAMPAIGN LAWS

In 2001, 2002, and 2003 David Medina chose not to comply with the campaign finance laws. In 2008, the Texas Ethics Commission brought ethics complaints against Medina because he improperly paid himself $57,000 from campaign funds. He escaped with a fine of $35,000. On 6.4.12, the Texas Ethics Commission sent Judge Medina another campaign ethics complaint — #SC31205185. However, that did not stop Medina.

In the last two years, Medina has given unlawful donations to PACs, used campaign funds for personal use, and failed to report a contribution of $5,000 from Texans for Lawsuit Reform. TLR is often challenged before the Court.

Bottom-line: Why would we Texans even think about electing David Medina to the highest court in Texas when he has the kind of criminal and ethics record that would keep any average person from even being considered for office?  

The good news is that we have a great, conservative, committed, honest, ethical, intelligent, well-educated, and experienced candidate in John Devine.

We need not look any further for the right candidate to put on the Texas Supreme Court bench.  Judge Devine is our kind of person — unpretentious, family oriented, clean-living, patriotic, and is fully vetted having been admitted to the bar in the State of Texas, U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Court, U. S. District Court (Southern District), District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and U. S. Tax Court.

Judge Devine has served our state well as District Judge (190th District Court), Special Judge (Harris Co. J. P. Courts), Harris County Juvenile Board, Harris County Juvenile Justice School Board, Board of Civil District Judges Mass Torts Comm., Board of Civil District Judges, Texas Association of State Judges, and American Judges Association.

Judge John Devine will be on everyone’s run-off ballot around the state on July 31, 2012. Let’s elect him by a vast majority.

SOURCES FOR THIS REPORT

5.14.12 – “More About Justice Medina’s Campaign Fine” – Austin American-Statesman —http://m.statesman.com/statesman/pm_22437/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=wZMdDwjk

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5.6.12 — YouTube – “Justice David Medina:  Why Texans Cannot Trust Him”  — 

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7.23.10 – “Supreme Court Justice Medina Takes Heat from Ethics Commission” – The American Independent —http://americanindependent.com/126940/supreme-court-justice-medina-takes-heat-from-ethics-commission

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1.7.08 — “America’s Judicial Hall of Shame” — http://www.wrinkledrobes.com/HallOfShame.html

http://www.tdcaa.com/node/1835

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1.22.08 – “Judge Criticizes DA’s Handling of Medina Case”  –Houston Chronicle —  http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Judge-criticizes-DA-s-handling-of-Medina-case-1755809.php

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1.19.08 – “Prosecutor Quashes Charges Against Judge” – the New York Times – http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/19/us/19texas.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

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1.17.08 – DA’s Office Tosses Indictments Against Supreme Court Justice and Wife” – Houston Chronicle — http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/DA-s-office-tosses-indictments-against-Texas-1781181.php

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1.17.08 – “Texas Supreme Court Justice Indicted in Arson of Houston Home” — Texas District and County Attorneys Association– http://www.tdcaa.com/node/1835

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8.15.08 – “Ethics Panel Advances Complaint Against Hecht: Postpones Medina Matter” – The Southeast Texas Record —  http://www.setexasrecord.com/news/214256-ethics-panel-advances-complaint-against-hecht-postpones-medina-matter

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11.10.04 – “Perry Fills Supreme Court Vacancy” — Texas State University News —http://www.txstate.edu/news/news_releases/external_news/2004/11/perrysupremecourt111004.html

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11.9.04 – “Appointee to Texas Supreme Court Has Rare Courtroom Experience As Defendant” – Houston Chronicle — http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Texas-Supreme-Court-appointee-stood-trial-once-1961755.php

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7.2.02 – “Case of Ex-Judge Charged with Drunken Driving Reset” –Houston Chronicle — http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Case-of-ex-judge-charged-with-drunken-driving-2065134.php

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