Monday, March 15, 2010

Today The Corruption In Texas Reached A New High, I Mean, Low, For Me

There has been a time or two since I've been in Texas that some crazy Texas thing has been so nuts that it made me mad. And ready to escape this insane asylum.

Today Texas topped itself. I do not remember when I've been madder at this state, or more embarrassed by it, than I am today.

Okay, maybe being mad at the entire state is a bit unfair. Put another way, as an American, I am embarrassed and ashamed of what took place in Texas this morning.

On March 4, dozens of Texans showed up at the Tarrant County Courthouse to show support for Steve Doeung in his battle against Chesapeake Energy, attempting to save his home on Carter Avenue.

That is the satellite view of Carter Avenue in the picture, with Steve Doeung's home a bit right of the crying Statue of Liberty.

On March 4, dozens of Carter Avenue supporters were in Judge Sprinkle's courtroom to observe Steve's latest hearing.

At the end of the hearing Judge Sprinkle clearly said that he had no choice but to sign the order granting Chesapeake Energy the right to put a pipeline under Steve's home.

Judge Sprinkle also clearly said, to Steve, and to those of us listening, that Steve had 30 days, from the time Judge Sprinkle signed the order, to file an appeal.

There was some discussion as to when the 30 days started. Steve urged the Judge to put off signing as long as possible due to an expected BIG announcement which would change everything. That announcement came a few days later when TXDOT agreed to work with Chesapeake Energy on an alternative pipeline route.

Common sense would seem to dictate that an alternative route would be the end of abusing eminent domain to take Steve Doeung's property. Well, common sense is in short supply in these parts.

Judge Sprinkle clearly told Steve that Steve would be notified when Judge Sprinkle signed the order.

Judge Sprinkle also advised Steve that he could make use of the 4th floor law library to help prepare his appeal.

This morning Steve Doeung returned to the Tarrant County Courthouse to file some sort of petitition to the court. The court records person was preparing to take Steve's $50 filing fee when Judge Sprinkle's clerk showed up, asked Steve what he was doing there and told Steve that the order had been signed Tuesday, March 9 and that Steve's Case was Closed.


I do not take being lied to well. I particularly do not take well to a person in authority lying and abusing his public trust. One element of Steve Doeung's appeal was the various acts of improper procedural matters. As in, Steve was not served proper paperwork. Chesapeake's lawyers claimed Steve could not be found and so they did some legal mumbo jumbo, something called "ad litem" or something like that, where a party is absent and so a lawyer is assigned to supposedly look out for Steve's interests.

That lawyer's name is Ed Fitzgerald. Steve has never met Ed Fitzgerald. Judge Sprinkle seemed to see no problem with this bizarre aspect of the case. I believe Steve's pseudo lawyer was supplied by Chesapeake Energy. Does anyone know what Kafkaesque means?

I get confused trying to sort through all the ways justice has been miscarried in this case.

What are we to make of Judge Sprinkle? Did he purposefully lie to Steve and a courtroom full of observers? Why would he do that? When one observes what appears to be corrupt behavior one tends to wonder what the source of the corruption is. As in, the why of the lie? And the other miscarriages of justice in this case.

Does Judge Sprinkle own stock in the gas drillers? Like Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief does? Is Mike Moncrief Judge Sprinkle's best friend? Does Judge Sprinkle have some unseemly tie to Chesapeake Energy?

Please, someone, explain to me why this Judge can do what he did? Lying in court, misleading the defendant? Over looking misconduct by the Chesapeake lawyers. Ignoring Steve Doeung's complaints about not being properly served, about not being given key documents.

How is it that Steve Doeung has been robbed of his right to appeal? At every step of the way the law, as malpracticed in Texas, has slapped with a way too heavy hand.

My little sister is a lawyer. She works for the state, in Washington. Investigating complaints of judicial misconduct. Does Texas have an equivalent to my little sister? Little sister, I know you're too busy to read my busy blog, but if you are reading this, go here, to get yourself up to speed on the scandal. Then, once you get yourself into being righteously indignant mode, call your Texas equivalent, if you don't mind. Because we need help here.

I am so disgusted with Texas today that it's got me in FULL I need to get out of this corrupt state mode. I'm sick and tired of being so sick and tired of all the sick and tired things that go on here.

I am so embarrassed at how America, via Texas, has treated Steve Doeung. This is a guy who escaped Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge, who's dad insisted the family come to America. They had other choices, but the Doeung's wanted to live in the Land of the Free.

The idea that Steve Doeung has been subjected to what amounts to a Kangaroo Court worthy of the pseudo justice system that prevailed in the defunct Soviet Union, should embarrass any right-minded Texan. Let alone the rest of America.

The majority of those who read this blog are not Texan. Is there anyone reading this out in America, you know, the America Steve's family dreamed they were moving to, who could, maybe somehow, find a way to grant the Doeung's safe refuge? I can't get Steve's mom out of my mind from that Thursday in Judge Sprinkle's corrupt courtroom. She was shaking, she was so scared. It all reminded Steve's mom of being back in danger from the communists. Doesn't that make you proud, Texas?

Maybe the Doeung's can follow me back to the west coast where the individual and his rights are respected and protected in a way alien to modern day Texas.

You can fix this Texas. I'm not quite sure how. What I do know for sure is there needs to be some corruption cleaning done. Just follow the money and the corruption path should be fairly obvious.

And where is the FBI? Really, what does it take, what level of corruption? When I got gas today, and called my mom, I told her the mayor of this corrupt town makes over $600,000 a year from the gas drillers poking holes in Fort Worth. My mom said something like, "I don't think that's legal. Why hasn't he been arrested?"

Mom is so naive, even though she's visited Texas several times, she doesn't get that Texas is not really part of the America she lives in.


Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Oh, Durango...I remember Steve's mom that day as well. We were in the bathroom after the court hearing. I doing normal bathroom business, but she...recovering from not having any idea what has happened to her son, his wife and her grand daughter. She showed me her hands...opened her palms to me to point out the nail marks...obvious signs that this sweet caring woman had just been put through the emotional wringer. I am dumbfounded and appalled by what I have witnessed. I no longer want to be the Queen of any town of this cruel corrupt communistic like state...I officially resign.

And I agree...what does it take?

Martin L. Chavez said...

Oh the cruel ironies: escaping from the ruthless Commies only to face a corporate version of it ; escaping the oppression of the murderous Khmer Rouge only to face a city version of it. Old Steve and his family might have esaped the "Killing Fields" but they now are in peril due to trying to survive in the Chesapeake and City of FW "Gassing Fileds". Ironic. Very cruel. So un-American. Shamefull.