Federal Judge Finds No Proof of Misconduct by Craig Watkins, but that Won't Help Him in State Court

Categories: Legal Battles

Wilson_Russel2.jpg
Assistant District Attorneys Russell Wilson and Heath Harris
The District Attorney's office very excitedly announced today that a federal judge found no merit in Al Hill III's allegations of misconduct against Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins.

The allegations stem from a dispute Hill had concerning legal fees he owed his former attorney Lisa Blue, a prominent Dallas lawyer and Watkins contributor. Just before the case was set to go to trial, Hill was indicted on charges of mortgage fraud. Hill contends this was done as a political favor for Blue.

Last Friday, federal Magistrate Judge Renee Toliver issued a ruling that Hill's arguments "simply do not demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that BAM was involved in the Hills' indictment." ("BAM" refers to Blue, Charla Aldous, and Stephen Malouf, who were involved in a payment dispute with Hill.)

At the news conference at the Frank Crowley Courts Building, Russell Wilson, an assistant district attorney representing Watkins, called Tolliver's ruling a "vindication of the Dallas County grand jury that chose to indict this case." The district attorney's office is "looking forward to continuing litigation."

The dispute between Hill, Blue and Watkins made headlines last month when Watkins refused to answer a subpoena issued by state District Judge Lena Levario to testify about Hill's claim that the indictment was issued at Blue's behest.

Wilson admitted that a federal judge's ruling does not necessarily bind Levario to make the same ruling when she reconvenes the case this Thursday, but he noted that Tolliver heard the same material being presented to Levario.

Wilson and Assistant District Attorney Heath Harris said Watkins will appear in Levario's court Thursday, but they don't know if he will testify.

"The notion that this case is about Craig Watkins is hot air and smoke," Wilson said, and Harris called the nothing more than politics and "character assassination."

Not to be outdone, John Hueston, the attorney for Hill, also released a statement today.

"Although the District Attorney's Office has touted a federal magistrate's recommendation that was issued on Friday, that recommendation was made in a separate civil case that does not involve District Attorney Watkins, and has no bearing on the prosecutorial misconduct allegations that have been made before the Dallas County Criminal Court."

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16 comments
WylieH
WylieH

It's worth noting that Heath Harris, the guy pictured on the right and Watkins' top assistant in running the office is a graduate as what is ranked as one of the worst law schools in the U.S.:  Texas Southern University.

hambergers
hambergers

It would have been nice if somebody in the DA's office had known how to properly display the U.S. and Texas flags.  No attention to detail.  Even the Obama administration can set the stage according to flag etiquette.  (Flags are to be displayed in order of prominence from left to right)

if6were9
if6were9

I have a feeling that this whole dang thing has got the stench of politics running up and down its pants leg. I'm just not that dirty or needy of a mangy mutt to want to go do the sniffing. That's probably why DA Watkins didn't feel the need to show up in court that day.......this is Dallas and the will of the well-coffered majority have spoken! You're free to move about the city any which way one wishes with the right connections, and that little tidbit deserves a hearty amen, Amen! Just be sure and stretch first(meaning oil the right palms with money/influence). Also, God bless the USA :)

UnCoverUp
UnCoverUp

Renee Tolliver is a magistrate whose cited "Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations" only serves to inform federal judge Reed O'Connor, who is responsible for "rulings" in BAM v. Hill, on her analysis of the evidence the Hills presented in support of a motion for post-judgment relief based on new evidence surfacing in the aborted hearing before state judge Levario showing that DA Watkins and Blue-Baron conspired to defraud the federal court overseen by O'Connor and his subordinate Tolliver. 

Tolliver is a friend and former colleague of Watkins' former First Assistant DA Terri M. Moore, who as a for-profit attorney now shares in a 25% contingency fee contract that Watkins kicked back to two of the BAM attorneys (Malouf and Blue-Baron) for handling Dallas County's claims against MERSCORP (TXND Case No. 3:11-cv-02733-O) also pending before Tolliver's superior, O'Connor. The exposure of incestuous relationships like this makes Tolliver's poorly reasoned "findings, conclusions and recommendations" (Document 503, TXND Case No. 3:10-cv-02269-O-BK) suspect of being crafted to cover up her and O'Connor's mishandling of the BAM v. Hill litigation by engaging in willful blindness to evidence of fraud upon the federal court whose integrity Tolliver and O'Connor were entrusted to protect. O'Connor too has evaded his responsibilities to recuse himself in light of his conflicts of interest with ExxonMobil--one of the major unjustly enriched beneficiaries of the RICO crimes the Hills hired BAM to prosecute but BAM failed to prosecute.

To avoid the appearance that O'Connor's or Tolliver's conflicts of interests leading them to aid and abet a cover-up under color of law of fraud upon the federal court that employs them, the investigation of the Hills' Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 60(b)(3) (fraud upon the court) allegations should be investigated under the supervision of another federal court.

Americano
Americano

I guess Mr. Watkins doesn't believe in hiring white Asst. DA's.

bryanr01
bryanr01

Frack not, lest ye be fracked.  

TSUgrad
TSUgrad

@WylieH Many graduates of TSU law have successful and distinguished careers, including local Judges Elizabeth Frizell and Ernest White. Unless you want a big firm legal career, it doesn't matter where you get the degree it matters what you do with it. 

James080
James080 topcommenter

@UnCoverUp  

Dallas Bar Association bio on O'Connor mentions that his wife, Tammy, works as a lawyer for Exxon Mobil.

FEDUP
FEDUP

@Americano Never, I say never, ever, hire someone smarter than you, the only thing he does know. Of course................................enough said.


UnCoverUp
UnCoverUp

@James080@UnCoverUp Does the Dallas Bar Association mention that O'Connor and his wife, Tammy Sue Herrin, benefited from the financial harm caused the Hills by Hunt Petroleum Corporation (HPC) trustees' RICO crimes in laundering a low-dollar sale of HPC to ExxonMobil through an intermediate transaction with XTO Energy? The major payoff for the O'Connors was not Tammy Sue's salary as an ExxonMobil tax attorney, rather it is the appreciation in their $1.2 and $5.5 million in ExxonMobil stock because of ExxonMobil's unjust enrichment by the unlawful transaction. Nevertheless, the FBI should be looking into coincidences in Tammy Sue's ExxonMobil stock option grants and O'Connor's rulings that favor ExxonMobil's unjust enrichment through RICO-tainted transactions like its XTO-HPC acquisition.

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