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Vice president, former AG, state senator indicted

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Maikeru-sama, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. Maikeru-sama

    Maikeru-sama Mick Green 58

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    Vice president, former AG, state senator indicted
    By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN Associated Press Writer © 2008 The Associated Press
    Nov. 18, 2008, 6:51PM

    McALLEN, Texas — A South Texas grand jury has indicted Vice President Dick Cheney and former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on state charges related to the alleged abuse of prisoners in Willacy County's federal detention centers.

    The indictment, which had not yet been signed by the presiding judge, was one of seven released Tuesday in a county that has been a source of bizarre legal and political battles in recent years. Another of the indictments named a state senator on charges of profiting from his position.

    Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra himself had been under indictment for more than a year and half before a judge dismissed the indictments last month. This flurry of charges came in the twilight of Guerra's tenure, which ends this year after nearly two decades in office. He lost convincingly in a Democratic primary in March.

    Cheney's indictment on a charge of engaging in an organized criminal activity criticizes the vice president's investment in the Vanguard Group, which holds interests in the private prison companies running the federal detention centers. It accuses Cheney of a conflict of interest and "at least misdemeanor assaults" on detainees because of his link to the prison companies.

    Megan Mitchell, a spokeswoman for Cheney, declined to comment on Tuesday, saying that the vice president had not yet received a copy of the indictment.

    The indictment accuses Gonzales of using his position while in office to stop an investigation in 2006 into abuses at one of the privately-run prisons.

    Gonzalez's attorney, George Terwilliger III, said in a written statement, "This is obviously a bogus charge on its face, as any good prosecutor can recognize. Hopefully, competent Texas authorities will take steps to reign in this abuse of the criminal justice system."

    Willacy County has become a prison hub with county, state and federal lockups. Guerra has gone after the prison-politician nexus before, extracting guilty pleas from three former Willacy and Webb county commissioners after investigating bribery related to federal prison contacts.

    Another indictment released Tuesday accuses state Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr. of profiting from his public office by accepting honoraria from prison management companies. Guerra announced his intention to investigate Lucio's prison consulting early last year.

    Lucio's attorney, Michael Cowen, released a scathing statement accusing Guerra of settling political scores in his final weeks in office.

    "Senator Lucio is completely innocent and has done nothing wrong," Cowen said, adding that he would file a motion to quash the indictment this week.

    Last month, a Willacy County grand jury indicted The GEO Group, a Florida private prison company, on a murder charge in the death of a prisoner days before his release. The three-count indictment alleged The GEO Group allowed other inmates to beat Gregorio de la Rosa Jr. to death with padlocks stuffed into socks. The death happened in 2001 at the Raymondville facility, just four days before de la Rosa's scheduled release.

    In 2006, a jury ordered the company to pay de la Rosa's family $47.5 million in a civil judgment. The Cheney-Gonzalez indictment makes reference to the de la Rosa case.

    None of the indictments released Tuesday had been signed by Presiding Judge Manuel Banales of the Fifth Administrative Judicial Region.

    A second batch of indictments targeted public officials connected to Guerra's own legal battles.

    Willacy County Clerk Gilbert Lozano, District judges Janet Leal and Migdalia Lopez, and special prosecutors Mervyn Mosbacker Jr. — a former U.S. attorney — and Gustavo Garza — a long-time political opponent of Guerra — were all indicted on charges of official abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

    Garza, the only one who could be immediately reached Tuesday, called it a sad state of affairs.

    "I feel sorry for all of the good people this unprofessional prosecutor has maligned," Garza said. "I'm not at all concerned about the accusations he has trumped up."

    Banales dismissed indictments against Guerra last month that charged him with extorting money from a bail bond company and using his office for personal business. An appeals court had earlier ruled that Garza was improperly appointed as special prosecutor to investigate Guerra.

    After Guerra's office was raided as part of the investigation early last year, he camped outside the courthouse in a borrowed camper with a horse, three goats and a rooster. He threatened to dismiss hundreds of cases because he believed local law enforcement had aided the investigation against him.

    On Tuesday, Guerra said the indictments speak for themselves. He said the prison-related charges are a national issue and experts from across the country testified to the grand jury. Asked about the indictments against local players in the justice system who had pursued him, Guerra said, "the grand jury is the one that made those decisions, not me."

    The indictments were first reported by KRGV-TV.


    Associated Press writer Deb Riechmann in Washington contributed to this report.

  2. canters

    canters Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    The far left and far right need to be forced to leave this country.
  3. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    This bunch is about as nuts as the 9th Circuit court of Appeals.
    As one famous lawyer once said "A grand jury can indict a ham sandwich if they want."
  4. DStaub

    DStaub New Member

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    Is the pickle an accomplice?:rolleyes:
  5. Cajuncowboy

    Cajuncowboy Preacher From The Black Lagoon

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    Yep, let's appoint more liberals!

    That's the ticket!

  6. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

    5,973 Messages
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    But then who would sit around and collect all of the welfare?
  7. hairic

    hairic Well-Known Member

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    Pfft. This isn't unexpected, but it's not news.

    Blanket pardons are legal. Retroactive immunity is legal.

    Nothing will happen.
  8. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    I wouldn't mind seeing this.

  9. canters

    canters Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Like I said, this is a fantasy for the far left in this country. Dream on.
  10. ConcordCowboy

    ConcordCowboy Mr. Buckeye

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    Oh I know it's a Dream.

    But I can dream.
  11. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Well you have such a weak grip on reality......
  12. dback

    dback Member

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    Nothing will happen to Cheney.
  13. Phrozen Phil

    Phrozen Phil Well-Known Member

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    This is the kind of "statement" that an outgoing politician will make to get back at people he doesn't like. It will be interesting to see if Bush decides to hand out pardons at the end of his term. Cheney will not see any action as a result of this. It's pure politics.
  14. hairic

    hairic Well-Known Member

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    Cheney's charges are nothing. Like any evil genius, he's two hops away from trouble. He's just publicity, the others are the ones with actual charges.

    But even if this court has jurisdiction, their charges won't matter either.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    This is on it's way to a Federal Judge as we speak. The Federal Judge will rule that this indictment will not be honored. You can't go around trying to indict people for this kind of crazy stuff. If this were allowed, any politician, at any level, would be served over anything. It would be a disaster. The presidence this would set would be unthinkable.

    This is a bunch of BS. A waste of time and paper IMO.
  16. canters

    canters Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    You are correct sir.

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