(19) comments Back to story

Bill Cochrane

If everything that Mr. Hodgson says is true, as Trump would say, - This is Huuuugh! In every news story about this fiasco I have read, I do not remember anything written about County Judge Mark Henry attempting to listen to conversations between attorneys and inmates. Or, the obvious real reason why he fired Bonnie Quiroga was because she caught Henry doing that. If this is true, the News dropped the ball. In all of the News stories, it always states that Henry fired her for poor job performance. If this is true, the News should have offered this fact in every story instead of the performance reason. If Mr Hodgson’s statement is false, the News should not have run the commentary.

Ken Hufstetler

From my recollection, Mr Hodgson's first statement is in error which makes statements following suspect. The County was having some security equipment installed and was advised that the equipment could be used to listen in on private conversations. I don't think the County Judge ever even attempted to listen in on those private conversations and was never actually accused of doing so. During a political campaign, facts can be twisted just slightly to create a negative view on either party. Of course, that is the purpose of twisting the facts.

Bill Cochrane

Ken, if what you say is correct, the commentary should not have been printed.

Jim Forsythe

From:http://www.galvnews.com/opinion/columns/free/article_aeb023ae-2914-11e5-9c2d-276cc9ab8756.html

NOTHING LEFT UNSAID  Judge Henry alone can't act for all of Galveston County
By SUSAN CRISS
Jul 13, 2015
"He created a veteran’s court and hired himself to be the judge without any consultation with the Galveston County judiciary. And he did all of this without any legal training. Henry is a helicopter pilot by profession.
Henry created a video system so he could magistrate inmates without going to the Galveston County Jail. Justice Administrator Bonnie Quiroga quickly discovered a very big problem with the video system. Private conversations between inmates and attorneys were also being recorded and able to be revealed to law enforcement and the prosecution. That situation violated the law and put the county at great legal risk. Had that been allowed to continue the county would have been liable for staggering financial costs.
Ms. Quiroga brought the problem to Henry’s attention. The helicopter pilot did not share her concern. The next morning on July 24, 2014, he fired her without consulting the judges she worked for and without prior approval from the county Commissioner’s Court."

PD Hyatt

Anything the Susan Criss stated IMHO is suspect.... After all she is a progressive which leans far to the left of every issue she speaks about....

Carlos Ponce

"Private conversations between inmates and attorneys were also being recorded and able to be revealed to law enforcement and the prosecution."
"GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The Galveston County Sheriff’s Department hastily instituted a new policy recently when it was discovered that conversations between inmates and their attorneys had been recorded for at least a decade."
http://texasjailproject.org/2012/03/2029/
Note the DATE of the article: March 20, 2012. Mark Henry was elected in 2010. If this practice occurred it started long before he was even elected.
"Sheriff Freddie Poor said a complaint by a district judge led the department to begin programming the names of all the defense attorneys practicing in Galveston County into the jail’s computerized phone system. Once a number is in the system, recording automatically halts when it is dialed, Poor said."
"The only such incident that came to light involved the 2009 'Baby Grace' capital murder trial."

Jim Forsythe

The practice may have started before 2010, but did the of practice of private conversations being  revealed to law enforcement and the prosecution start before or after Henry came to office . If it started before he was in office, did he take steps to stop it after he was aware of it?

""Sheriff Freddie Poor said a complaint by a district judge led the department to begin programming the names of all the defense attorneys practicing in Galveston County into the jail’s computerized phone system. Once a number is in the system, recording automatically halts when it is dialed, Poor said"
Were Poor's and Henry's systems the same, or did Henry have it  tailored for him so it would continue recording?
Did sharing start at the time Henry came to office?
"Henry created a video system so he could magistrate inmates without going to the Galveston County Jail. Justice Administrator Bonnie Quiroga quickly discovered a very big problem with the video system. Private conversations between inmates and attorneys were also being recorded and able to be revealed to law enforcement and the prosecution"

Carlos Ponce

"....did the of practice of private conversations being revealed to law enforcement and the prosecution start before or after Henry came to office."
If the conversation does not involve the inmate's attorney it's LEGAL and done throughout Texas and the rest of the United States. In Galveston County, you don't get a face to face meeting with the inmate.There are a number of television monitors set up in a room. The inmate goes goes before a camera and the interaction is viewed by the "guest" in the monitor room.
“Most facilities that record inmate’s calls or visitations play a preliminary recorded message informing the inmate that their call or visitation will be recorded. One would think that this would eliminate any references to criminal acts, actions, knowledge, or involvement. Despite this very clear warning to the inmate, they still talk!”
https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/09/04/a-phone-call-from-jail-better-watch-what-you-say

Carlos Ponce

From the Galveston County Sheriff's Office website:
"Visitation is monitored."
http://www.co.galveston.tx.us/sheriff/inmate/visitation.asp

Jim Forsythe


You can cut it any way you want, but Henry was trying to do something that was not right, if the reports are correct.

 " Private conversations between inmates and attorneys were also being recorded and able to be revealed to law enforcement and the prosecution"
"GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — The Galveston County Sheriff’s Department hastily instituted a new policy recently when it was discovered that conversations between inmates and their attorneys had been recorded for at least a decade."

Carlos Ponce

Monitoring a conversation between an inmate and his or her visitor - LEGAL.
Monitoring a conversation between an inmate and his or her attorney - ILLEGAL.
2012 Sheriff Freddie Poor said that safeguards were put in place so that would not happen again. The AP story you cite is from 2012. The problem was SOLVED six years ago.

Carlos Ponce

"The only such incident that came to light involved the 2009 'Baby Grace' capital murder trial. An investigator for the prosecution was reviewing recordings of jail phone calls made by Royce Clyde Zeigler II, accused with his wife of beating to death his stepdaughter, 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers, and keeping her body in a plastic box for two months before tossing it off the Galveston Causeway. Roady said the investigator stopped listening as soon as he came across a conversation between Zeigler and attorney Neal Davis III."
2009 - Since Mark Henry was elected in 2010, this did NOT involve him.

Jim Forsythe

Mark Henry was elected in 2010 and Jails Break the Law When They Record Conversations of Lawyers & Inmates was published
Mar 20th, 2012 |by Harvey Rice in the Houston Chronicle.

Ron Shelby

Always look for the relationships between the author, and the one(s) who benefit from what is written.

Doyle Beard

citing something from Nothing Left Unsaid is a poor example to make try and make a case.

Ray Taft

Henry vs. Cox was settled by the Texas Supreme Court. Henry prevailed.

Listening devices in the county jail are there to listen to inmates talking to their cronies on the outside. Jails are free to listen in on inmate conversations, excluding those with attorneys, according to the courts.

A Texas County Judge is authorized to act as a judge by law, with or without a law degree. By the way, Allison Cox, Judge Cox’s wife, is a Justice of the Peace. She’s not a lawyer.

It’s ok not to vote for Henry. A rather good reason, in my opinion, not to vote for Henry is that he did little to nothing before, during and after Harvey to help the good citizens of Galveston County. Flood control is really lacking and there is little county help available. It could be that all the county money went to Henry vs. Cox. Henry appears to be waiting for someone else to do something. Maybe that someone else is Cox?

Carlos Ponce

"A rather good reason, in my opinion, not to vote for Henry is that he did little to nothing before, during and after Harvey to help the good citizens of Galveston County."
Strange, I (and other Galveston County residents) am still getting robo calls from County Judge Mark Henry to go to a web site:
www.GalvestonCountydisasterrecovery.com
if my home was damaged during Harvey to "assess damage and future needs". And I've received this message more than once.
That's not a "nothing" to me!

Ray Taft

I’ve gotten those calls too. And filled out the form every time too. It hasn’t amounted to anything. I haven’t gotten any help from Henry or the county. So it hasn’t helped me. But if it has gotten you some help, that’s super.

Carlos Ponce

Did you get a reply on your email account? It will tell you that it will take time to check each case:
"Hello,
Thank you for submitting the Disaster Outreach Form. Your form has been received and will be processed for review.
Please note that this outreach form is issued by Galveston County to document damage in anticipation of long-term recovery efforts. Filling out this form does not guarantee assistance. By completing this form, you may be contacted at a later date should County programs become available.
We thank you for your patience and understanding,
Galveston County Housing Department"

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