Thursday, January 10, 2013


 


THE MESS INHERITED BY LUIS SAENZ FROM ARMANDO VILLALOBOS

Apparently Armando and his team left many problems behind when they exited the doors. Who is to blame I do not know, but no meaningful transition was arranged. The story I am about to tell does not assign blame to Luis Saenz because he has only been in office for 11 days. 11 days is hardly enough time to clean up a mess left behind by an indicted former DA.

But if the facts eventually show the problem employees are his appointees then the blame will be his. Either way he needs to act and finish cleaning house. He needs to give a stern warning to his employees, they will be professional and do their job, and see the door.

This story begins with the indigent woman being evicted for having called the police related to domestic abuse.  What I have learned since then is, once women are abused by their husbands or ex husbands they are in for a fight with the DA and landlord - both are determined to keep the abuse going.

The original story  Women who are the victim of domestic abuse should be able to expect the government to stand with them in protection of their rights.  No, this is Brownsville/Cameron county where women are marginalized and dismissed as an inconvenience.

Through my assistance this woman has been to the corporate level of the owners of her apartment complex.  The chief administrator was very clear - the law does not apply to them.  Texas Property Code 92.015 makes it illegal to evict someone for calling the police related to domestic abuse.   I also spoke with the corporate office and they were clear with me - they are not bound by the law.  One cannot help to believe these landlords feel no compunction to follow the law because they are accustom to JP Linda Salazar running roughshod over the tenants.

I had this woman call the detective assigned to the case to see if they could help explain this law to the landlord.  The answer was no - but that she should call a Ms. Martinez at the DA's office who handles victims rights.  One problem - the phone number was wrong - and Ms. Martinez left the post when Luis Saenz took over.  I do not know if it is a matter that Luis Saenz failed to inform law enforcement of the change in number and contact person, or if the contact at the BPD simply failed to notice the BPD officers.  Either way this type mistake is unacceptable.

One thing leads to another and I finally speak with someone in victims rights who assures me they will call the victim.  I gave them the basic information to help things along.  That message went into the garbage - no call was ever made to the victim.  I then had the victim call and a Dee Salazar refused to listen to her and effectively continued the abuse through her verbal conduct.

I then called and learned Dee Salazar is one of these people who never listens and is inclined to feel empowered by the fact she works for DA Saenz.  This is the one person you do not want working in a job which requires listening and actually helping people.  To compare my experience with Dee Salazar with a contact at the Texas AG's office - while working on the issue with the AG's office we completed the process and filed the forms via fax in 10 minutes.  With Dee Salazar I could not even get my question out - she went on the attack from square one and refused to even listen to my question.

I know the rules of assistance for domestic abuse victims.  The program does not involve the DA doing his job.  The program is a financial program  for the victims.  My goal was to make contact with someone within the DA's office (maybe the prosecuting attorney - the man was indicted yesterday) who could call the landlord on behalf of the victim and explain to the administrator at the corporate level that his conduct violated the law.  I somehow think that at that moment this woman's nightmare would end.  I never got to my question.

I told Dee Salazar 4 times that the Property Code is civil and the eviction is not a criminal act.  Incapable of understanding this, 4 times she tells me to report it to the police.  The police have no jurisdiction to enforce purely civil remedies.  She then told me the investigator who works with her told her to tell me to ex parte the owners of the apartment complex by going directly to JP Linda Salazar.  We are royally screwed if this DA is going to have his staff engaging in ex parte conduct with the judges.  What does it say about DA Saenz's investigators when they are advising people to engage in illegal and unethical conduct?

What will happen now is the state will be giving this woman $3,800 for her move - I have already submitted the paperwork to Austin for an expedited ruling.  Remember it took me 10 minutes on the phone with the correct person at the AG's office to get answers to my questions and to complete the paperwork.  With Dee Salazar I could not even get my question out without her endless abusive tone and nonsense shutting me down.

Here was the choice - a simple phone call from the DA's office informing the landlord verifying the call was related to domestic abuse and that it is illegal to evict a victim of domestic abuse, or the taxpayer dishing out $3,800 to move this woman.  DA Saenz' office chose the taxpayer dishing out $3,800 to move the woman.

Again, note I said his office - not DA Saenz himself - he has only been in office for 11 days.  But now he owns this issue - he needs to finish cleaning house - he needs to send a clear message to his staff that they work for the people - he needs to completely clean house in the victims rights office and hire people who understand their job is to listen and solve problems and not to be rude and further abuse the victims.

AN INDICTMENT ON THE CAMERON  COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION

It blows my mind that the Texas Property Code provides for an injunction in this case and attorneys fees.  It is an easy $5,000 for an attorney willing to take the case.  This is about protecting women who are victims of domestic abuse.  It blows my mind that the DA does not have a list of volunteer lawyers willing to help women who are victims of domestic abuse.  There is something profoundly wrong with the Cameron county Bar.  I guess decades of corruption have destroyed any moral  compass.





5 comments:

BobbyWC said...

Sorry I do not print rumors about people about to be indicted - but I would not be surprised if your comment is spot on

The payment for silence is spot on

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

Today is Friday.

BobbyWC said...

I'm proofing it

Bobby WC

Anonymous said...

you are correct. I have always said that courthouse employees on power trips take 10 minutes to shut you down and degrade you when they couldve taken 5 minutes to help. typical BS. if it isnt standard at the courthouse they wont take the time to do it.

Anonymous said...

I would like to respectfully clarify some information that was transmitted within this article. Crime Victims’ Compensation (CVC) is available nation-wide. Each state has the authority to create the requirements for approval and denial of an application. CVC funds are NOT taxpayer dollars. The funds for CVC come from the following sources,

State Court Costs:
Local governmental submit consolidated court costs to the comptroller for felony and misdemeanor convictions.

Parolee Supervision Fees:
Offenders on parole pay $8 per month to the Fund. The state’s parole officers are to be credited for their efforts to collect these fees from parolees.

Donations:
Jurors are provided information about the Fund and are offered the option of donating their daily reimbursements to the Fund.

Subrogation:
By statute, the Attorney General must ask that the victim or claimant reimburse the Fund for the amount paid on behalf of the victim, up to the amount of the civil award, when a crime victim is awarded money in a civil suit.

Federal VOCA Grant
The federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) allows the collection of fines, fees and forfeitures for federal convictions.

Restitution:
Offenders may be ordered to reimburse the Fund for compensation payments made on behalf of those they have victimized.

The Crime Victims’ Compensation Program is administered by the Office of the Attorney General and is dedicated to ensuring that victims of violent crime are provided financial assistance for crime-related expenses that cannot be reimbursed by insurance or other sources.

For further information, victims of domestic violence can also receive support from our local domestic violence shelters.

Friendship of Women 956-544-7412
Family Crisis Center 956-423-9304
National Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE
https://www.oag.state.tx.us/victims/about_comp.shtml