Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Light in the Darkness!

Whew...I need a break!  All these posts on man's justice system is giving me the willies.  I need to speak on something more positive and I have just the story to tell you.  I found a gem, amongst all the negativity in the prison and jail systems.  A bright light so strong, in the most unlikely of places.

Within the Texas women's prison system are several units that are scattered throughout the state.  Most are Texas Department of Criminal Justice ("TDCJ") units, owned and operated by the state.  Others are contract units owned and operated by third parties.  My first stop when I left the Dallas County Jail was at Woodman in Gatesville, which is a State diagnostics unit for all those entering the system. While there we were basically warehoused while they collected medical data, IQ testing, educational level testing and gathering of family/social information on us.  I resided at Woodman for approximately five months where I first worked as a night janitor, working from 6 pm until 4 am, scrubbing showers, toilets, floors, walls, etc.  After about six weeks they moved me to the kitchen where I had various functions, eventually working my way up to the esteemed "cook" position.  My hours in the kitchen were from 1 am to 10 am.

Then one night (always after 10 pm) they said you will be transferred the next morning.  So I spent that night packing my very few belongings and going through the inventory process with an officer.  It takes most the night, then the usual breakfast is about 4:00 and a couple hours later we were handcuffed, thrown in a van and driven to the Hobby Unit in Marlin, Texas.  I was only there 5 weeks.  The Hobby Unit has the unique distinction of being the worst women's prison in the United States.  I will tell you about my 5 weeks there in a post all its own.  For now I want to focus on my most positive experience during those three years of incarceration.  Following the Hobby unit I was transferred to a contract prison in Lockhart, Texas which was owned and operated by a company called GEO Group, Inc. (traded on NYSE, a profitable business).  I just checked the stock, it is selling for $24.67 per share this morning and has the highest profit/earnings ratio in the industry. (Sorry, can't stop myself!  Once an accountant, always an accountant!)  They provide minimum security prison units to states.  I am pretty sure I know what corners they cut to get those profits.  I won't list those for you I promised ...this is a positive post!

The Lockhart unit is where I eventually found my way to the Faith Dorm.  We had to request this program, explain our reason for wanting it and then go through an interview process.   People who had a history of behavior problems (i.e. any rule violations) are not considered.  By the way, I called us "people", but we were not known as people, we were referred to as "Offenders" and that is how we were to announce our presence at locked doors, etc.  Anyway, I will continue to use the word "people" as that is what I believe we were (and are).  The Faith Dorm housed 50 women, two women per cell with a large day room.  You can see the picture of the women in the Faith Dorm.  I'm in there but I'm not telling you where as I did not have any makeup on.  You can see the doors behind the women, those were our cells and contained two metal beds (about 3' by 6'), a wall cabinet, a small table top and stool, a toilet and a sink.  Everything was attached to the walls and floor, they must have been afraid we would steal their stuff.

In the middle of this two story "dorm" was a day room.  It had all the tables and chairs for our meals and in the case of the Faith Dorm that  is where we sat for our program, taking notes at a rapid rate as the information we were receiving was the greatest message on earth.

The name of the organization providing the program is "God of Hope Ministries" and is based out of Austin.  The women lecturing us represented many denominations... Baptists, Episcopalians, Methodists to name a few.  The program was very structured.  We received many books, including an amazing annotated study Bible.  Our devotional was "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young and there were more books to augment the study of the books in the Bible and bringing that message to our daily lives.  We studied both old testament and new testament and correlations between the two were made.   We had daily homework.  Our day started with breakfast about 4:30 am, then we do any chores.  Next was individual time used for daily devotionals.  Many people had several devotional books so they spent time in each.  We were told to study over the daily devotions and pray accordingly.  You could hear a pin drop during this time, the respect for each other and God was awesome.  We were all expected to keep daily journals of what came from daily devotionals and any other personal thoughts throughout the day, all of which was reviewed.  We were held accountable for all assignments and our journal. 

The structured program/speaker would typically start about 8:30 or 9:00  and would run to lunch time, with one hour for lunch, then resume at 1:00 and usually go to about 4:30.  At which time we had to prepare for dinner, do chores and start our assignments.  After dinner we had our assignments to work on and could otherwise attend prison-wide church services and Bible studies.  Many of us would study further into the night and then start again about breakfast time.  It was rigorous, I learned more about the Bible and its teachings than I had throughout all my years being raised in a church and attending church as an adult.  Remember in a prior blog I talked about pretending I was in a nunnery to get through some of the toughest days while at Dallas County Jail.  Well, you know what they say, your imagination becomes your reality.  It truly did, with this Faith Dorm.  At our meals we would have intellectual and heart-filled conversations about all we learned for the day and our various perspectives.  It seemed Jesus filled our every moment.  There was just no time for gossip or other trouble making activities.

And when we all sang it was always brought tears to my eyes.  The dorm was two stories and the acoustics were just God inspired.  I felt like I was in a different world, totally separate from the prison.  Our hearts were just lifted up to God. The speakers and program volunteers were respectful toward us and we were treated like intelligent human beings.  We were not treated like dirt as many of the officers were inclined to do.  When people are treated with respect, they tend to respond in the best way.  It created a learning environment equal to any university I ever attended.  And we were each very supportive of one another in our progress and learnings.  There was an occasional nasty remark among us, but it was confronted and resolved immediately.  If there was something that seemed irreconcilable, then it was brought to the program volunteers, nothing was left to fester, as part of the skills we were learning as we became stronger and stronger Christians.

I did not really see any rehabilitation happening among the women prisons.  But, with its intensity, this program was the key to changing its participants lives and beyond much of what is even offered in the free world .  And, how often do we have time for such a commitment in our busy lives in the free world, between work, family and friends.  While in this program, I came to believe this must have been how God made good the most difficult situation in my life, just like one of my favorite verses says: 

Romans 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.

If you are interested in what I've I told you here, you can look further at their website  They are "A Bridge of Hope from Prison to New Life".  These are some of the best people I have ever met in my life.  I do miss them, although I have no desire to go back to prison.  I have thought long and hard about becoming involved in prison ministry for the remainder of my life as a result of this program.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Can They Have It Both Ways?

I have always wondered why some of the most obvious inconsistencies in my case were never investigated, or made issue of while going through all the pre-trial hearings or eventually brought up in the trial, especially since they involved Constitutional Rights and Intellectual Property Law.  They are so glaringly obvious it is even beyond an incompetent defense attorney and a malicious prosecutor.  These stand out like very ripe fruit (of the NON poisoness tree) waiting to be plucked before it falls and hits you in the head.

Illegal Seizure of Property: My false accusers manufactured a contrived confession, which I have been squawking about since Day One when it was first brought to my attention by the DPD Detective.  The date on the contrived confession is October 11, 2003.  It was illegal seizure to come to my home after the contrived confession date and take anything from me without a proper warrant and without the appropriate authorities doing it.  Violation of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution!

There was never a search, I handed everything over to my soon-to-be-ex-clients.  BUT, and this is a VERY BIG BUT, had I known there was a contrived confession and that I was about to be falsely accused, I would have copied everything I needed to support the approval of the contributions made to The NOAH Project and the disclosure on financial statements, would have contacted an attorney, would have asked for a warrant and would have required authorities be there so as to have a clear record of what was taken.  You see, they did not want that!  They wanted to cherry pick the files, destroy what they didn't want authorities to see (the approvals, disclosures and correspondences) and make up whatever other lies they needed to support their false accusations.  As best as I can tell the authorities never went through all the contributor's personal records but just accepted whatever they were handed, taking their word for everything.  So, the contributor was not audited, nor was The NOAH Project audited, which should have been because, as a non-profit organization, its accountable to the citizens.  At the very least the State's Attorney General should have been involved since The NOAH Project was a non-profit.  Never happened!  Why not?  Doesn't make sense!  Here is just one example, I heard of a case while incarcerated where someone took $2,000 from the petty cash of a non-profit, then paid it back, and told her boss what she had done when she paid it back.  It was never missed for those few weeks.  She was convicted and doing two years State Jail and there was somebody from the Attorney Generals office present at every hearing and her trial because a non-profit was involved.  Not true in my case and we were disputing approval on $3,775,000.....slightly more than $2,000.

Part of what they picked up from my home was the computer, the divorce files in progress (approximately 30+ file boxes), the accounts payable files (with all approved contribution requests) and monthly personal financial statements of contributor for 2001, 2002 and 2003.   Yet, in the trial the ex-wife of the contributor to NOAH was able to testify that I had not done hardly any divorce work and had only completed "six notebooks" (whatever that means).  She may have been lead to believe that but it was not true.  There was at least twenty boxes of files delivered to her divorce attorney by me, with the help of my son, and there was another 30+ boxes awaiting completion once I received the missing document (Separate Property Partition) from my client.  What she testified was at best "hear-say" and could have been challenged as an outright lie.  After her testimony she was whisked off to a "long planned vacation at Disney World with her children" (who were - by the way - grown up! and without children of their own!).

So, as you can see what they (my ex-clients) picked up from my home was all of what was in question: computer, divorce files, accounts payable files (check copies and approved contribution requests), personal financials with appropriate footnotes and explanations disclosing the contributions.  Since the computer had all the contributor's financials deleted, it was impossible to confirm what was disclosed in the financials.  Yet, my ex-client was able to testify that he did not ever open his bank statements and brokerage statements (a lie) but "relied" on his financials as I prepared them.  The suggestion was that they were fraudulent, yet not one page of financial statements were entered into evidence to support his suggestion NOR was he questioned about his reliance or where these financials were that he "relied" upon.  If  they had been presented, along with the bank and brokerage statements it could be seen that every single penny was accounted for accurately. BUT, not a possibility when the condition of the computer was allowed to deteriorate by letting the battery go dead.  This happened AFTER the case began because in the civil suit depositions they said they got into the computer and went through all my files ..."no problems, in fact there was a whole lot of nothing". Yet, he was allowed to say he relied upon something that was not produced.  Substantial exculpatory evidence was withheld.  Violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution! They got away with that!

Had the seizure been done legally....the case would have never happened.  Can they have it both ways?  There is a contrived confession dated October 11, 2003 and an illegal seizure of property from my home on October 28, 2003?  Apparently so.  Then to further complicate the matter, they illegally seized all the NOAH assets two days later on October 30, 2003.  By law, the non-profit assets should have been seized by the state and distributed (in some form) to its citizens.  They produce what they called a "receipt" that I signed so they would not get "arrested for taking NOAH assets" while I was not present.  But given state law, that "receipt" was not legal since they had no right to the assets and I had no authority to give the NOAH non-profit assets to them.  Of course, at the time they were saying they would just store the assets while we reorganized...but in trial they changed the nature of their activity....and got away with it.  If I had truly confessed on October 11, 2003, why doesn't the "receipt" just say I am giving the assets to them as restitution?   Because that is not what was happening!

Another blaring inconsistency....I had worked on a consulting basis for my clients since I left The Trammell Crow Company in 1986.  I was not ever an employee of theirs therefore all files on that computer were my intellectual property and as such they should have NEVER been allowed to withhold the contents of those files.  Had I been an employee of theirs then it would be their intellectual property and belonged to them.  They claimed I was an employee thus keeping those computer files from me (see prior blog A DEAD BATTERY?).  Can they have it both ways?  Can they claim I am an employee so as to withhold key exculpatory evidence from my defense and make a fraudulent claim on their employee theft policy WHILE never paying any payroll taxes on me or withholding Federal Income Tax or Social Security?  All the quarterly and annual payroll reports could have been retrieved to prove I was not their employee and had a right to all files, but my attorney refused to do anything.  In addition to "relevance" and "privilege" they argued that they did not want to let a "thief" see all their highly confidential computer records.  That was crazy because I have a photographic memory and know the pertinent Social Security numbers, account numbers, etc. and they know that about me.  And, hey in this country are we innocent until proven guilty?  So, how is it the "thief" argument worked?  And, can they have it both ways?  In the deposition my "computer had a whole lot of nothing in it" and now they don't want me to see all their highly confidential, "privileged" files?  Which is it?

I could not get that computer off my mind.  Not getting all its files into evidence was the final nail in my coffin.  It just haunted me.  I wrote this short book excerpt a few months following the trials end while incarcerated.

A computer is like a person's brain.  A person with childhood-onset diabetes can run low on thiamine and must make certain all their life to get daily supplements of thiamine rich foods (i.e. celery) in their diet.  Without proper levels of thiamine, memory is partially erased, creating a permanent form of amnesia.

Like the thiamine deficient brain of a diabetic, a computer's brain (the hard drive), when allowed to go battery-dead has a memory that becomes fragmented (intermingled with code).  Add to that the intentional massive override of disassociated files confounding the fragmented but relevant information, the result is the same as a diabetic's thiamine-starved memory.  Bits and pieces of information, while in some ways deficient, still exist providing a bridge between the time before the imposed deficiency and the current day.

This is the situation with the computer I used for all the years I consulted with my false accusers.  It appears their method of tampering with this key evidence was to override my files with other accountants' computer files to add to and cover up their deletion and alterations of many files relevant to my defense.  Then taking what remains of this pertinent evidence to clear my name, they allowed the battery to go dead, fragmenting the contents of the remaining files and altering date stamps.

Fortunately a forensics expert was able to defragment the computer files in my case.  But, the court allowed my false accusers to decide, of what was remaining, what computer files I could use in my defense.  So what wasn't accomplished by altering and starving the computer's brain was finished off by a battalion of smooth talking, slick attorneys.  Civil attorneys were engaged by my false accusers and a prosecutor guided by these men banned together in the pre-trial hearings to eliminate my defense, while my public defender laid down and allowed it to happen. (He waited until the trial to throw me under the bus.)

If we could get all files from the computer I used as a consultant (my intellectual property), I know there will be a form of time stamps and trails of my innocence retained.  This likely can be found in the body of the documents and in a pattern of the altered date stamps (did I mention, not all date stamps were altered).  There will be a  footprint or series of footprints within the remaining files that can be followed, there always is.  We used to call the computer a black box when I first started in the audit /accounting profession.  It is not a black box anymore.  We know what's in there and how to pull that information together logically.  It is no longer a mystery.  The audit trail DOES exist...  Otherwise, why would they spend so much money and time to keep the tampered evidence away from me and the courts.  They know there is information there that I can decipher.  Information that can be tracked to support my innocence.

When a person has been falsely accused and wrongly convicted, there is just so much in the details of how that came about that can never be laid to rest until it is reconciled.  I have tried, believe me.  When I watch and read about the men who have received DNA exonerations after so many years of being incarcerated for a crime they did not do, I relate.  I can imagine their thoughts of turmoil over all those years.  The computer files in my case are very much like a DNA's just the computer's DNA, not mine.  But in this age of technology there sometimes is very little separation between the two.

 Intellectual property...Intellectual DNA...My computer files 

Ladies and gentlemen, we have arrived at that point in our technological advances.  You know they would not hesitate to use that computer's contents against me so why can't its contents be used for me?  Computer DNA: a fruit of evidence used to exonerate!  Habeas Corpus your job!

Did I mention the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution is the right to competent Counsel?  That is huge in my case and the heart of my Habeas.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Body Brokers

I spent nineteen months in the Dallas County Jail following my trial.  I was staying at County because of my appeal, otherwise I would have gone on down to the penitentiary ("TDCJ").   I had lived a rather sheltered life up to this time, being raised in a middle class home where manners, consideration for others and respect of each other and self were paramount, along with attending weekly church and church activities.  The day I was pushed into Lew Sterrett I felt like I entered into the stratosphere of another planet.  I had a long way to go to get to the surface of this new planet.

My own background, both as a child and then as a grown up was very different from most people I met in County or TDCJ.   My past included seven years at the university while working three part time jobs adding up to a full time(+) job with a full schedule at school and a bicycle for transportation.  Upon graduation I moved into the business world.  My first professional job at a CPA firm required at least eighty hours per week.  I buried myself in my work, believing that is what a person does who wants to advance in their career, never giving it a second thought.  As I moved to other companies I did the same, long hours, focused on the job, with very little social time. Likewise when I had my family, but I did the balancing act between my children and my self employed financial business.  Quite often continuing my work day after I put my kids to bed.  I never really questioned it, I was doing what I loved....being a mom and a financial and accounting consultant.  Then there was the development of The NOAH Project and I just added that to my daily to-do list.  Although somewhat over committed, I still thrived on the excitement of meeting work deadlines and the joys and challenges that come with parenthood of a special needs child and his precocious younger brother. 

So, with disoriented feelings of frustration, anger and sadness I plunged into the jail culture and came to know the people around me. I dedicated one of my book excerpts to the people of the oldest profession - The Prostitutes!  An interesting group of people.  Following is the excerpt:

The county jail, if nothing else, has a high volume of prostitutes, shuffling in and out.  Many are toothless, skin and bones, with tracks all over their arms, legs, hands, stomachs, breasts, necks and any other place where a visible vein could be found.  Quite often with absesses, dripping liquid infection, sharing our toilets, sinks and showers.  No antobiotics as the county seemed rarely concerned about the health of any inmate; all of us considered scum of the earth, scabs on society (no matter how we got there).

In the many months I have sat in this jail, moving from one tank to another, I have had the bewildering opportunity to observe the lifestyle and beliefs of the prostitutes which I have come to call the body brokers.  Being in the body broker business and hating men, their major customers, causes a need to medicate.  On the streets it is heroine, crack, ice and powder.  In the jail it is seroquil, thorazine, hydrocodone.....  just a transference of addictions to get them by until they are dumped on the street again.   Every single women I met who participated in this business had memories of being sexually abused as children.  They had been medicating their pain for most of their lives, finding drugs and alcohol at early ages.  There seemed no way out for them.

Interesting enough, these body brokers don't limit their selling/buying skills to bodies.  They would put Avon ladies and Fuller Brush salesmen to shame.  They buy and sell pills, soap, coffee, candy, honey buns and state issued panties and bras.  The buy/sell system is not allowed but happens anyway.  It is a barter system since cash and credit are no longer available.  On the streets it is services, stolen property and drugs.  It never stops, so long as they are awake, there is a deal going down.  It is the thrill of the that one aspect, no different than real estate or stock brokers.  Equal to insurance brokers.  They don't retire, it ceases to be about the money; they get high on the thought of doing the next deal and the next deal.  Another addiction?  Probably.

What will be gained?  Clear economic theory, matching demand and supply and getting something, anything, for making the connection, the "broker fee".  Never missing an opportunity.  Selling their souls, just for the game, the win, the challenge of doing it and getting away with it.  Conscience does not appear to be a part of this game.  The concept of right and wrong has long been buried deep, deep, deep in the lesioned recesses of gray matter...forgotten forever.

Hmmm, this is beginning to sound a bit like the case against me.  It was the gaming, the hustle, nothing personal...just another business deal.  An easy insurance scam, just another days work.  Just another conviction, the thrill of the courtroom drama.  Just another arrest, the adrenalin that comes with over powering somebody with the authority that goes with the uniform and title.  Part of the thrill may even be the escape from any consequences.  Immunity....

Prostitute?  What is the definition anyway?  Let's the Merriam-Webster dictionary I have here it says....."to devote to corrupt or unworthy purposes".  Golly, could it be?  Do we have soul a much "higher" level?  Bringing new souls into each new conspiracy?  Always growing the pot and stirring furiously.  Money or threats lure them in, with promises of a lasting position or freedom in the dark hierachy.  Sharpening their teeth on false depositions and testimonies.  Dripping souless black ooze from their dark hearts.  Absesses everywhere in what used to be their conscience.  Good Lord help me with these corallaries.  I am just saddened, what we humans have done to Your world.

This is a tough writing, with a lot of darkness, a pervasive influence in the jail and prison environments.  It has never been clear to me how we are rehabbing people.  Why aren't those prostitutes and extreme drug addicts put into intense therapy, getting to the core of their issues, then placed in real jobs as a follow up?  It is the only chance they have.  They are just turned out after a few days, weeks or months (rarely do they go on to prison).  There appears to be a revolving door at the county jail for this group of women.  Is that because society needs them as they are?  Is that because it keeps the arrest and conviction rates at near 100% thus assuring jobs and re-election for the DA?  I believe I have touched on a true societal issue.  It is this bad, don't ever think otherwise....and is starving for a solution from us, as fellow humans.

And, whoever thought of immunity?  What's that all about?  Why isn't everybody held  accountable?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The 4 W's and the Octopus Arms

The Who, What, When, Why's have been talked about throughout my blog by now, but I'd like to give you some specifics along with some of the letters and formal complaints I lodged.  I think we all know the Why's on the part of my false accusers, it can all be summed up in one word ....GREED.  As to the prosecutors it's all about convictions, convictions and more convictions.  In both situations it is about WINNING at all costs.  If prosecutors were ever put on death row for the characters they assassinated with their false, spell bound words we'd have to build an enormous new prison and perhaps then, the few remaining would think twice about seeking truth as they deal out "justice" in their court room dramas.

The What is: I was falsely charged with Theft - greater than $200,000....that translates to Embezzlement of $3,775,000. 

That leaves us with two W's.  The specifics as  to When are easy to get out of the way.  I was indicted in March 2004 in Dallas County.  As a result of the indictment I was arrested in April.  I lived in New Mexico at the time.  So I was taken to the Santa Fe Corrections facility, where I stayed for seven days while a $20,000 bond was worked out in Dallas, I was not required to be transported back to Dallas.  Following those seven days,  I was allowed to continue living in New Mexico and traveled into Dallas for monthly hearings.  Even then my attendance was waived for some of those hearings.  I was not considered a flight risk, yet it was rumored in the Collin County Business Journal that I had fled Texas.  I believe the term for that is yellow journalism.  After the first year on the $20,000 bond I was given a PR (personal recognizance) bond for the remaining time prior to my trial.  None of the bonds were ever violated.

Following the indictment we had years of continuances and pre-trial hearings.  My jury trial commenced on September 10, 2007 in Dallas County.  I was convicted on September 12th, not allowed to return home but remanded to jail straight out of the courtroom.  September 13th I was sentenced to eight years and my case was immediately put into appeal by my husband.  The Judge decided I was a flight risk (after three and a half years on bond!!!) and required a half million dollar appeals bond....more than some alleged murderers.  Eventually we were able to get the appeals bond down to $100,000 but even that was too much for my family who by then was depleted from helping me.  It's noteworthy to mention that while my sentence was eight years, the jury decided NO restitution, NO legal fees and NO court costs, which is all but unheard of coming out of Dallas.

That leaves us with Whosville...some days this feels like a crazy Dr. Seuss book....almost unreal had it not been for those 3 years of incarceration.  The pain of not being with my family quite often  felt unbearable....that was very real.  The first person I spoke to was Detective Steven Zuczek of DPD and as far as I know he is the only detective on my case.  I started with a defense attorney Tom Lockry.  He was not at all qualified to handle my trial or really even my case.  The initial Judge was Faith Johnson.  The second attorney I had was Mark Perez.  After about 4 months he asked for an additional $50,000.  We did not have it so I had to go to what's called Indigent status, and was appointed an attorney by the court.  Clark Birdsall was my court appointed attorney.  First he was a self employed defense attorney taking court appointments, then he became a public defender, employed by the State.  He remained with me through the trial.

The prosecutor through all the pretrial hearings was ADA Mike Moss.  He was replaced just before the trial by ADA Stephanie Martin.  I believe she is DA Craig Watkins's golden girl.  He recently used her with the Dallas County Commissioners as he fought to keep them from cutting his budget.  Her presentation to the County Commissioners was noted in The Dallas Morning News last fall. 

When Craig Watkins was ushered into the DA's office by the voters in January 2007, I also had a change in judges.  Tracy Holmes won the 2006 election and took over Faith Johnson's position in the 363rd District Court, where my case resided.  I thought the take over by the Democrats might fare well for me, thinking the old  boy network had been broken, but I was sadly mistaken.  It seemed they had a need to prove that they were tough on crime...or alleged crime, and were just putting everybody away as fast as they could....building a near 100% conviction rate.

Through out all of this I had  a lot of frustration.  I had exculpatory evidence withheld, forensics were a battle and what was recovered was kept out of my defense. I had constant struggles with my own attorney, Birdsall, to even get him to listen to me...and for the most part he was unavailable.  I gave up trying to meet with him and sent him tons of information via least then it was documented.  I tried, but you can't make somebody do what they don't want to do and he had made it clear he did not want my case.

I also tried to get Birdsall off my case, writing both the Judge and the head of Public Defenders, Brad Lollar.  Following is the letter to the Judge (Lollar's was almost identical):

I received no response whatsoever from the Judge regarding this request.  My husband (my witness to all of this) and I had a meeting with Lollar where he informed us that my case was not a priority and that I can't just up and change attorneys whenever I feel like it.  He told us that the fraternizing with the opposition complaint was absurd....and then walked us out of his office.  

The next major letter I wrote was to DA Craig Watkins, upon his taking over the DA's Office and had it delivered by courier:

Of course, no response but I did not give up, I kept thinking he was really concerned about wrongful convictions...I didn't realize he had replaced Moss with one of his top prosecutors...although I would soon learn.  Here is the second letter to DA Craig Watkins:

I also sent formal complaints on the Judges to the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.  Below is the attachment to the complaint for Judge Faith Johnson:

Nothing came of these complaints prior to the trial.  I have since learned they are more interested in discrimination type misconduct.  I tried everything I could to bring attention to the irregularities in my case but could get no action.  All I ever wanted was a fair trial.  It just did not happen.  Those were the players.  Very real and very dangerous folks.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Newsweek Essay Contest

My dear cousin, Nancy, figured out a way to keep me busy and challenged while I was incarcerated.  Nancy writes the blog, "Minding My Own Business" ( a very fun blog.  She knew I liked to write also so she found me the Newsweek essay contest called "My Turn Editor".  At once I set out making entries to the contest.  I rarely was able to watch anything of significance on the TV but I was lucky enough to see O'bama's first Address to the Nation and I had some thoughts I wanted to share...they seemed important at the time.  Following is my cover letter and essay entry, it reveals some more of that inside information, although at a very different level.

February 16, 2009

My Turn Editor
251 West 57th Street
New York, NY  10019-1894

Dear Sir or Madam:

I previously wrote on February 4, 2009 explaining my situation.  I want to make entries to your contest but am unable to obtain use of a computer to email my entries, as I am incarcerated with my case currently under appeal.

I have enclosed my second entry to your contest regarding O'bama's recent Address to the Nation.  Hopefully you will consider it for your contest as I believe I have a unique perspective which may be of interest to your readers.

Thank you in advance for your consideration of my entry.

Sincerely yours,

Audrey A. White


     O'bama's Address to the Nation was interesting and felt like a rerun movie to me.  He talked about the lack of confidence in banks and the FDIC's ability.  This reminds me of the Savings & Loan institutions/banks and the FSLIC/FDIC situation of the late 1980's.  I worked through all aspects of that as an accounting and finance consultant to this country's #1 real estate developer of the time, The Trammell Crow Company.  There are many parallels to be drawn.  Oddly enough the benefit of the bailout did not necessarily go to the average American citizens but filtered back to the moneyed people. 

     Here is how it worked.  In the 1980's the real estate market (both commercial and multi-family housing) became grossly overbuilt, as a result of tax shelters and lenient lending practices.  The 1986 Tax Reform Act was passed phasing out the tax shelter in passive investments and overnight the equity markets dried up.  The real estate market, being overbuilt left extremely high vacancy rates throughout the country.  Real estate developments could no longer pay their debt service.  In a loss situation these real estate interests were unable to turn to the equity partners for funding since they could no longer write off the losses.  Consequently there was massive defaults on loans as real estate entities could not pay the interest on these huge loan balances, much less the monthly amortization of principal.  

     Throughout the nation lending institutes were forced to foreclose or work-out a debt restructure on their real estate loans.  With the high vacancies the reduced  value of the collateral for those loans became evident, the values had taken a nose dive.  The lending institutes no longer held appropriate collateral and for all the foreclosures they were left holding over-valued real estate, negatively impacting their liquidity ratios.  FSLIC and FDIC (to a lesser extent) were forced to close down high volumes of financial institutions, paying back depositors their insured funds, depleting FSLIC and FDIC sources and now leaving these government agencies with enormous inventory of deflated real estate properties.

     While most small and medium sized developers went bankrupt, the belief among the few large developers, was the market was simply correcting itself for inflated values created by the FUNNY MONEY, and was long over due.  The men I worked for did not see this economic upheaval as a bad thing but an opportunity.

     The effect of this "correction" was to clear out the little men and remove the middle men and allowed the big guys to get bigger, as they reorganized and took advantage of the bailout money.  They were seen as weathering the storm although they too had many foreclosures and bankruptcies among their thousands of individual real estate entities (several tiers of entities for each property).  They had clearly participated in the use of the FUNNY MONEY, collecting their fees on the front end of each real estate deal and minimizing their exposure.  They knew the markets were overbuilt but so long as the money was there, they were building.  They were eventually given preferential treatment in the work-outs because the lending institutions and insuring government agencies could not continue to grow or maintain their real estate portfolios.

      The major developers were now recognized as the experts in real estate (unlike the government bureaucrats), those having the know-how to reverse and correct bad construction, manage the lease up and sale of properties (albeit at rock bottom prices).  They were given the work and received substantial fees from the government to get it done.

     In addition, the major developers formed joint ventures with major investment sources, like Mutual Benefit and Paine Webber.  They created what they called "Vulture Funds" and bought these properties at reduced prices from FSLIC and FDIC and continuing lending institutes, hence relieving the real estate-heavy balance sheets of lenders and government agencies and further enriching themselves with real estate that had no place to go but up.

     The acquisition fees, development fees, rehab fees plus property and asset management fees grew exponentially for these wealthy few.  The shift of wealth in this country only moved up the food chain with average Americans remaining very much the same.  Yes, jobs were created, but at the bottom of the pay scale.  The labor force was paid little because so many were unemployed and seeking to put food on the table.  The usual equation was in place - too much supply, not enough demand: therefore labor rates low and consequently, profits to the few remained high.  The major real estate developers continued to rake in the majority of the bailout money.

    Today we have a similar situation in many ways.  Therefore, the hard questions for O'bama's Stimulus Bill have to be asked:

  • Does bailout reward bad behavior?   YES 
  • Is it irresponsible to do nothing?   YES
  • Does transparency and accountability need to be in place?   ABSOLUTELY
  • Who needs to see this transparency and accountability?  THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.  The data should be made public.  In looking at the transparency, look at arm's length transactions.  As part of that information - the examination must include disclosure of who is benefiting - who is behind the corporate and partnership veils - who are the shareholders and who are the partners/employees receiving the bailouts and profits generated.  Take a hard look at employees and consultants being paid within these entities.  Notice who owns the businesses they do business with.  Is it the same people?
     Correction of the system is painful for many.  If we do not learn from the past, then, in another 20 years we will be revisiting once again the underlying cause - shoddy economic policy.  Having lenient lending practices in an attempt to boost the economy is always short lived and will always cost us a lot of energy and resources that could otherwise be used for a greater cause.

     Perhaps if Bush was not so set on trying to convince the American people that our economy was strong and we had no problems and if we were not so set on needing to believe him, then we would not be in this situation again.  Now the history lessons are here and all of us will need to heed this knowledge in our quest to become much more responsible citizens, as O'bama has called us to be.

It was not published as you may have guessed.  In retospect, this might have been useful information.  At any rate, the essay contest served its gave me a purpose and some goals.  All vitally important in maintaining sanity.  They may have surrounded me with bars, walls and locks but they could not keep my thoughts inside their walls nor would I allow them to take away my beliefs.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Nothing Hidden

Today I will share with you some of the newspaper articles published while The NOAH Project was being planned and built.  There was never an attempt to hide the school.  As one of my early attorney's said...(1) you don't have the profile of a thief and (2) all the money is accounted for down to the penny and (3) nothing was ever hidden.  Significant facts (never mentioned in the trial)  all screaming: "AUTHORIZED"!  "APPROVED"!  "LEGITIMATE"!

These first two articles were printed in the Plano Star Courier and were pertaining to the School and our Speaking Series:

This next article was in the Metro Section of the Dallas Morning News once construction commenced:

This article was brought to my attention by my ex-client, I didn't know when it would be published and he happened to see it before I did.   Yet, this is the man who said in his deposition he had no prior knowledge of the school.  These articles do not reflect the actions of someone who is trying to hide something.  All of this was not allowed in the trial because of the Motion in Limine.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A Plea to Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor

After 16 months of being held in Dallas County Jail I became aware Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor was focused on improving the justice system, including conditions in the jail and prison systems.  By then I was so frustrated at the conditions and most of all I wanted access to the Law Library but my requests were all going unanswered.  I had read in a book there was an Amendment Right passed in the late 1960's that required prisons and jails to provide weekly time to the prisoners in the Law Library if requested.  There was no place to turn in Dallas County, even though there was a grievance appeared to be non-helpful and the word among inmates was grievances could work against you in the parole process.  At Dallas County mail was reviewed coming in to the inmates but was not reviewed going out so a friend gave me O'Connor's address and I decided to write her.   Following is my letter:

January 10, 2009

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
c/o U.S. Supreme Court
Washington D.C.

Dear Justice O'Connor:

I am fascinated by your work to restore respect and confidence to the United States justice system.  I have heard of your hard work through family and friends who keep me apprised of attitudes, beliefs and actions which may be helpful in my own cry for justice.  I appreciate what you are doing to bring balance back to the scales of justice.

Five years ago I was falsely accused and eventually wrongly convicted of a crime I did not commit.  It took four years, while on a PR Bond, for my case to come to trial in Dallas County (Texas).  During those four years we had several Pre-Trial Hearings whereby my false accusers showed up with their fleet of civil attorneys and convinced the Judge the evidence I was asking for was either irrelevant or privileged.  So, in effect, the high powered, wealthy men who falsely accused me were allowed to determine what I could use in my defense thus relieving themselves of having any self-incriminating evidence surface in my trial.  I begged for my case to be moved to the Federal venue and to involve the FBI in forensics and investigation for which I was denied all.  It was my hope we could place my case in the hands of a group of professionals far more qualified in white collar crime to see what had truly happened in my case.  For the men who falsely accused me are, in fact, guilty of insurance fraud, tax fraud, divorce fraud, forgery, tampering with evidence, creating evidence and racketeering, to name a few.  Unfortunately, these men, have been protected thus far and nobody has even so much as inquired about the support I have for these allegations, nor provided me with the forensics tested documents I require to prove my innocence.  Likewise, my public defender had no interest in my case or the trial.  In a Hearing he told the Judge he did not have time for it but was denied withdrawal from my case.  I also asked he be removed for various reasons and was ignored.

President Bush and his Administration's assault on our Constitutional Rights had a domino effect in this country's justice system.  In my own case the following Amendment rights were violated and remain outstanding:
  1. Freedom of speech
  2. Illegal seizure of property
  3. Deprivation of liberty without a FAIR trial
  4. Withholding of exculpatory evidence
  5. Incompetent counsel
  6. Excessive bail on appeals bond
I am aware you do not handle personal appeals, I provide the above information only as background for how I came to be in my current situation.  I have been incarcerated now for over 16 months in the Dallas County Jail while going through the appeal process.  It is my understanding the state appeal process has to be exhausted before this can be moved to the Federal process.  I am told I am looking at as much as 6 or more years before it will even be moved to a more qualified venue.

What I'd like to share with you is my experience of being in the Dallas County Jail while going through the appeal process.  I am housed with women who primarily come off the streets for prostitution and drug charges.  It is so difficult to maintain my sense of innocence and decency among creatures who take crime and abhorrent lifestyles casually, as if it is normal living conditions in the U.S.  I have been threatened with my life by some of these street people.  I have no experience with street wars, drugs or violence.  In this forced association with the undisciplined I fear every moment for my personal safety as these women are volatile and impulsive in their nature.  Some are downright predatory.

I am 54 years old and have gone 16 months without proper nutrition - no dairy products or fresh vegetables and fruit or supplemental vitamins.  My health has been in question and obtaining medical services is close to impossible.  When I complete requests for medical services I am ignored or seen several weeks later.  I am in need of fresh air and sunshine - all of which is non existent.

I have put in over 20 requests for Law Library and only been taken two times in 16 months for approximately one half hour each time.  I have a deprivation of knowledge for how my own career (accounting and finance) is changing in light of this country's economic upheaval.  We are not allowed newspapers or magazines.  That will be a real handicap once I am exonerated and attempt to resume my business life.  In addition, its hard for me to educate myself on the legal process for which I am dependent for my exoneration.  It is very difficult, if not impossible, to help myself in these unfavorable circumstances, but not for lack of trying.

The pain of having to leave my children during their important teen years has been excruciating.  One of my boys is now 16 years old, making good grades, plus on the high school basketball team and is working a part time job.  My other son is 17 years old, has severe autism and hasn't fared so well during these times as he is regressing.  I have always been his greatest advocate and the only one he will talk to with his limited language skills.

Why on earth is it so difficult, without wealth, to get adequate counsel, a fair trial or an appeal process that can be quick and just?  Or, at the very least, while in here provided services/conditions that will allow for a more positive and healthy environment?  In here we have to fight for toilet paper and menstrual pads, sometimes going without.  Where is the humanity?  I know I am asking for this at a time when funding is being cut everywhere, while our country is in dire economic straits, but surely something can be done.

Thank you for your time and consideration in reading my letter.  Perhaps this information will be useful in your endeavors.  Thank you for standing out like a shining star in a very dark and sometimes corrupt justice system.  Your efforts are stellar and courageous.

Respectfully yours,

Audrey A. White 

I never received so much as an acknowledgement BUT within 2 weeks of this letter they started responding to my requests allowing me to go to the Law Library every week for approximately two hours each visit.  To me that was my answer.  During that time I was able to read the newspaper and study the habeas corpus process and cases with similar issues.   

My biggest concern from the beginning of the incarceration (of things I could effect) was that my brain not turn to mush.  There were so many inmates walking around who were just burnt out from their use of drugs, alcohol and extremely difficult living conditions in the "real" world.  To help, my mom sent me Sudoku puzzles so I could do those mental exercises.  I read books, finally started going to the Law Library and wrote constantly.  I wrote long letters to various media sources but could not get anybody to pick up my story...for some reason my case was off limits.  I don't know if that was the influence of my false accusers or the lack of having a single sound bite that could describe my case.  Certainly lesser crimes were reported daily.  Now I have the opportunity to blog and tell my own story.  Once exonerated I can publish my book.