Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hypocrisy... look who was convicted by a jury for fraud and conspiracy in October 1994...

Wow. Buried in this AP story about pre election mud slinging are some very real, very new, and very damaging revelations about Kay's past (link). Excerpt follows...

The research book released by Perry numbered in the hundreds of pages and revisits a controversy over private prisons in six Texas counties — prisons that were built with bond financing that the Hutchison law firm helped put together. The project was a financial disaster and the state wound up buying them at a fire sale price. Today, they're mostly used as prison transfer facilities and can hold about 3,200 inmates, according to Texas Department of Criminal Justice spokeswoman Michelle Lyons.

The records show Ray Hutchison served as bond counsel in 1989 — acting as the lawyer who said the debt-financing scheme met legal requirements — for the now-disgraced developers who built the private prisons. Texas Ethics Commission records also show Kay Bailey Hutchison listed her husband's law firm, Hutchison, Boyle, Brook & Fisher, as her employer in 1989, and she reported $25,000 in income from the firm that year.

Hutchison's campaign says she only worked at her husband's firm for five months that year and did no work on the prison bonds.

The private prison construction deal, including Ray Hutchison's role in it, was well-documented at the time by the news media. What's new are court documents, released Tuesday both by the Perry and Hutchison campaigns, that describe what happened in the federal lawsuit that the project sparked.

A 1993 court order says that Ray Hutchison and his firm were dismissed from the case and did not engage in any fraud or conspiracy. That record was released by the Hutchison campaign after Perry aides produced one that seems to contradict it: the lengthy jury verdict that was issued almost a year later, in October 1994, that directed the defendants to pay almost $80 million. It's not clear from the documents why the jury issued a verdict that included the Hutchisons after a settlement was reached, and neither campaign could explain.

Tucked inside the verdict: a list of defendants that also included both Ray Hutchison and his law firm among the parties that were found to have committed civil fraud and conspiracy by giving the legal signoff on the tax-free bonds that provided $74 million in debt-financing for the facilities.

This is pretty amazing that this is just now coming out, 16 years later... it also leaves some questions unanswered. Why did a jury find the Hutchisons guilty even after the settlement?

This story probably never garnered any traction because it is hard to follow. Too many moving parts. I just had to read this article about 3 or 4 times before I absorbed what the scheme was. I still have a lot of questions that the writer did not answer for me...

Boiled down... this does seem to fit into the shady bond business stories I have read about Kay steering federal earmarks toward her husband's bond firm... only this was basically using the state to bail out private jails financed in a fraudulent way...

I think this deserves some serious answers. What exactly happened? How was the guilty verdict kept completely quiet for 16 years? Someone needs to explain more background on this deal. What exactly happened to the prisons? Were they all built? Just some of them? What exactly is a "fire sale price" that the state bought them for? Were they up to code, or what was the deal? Did any investors lose everything Enron style? Who ended up paying the settlement?

I think this story has a lot more to it, but it seems like the story is written somewhat dismissively because of when the information dropped. Rick's peeps really should have given this to the press months ago... or at least a month ago... not 6 days before election day when it seems like all they are doing is flinging mud. Honestly this should have been out 16 years ago... voters deserve to know things like this... an actual jury conviction. That is huge. This is another major egg on the face of the Texas press for failing to uncover this year after year...



  2. Korruptocrat Bailey Hutchinson. This is the tip of the iceberg, believe me. I know things that could put her away for 10-15 years.

  3. the conviction of Hutchison and his co-conspirators took place in Fort Stockton, Pecos County, TX
    The DA was Albert Valadez. It made the Fort Stockton Pioneer, but nowhere else.


Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.