Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bravo HC ADA Hobbs!

One of the Harris County Assistant District Attorneys that presented cases to us today was Mr. Carl W. Hobbs. He prosecutes all the welfare fraud cases in 22 District Courts he is absolutely awesome.

First off he’s even more anal than me and that’s saying something! I say that as high praise! It's my considered opinion that if it wasn't for the anals of the world nothing would ever be accomplished. Someone has to step up to the plate and get the job done and why not do it right the first time? All his cases were in alphabetical order. Their folders were pristine with no loose pages sticking out haphazardly and each folder was new and well taken care of. TRUE all of them were 1st timers because they don’t get to be 2nd timers so it’d be easier to keep their folders in good order, but dragging around TWO boxes of file folders is difficult at best. He used one of those handy, dandy metal carts with bungee cords to keep the boxes secure.

Of the 36 cases he presented today, four were for Tampering With Government Documents and the rest for Thefts of Food Stamps, Medicaid and TANF (Temporary Assistance For Needy Families). All of the thefts were because they were not declaring all the household income and/or letting the Gov know when they made more money than is allowed to receive assistance benefits. All of them were interviewed and most refused to make statements. All of them were caught in a computer cross check and the evidence is in black and white for all the world to see. Of those that did make statements the prevailing theme seemed to be in the vein of “the dog ate my homework”….they didn’t know their husband/son/daughter/etc. was working and bringing in extra money to the home or they didn’t report their temp job at Wal-Mart because they didn’t think they’d be there very long or they forgot they were working 2 or 3 jobs and accepting assistance too!

All of them will be given 40 days from their court appearance to pay back the money and avoid jail time. ALL of them will have a felony conviction on their records forever. Paying back the money does not negate the crime. None of them are currently in the Harris County Jail, but now that ALL of them have been True Billed, they’ll be picked up ASAP and the fun will begin for them.

All in all it was a very light day for us. Our main ADA only brought in 31 cases (all were True Billed), then six ADAs brought one case each. All but one of those was True Billed.

I’m personally thrilled to see so many Felony In Possession Of Firearm cases being presented and True Billed. As a card carrying life time member of the NRA I’d much rather see the hammer coming down on the convicted felons for gun violations than people with no criminal history being treated like felons just because they own firearms, but I digress. The main topic of this one was praise for Mr. Hobbs and the gratitude we Grand Jurors expressed for being “our” guy in Harris County keeping an eye on our dough and slam dunking those that would cheat the system.

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