Yes, it's true! Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales, among others (such as Brownsville Sen. Eddie Lucio Jr), are now under indictment in south Texas for "engaging in organized criminal activity" in the matter of prisoner abuse at an immigration prison in south Texas, by a District Attorney who, according to this article, has "a reputation for wackiness and little time left in office."
The DA: Willacy County District Attorney Juan Angel Guerra,
a 53-year-old Rio Grande Valley prosecutor who drew national attention for suing counterparts in the county justice system and staging a protest with barnyard animals, long has alleged high-ranking corruption in the deals that brought the impoverished county a $60 million immigration detention center.
Ah, those wonderful immigration detention centers! I'm sure Cheney was so proud! And now to think it could actually end up with .... dare we hope???
The prosecutor didn't really aim that high.
“I didn't intend to go after the vice president. That was not my intention,” said Guerra, who dubbed the investigation Operation Goliath. “We just followed the money, followed the corruption. It just happened that it just took us all the way to Washington.”
Not surprising. Scott Horton, could this be the answer to your prayers?
Cheney is accused of contributing to the neglect of federal immigration detainees by contracting for-profit prisons.
“By working through corporations as prisons for profit, Defendant Richard Cheney has committed at least misdemeanor assaults of our inmates and/or detainees,” the indictment reads, adding that a “money trail” can be traced to Cheney's substantial investments in the Vanguard Group, which invests in privately run prisons.
Megan Mitchell, spokeswoman for Cheney, said: “We have not received an indictment. We haven't received a call from the district attorney's office. ... We haven't heard anything from the district attorney.”
Guerra said he kept Operation Goliath secret for four months over concern that pressure would be brought to bear to stop it.
Wise move there, too. But that "misdemeanor" part seems too paltry for the Angler. Let's hope the DA's reputation for drama doesn't undercut the seriousness of this case. There's been a political struggle here, and it may extend beyond Texas.
In 2007, after being indicted on public theft charges, he camped in front of the county jail with goats, roosters and a horse to symbolize what he called a “circus” against him. Those charges were dismissed, as more recently were other indictments accusing him of corruption including tampering with government records and abusing his office.
Guerra later sued the county judge, county sheriff, county clerks, and others.
Guerra has contended the indictments against him were meant to keep him from being re-elected. He lost in the March primary election.
Regarding Lucio's comment that the indictments are a circus act, he said, “This was a grand jury that had been looking into this for the past four months. That's belittling the grand jury.”
Now the case is set for arraignment, but the Judge, Judge Manuel Banales, has said he will issue summonses, thus avoiding arrests and the need to post bond. He also allowed attorneys to appear for the accused for the arraignment.
And things look somewhat up in the air, too.
In the latest bizarre development in the case, the lame-duck prosecutor who won the indictments was a no-show in court Wednesday. The judge ordered Texas Rangers to go to Willacy County District Attorney Juan Guerra's house, check on his well-being and order him to court on Friday.
Let's hope he shows up, fires up, and gets something moving before this whole momentum fizzles out...like those impeachment proceedings.