Today the AusChron has a piece up on the latest happenings in the WCGOP race for Constable in Precinct 1, WilCo Officials Close Ranks in Constable Race. As usually happens when elected officials involve themselves in a primary against an incumbent, it’s getting dicey.
The article reiterates the fact that many elected officials have come out in support of incumbent Gary Griffin’s opponent, because Griffin has stood up to them on several occassions. Nothing wrong with that. It also goes through the history of the county and their issues with Griffin, (see more here from EOW), and that the resentment of Griffin all goes back to his involvement in the investigation of former Sheriff John Maspero.
As for Griffin, his own trouble with law enforcement started when he began documenting evidence that would support the removal of former Sheriff John Maspero for public drunkenness and misconduct. Griffin says Maspero, who resigned in 2003, had warned him at the time, “If you slap a king, you better kill him.” Bradley was reportedly strongly opposed to the investigation of Maspero. “My Achilles heel is that I strive to hold others to the same standard I hold myself,” Griffin said at a recent campaign debate. “I’m a peace officer. I put my hand on a Bible to uphold the Texas and U.S. constitutions. We are all mandated … to follow the rules.”
Broadly speaking, Griffin believes his independent streak is what most irks WilCo officials. “I never go along just to get along,” he says. In that spirit, dozens of survivors of the 1997 tornado in Jarrell credit Griffin for ignoring a law-enforcement communiquÃ© to stay away from the area. He and other constables at the time were subsequently recognized by the governor’s office for their heroic efforts before and after the tornado struck. Griffin was the first to arrive, which allowed him to lead some residents to safety.
The article also had this little nugget, an oh so rare felony reduction in Williamson County, for opponent Robert Chody’s mother:
Meanwhile, Chody may have received another assist from elected law-enforcement officials in a criminal case involving his mother, Marisia Chody, who in May 2006 was charged with passing a fake prescription for a controlled substance. She ultimately entered into a felony plea agreement. Months later, as Chody’s campaign was revving up, defense attorney Marc Ranc requested sentencing continuances so he could consult with an immigration attorney regarding an “immigration issue,” according to records. Next, the D.A.’s office, which ordinarily prides itself as being a “zero-tolerance” crime-fighting operation, initiated a “felony reduction” on Marisia Chody’s behalf, which allowed her to re-enter a plea to a misdemeanor on Oct. 1. In a voice mail, Assistant D.A. Jana McCown offered this explanation of the do-over: “Initially, that defendant pled guilty to the offense in the felony [case]. … Then, at some point after that, when she came back to be sentenced, the defense attorney had come up with some issue regarding immigration, and the judge allowed her to withdraw her plea. … It was subsequently renegotiated and sent to the county attorney’s office to be prosecuted as a misdemeanor.”
By most accounts, such plea deals involving immigrants are very rare. Asked what the immigration issue concerned, defense lawyer Ranc responded loudly, “It’s none of your business!” Indeed, Pat Reilly, of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Office of Public Affairs, confirmed that U.S. immigration agencies must keep such records confidential. “But it does sound like she had a lot at stake,” Reilly offered. What little information the Chronicle could glean on this front is that in 1956, Mrs. Chody entered the U.S. as a tourist named Marisia Stepien, arriving here from Paris.
The result of this race will give some an interesting insight into the current state of the GOP voter in Precinct 1 and how willing they are to follow the county leadership’s advice.