Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

Is a Texas Lawmaker a Criminal Lawbreaker?

Rep. Ron Reynolds

Texas state Representative Ron Reynolds was re-elected last Tuesday, facing the voters in House District 27 the same day that he faced jurors for the first time in Montgomery County on six felony charges. Leading up to the trial, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office was required to release all “evidence of prior convictions, extraneous offenses and other bad acts” they planned to bring up in the trial against Rep. Reynolds (Reynolds’ Prior Convictions Extraneous Offenses and Other Bad Acts). Reynolds was indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury last year on 10 felony counts and an 11th felony indictment was recently added, but the DA’s office agreed to try Reynolds on only six of the charges.

Misdemeanor Conviction and Mistrial
The jury in Montgomery County could not come to a unanimous verdict on the felony charges, and decided to convict Reynolds last Friday on the lesser misdemeanor charge of improper “solicitation of professional employment” on all six counts. Then on Monday, the judge declared a mistrial due to juror misconduct. Reynolds’ defense team is arguing that the jury found Reynolds not guilty on the felony charges before the juror misconduct took place as part of the misdemeanor convictions, and therefore double jeopardy precludes the Montgomery County DA from reintroducing the felony charges in the re-trial. Conversely, the Montgomery County DA’s office is arguing that the juror misconduct and mistrial wipe away both the misdemeanor convictions and the not guilty verdict on the felony charges.

Montgomery County Judge Lisa Michalk is expected to decide whether the DA can reintroduce the felony charges before the start of the January 5th re-trial.

Harris County Civil Lawsuits
Rep. Reynolds recently finalized three civil lawsuits in Harris County, and has five pending Harris County civil lawsuits. All of the civil lawsuits stem from alleged misconduct in his personal injury law practice.

In Memorial MRI vs Reynolds, the Harris County judge ordered Reynolds to pay $172,000 to Memorial MRI for non-payment of his personal injury clients (Memorial MRI v Reynolds_Final Judgment). More than $165,000 is still owed, and the matter has been turned over to a special receiver (Memorial MRI turnover).

In Braulio vs Reynolds, Sara Braulio sued Reynolds on behalf of herself and her minor child, who hired Reynolds to represent them after being injured in an automobile accident. Braulio accused Reynolds of settling the lawsuit without her knowledge or consent, forging her signature on over $13,000 worth of checks that were intended to pay medical bills for herself and her child, and keeping the settlement money for himself (Braulio v Reynolds Original Petition). After Reynolds repeatedly failed to provide requested financial documents (Braulio v Reynolds signed order to compel), he agreed to pay $20,000 to settle the tort (Braulio v Reynolds Agreed Judgment).

In Johnson vs Reynolds, Tiffany Gooden Johnson sued Reynolds on behalf of herself and five family members, who hired Reynolds to represent them after being seriously injured in an automobile accident. Johnson accused Reynolds of settling the lawsuit without her knowledge or consent. This tort was settled earlier this year, and the settlement agreement is not disclosed (Johnson v Reynolds Original Petition).

Four of Reynolds pending civil lawsuits are similar to the Memorial MRI lawsuit. Fifteen Houston area health care companies are suing Reynolds for non-payment after they treated his personal injury clients, and Reynolds used their treatments and test results to win favorable settlements (Fomine v Reynolds Original Petition, US Imaging v Brown Brown and Reynolds Original Petition, H Ameri Health v Reynolds Original Petition, & Pacific Health v Reynolds Original Petition).

The other pending civil lawsuit against Reynolds is the Texas Bar Assocation’s tort that is related to the felony charges in Montgomery County. This lawsuit is set to go to trial in December, but will likely be pushed back since it is dependent upon the outcome of the Montgomery County trial (Commission for Lawyer Discipline v Reynolds Original Petition).

Is a Texas Lawmaker a Criminal Lawbreaker?
The State of Texas (via the Montgomery County DA’s Office), 15 Houston health care companies, and the Texas Bar Associaion believe that state Rep. Ron Reynolds is a criminal lawbreaker, but the voters of House District 27 just re-elected him as a Texas lawmaker. The major Houston media waited until after the election was over to cover the felony trial, in spite of the fact that juror selection began the day before the November 4th general election.

Disclosure: I was the Republican Nominee for Texas House District 27 state Rep, and challenged Rep. Reynolds (unsuccessfully) in last Tuesday’s general election.

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November 13, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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