As we reported back when it happened in February, city councilmember Jolanda Jones went to a publich earing on alleged HPD abuses handed out cards urging residents to not talk to police if questioned, cards which contained the phone number of her criminal-defense practice.
She's now in hot water from an investigation into that incident. The charges from the city's inspector general are mostly minor -- using city phones and employees for some tasks related to her law practice -- but more importantly, the IG's report notes that Jones interfered with the investigation by "instructing her staff not to meet with the OIG investigator thus hindering their ability to fully cooperate."
The report also said " Jones was untruthful in her sworn sstatement when she denied using City resources and employees to aid in the furtherance of her private law practice and when she denied instructing, directing and/or encouraging her staff to postpone, cancel or delay meeting with the OIG investigator.
That's a pretty serious charge. Not in terms of criminality, really, because the report says her untruthfulness and obstruction violated an executive order of the city, not an ordinance.
The charges involving use of city resources are Class C misdemeanors. City Attorney David Feldman says he is still deciding whether to file charges against Jones.
Jones issued this statement: "I have just received this report and will comment further once I have reviewed it. I hold myself and my staff to the highest ethical standards. I look forward to clearing up any misunderstandings with respect to this report as expeditiously as the process permits."
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.