It appears some old rivalries in Brazos County law are rearing their heads once again.
Just a few days ago, we found out that District Judge Rick Davis extended the term of a Brazos County grand jury because they had not finished looking into some matters. Thursday, Judge Davis refused to recuse himself from that grand jury, despite District Attorney Bill Turner's request. The DA's office is considering all options after the Davis decision.
Also Thursday, it appears that grand jury met without too many people knowing about it.
At 9am, the grand jury met in the third floor conference room of the Galleria Building. That room, according to officials at the building, was reserved by attorney Patrick Meece, from 9 until noon. Meece was Turner's opponent in the 2004 district attorney's race.
When asked about it, Meece's office refused comment on any grand jury proceedings, and would not confirm or deny reserving the room.
"It's just our understanding that the extended grand jury met today at 9 o'clock," said Shane Phelps with the DA's office. "The District Attorney's office was given no prior notice from the foreperson about what the meeting was about, where it was to be held, and any advice from us was not sought."
According to the order, Judge Davis writes that during this period of extension, the grand jury may meet at any time and at any suitable place that they please per Article 20.01 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, that the proceedings need to be conducted legally, and necessary people need to be notified.
Article 20.01 in its entirety, reads, "After the grand jury is organized, they shall proceed to the discharge of their duties in a suitable place which the sheriff shall prepare for their sessions."
We spoke with authorities at the sheriff's office, who say they had no knowledge of the meeting.
While grand jury discussions are completely confidential, there are some familiar with the proceedings who speculate that discussions of a possible indictment of someone in the DA's office was the topic of Thursday's meeting. Davis has questions whether the office may have misused funds.
In Davis's refusal to recuse himself, he specifically mentions that if Turner or his staff were indicted, he would recuse himself from that trial.
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