Former Officer Aaron Dean’s Chief Attorney is a director under investigation.
Fort Worth, Texas — Editor’s Note: The video above is from September 20th.
A grand jury investigation into the Tarant Regional Water District could affect the prosecution of a former Fort Worth police officer accused of killing Atatiana Jefferson, the WFAA learned.
According to the district’s website, former executive Aaron Dean’s chief attorney, Jim Lane, is a member of the Talent Regional Water District Board of Directors and is the secretary of that board. Lane’s attorney confirmed with WFAA that he was one of the people who received a target letter from a Tarrant County law firm in connection with a water district investigation.
“It’s right that this affects Dean,” said Bob Gil, a lawyer representing Lane. “The same organization that is prosecuting Dean is currently investigating the behavior of Dean’s chief lawyer.
“It’s certainly a big distraction from Dean’s case,” added Gil, who represents Dean.
Randy Johnston, a Dallas lawyer specializing in legal error and legal ethics, said DA’s office is not obliged to withdraw from the Dean case because the two situations are unrelated.
But he added, “it looks terrible.”
“I’m skating on thin ice because it looks inappropriate,” Johnston said, and chased lawyers, “disappearing them to be good and enthusiastic defenders of their clients.” I’m trying to do it. “
He also said it would cause problems for Lane, as it could create a look that is less enthusiastic about representing his clients due to his own legal situation.
“If it doesn’t look good and one can influence the other, it can cause problems for both,” says Johnston.
Anna Tinsley Williams, a spokeswoman for DA’s office, said the office “will not withdraw from the Dean case.” She also said the office could not comment on the water survey because she did not comment on the ongoing survey.
When Dean stepped into the backyard, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson was shot dead on October 12, 2019 while playing a video game with her 8-year-old nephew at her home in Fort Worth. The neighbor called 911 for a welfare check because the door had been open for hours.
The arrest warrant states three times that Dean did not announce that he was a police officer as he roamed the house. According to police records, Jefferson picked up the gun and got up to look out the window when he was shot. Jefferson died on the scene.
Dean was charged with murder at Jefferson’s death, but the proceedings were suspended due to a pandemic. A trial date was set on November 16 in Tarrant County.
This week, Fort Worth Star Telegram reported that a grand jury would consider reconciling the Tarant Regional Water District with former general manager Jim Oliver. Star Telegram reported that the board was asked to keep records related to “personnel issues.” Documents and records related to decisions made by the Board of Directors in connection with paid leave policy. And “communication or other evidence made to encourage felony”.
“The entire board relies on the advice of lawyers in every move it makes on this issue, and everything they do can be said to have been done in the best interests of the board and taxpayers. “Gill said. “We certainly deny all cheating. Everything was done on board in accordance with Texas law.”
Atatiana Jefferson: Water surveys can affect cases
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