Did the DA’s Office file a new case just to avoid discussing its dismissal of Club Dallas charges?

Charges have now been dismissed against seven of the 11 men arrested in the Dallas Police Department’s raid of The Club Dallas in October, according to Dallas County court records.

In addition, as of this morning, there was no record of charges ever being filed by the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office against three of the 11 men.

Oddly, though, a new case was filed against one of the 11 men on Jan. 28, and it’s now pending.

We say oddly because all of the other cases — the original seven — were filed in November or early December. And most of them were dismissed in early January, with the last one dismissed on Jan. 27 — just one day before the new case was filed.

So, why has the DA’s Office now chosen to file a new case against one of the remaining four men arrested in the raid?

We’re trying to get an explanation from the DA’s Office, but here’s our best guess:

District Attorney Craig Watkins has declined to comment on his office’s decision to dismiss the cases. Watkins’ stated reason for not commenting was that at least one case was still pending. He said commenting on the dismissed cases could affect prosecution of the pending case. But that’s BS. Watkins’ real reason for not commenting was that he simply didn’t want to comment on this sensitive topic. And he still doesn’t, so in order to keep his excuse valid, his office has to ensure that at least one case is pending. So, after the lone case that was previously pending was dismissed, his office had to file a new one.

Again, this is just a theory, and it could be totally off. Who knows, maybe it’s typical for the DA’s Office to file seven of 11 cases stemming from the same incident, then dismiss most of them a month later, then file one of the other four a month after that. After all, Instant Tea is not a prosecutor.

—  John Wright

DPD says it has not yet made a determination about future enforcement at The Club Dallas

DPD LGBT Liaison Officer Laura Martin

Last week we reported that neither Chief David Brown nor LGBT liaison officer Laura Martin had returned our phone calls seeking comment about the dismissal of charges against several men arrested in DPD’s October raid of The Club Dallas. Over the weekend, Martin did post a comment on our article itself, which we thought we’d pass along for those who haven’t been monitoring the thread:

“We are in the process of gathering accurate information regarding the facts of the dismissal of the charges against some of the men arrested. We are being asked to make a comment regarding future enforcement at Club Dallas. Due to the large number of arrests, and the fact that several cases are still pending prosecution, we are not able to make that determination at this time. I will continue to update the community when we are able to add to this story.”

UPDATE: Martin provided this official statement from DPD on Monday afternoon:

“The Dallas Police Department recently learned that many of the charges involving activities at The Club Dallas in October 2010 were dismissed. The department plans to meet with the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office as soon as possible regarding these cases. The purpose of the meeting is to determine the cause of the dismissals, and to determine what, if any, procedural changes may be needed. An update will be provided following the meeting.

—  John Wright

Lesbian DA calls DeLay’s sentence fair

Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg

In case you haven’t heard, anti-gay former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison today for money laundering.

DeLay was convicted in November of illegally funneling corporate money to state legislative races.

Openly gay Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office prosecuted DeLay, says she feels the sentence is fair, according to The New York Times.

Lehmberg’s office had asked for a sentence of 10 years in prison, while the defense requested probation.

Lehmberg also again denied DeLay’s claim that his prosecution was politically motivated, and she noted that he’s likely to remain free pending his appeal since the sentence is less than 10 years. DeLay was taken to jail but was expected to be released after posting $10,000 bail.

—  John Wright