Posts Tagged ‘P. David Romei’

"Racehorse" Haynes

I’m writing while sitting in the courthouse gallery on Monday morning, at the punishment phase of P. David Romei’s felony trial.  Saturday night the jury convicted the former Executive Director of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley on two of the three counts of theft and misappropriation of public and private funds.  Today the jury decides if David will go on probation or serve as many as ten years in prison.

1. As my two previous posts note, I think the case against David was overwhelming.  That the jury deliberated for more than 30 hours over two and one-half days bespeaks the caliber of our citizenry that answers a jury summons.  That they acquitted him on one charge while convicting him on two—while reducing one felony charge to a misdemeanor—shows the careful, deliberate way in which they approached their duties.  One of the newspaper articles said a fraction of those summoned showed up, and that extras had to be diverted from the leftover jury candidates from another trial.  It looks like the best members of the potential jury pool took their civic duty seriously. (more…)


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I went to see District Attorney Bill Turner’s cross examination of P. David Romei Tuesday afternoon.  It was brutal.  Romei, already worn out by some eight hours of direct examination over two days, sparred in a spirited fashion with the DA, but Turner won every round on points, if not by knockout. The twelve jurors and two alternates seated across the small courtroom could not have failed to note the one-sided nature of the bout.   A first-time felony defendant is no match for a prosecutor with several decades of courtroom experience, but Romei contributed to his own demise with a series of gaffes and failed attempts at self-effacement.  It didn’t help that the case against him appeared devastating. (more…)

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When I was a kid growing up in Louisiana, no public building, bridge, highway or any other taxpayer-funded project could bear the name of a living person.  Why?  Louisiana masons over the years made a killing chiseling off  the names of politicians and public officials who had taken up residence in state or federal penal institutions.

Those services could be needed in College Station soon.  P. David Romei, former executive director of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley and a graduate school classmate of mine, went on trial this week for embezzling public and commission funds.  If convicted, he could be directing prison art and dramatic productions for the next decade.  Meanwhile, every day local citizens drive by the multimillion dollar Arts Center, emboldened with his name in sliver letters on black marble.  I wonder what that would cost to modify? (more…)

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