Monday, February 09, 2015

Abbott and Patrick's dancer-choking donor

Charles is rightfully skeptimistic (my word) of Greg Abbott's promises on ethics reform.  The new governor -- and lieutenant governor -- recently got their first opportunity to put their money where Abbott's mouth has been.

One of the largest donors to Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick pleaded guilty two years ago to a domestic violence charge that included an accusation he choked a woman into unconsciousness.

After The Dallas Morning News questioned the leaders about the conviction last week, they separately said they were donating a combined $702,600 — the amount Grand Prairie developer Marcus Hiles had given to their two campaigns — to services for abuse victims throughout Texas.

Aides said they were unaware that Hiles had pleaded guilty in 2013 to an assault in Las Vegas. Both Abbott and Patrick had also appointed Hiles to advisory positions.

I can't say that Dan Patrick is renowned for due diligence.  But Greg Abbott is much too smart to have let this happen to him.  Unless of course he thought he could get away with it.

“At no point in time was Governor Abbott or any member of his staff aware of this deeply disturbing incident,” said the governor’s press secretary Amelia Chasse. “Governor Abbott believes that any violence against women is deplorable, unacceptable and shameful.”

There's just a bit too much public record for that to be believable.

Hiles, chairman and chief executive at Western Rim and Mansions Custom Homes, is a residential real estate developer. He and his wife have been major Republican donors in state and federal campaigns.

He had given Abbott $525,000 in the past 14 months for his run for governor. Hiles was Abbott’s third-largest contributor and was among the 40 individuals and couples that Abbott named to the prestigious 2015 Texas Inaugural Committee, which oversaw the swearing-in ceremonies and celebrations for Abbott and Patrick last month.

Hiles also gave $150,000 to Patrick in the past five months and had been named last month to the lieutenant governor’s advisory board.

Here's his Tom Delay-style grinning mugshot.

The assault occurred Oct. 12, 2012, after a night of drinking, according to a Las Vegas police report. The woman told police that she left his side for a while at a nightclub and he was “upset at her leaving.”

A fight began at the club and continued during a cab ride, she told police. On the ride, she said, he slapped her and she hit him back, causing a cut on his nose.

At the Wynn hotel where they were staying, videotape showed they continued to slap and shove each other as they walked through the casino, according to police.

The reports cite a hotel elevator video showing that when the woman tried to make a call, the two struggled over her cellphone until Hiles threw the woman “to the floor and began stomping the phone.” The video, parts of which were viewed by The News, shows Hiles trying to take the phone away and in the tussle, pushing her to the floor.

The woman reported that once they were in their hotel room, Hiles punched her, dragged her by the hair and then choked her into unconsciousness. She told police she thought she was going to die. When she came to, she reported that she ran from the room and notified security.

The police report notes that Hiles said it was the woman who jumped on top of him, punched him and knocked him out.

The police officer wrote that Hiles’ version of the story was not consistent with his injuries, while the woman suffered marks on her neck, swelling and reddened eyes, a hoarse voice, a torn-off fingernail and scratches throughout her body.

He was charged with both misdemeanor battery and felony domestic violence causing substantial bodily harm. In February 2013, the court agreed to reduce the charges to a single misdemeanor domestic violence, to which he pleaded guilty. He was placed on probation, which he completed, court records show. Hiles also received counseling and performed 35 hours of community service before the case was closed in September 2013, the records show.

In a subsequent lawsuit, Hiles contended that the woman — a 29-year-old dancer he met in January 2012 at a Dallas gentleman’s club — had filed similar complaints against other men and that her motivation was to extort $10 million from him. He stated in the suit he had purchased a $160,000 Bentley for the woman, lent her $150,000 in cash and bought her expensive jewelry.

That lawsuit and a countersuit she filed against Hiles were both dismissed, Friedman said. No money changed hands, he said.

But hey, let's give credit to Abbott and Patrick where it's due.

In addition to returning the campaign contributions, Patrick said that he had received Hiles’ resignation from the lieutenant governor’s Tax Policy Advisory Board.


Abbott donated the money he had received from Hiles to 10 women’s shelters and family crisis centers around the state. Patrick said that his staff was researching which organizations to donate the money to but that it would be sent in the next few days.

Way to do the right thing, dudes. Just hope for your sake you don't have any more large financial contributors with criminal assault records hiding in your closets your undisclosed donor reports.  Else you might look like hypocrites.

Juanita Jean is a little harsher than me.

It boils down to this: a whore is a whore. Dan Patrick and Greg Abbott are whores. And now, kinda like Hiles’ girlfriend, they have a black eye, too. But the only pain they felt is the excruciating pain of returning money (they) thought was (theirs). That’s real hard for Republicans.

Update: And the stampede of Republicans to distance themselves from Hiles' money widens.

Two more statewide officials and two political action committees are parting ways with tens of thousands of dollars in donations from a real estate developer whose criminal history surfaced Sunday.

Marcus Hiles of Grand Prairie, a prominent Republican donor on both the state and federal levels, over the last two years gave a combined $56,000 to Land Commissioner George P. Bush and Attorney General Ken Paxton as well as the political action committees for Texans for Lawsuit Reform and Red State Women, according to state records. Hours after the publication of a report shedding light on Hiles’ 2013 domestic-violence conviction, spokespeople for the officials and PACs said they planned to re-donate the amounts received from Hiles to new causes and were exploring their options.


A spokeswoman for Texas Supreme Court Justice Jeff Boyd did not return a request for comment Sunday on whether he would be sending the amount of a donation from Hiles to services for abuse victims. State records show Hiles gave Boyd’s re-election campaign $1,000 in November 2013.


Greg said...

Maybe we can talk about the close relationship between Bill Clinton and a convicted pedophile -- not merely a donor to both of the Clintons' campaigns, but also a friend who took Bill to his private getaways with the girls...

PDiddie said...
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PDiddie said...
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PDiddie said...

False equivalency again. Bill Clinton hasn't held office in decades. Did Clinton assault any of his girlfriends?

You're just not any good at this debate thing, Greg. I suppose it's just masochism that you keep showing up here to get your fat ass whipped.

On the bright side for you, I hear that BDSM is moving into the mainstream. Go get your needs taken care of (some place besides here).