Joe Danna's Statement on termination

Today, I find myself compelled to address a nearly decade-old false accusation which resulted in my termination after almost 20 years at the Harris County Precinct Number 1 Constable’s Office.

In your editorial endorsement dated June 28, 2020 your editorial board stated the following:

“Danna was a previous candidate for Constable in Precinct 1, where officials confirm he was fired in 2012 from his job as a deputy constable for falsifying records showing he served a warrant he had not actually served.”

That is a factually incorrect statement. Records show that the document served was not a warrant, it was a motion, and that I did serve a person who identified herself as the intended recipient.

Furthermore, my termination was political retaliation for putting my name on the ballot in 2012 as Al Rosen’s opponent. I’d received multiple warnings to take my name off the ballot and when I didn’t, a retaliation and smear campaign was launched.

The accusation was “falsification of service on returned citation.” On August 1, 2011 I picked up the citation prepared by the Harris County Attorney’s Office which included the name and address of a person to be served with an attached document. Dutifully, I went to the address at the Linda Vista apartment complex and a person answered the door who identified herself as the intended recipient and accepted the document. I filled out the citation with the date and time of service and returned the document to Precinct 1.

Let me be perfectly clear, it is not standard operating practice for process servers to ask for identification, nor do they ask the person to retrieve identification. There’s good reason for that.

People don’t typically want to receive papers from a process server.

Intended recipients, at times, attempt escape or brandish a weapon. In fact, it happens more than it should. (Man sentenced to 32 years for shooting process server). I found out in late October 2012 that the intended recipient was actually incarcerated in a Harris County jail in August 2011, despite the address I was given by the Harris County Attorney’s Office. This means the individual that answered the door told me a falsity. However, there are a few very important points to note:

  1. An unleased apartment in the Linda Vista complex in 2011 doesn’t mean it was vacant; AND
  2. The Linda Vista complex on De Soto wasn’t your typical apartment complex. It was dilapidated, overrun by squatters, drug dealers, gang members and was cited countless times for substandard living conditions. The corridors reeked of urine, peeling paint, trash piles, used syringes, graffiti, broken glass, beer bottles and exposed wires were part of the complex’s daily landscape (8 years later, it’s not much improved—see attached reviews); AND
  3. The intended recipient did, in fact, appear in Court at the set time and day; AND
  4. The intended recipient signed a document stating that she received the document at issue (see attached exhibits) AND
  5. The intended recipient had an appointed attorney who could, and did, receive documents on her behalf (see attached Subpoena in which the same Harris County Attorney’s Office who gave me the name and address states that they served the attorney. Note also, that their own proof of service falsely states that they served her despite their document stating they served the attorney)

The County Attorney allegedly met with a Linda Vista apartment manager who contended that the apartment was not leased at the time. Oddly, the apartment manager’s sworn affidavit was typewritten on the interim Constable’s letterhead and her signature was on a separate piece of the Constable’s letterhead, both of which are problematic in a court of law. It means the witness was part of the Constable’s team.

The court and the intended recipient’s attorney never questioned my service, the attorney only filed a charge that the Harris County Attorney’s Office typed out the wrong name of the document in their own papers. I had nothing to do with preparation of the legal papers and only signed what I was given by the Harris County Attorney’s Office. No charges were ever filed against me. Because I did nothing wrong.

I am a survivor. I was not intimidated by the powers that be back then and I am not intimidated today. When I am your Sheriff, you will have a veteran law enforcement officer at the helm. Not a politician.

 Joe Danna