An apparent clandestine effort by Polk County Republican Party Chairman Fred Grube and members of his executive committee to censure Polk County District Attorney William Lee Hon was soundly defeated yesterday by the Platform Committee of the Texas Republican Party after hearing testimony from both Hon and Grube.
The proposed resolution passed locally on July 10, 2020 during an executive committee meeting held by Grube, alleged that Hon had failed to adhere to key Republican principals in the last two years in three instances (as required by GOP censure rules), namely by filing a public information act lawsuit against County Clerk Schelana Hock over her use of a county funded cell phone, second, by filing criminal Stalking charges against a local gossip blogger and registered sex offender who was already indicted at the time for felony offenses against Hon and his late mother, and third, for recusing his office and requesting that a special outside prosecutor be appointed to investigate an unidentified "political adversary" after a misdemeanor complaint had been filed with the district attorney's office. In a notice of the meeting published on July 8, 2020 on the Polk County GOP Facebook page, there was no notice given that a resolution against Hon was being sought or considered.
On the same evening, Grube's committee also passed a resolution seeking the censure of Texas Governor Greg Abbott which was published on the local party's Facebook page the following day. For unknown reasons, the local party did not publish its resolution against Hon in a similar fashion. According to Hon, he was not informed of the resolution until Friday morning, July 17th when a member of the Platform Committee from North Texas contacted him asking if he was aware of the resolution pending at the State GOP convention. "I was shocked," Hon stated. "Apparently Chairman Grube had already personally testified before a temporary committee meeting in Houston earlier in the week regarding his resolution and I had no idea this was going on," Hon added. The matter was referred by the Temporary Platform Committee to the Permanent Platform Committee that was scheduled to meet Saturday afternoon. "I did not get a copy of the actual resolution to know what was being alleged against me until 5:00 Friday afternoon-the evening before the scheduled hearing. At no time during this process did Chairman Grube or any member of his committee contact me to make me aware of the allegations or ask me any questions regarding those allegations," Hon stated. "I immediately prepared an e-mail response to the allegations, denying them all and reached out to GOP Platform Committee Chairman Mark Dorazio and informed him of my circumstances. He was very kind and offered to share my written comments with the members of his committee, and offered to allow me to appear and give testimony before his committee by video," Hon stated.
Polk County Republican Party Chairman, Fred Grube
Due to convention delays, the Platform Committee meeting, normally focused on major issues such as abortion, the right to bear arms and illegal immigration issues, did not commence until Sunday morning. Appearing by Zoom, Grube accompanied by multiple cheering members of his executive committee holding up signs of support, accused Hon of being "toxic," "vindictive," a "pot stirrer," "not attending party meetings," and "not contributing financially to the county party." In response, Hon testified that he was a "lifelong Republican who had enthusiastically supported party principles." "I am incredulous that Chairman Grube and a select few members of his committee have accused me of not supporting the Constitution when one of the bedrock principals of due process was completely ignored by them in this instance. Their actions in this instance of publishing their resolution against the governor but not publishing mine or making me aware of it at all is indicative of their desire to keep their resolution against me secret in the hope that it might pass at the state convention without me ever being given an opportunity to be heard," Hon testified. "Since 2016 when one of my assistant prosecutors ran against [Grube] for county chair, our chairman, who in my opinion is an unabashed libertarian, has been constantly critical of me and my office. His motives in this instance are entirely transparent," Hon concluded. After hearing testimony, the GOP platform committee voted 20-8 to reject Grube's resolution against Hon. Following the hearing, Hon stated, "In my opinion, our county Republican Executive Committee lead by Chairman Fred Grube is trying to exercise control over the DA's office. It is inconceivable that I should have to have every legal decision made by my office vetted by Fred Grube and his executive committee or fear being censured." "We make important, life or death decisions, every day in the DA's office, and now I have to worry about my own party attacking me" stated Hon, a four term Republican officeholder and the only elected Republican Criminal District Attorney in Polk County history. "In addition, they apparently do not believe that I have the same right as any other citizen to report to the police individuals who I perceive to be a threat to me and my family," Hon noted. "Sadly, I am not entirely surprised by Mr. Grube's actions in this instance. I will be exploring all of my legal options in response" Hon stated. "It is no secret that he and I do not see eye to eye on many criminal justice issues such as drug legalization and support for our law enforcement community," Hon added. "Grube has an almost cult-like following among several members of his executive committee. If the people of Polk County really studied several of these individuals in the leadership of their county Republican Party, they would be shocked at how far their radical libertarian views are outside the mainstream and those of normal Republican working families here in Polk County," Hon concluded.
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