Why won't county attorney discuss alleged attack?

May 4, 2012 4:13:23 AM PDT
Tonight a bizarre story: A county lawyer says she was brutally attacked because she's fighting human trafficking. But even her own boss admits there's no evidence.

We have an email trail that raises even more questions. And it gets more curious. When we wanted to see time sheets at the County Attorney's office as part of our investigation, somebody changed them, and we're crying foul.

This is the image Linda Geffin wants you to see -- her windbreaker emblazoned with the word 'LAW;' The head of Vince Ryan's special prosecutions unit, fighting human trafficking.

"Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world industry. It is a $32 billion industry," Geffin said in a TV interview.

So imagine the sympathy when the Houston Chronicle splashed this headline this month, 'Did assault victim pay price for crime fight?'

In it, Geffin says she was likely attacked in her home while she slept because she's fighting organized crime.

"You've got no evidence this is linked to human trafficking," we said.

HPD Sgt. JC Padilla replied, "That's correct."

We've been trying to get the County Attorney's office for weeks to talk about the Geffin attack. They said no.

"Wayne, I really can't do this. This is a security issue that is really not appropriate right now," said Assistant Harris County Attorney Terry O'Rourke.

But that didn't stop the County Attorney's office from then helping the Chronicle sound a public alarm

An unmarked county car now sits outside Geffin's home. But we know the county attorney turned down Geffin's request for a $22,000 security system for her home.

Geffin had compared her reported attack to "an officer down." In an email, Geffin says HPD confirmed it wasn't random. But HPD admits, they don't have a clue who did it.

"Right now, we're asking the public if they have information regarding what happened to Ms. Geffin to please contact us so we can keep this investigation active," said Sgt. Padilla.

Geffin woke up one Sunday morning in September with "considerable head pain, a swollen black eye." But she didn't call 911. A friend took her to the ER.

It was five days before Geffin told police. She admitted she has "no recollection of anything."

In this October email, Geffin admits she's uncertain "whether my house was broken into or if this is something different."

But by November, she's telling her bosses "fact is someone entered my house and assaulted me. I almost died."

In the Chronicle photo, Geffin is apparently able to now show us exactly what happened -- an uppercut to the chin.

Police say medical records show evidence of blunt force trauma. But HPD never sent a crime scene unit to her home, took no prints. Her home alarm didn't go off. Police can't even say where it happened.

"That's one of the things we did, is to see if there was forced entry into her house, not only from the inside, but from the outside," Sgt. Padilla said.

"No sign of that?" we asked.

Sgt Padilla replied, "No, there was not."

Houston police even tested DNA hair samples after Geffin complained. It turned out to be her hair. But she's been critical of the way HPD has handled her case.

"Everything HPD did was at my direction; they failed to do anything appropriate, not just according to me, but to other investigators in the LE community," she wrote.

That's cop lingo for law enforcement.

"I feel like I've been thrown under the bus by the HCAO and the HPD," she said.

We asked Vince Ryan, "Do you believe she was attacked because of her investigations of human trafficking?"

"There's no evidence directly linking that. It's an unfortunate situation, whatever the case may be," said Vince Ryan.

Vince Ryan didn't even call in the FBI to help, or Houston's Federal Task Force on Human Trafficking.

Even in the County Attorney's office, Geffin's case is controversial.

Her supervisor wrote, "It does concern me that she apparently was cleared by her doctor to work from home, but she is reporting she is making public appearances."

And putting as much as 13 hours a day on her time sheet with no one there to supervise exactly what she's doing for you. Geffin is not only making speeches, she's driving all around town. We even saw her shopping at Kroger.

But talking about Linda Geffin and her injuries is a sensitive subject downtown.

"I can't do that right now on television. It's most inappropriate and I think we'll discuss that another time," said Terry O'Rourke.

That's why we asked to see her time sheets. The date of our request was April 2. But look what happened -- her February time sheets were changed. The supervisor didn't sign them until after we asked to see them.

"When you see this, alarm bells go off?" we asked.

"Sure," replied Mike Post, Assistant Harris Co. Auditor.

And check out this time sheet signed by a supervisor seven days before Geffin signed it.

"I don't understand that at all," Post said.

But state law says its a crime to willfully "alter public information."

We complained when a Precinct 6 supervisor changed their time sheets after we asked to see them. Guess who we asked to help us enforce the law? The watchdog. Now we know they do it, too.

"You got to be disappointed; this is the County Attorney's office for gosh sakes," we said.

"I'm surprised," Post said.

On our 13 Undercover Interactive, you can see all the emails for yourself. There's a timeline with emails going on for months about the Geffin attack.

On Friday night, some of the most damaging discoveries yet. And new evidence your county attorney is taking credit for stuff he simply did not do.

Geffin's lawyer wrote us that she should be hailed as a hero. You can read the letter by clicking here.


Load Comments