Dannie Scott Goeb v. Harasim/Houston Post Public Docs Release & CHL Application Falsification
by Jerry Patterson on May 27, 2014 at 3:34 PM
Editor's Note: Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson takes a closer look at Senator Dan Patrick's released medical records and the conflict that surrounds it.
1. Paul Harasim’s public documents from the Goeb/Patrick v. Houston Post/Paul Harasim trial were never “leaked”. Harasim’s documents have been in the public domain for 25 years. They were released by Paul Harasim’s attorney on May 15, emailed to me, and I emailed them to the press.
According to legal counsel, “When plaintiffs ask for mental anguish damages in a suit, they put their mental health issues into dispute, and their mental health records become evidence of whether plaintiffs incurred mental anguish. Any confidentiality was waived by the plaintiff when he pleaded for mental anguish. The records and his testimony became forever public when they were filed with the clerk of the court.”
“Accordingly, there is no statutory prohibition against using records or sworn testimony in the public domain, particularly when they were made public by the affirmative acts of Dannie Goeb. Testimony and evidence in the court’s records, whether in a civil or criminal trial, are public records. Those records are forever public unless the court seals those records, which was not done in this case.”
2. The case never went to a jury. Instead, in 1993, the court ordered mediation where the parties mutually settled the case. Patrick had claimed $400k in actual damages and $1.2 million in punitive damages. He received $125k to go away – a “nuisance settlement” – and probably enough to pay his attorneys. The court did not seal the records. I do not know if Patrick asked the court to do so.
3. As plaintiff, Goeb/Patrick had the discretion at any time to cease the litigation and withdraw the suit. Knowing that his medical records were subject to deposition – including his psychiatrist as well as the two psychiatric hospitals – and that he would be personally deposed, Patrick could have stopped the litigation to preserve his privacy. Instead, he chose to proceed – expecting a big payday of $1.6 million. And this is the man that tried to champion tort reform? The reason the documents are in the public domain today IS DAN PATRICK’S CHOICE!
4. Several weeks ago, only the lawsuit was in the news – not the mental health issues – because Patrick failed to disclose this particular lawsuit on the Dallas Morning News (DMN) candidate questionnaire that asked candidates to list past lawsuits of which they were a party. When DMN’s Bob Garrett noted the omission in his blog post, Patrick responded that he had misunderstood the question. That was a lie. Patrick intentionally omitted the lawsuit for obvious reasons.
In that same response, Patrick effectively claimed that he had won the lawsuit by getting a good settlement. Another lie.
5. When Harasim’s attorney released the first set of documents, he released documents that contained no information about the two suicide attempts of drug overdoses and slashing his wrists. In response to that first set and unaware that Harasim’s attorney would be releasing a second set, Patrick’s May 15 press release spun that Patrick had checked himself into a mental health hospital for a few days rest due to “mild depression”. That was a lie. As the second set released on May 16 clearly indicated, Patrick was admitted to a psychiatric hospital at “least” twice for “severe” not “mild” depression including attempted suicides by drug overdoses and slashing his wrists.
6. Patrick has a concealed handgun license (CHL). The application form for a CHL asks if the applicant has ever been treated for mental health or substance abuse. If the answer is yes, the applicant must complete another form and a physician must write a letter stating no likelihood of re-occurrence exists. I suspect that Patrick failed to note his mental health issues on the form. If so, that omission would subject him to criminal prosecution under Texas law. Patrick’s failure to disclose his mental health issues would also be a lie.
7. According to Texas Penal Code, Section 37, Perjury or Falsification of an Official Document, lying on an official document may be a felony. If he were convicted of a felony due to lying on his CHL application, he couldn’t vote. Could he continue in office as Lt Gov if he were convicted of a felony?
8. When a firearm is purchased through a dealer, ATF form 4473 must be completed by the purchaser. Patrick owns several firearms. There is a mental health question on form 4473 that asks if the purchaser has ever been “adjudicated” as having a mental health issue or been “committed” to a mental health facility. Does this apply to Patrick? Is there other mental health information that is unknown at this time that would be pertinent to this issue?
With this in his past, Patrick still chose to run for Lt Gov and, before that, the Texas Senate. What kind of judgment does Dan Patrick have that he would take that risk? Does he have the judgment to be Lt Gov? Are his ego and self-love so great that he thinks himself invincible?
While the events are from long ago, the pattern of lying and obfuscation about this long-ago incident are occurring today. He was lying before and after his psychiatric hospitalizations and attempts at suicide by slitting his wrists and taking pills were known. Now, as usual, he continues to lie.
Republican Party voters have no choice other than David Dewhurst if they want to win the Lt Gov race. There is a reason Democrat San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and other Democrats have said that Dan Patrick is the Democrats’ “meal ticket” back to a statewide win.