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Houston Police Retired Officers Association
Business Meeting Minutes
November 24, 2019
November 14, 2019

Call to Order: President Bob Barnard called meeting to order at 9:35 a.m.     

Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance:  Chaplain Monty Montgomery

 Welcomed New and First Time Members

 Minutes of Previous Meeting:

•           Motion by Bill Elkin, 2nd by Henry Chavez to accept the minutes as printed.

            Voice Vote.  Motion Carried.

            Suspended Regular Order of Business

            Mike Knox – Houston City Council Member At-Large Position #1

•           Former HPD Officer who worked Northwest and Juvenile Divisions.  Campaigning

            for reelection to At-Large Position #1.

•           He attempts to use good judgment, common sense, reason and logic, skills he

             learned as a police officer, as he serves on City Council. 

•           Early voting begins November 27, 2019.  Election day is December 14, 2019. 

 Nelson Zoch introduced Mr. Chris Tritico

•           On Thursday, April 3, 2003 HPD Officer Charles Clark and Ace Check Cashing

            employee Ms. Alfredia Jones were murdered at 10:10am in the 5300 block of

            South Loop East.  Only leads were three black males in a small white car.

            Three suspects were arrested Friday evening. 

•           Capital Murder charges were filed on suspects.  Harris County Chief Prosecutor

            an Rizzo assisted Homicide Division throughout investigation. DA Rizzo obtained

            Capital Murder convictions on Elijah Joubert, who murdered           Ms.jones, and on

            Alfred D. Brown, who murdered Officer Charles Clark as he lay on the floor wounded. 

            Deshaun Glaspie pled guilty to Robbery and received a 35-year sentence. 

•           The conviction of Brown has been overturned and he has been released from custody.

            Ms. Devon Anderson, DA at the time of the overturned conviction was forced to drop

            charges as witnesses changed their stories.

•           Current DA Kim Ogg hired a civil attorney to reinvestigate the entire case in an

            effort to exonerate Brown.  Two State of Texas Bar Association complaints of prosecutorial

            misconduct against former Chief Prosecutor Dan Rizzo.  One complaint has been dismissed

            and second is pending.  Mr. Rizzo, now retired, was forced to obtain counsel. Attorney At

            Law Chris Tritico took Mr. Rizzo’s case and is here today to enlighten us on the circumstances

            surrounding this travesty of justice.

 Attorney At Law Chris Tritico

•           Spent 31 years defending criminally accused and those attacked by our government.  ‘If I could

            do that, I certainly could defend my friend and honorable man Dan Rizzo.’ 

•           Retired Harris County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Rizzo requested help in representing him in the

            State of Texas Bar Association complaints filed by current Harris County DA Kim Ogg and her

•           Alfred Brown appealed his conviction of murdering Officer Charles Clark. The conviction was

            overturned based on landline records collected by the government.  These records were not available

            or even known about at Brown’s trial or during the prior appeals over a period of 15 years. Brown

            stated the two-way phone records proved he was at his girlfriend’s house.  More recent investigations

            show this was a three-way phone conversation and Brown was not at his girlfriend’s home.

•           Former DA Devin Anderson was forced to dismiss the case but did not declare Brown innocent. 

            Brown did not get monetary compensation.  Current DA Kim Ogg decided to take the case on as a cause and

            hired Special Prosecutor Raley.  They in turn have filed two complaints against Dan Rizzo.  Tritico

            successfully defended Rizzo in the first complaint and has sent over 700 pages with video and audio

            attachments relating to the second complaint.  Dan Rizzo did not withhold evidence.

            Return to Regular Order of Business

 Steve Benavides – HPD Chapter VFW

•           Recognized all Military Veterans present and presented each with an American Flag.

•           Presented everyone with a lapel poppy in recognition of all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 President – Bob Barnard

•           HPOU is supporting one of their on-staff Attorneys, Mary Ann Huffman, for the position of Harris County

            District Attorney.  HPOU President and FOP 1st Vice-President Joe Gamaldi is requesting support for Ms. Huffman.

•           Federation Of Police has 350,000 members.  FOP and Aetna Insurance are working on a Medicare advantage plan

            if they can get 250,000 members 65 and over to sign up.  This package would provide those retirees under age 65

            with a medical assistance plan. 

•           November and December will be no-shave months for HPD.

•           HPOU building is available to active and retired officers for some meetings, parties, etc. at no cost.  Contact

            Doug Griffin, HPOU 1st Vice-President.

•           HPROA and HPOU met and vetted candidates in the Mayor /City Council run-off election.  PAC endorsements are posted

            on the HPROA website.  The endorsements and contributions are as follows:

•           Mayor Sylvester Turner $2,000, District A Amy Peck $500, District C Abbie Kamin $500, District D Carolyn Evans-Shabaz

            $250, District H Karla Cisneros $500, District J Edward Pollard $500, At Large #1 Mike Knox $1,500, At Large #2 David

            Robinson $500, At Large #3 Michael Kubosh $500, At Large #4 dual endorsement for Dr. Letitia Plummer $250 and Anthony

            Dolcefino $250 and At Large #5 Sallie Alcorn $500.  A $250 donation and endorsement to State Representative District

            148 Anna Eastman. 

 Executive Director – Anthony Kivela

•           HPOPS Report:

o          The system is performing well and appears to be healthy.  There has been growth to $5.744 billion.

o          There have been 140 CYTD retirements for 2019, only ones less than in CYTD 2018 (141).

o          In order to effectively respond to members’ inquiries, HPOPS has a direct email address info@hpops.org.  Someone from

    the HPOPS office will directly respond to any member making an inquiry via this email. 

•           Two letters of thanks and appreciation were received:

o          Thanks from Stacie Sudkamp for flowers sent to honor Marvin Seber.

o          Thank you card from Sergeant at Arms Robert Crane to the board and association members who called and visited with him

            after his wife’s death. 

•           An issue came up when two widows requested their deceased husband’s badges.  HPD’s Employee Services Division was contacted

            and related that only one of each badge can be issued to retirees or surviving spouses in cases when they were not previously

            issued, and the retired officer was honorably retired.  The requesting retiree or surviving spouse should send an email to

            TAPUnit@HoustonPolice.org.  The issue will then be researched by HPD and the requestor will be contacted by the concerned

            Command Office and advised on the correspondence that is required.

•           An update was given on the Medicare rates that will be effective January 1, 2020.   AETNA Medicare rates are decreasing

            from $100 per month to $64. per month, with no other premium increases.  There will be a slight co-pay increase to $20. for

            specialists visits for those on Kelsey Medicare.  The City will offer two more Medicare seminars on Friday, November 22, 2019

            at 9am and 2pm.  Retirees who will be navigating to Medicare anytime in 2020 are encouraged to attend one of these seminars.  

            The HPROA will again request that the City post the entire PowerPoint presentation on the City website for the retirees living

            out of town, or who were unable to make the presentation.

•           The Social Security Windfall Elimination Provision and Government Offset Provision were discussed, along with House Resolution

            4527, The Expanding Health Care Options for Early Retiree Act that applies to retired first responders age 50-64.  More information

            on the chances of passage of these and like-bills will be in the upcoming Retired Badge.  The HPROA will not be making political

            campaign donations to U.S. Congressional Representatives, instead allowing the National FOP to lobby for passage of these bills.

•           Wishing everyone a happy and Safe Thanksgiving, noting that although there is typically a lot of joy during this season, with

            others there may be a period of darkness due to personal issues.  Anyone experiencing despondency, or who knows someone in this

            situation, should reach out to Houston Officers Peer Assistance (HOPA).  This group offers completely confidential assistance. 

            HOPA’s 24/7 number is 832-200-3499.

 Treasurers Report – Ed Aldridge

•           $224,292. in the bank.  Always looking for new members and donations. 

 Retired Badge – Nelson Zoch

•           Please submit articles before November 20th.    Always looking for new articles.  Anyone may submit an article. 

Website Committee – Jim Ashby

•           14,097 plus visits to the website.

•           Retired Badge will be on the website as well as printed and mailed.                                                            

•           Microsoft, IBM, IRS, etc. will not call on the telephone.  Hang up on these scammers.  Call Jim with any questions or help.

•           Contact Jim if you know anyone who would like to place an advertisement on the HPROA Website.  It is only $20 per month.

•           Contact Jim if you need the User Name and Password to the HPROA Membership Directory Website. 

 Entertainment Committee – Rosalie Potell

•           The Surviving Spouses Luncheon will be Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at the Houston Racquet Club. The Surviving Spouse and one

            guest are complementary.  HPROA members are welcome to attend.  The cost is $30.  

 Membership Committee –

•           The board approved 7 new members, 2 associate members were approved and received 2 new associate member applications. 8

            members reinstated and 17 dropped members have been contacted. 

•           We have a total of 1,748 members as of November 11th.   

•           Members may renew memberships with a credit card or make changes at any meeting.

 Family Assistance Committee – Nelson Foehner/Forrest Turbeville/Ron Headley/Pat Kainer

•           Please contact members of the FAC with any needs or concerns:  

            Nelson Foehner          (281) 351-4669           Ray Smith         (281) 731-1588

            Forrest Turbeville        (713) 319-5466           Pat Kainer         (281) 642-6645

            Ron Headley               (713) 253-5749            Mattie Provost  (832) 653-4921        

            Tim Dillon                    (281-831-6771)           Henry Chavez                (281)-687-8962       

•           Friends we lost in October were Charles H. Atkins. Janet F. Lee, James L. Summers Jr., Carl K. Bell, Tommy M. Phillips,

            Richard N Holley and Ruby I. Roman.  Robert Crane’s wife Ora Dean and Charslie Morrison, surviving spouse of L. D. Morrison    

            also passed away.   

 PAC– Bob Barnard

•           Received $2,420.00 in contributions. 

•           Political contributions made to the campaigns of Garnet Coleman $500, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick $1,000 and City Council Dist. G Greg Travis $500.

•           Paid $200 in administrative expenses, $200 to Atchley & Associates Ethics Work and $20 to stop payment on a check.

•           Total PAC Fund Assets are $89,820.08.Legislative Committee Chairman / Consultant – Bill Elkin

•           Attended TMPA Winter Board meeting on October 25th regarding the three issues that affect the HPROA; Police Officers Legal

            Defense Fund (firearms insurance), the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) meeting and the Legislative Committee meeting

•           On Legislative matters there was discussion regarding notice by Rep. Dennis Bonnen, Speaker of the House, and his decision

            not to run for re-election.  This certainly was due to the revelation of the comments he made to John Quinn Sullivan who tape-       

            recorded the comments.

•           December 9th is the deadline for candidates to file to run in the election.

•           The Texas Law Enforcement Committee was shut down and will be replaced by a Fraternal Order of Police group.  Currently some

            HPROA members are FOP members due to having the firearms insurance.

•           During the FOP meeting, I learned they are currently engaged with Aetna Health Insurance Company in an effort to create a National Medicare Advantage Plan in which retired members may participate.  Within three (3) years they must have at least  thirty thousand (30,000) members participating.  This plan has some advantages over the City of Houston’s plans.

•           The National Institute of Retirement Systems reported a nation wide shift of local governments going to a Defined Contribution

            Pension plan from a Defined Benefit plan.  That experience has shown they are having an increase cost to taxpayers, no major improvement in funding and greater insecurity to the systems. 

•           Currently there are many candidates in the national elections but we should know after December 9th who is running.                                                                       

 Door Prizes: 

•           G. L. Dollins                - $25

•           Max Lankford              - $25

•           James Koteras            - $25

•           Fred Eichholtz             - $25

•           Linda Williams - Astro Alex Bergman Plaque

•           Dorothy Ashby            - Houston Texan Plaque

•           Gene Yanchak                        - 1 Case Lemonade Beverage

•           Matt Potell                               - 1 Case Lemonade Beverage

Sue Gaines
Board Secretary