Following up on something I’ve been following, a Harris County grand jury effectively derailed the railroading of Dr. Hasan Gokal by local DA Kim Ogg. Hopefully, this witch hunt is over.
All will recall that Dr. Gokal was accused of stealing a vial of COVID-19 vaccines that were about to expire. After his arrest, Judge Franklin Bynum dismissed the charges after Dr. Gokal proved that he had taken vaccines as head of the county’s vax roll-out that were on the verge of expiration and effectively distributed them to those who qualified for it, while also reporting them, as required.
He followed the rules and Harris County did not have a policy in place that would have required the doctor to allow such vaccines to expire and be discarded. Let’s all recall that the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines was still a pretty new thing and that we all wanted to get the shots out for the good of our society. It didn’t help that Greg Abbott’s roll-out was looking iffy, at best.
The Texas Medical Board also found no standing in the charges against the Doctor, and he was able to keep his license to practice medicine. Unfortunately, the DAs office decided to continue this attempt at railroading a public servant by taking the case to a grand jury. Thankfully, the grand jury sided with the doctor, but at what cost? Especially to Dr. Gokal.
Dr. Gokal’s professional life has been in limbo all of this time. We are talking about his livelihood being toyed with by a DAs office hell-bent on improving their win-loss record and scoring political points. It was a waste of time and taxpayer dollars. Maybe, even political capital. Hopefully, this is all over, now.
This week was awful for DAs, for sure. Along with this local example, the DAs in the Bill Cosby case became quite overzealous after a making a deal with Cosby to testify in a civil lawsuit deposition, thus, avoiding charges for Cosby. After the deposition, the DA used admissions made by Cosby in the deposition to prosecute, but conveniently forgot about the deal they made. We can be angry all we want at Bill Cosby for his atrocious actions, but DAs need to follow the rules, too. And in this case, stay in their lane of criminal prosecution, instead of playing in civil cases…or trying to make something out of nothing as in the local case.
Also, a reminder that Kim Ogg never prosecuted Shauna Thompson, though the now former deputy was indicted for the murder of John Hernandez. Priorities, I guess.
Anyway, let these cases be a lesson for DAs all over.
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