Ron Reynolds (politician)

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Ron Reynolds
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from the 27th district
Assumed office
January 2011
Preceded byDora Olivo
Personal details
Born1973
Jackson, Tennessee, USA
NationalityAmerican
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Jonita Bernice Wallace Reynolds
Children3[1]
ResidenceMissouri City
Fort Bend County
Texas, USA
Alma materTexas Southern University
Texas Tech University School of Law
OccupationLawyer
Websitewww.ronreynolds.org

Ron Reynolds (born 1973) is an American lawyer and politician who is a Democratic member of the Texas House of Representatives representing state District 27. He was first elected in 2010.[3][4] Reynolds was also an attorney in private practice with the Brown, Brown & Reynolds law firm, but is currently suspended from the practice of law. Additionally, Reynolds has served as a Houston Associate Municipal Judge.[5]

In November 2015, Reynolds was convicted on multiple misdemeanor counts under Texas' Barratry & Solicitation of Professional Employment statute. He was fined and sentenced to 365 days in county jail.[6] On November 29, 2017, the El Paso Court of Appeals, hearing the case on transfer from the Beaumont Court of Appeals, affirmed the conviction. On May 23, 2018, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused Reynold's appeal, meaning he will need to serve his year-long jail sentence. Since he was convicted of a misdemeanor, he will continue to hold office during his jail sentence.[7]

Early life[edit]

A native of Jackson, Tennessee, Reynolds is the son of Houston attorneys Conrell B. Brown and the former Glenda Purham. Reynolds was a law partner of both parents until his mother's death. Reynolds has a younger brother.

Reynolds holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Southern University. In May 2000, he received his Juris Doctor from Texas Tech University School of Law.[8] Reynolds is married to the former Jonita Bernice Wallace, who is the chief executive officer of a local Community Action Agency.[9] The couple has three children.[1] Ron and Jonita Reynolds are members of the Brookhollow Baptist Church in Houston.[2][8]

Texas House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2008

Reynolds was narrowly defeated for the seat in the 2008 primary election by the long-term incumbent Dora Olivo of Richmond, Texas. He polled 14,634 (49.7 percent) to Olivo's 14,821 (50.3 percent).[10]

2010

Two years later in the 2010 primary, he unseated Olivo, 5,158 (57.6 percent) to 3,791 (42.4 percent).[11] In the 2010 general election, Reynolds ran without Republican, defeating Libertarian Party nominee Derek Dean Grayson 32,030 (84.6 percent) to 5,812 (15.4 percent).[12]

2012

Reynolds won re-election in 2012, running unopposed in the primary and defeating Republican Kris Allfrey and Libertarian John Henry Petter IV in the general election. Reynolds won 69% of the vote in the general election.[13]

2014

Reynolds easily won his third term to the House in 2014 by defeating Republican pro-life activist David Wayne Hamilton 24,326 (67 percent) to 11,990 (33 percent).[14]

2018

Notwithstanding his legal troubles, almost universally negative media coverage, and his suspension from the practice of law pending the exhaustion of all appeals,[15] Reynolds prevailed over his opponent Wilvin Carter with 61.37% of the votes in the March 2018 Democratic primary,[16] assuring his re-election in the general election in the absence of a Republican opponent in his heavily Democratic House District 27. The Houston Chronicle had endorsed Reynolds' primary challenger, a former assistant AG and Fort Bend County assistant DA, but also credited Reynolds for a strong record supporting environmental protection.[17]

Tenure[edit]

In 2012, Reynolds was arrested and charged in Harris County with violating the state barratry law, which forbids the unlawful solicitation of clients by lawyers and other licensed professionals.

The Texas barratry statute proscribes certain specified types of conduct and imposes a 31-day non-solicitation period that starts running from the date of the event giving rise to the legal claim or need for legal representation.

Reynolds had twice been suspended from the practice of law by the State Bar of Texas for unprofessional conduct, including a one-year period from 2005 to 2006 and again in 2011.[18][19][20][21]

Texas Monthly magazine in 2013 placed Reynolds on its list of "Worst Representatives." He was arrested again in 2013, this time in Montgomery County, on ten charges of violating the barratry law. He faced potential conviction of a third degree felony punishable by up to ten years in jail and a $10,000 fine and disbarment. The felony prosecution ended in a mistrial. Reynolds was thereafter charged again by "information" on multiple misdemeanor counts of knowingly permitting another person to engage in prohibited solicitation within 31 days of an accident.[22]

Reynolds requested that his case be moved from Montgomery County, where he neither lived nor maintained a law office, and he later raised the wrong-venue issue in his appeal from the misdemeanor convictions.

Reynolds also alleged that he was a victim of racial discrimination regarding the charges against him and that he was being singled out and treated more harshly and other lawyers who had run afoul the barratry statute for political reasons.[23][24] Reynolds chose to go to trial, rather than negotiate a plea deal. His sentence was imposed on November 24, 2015 and included a $4,000 fine per count in addition to the jail sentences of 365 days in Montgomery County Jail, to run concurrently. The sentences have been suspended on bond and certain other compliance conditions, pending appeal.

Reynolds was subsequently subjected to compulsory attorney discipline by State Bar and appeared in person and by attorney before the Board of Disciplinary Appeals (BODA) sitting en banc. The compulsory discipline hearing, held on April 29, 2016 in the courtroom of the Texas Supreme Court, was video-recorded and may be viewed online.[25] It resulted in Reynolds being suspended from the practice of law.

In 2011, the Texas Ethics Commission fined Reynolds $10,000 for failure to submit campaign finance disclosures in 2008 and 2009.[26][27] The office of then Attorney General Greg Abbott, at the time, sued Reynolds in an effort to collect on the fine. Fifteen health care companies had suits pending against Reynolds for non-payment after the companies had treated his clients and he received settlements for them.[28]

Reynolds is a member of the House Committees on Technology and Environmental Regulation.[8]

Personal[edit]

Reynolds is a partner in the firm Brown, Brown, & Reynolds, but is currently under interlocutory order of suspension, which prohibits him from engaging in the practicing law.[29] He is a former president of the NAACP in Missouri City and Fort Bend County and a member of the Houston area chapter of the National Urban League.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "DISTRICT 26 State Rep. – David Hamilton (Republican), Ron Reynolds (Democrat)". Fort Bend Star. October 28, 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Ron Reynolds". The Texas Tribune. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  3. ^ "Ron Reynolds". Texas Legislative Reference Library. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  4. ^ Sudhalter, Michael (September 24, 2014). "Rep. Reynolds' barratry trial begins November 3". Fort Bend Star. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Rep. Reynolds, Ron District 27". Texas House of Representatives. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  6. ^ Tresaugue, Matthew (2015-11-23). "State Rep. Reynolds gets 1 year in jail, fine after barratry conviction - Houston Chronicle". Chron.com. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  7. ^ McCullough, Jolie (THE TEXAS TRIBUNE). "Democratic state Rep. Ron Reynolds likely headed to jail after Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refuses to review his case". Check date values in: |date= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d "Ron Reynolds' Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  9. ^ "Jonita Reynolds". jonitareynolds.com. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  10. ^ "Democratic primary election returns, March 4, 2008". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  11. ^ "Democratic primary election returns, March 2, 2010". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  12. ^ "Texas general election returns, November 2, 2010". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "2012 General Election". Election Results. Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on 9 January 2014. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Texas general election returns, November 4, 2014". Texas Secretary of State. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  15. ^ http://txboda.org/cases/matter-ronald-eugene-reynolds
  16. ^ http://elections.sos.state.tx.us/elchist324_state.htm
  17. ^ https://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/recommendations/article/For-State-Representative-District-27-Wilvin-12622123.php
  18. ^ Cooper, Nakia (November 10, 2014). "Judge overturns conviction of state Rep. Ron Reynolds". KPRC. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  19. ^ Scott, Brandon (November 10, 2014). "Judge declares mistrial in Rep. Ron Reynolds 'ambulance chasing' case". The Courier. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  20. ^ Rocha, Alana (November 10, 2014). "Mistrial Declared in Reynolds' Barratry Case". Texas Tribune. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  21. ^ Rogalski, Jeremy (26 March 2013). "State Rep. Ron Reynolds surrenders kickback scheme case". KHOU. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  22. ^ "[Exhibits attached to] First Amended Petition for Compulsory Discipline" (PDF).
  23. ^ Scott, Brandon (November 14, 2014). "Race becomes public issue in State Rep. Reynolds barratry case". Cypress Creek Mirror. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  24. ^ Tennissen, Marilyn (25 April 2012). "Texas state rep. named 'Freshman of the Year' jailed on barratry charges". The Southeast Texas Record. Retrieved 10 December 2013.
  25. ^ "In the Matter of Ronald Eugene Reynolds, BODA Cause No 57004".
  26. ^ Maxey, Elsa (June 29, 2011). "Ethics commission fines State Rep. Ron Reynolds". Fort Bend Star. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  27. ^ Wilson, Nanci (June 21, 2011). "Lawmaker fined $10k by ethics panel". KXAN. Archived from the original on June 25, 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  28. ^ Sudhalter, Michael (November 10, 2014). "Judge overturns Rep. Reynolds' convictions, new trial set for January". Fort Bend Star. Retrieved 13 December 2014.
  29. ^ "Interlocutory Order of Suspension in BODA Cause No. 57004" (PDF).

External links[edit]

Texas House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dora Olivo
Texas State Representative from District 27 (Fort Bend and Harris counties)

Ronald Eugene "Ron" Reynolds
2011–

Succeeded by
Incumbent