San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 13th, 2009
Assistant district attorney resigns her post in protest

STAFF REPORT

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Peach, whose allegations of fraud against another prosecutor and a San Marcos police detective set off a firestorm, has resigned from her position.

Peach told The Mercury, “I have found that the profound philosophical differences that exist between office policy and myself is unworkable. Regardless of the circumstances or what happens in the future, I know that I did the right thing and will continue to do so.”

Mark Kennedy, the district attorney’s civil division chief, confirmed that Peach had resigned but declined further comment.

District Attorney Sherri Tibbe last week agreed to a new trial for Shawn Nathan Shipman, 29, after Peach’s testified at a hearing April 28 that Assistant District Attorney Chris Johnson and Det. Laray Taylor concealed that they had been tipped off about Shipman by a confidential informant who avoided prosecution on another charge.

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12 thoughts on “Assistant district attorney resigns her post in protest

  1. Sounds like we need a new DA. I understand that one DA quit last week because of the ethical lapses and the DAS leadership had a 2 hour closed door meeting with their staff (other than Lynne Peach) trying to convince the staff they did nothing wrong and to just shut up if they want to keep their jobs. I guess that one didn’t work out well. . Now I hear that Lynne Peach has quit. All of the rumors that I hear are the Defense lawyers cooked this up. There is no way that they could have cooked up this one, its straight from Grisham and frankly, Watts, Mc Nabb, Pape and Sergi and whoever else just aren’t smart enough. Seems like its time for Ms Tibbe to quit so that we can get a ethical and effective DA. Mmmm but that would be the Govs’ appointment. . Guess we will have to wait for 2010.

  2. please do not let them take you down , i dont think you should quit, hope you still nail these guys to the wall, i known mr. shipman did wrong and he admitted it. so please hang in there ms.peach and fet the real bad guys , which are the d.a. office and mr. taylor

  3. I agree with the previous bloggers that the wrong people are leaving the DA’s office. Why should Peach leave? If the DA thought Peach was the one in her office that was lying why didn’t she fire her? Now that it has drawn some unfavorable attention and scrutiny to her office the DA couldn’t add to that scrutiny by firing her so the next best thing was to make the work environment so that she would have to quit. Ms. Peach, you ever hear of the Whistleblower Act?

  4. My understanding is that she quit because this type of behavior is and has been pervasive within the D.A.’s office and being a person of ethics and morals she (Ms. Peach) did not want to have her good name associated with anything of this nature. It is also my understanding that she is not the only one considering changing employers.

    This whole affair smells of corruption and desperately needs to be investigated by a higher authority.

  5. “Please stay and fight”…you are right. Mr. Shipman did wrong and admitted it. He is paying his debt to society by sitting in jail because he is guilty….by his own admission…and for no other reason. Now Mr. Watts and Ms. Peach (for some unknown reason) want Mr. Shipman to say he is not guilty and have a new trial. No problem….put it all out there and let citizens of our County decide if he is guilty or not…and assess punishment if he is. I have a sneaky suspicion that when ALL the facts come out (not Ms. Peach’s personal opinions), Mr. Shipman will be spending a lot longer in prison that he orginally signed on for. I wonder if he will then use the ole defense of “incompetent counsel?” A third trial????

    We all need to wait till June 23 for the new trial. Those of you who get your information about this case from this site and Newstreamz should really put in for some days off and actually attend the trial to make up your own minds after hearing the testimony. Don’t rely on Sean Wardwell and Brad Rollins for the whole truth. They, like everyone (including myself), have their slant and biases towards everything.

  6. Seen it All, I am sure he is guilty. Here we agree. That not the point. However, if you think about it what is the penalty for prosecutorial misconduct? The evidence is kicked out. What is the evidence when a cop lies to get probable cause to get a warrant? The evidence is kicked out. Shipman will get away with it because of the action of Tayor, Johnson et. al. What happens to you and your ilk in the DAs’ when the truth is known? You lose your right to persecute people and we get a new DA because you and your cronies hid the truth after you KNEW THE TRUTH and let a Rogue cop and ADA continue to operate

    This is all about the “fruit of the poisonous tree” and the Eves’ are in the DAs’ office and the serpent is named LaRay and oddly in this drama he has a slimy brother named Chris Johnson.

  7. This is addressed to “Seen It All” who seems to be ignorant of so many of the facts. Number one; “third trial????”. There was never a first trial, so backup to the plea deal that was secured on questionable evidence. The Constitution guarantees this man a fair trial, so if I’m not mistaken, the upcoming trial that the DA finally agreed to, will be the first trial. Number two; Mr. Shipman is not sitting in jail because he is guilty; he is sitting in jail because of the questionable evidence of Det. Laray and prosecutor Johnson. If that were not true, the DA would not have agreed to throw out the plea deal and try the case before a new judge and an appointed new prosecutor. Number Three; Mr. Watts wanted a new trial because his client is guaranteed a fair trial by the Constitution of the United States and he did not receive that guaranteed right. Why would that be so hard for you to understand? Then, you say “Ms. Peach (for some unknown reason) wants Mr. Shipman to have a new trial.” It’s called ‘ethics’; it’s called ‘truth’; it’s called ‘justice’. And I think I can understand why someone like you might call it “some unknown reason.” Maybe those words are unfamiliar to you, but they are the reason Mr. Shipman, guilty or not, is getting a new trial, not because Ms. Peach (“for some unknown reason”) wanted it. Ms. Peach gained nothing by bringing forth the information that secured a new trial for Mr. Shipman and she lost her livelihood by doing it. Number four; what Ms. Peach exposed, and what you call “her personal opinion” must have been an opinion shared by the District Attorney and two judges or there would never have been a hearing to determine if there should be a new trial and it would never have been granted. Your “sneaky suspicion” comment speaks volumes. “Sneaky” that was your word. Number five; now you are suggesting the media (Sean Wardwell and Brad Rollins)have some hidden agenda. Do you really think this was all some multi-leval conspiracy theory against the District Attorney’s office to keep someone who pled guilty to a drug charge back on the streets of San Marcos? That is ludicrous. This is a scandal of the highest order in the District Attorney’s office and shame on you for trying to place the blame somewhere other than where it actually belongs.

  8. Court Watcher…
    Ignorant of the facts…I am not. Quite the contrary actually and that is why I want everyone who has quickly condemmed Taylor, Tibbe, Johnson, et al to actually sit in the trial/hearings in June. I’m not slamming Sean and Brad…only stating that they (as well as I) have a slant on everything they do, say and write. People should attend the hearings and make up their own minds based on the evidence presented. The only conspiracy I believe is at work here is an attack on Tibbe’s office to make her look bad for next year’s election. As I have said before, I personally do not think this has anything to do with Shipman getting a fair trial (which I absolutely concur is guaranteed by the Constitution), but more of a personal attack on Tibbe’s office. Again, just my personal opinion on that issue….

    I think if you really dig into who knew what when, you might find that Watts and Peach ALLOWED Shipman to enter his guilty plea knowing everything they are accusing now. Don’t you think that if you (as a defense attorney and as a ‘ethical’ ADA) found out questionable evidence was being used against your client BEFORE he plead guilty, you might stand up and say something THEN??? Why wait until after he pleads guilty to question the evidence????

    And for the record, Ms. Peach’s opinion is not shared (at least on the record) by “two judges”. One recused himself after hearing the testimony of one person (Peach) without being cross-examined and the other never heard any testimony because Tibbe’s office agreed to the new trial. I think what Tibbe’s office agrees with is that there is a “taint” on the felony conviction of Shipman and she wants everything to be on the up and up. Put it all out there…in front of God and everybody…and let a jury of 12 Hays County citizens and a new District Court Judge decide if anything illegal, immoral, or unethical was done during the investigation/arrest of Shipman. If it was done legally and ethically, convict him and send him to prison. If it was not, dismiss the case, bring in the FBI, Texas Rangers or whomever else you want to investigate Taylor, Johnson, and Tibbe. If they violated the law, hold them accountable. It is that easy.

    I just hope that everyone who has been slamming Taylor, Tibbe and Johnson on here will stand up in June and say they were wrong if Shipman is convicted in the new trial. And from some of the comments on these pages, apologies may also be in order. If I am wrong and he is acquitted or the evidence is supressed, I will be the first on here to step up and say I was wrong.

  9. Responding to “Seen It All Now”, knowing what I know of the Hays D.A.’s office and M/O I can say that this is may be the first time that their tactics have been called into question in the court but it is not the first time that they have been questioned by officers of the court. Like so many other instances, it takes someone on the inside to “blow the whistle” on wrong doing. This comes down to personal morals and ethics; something that, by appearances, the Hays D.A.’s office lost long ago.

  10. Ms. Peach should seek a board certified labor lawyer. I believe being forced to quit for refusing to participate in a crime is a valid basis for suit. it seems like a civil suit will likely be the only way to prove the DA wrong and held accountable.

  11. Brad when do you intend on covering the most recent hearing in this case? Do you even know there was a hearing and a ruling by a specially appointed District Judge? The Court’s order is on file with the District Clerks Office. Or you can contact Newstreamz….they have written one story on it.

    Just to summarize for your readers (since you and SM Mercury have not covered it) an appointed Judge ruled that there was no misconduct by the DA’s office or law enforcement. Shipman’s request to not have a trial at all (bar a new trial after he asked for one) was denied along with all other motions. There will be a new trial and all the evidene will finally get before a jury of Hays County citizens. He will probably be going to prison for many years now simply because his attorneys want to make Tibbe look bad for next year’s election. That is what should be illegal…..

    Maybe you can do a better job of reporting this story than Sean at Newstreamz. Sean won’t interview people involved in this case other than Peach. He will not interview Tibbe, Chief Williams, Shipman, etc. Maybe you can get a “scoop” interview with Shipman in jail and get his take on all this? Let us know what his thoughts are on potentially going to prison for the next 10-20 years when he could have been out by Christmas.

    I also hear love is in the air between Peach and one of Shipman’s attorneys. I wonder how long that has been going on? Did that have anything to do with her accusations? Hmmmm……

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