We have established that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment Breath Alcohol Program trains police officers to routinely falsify evidence (DC-27s) used in court proceedings. [See Christine Houston – Breaking Bad (Episode 1, The DUI Fund)] Now we show a firm example of a Topeka Police Department officer blindly following that training, submitting false certifications to the court. Sergeant John Trimble of the Topeka Police Department demonstrates his willingness to submit a false certification to the Division of Vehicles.
Here is a Form DC-27 submitted by Sgt. Trimble, under penalty of K.S.A. 8-1002(b):
Sgt. Trimble DC-27 (pdf for ease of viewing)
Note that Question 1 of the form is marked “had been operating a vehicle” which is required for a license suspension involving a failure of a breath test. The option of “had been attempting to operate a vehicle” was left unchecked.
Also Note Question 6, which Sgt. Trimble has checked, “saw person operate“. However, that conflicts with his checking the box on Question 5 which states, “vehicle already stopped“.
Here is the Hearing Order from the same case:
DL Hearing Order (pdf for ease of viewing)
Note that one of the listed requirements for a license suspension on a test failure is “Respondent was operating a vehicle.”
Here is the driver’s license hearing sworn testimony of Sgt. Trimble in the same case:
Trimble DL Hearing testimony (pdf for ease of viewing)
Sgt. Trimble never saw the vehicle moving, contradicting his sworn DC-27 answer to Question 6. He believes it was an attempt to operate, contradicting his answer to Question 1 of the DC-27. On page two of the transcript, Sgt. Trimble is asked about a DC-27, for the same subject, that he filled out as an “attempt to operate“. That first DC-27 was thrown away, to be replaced by the fraudulent one (marked “operate” and “saw person operate“) that was used at this hearing.
While Sgt. Trimble failed, in this case, to honor his oaths and affirmations, he was successful in following the training of Christine Houston and the KDHE BAP to do whatever it takes to garner another license suspension where it would have otherwise been lost. Sgt. Trimble netted another reinstatement fee for the KDHE BAP.
If the BAP receives a substantial portion of their funding from DL reinstatement fees, perhaps it would only be fair to compensate officers such as Sgt. Trimble who help ensure that money keeps rolling into their coffers. It may be termed a “sales commission”. Then things would be honest, allowing us all to dispense with the quaint notions of truth, integrity, and the rule of law.
For years crime labs have been faced with an erosion of public confidence that they are unbiased proponents of scientific truth. Repeated lab scandals, nationwide, have undermined the reputations of even the most venerated of these institutions.
- Scandal Touches Even Elite Labs, Chicago Tribune
- A Lab-Tech Wreck for the NYPD, New York Post
- Behind Boston Crime Lab Chemist’s Deceptions, CBS News
The problem of bias in evidential laboratory testing is growing. Financial conflicts of interest create incentives for labs to falsify evidence in criminal proceedings.
- Crime Laboratory Fees: A Form of Bias, by Justin McShane
- New Study Finds That State Crime Labs Are Paid Per Conviction
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment Breath Alcohol Program (KDHE BAP), managed by Christine Houston, is a prime example of how financial incentives can compromise the integrity of scientists, law enforcement, state regulatory agencies, and our criminal justice system.
Kansas statutes [K.S.A. 8-1002: Test Refusal or Failure; and License Suspension] require police officers arresting a person on suspicion of DUI, to fill out an “Officer’s Certification and Notice of Suspension” (Form DC-27). That form is how administrative license suspension proceedings are commenced. The requirements for a suspension are different for a refusal than a failure. A refusal only requires “reasonable grounds the subject was operating or attempting to operate a vehicle”. A suspension based on a breath test failure requires that “the officer must certify that reasonable grounds existed to believe that the person was operating a vehicle”.
Question #1 of Form DC-27 contains two choices for the officer to check off:
- ___ had been operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol…
- ___ had been attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol…
It’s simple, right? The facts of the case would dictate either marking “operate” or marking “attempting to operate”. Wrong.
The KDHE BAP has what they call a DUI Fund. It’s fed by money extorted/collected through driver’s license reinstatement fees paid to the state by DUI defendants. It pays the KDHE BAP for everything except their salaries. Perhaps an email from Christine Houston to Dennis Dobson on February 15, 2011 explains it better than I am able.
From: Christine Houston
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:43 AM
To: Dennis Dobson
Subject: RE: report
I am sorry. What are you asking from me in the last sentence? We have 250 instruments in our system and one purchased and owned by an agency. That is almost $2 million in instrumentation. The instruments at this time cost $5,059. However, we would make some changes and additions to our package like turning on the card reader, USB port for the printer, Ethernet connections, have forms added to the software package such as quarterly reports or MCSR and the latest COBRA version. This would raise the price of each instrument. The instruments started being placed in August of 2007 and those are almost 4 years old. We need to replace at either 5, 7 or 10 years depending on what we decide. I am leaning towards 7 or 10 years of service. That would give us 3 to 6 years to save and ask for money. We will need to ask for grant money from KDOT. I think we can get Federal money since some states get new instruments often.
We need to know the last two years of reinstatement fees we have received to know approximately what we might get in the future. We will probably spend another $45,000 for travel and supplies this year which would give us around $335,000. We would have to save around $250,000/year to get enough money. That is impossible but we could work towards $100,000/year giving us a total of around $1,000,000 at the end of 6 years.
As far as I know the fund pays for everything besides our salaries. We need to ask for some of the court costs to help this program get off SGF but I do not know how we can do that.
Can you tell me what receipts, disbursements (bills already paid?) and pending & O/S Enc (bills not paid?) all mean? Thanks.
From: Dennis Dobson
Sent: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 8:10 AM
To: Christine Houston
Subject: FW: report
Here is the balance information on the DUI fund. We need to figure out the long range replacement plan and how much additional money we will need. Plus, if there are other expenses that we need to start to us the fund to pay so that we can get the training that we need for staff.
Dennis L. Dobson
Manager of Laboratory Improvement Office
Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories
From: Elenor Buffington
Sent: Monday, February 14, 2011 3:38 PM
To: Dennis Dobson
Cc: Leo Henning
Elenor Buffington, MPA
Kansas Dept. of Health and Environment
1000 SW Jackson, Suite 570
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Gee, wouldn’t it have been wonderful to have seen the redacted (by KDHE) body of the first email from Elenor Buffington, KDHE Fiscal Analyst, sent to Dennis Dobson, KDHE Manager of Laboratory Improvement Office and CC’d to Leo Henning, KDHE Director of Health and Environmental Laboratories. The subject was “Report”. Mr. Dobson then forwards the “report” to Ms. Houston and states, “Here is the balance information on the DUI Fund.” Why would public servants, in a public agency, paid for by public monies, think the public is not entitled to such information? Anyway, moving along.
Christine Houston is the Supervisor for the KDHE Breath Alcohol Program. In that capacity, she develops standard operating procedures and training materials for certified agencies and operators using evidential breath testing machines in the state of Kansas. She trains law enforcement officers on the law, regulations, SOPs, Intoxilyzers, and even court testimony. Ms. Houston’s 2011 power point presentation for the Intoxilyzer 8000 Operator Certification Class is instructive. Below is a screen shot of page 1 of that presentation. The text comments immediately below the image are the “notes” section of the slide, seen only by the presenter. It depicts what the presenter is conveying to the class.
Welcome to the Intoxilyzer 8000 operator certification class.
Below is a screen shot of page 24 of that presentation.
Pages 22-26. For all failures use the DC-27. A failure is a test result of 0.080 g/210L or greater. On the DC-27 statements 9, 10 and 11 are where you certify that the instrument you used was certified by KDHE, that you are a certified operator and that you followed the 7 step protocol. When completing the DC-27 for a failure you must mark operating ALWAYS or the license will be returned. If they are a failure and you marked attempting because you didn’t see them operate the vehicle then they will get their license back.
8-1002 is the Kansas statute regarding license suspension that I cited previously. Note that the presenter is training the class of law enforcement officers, certified operators, to “mark operating ALWAYS or the license will be returned.” So the KDHE BAP is training officers to always check the “operating” option, even if the officer never saw the person operate the vehicle. They have eliminated the “attempting to operate” option which could nullify a license suspension and deprive the BAP of more money for their DUI Fund.
The KDHE BAP trains ALL operators and agencies in the state of Kansas. That means that ALL people arrested for DUI in the state of Kansas will have their license suspended and pay the BAP reinstatement fees, even if the facts should not warrant a suspension.
They are maximizing revenue at the expense of integrity, truth, and justice. They are also making criminals of themselves and every law enforcement officer who adheres to this training.
Remember, the DC-27 is an Officer’s Certification and Notice of Suspension. Each officer signs the form, below where it says;
“I hereby certify to the Division of Vehicles that each of the statements I have initialed above are true and accurate, under penalty of K.S.A. 8-1002(b), and amendments thereto.”
K.S.A. 8-1002(b) For purposes of this section, certification shall be complete upon signing, and no additional acts of oath, affirmation, acknowledgment or proof of execution shall be required. The signed certification or a copy or photostatic reproduction thereof shall be admissible in evidence in all proceedings brought pursuant to this act, and receipt of any such certification, copy or reproduction shall accord the department authority to proceed as set forth herein. Any person who signs a certification submitted to the division knowing it contains a false statement is guilty of a class B nonperson misdemeanor.
K.S.A. 54-105 Falsifying oaths or affirmations. All oaths and affirmations alike subject the party who shall falsify them to the pains and penalties of perjury.
K.S.A. 21-3805 Perjury. (a) Perjury is intentionally, knowingly, and falsely:
(1) Swearing, testifying, affirming, declaring or subscribing to any material fact upon any oath or affirmation legally administered in any cause, matter or proceeding before any court, tribunal, public body, notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths;
So, Ms. Houston has managed to deprive hundreds, perhaps thousands of people Due Process and a fair trial in the license hearing. At the same time, she has managed to make criminals of every witless officer who blindly follows her training to falsify court documents. What manner of liability should she be exposed to for such acts?
K.S.A. 21-3205 Liability for crimes of another. (1) A person is criminally responsible for a crime committed by another if such person intentionally aids, abets, advises, hires, counsels or procures the other to commit the crime.
(2) A person liable under subsection (1) hereof is also liable for any other crime committed in pursuance of the intended crime if reasonably foreseeable by such person as a probable consequence of committing or attempting to commit the crime intended.
(3) A person liable under this section may be charged with and convicted of the crime although the person alleged to have directly committed the act constituting the crime lacked criminal or legal capacity or has not been convicted or has been acquitted or has been convicted of some other degree of the crime or some other crime based on the same act.
K.S.A. 21-3902 Official Misconduct. Official Misconduct is any of the following acts committed by a public officer or employee in the officer or employee’s public capacity or under color of the officer or employee’s office or employment.
(5) Except as authorized by law, knowingly destroying, tampering with or concealing evidence of a crime.
(c)(2) Official misconduct as defined in subsection (a)(5) is: (B) a class A nonperson misdemeanor if the evidence is evidence of a crime which is a misdemeanor.
K.S.A. 21-3302 Conspiracy. (a) A conspiracy is an agreement with another person to commit a crime or to assist in committing a crime. No person may be convicted of a conspiracy unless an overt act in furtherance of such conspiracy is alleged and proved to have been committed by such person or by a co-conspirator.
(e) A conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor is a class C misdemeanor.
Wholesale corruption in pursuit of more money to feed their DUI fund, in order to increase their ability to finance more wholesale corruption. Money is the “gateway drug” of choice for public officials on the road to an overdose of criminality. Along the way, they abuse the public and debase themselves and the institutions which purport to be the very foundation of a decent society. The payoff is the destruction of the rule of law and the total loss of public confidence in these institutions.
The KDHE has been informed of this criminal behavior by its officers, and they endorse it.
I am unsure what is more shameful…Christine Houston’s conduct, the conduct of law enforcement and the courts, or the fact that since January of 2013, the Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, Topeka Chief of Police Ronald Miller, the Topeka and Kansas City offices of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and the Kansas City office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have all been aware of this…
…and they have done nothing. Worse than that, they have actively buried a formal criminal complaint filed by a concerned citizen, through proper channels, detailing this criminal behavior by public officials.
“Say my name…”
To be continued…