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Morgan Meyer Might Have Been a Little Mouthy in Law School, But He’s Not a Liar

The Meyer clan
The Meyer clan

Morgan Meyer is a Bracewell & Guiliani lawyer who is running for House District 108, Dan Branch’s old seat. He also happens to belong to the downtown YMCA, where he and I sometimes play in a pickup lunchtime basketball game. Am I his friend? No. But we certainly are friendly. Meyer and I are roughly equivalent on the court, if not off of it, so we not infrequently get matched up against each other. Once I get to know someone, play ball with him for a year or two, I like to take the game to the next level. You know, pulling leg hairs on defense, making choice remarks about wives. That sort of thing. That’s the context in which I know Meyer. He hustles. On some days, he has a decent outside jump shot. He doesn’t call ticky-tack fouls. Nor does he bitch when others do. He has a hairier chest than I.

So when a tipster sent me a note saying that Meyer had lied on his DMN voter questionnaire about having been arrested, I figured I’d have some great ammunition for the next time I saw Meyer on the court. But I also figured I should ask him about it.

Here’s the deal: this tipster has been busy. The same email claiming that Meyer lied about being arrested has found its way to several organizations. And, yes, it’s true. Meyer was once arrested.

In 1997, he was a law student at Washington and Lee, in Lexington, Virginia. As he tells the story, he was driving home on a flat tire because he didn’t know how to change it. He was less than a mile from his house when a cop pulled him over. Meyer thought the cop was there to help. The cop had other things in mind. He wanted Meyer to take a breathalyzer. Meyer had not been drinking. But he was a cocky law student, and he let the cop know he, Morgan Meyer, knew his rights and no way was he going to be forced to take a breathalyzer. The cop arrested him. His record shows that he was found guilty of two civil offenses, both misdemeanors: “improper driving” and refusing the breathalyzer. Essentially he got two traffic tickets.

This raises the question of whether Meyer lied to the DMN editorial board, which oversees all those voter guide questionnaires. The answer is that he most certainly did not. I confirmed this with Ralph De La Cruz, an editorial writer who talked to Meyer about the questionnaire. Meyer told him the whole scandalous story from 1997 and explained that the arrest was for a civil matter. De La Cruz told Meyer that the board was only interested in criminal matters and that Meyer could enter a “no” for that question.

Hang on, though. The question is pretty clear: “Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings?” There’s no question that Meyer was once arrested. There’s also no question that he was told by the DMN that that sort of arrest wasn’t what the questionnaire was designed to uncover.

What we need, then, is a clearer question, no? I asked Keven Ann Willey, the head of the editorial board, about that. She says, “Yes, we’ve modified the question a couple of times over the years and may well need to do so again. Also, we ask it a bit differently across questionnaires for different offices. I’d like us to standardize the question, too.”

The facts, then, are the following: Meyer did not lie on his questionnaire. He did get a little mouthy with a cop when he was in law school, nearly 20 years ago. And, finally, he married way out of his league, a fact I will again remind him of if he ever shows up at the Y again to play ball.

39 comments on “Morgan Meyer Might Have Been a Little Mouthy in Law School, But He’s Not a Liar

  1. “Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings?” Based on your reporting, Mr. Rogers, the answer to both questions should have been YES. You admit he was arrested. You seem to deny that his arrest was part of a criminal proceeding. Since you did not graduate from a law school, I will give you the benefit of a doubt and merely correct your incorrect conclusion, but Meyer knows better (or he should).

    All criminal laws include both felonies and misdemeanors. If he was arrested for a ticketed traffic offense (a misdemeanor), this was part of a criminal proceeding. Some offenses (e.g. building code violations and parking offenses) are considered civil offenses, and may be treated differently from criminal offenses, but the violations you reference are criminal misdemeanors. You were mistaken, and Meyer lied.

  2. I don’t have a dog in this hunt (I finally feel like a real Texan!), but it seems to me that there is not much room in your world for nuance.

  3. Good thing you aren’t a lawyer, refusing a breathalyzer in VA the first time is a civil offense. Improper driving is also a civil offense punishable by no more than a $500 fine.

  4. What was he actually arrested for? You can’t get arrested for improper driving in VA.

  5. The Lexington newspaper (also sent by the tipster) indicates that it was for “reckless driving, driving under the influence, and refusing a breath test.”

  6. He may not have been CONVICTED of a criminal offense, but it sure sounds like he was ARRESTED for one. So he did lie.

  7. Some background information: In Texas traffic tickets and such are considered Class C Misdemeanors, and as such are considered to be criminal cases. In most other states — I don’t know about Virginia — they’re considered to be civil, not criminal.

    For what it’s worth, the Texas system has advantages to the accused. With a criminal offense you have a right to a trial, including a jury trial. You also have a right to appeal, to a lawyer, to discovery, etc… In some states you don’t get much more than some government flunky rubber-stamping the ticket and saying “pay up.”

  8. Hat tip to D Front Burner on doing the digging and laying out the facts of the matter. Much better than having the “tipster” and people like Bobtex work hard to help whoever is employing them in this race with their version of the “facts”. To this voter at least, a refusal (which is a Civil Offense btw) and driving on a flat tire 20 years ago when Newt Gingrich ran the House of Representatives and Bill Clinton was president is hardly relevant in 2014 for a Texas state house seat. Of course, when you don’t have anything else to say, weaker candidates do tend to start slinging whatever mud they can find…

  9. No. Until I read the original post by Mr. Rogers, I had never heard of Morgan Meyer. Mr. Rogers wrote that he had been arrested. Mr. Meyer spun that around with the DMN and answered in the negative. I commented that he lied. You commented that I lacked nuance. Next?

  10. With all deference to Bobtex, it’s even simpler than that. Let’s apply English grammar by way of Logic 101, shall we?

    “Have you ever been arrested or involved in any criminal proceedings?”

    The “or” functions logically to separate the sentence into two independent queries, equivalent to:

    1. “Have you ever been arrested?”

    and,

    2. “Have you ever been involved in any criminal proceedings?”

    Since the answer to 1. above is “yes,” the truthful answer to the original “or” question is “yes.”

    In the sentence as written, the words “criminal proceedings” do not modify the word “arrest” in any way. So if that was the intent, yes, a complete rewrite is called for, such as:

    “Have you ever been arrested in connection with, or otherwise involved in, any criminal proceedings?”

  11. Am I the only one concerned that a 20-something year old law student didn’t know how to change a tire? Can we focus on what kind of person has no idea how to change a tire by that age?

  12. Can we focus on what kind of person gets to marry a women that hot? Am I the only one concerned that Morgan’s wife is way under-represented, picture-wise?

  13. I’m voting for Leigh Bailey for no other reason than I’ve gotten a shetload of mail and robo calls and house hold visits from Chart and Morgan. Same for you, Huffines and Corona. I don’t want to go to your effing BBQ and you’re a damn liar, Corona or, as Huffines likes to call you, Crony. I’m a registered republican living in HP and I’d rather vote for crazy crenshaw than any republican in the field. Good night, sir.

  14. It sounds like he was drunk hit a curb, popped his tire, and tried to drive home. I don’t buy that a grown man doesn’t know how to change a flat tire. My 16 year old daughter knows how to change a flat tire. He was arrested for “reckless driving, driving under the influence, and refusing a breath test” and it sounds like he knows a few lawyers that got him off with a couple tickets. Doesn’t look like you did enough digging Tim.

  15. For the record and I really need this information.
    !. Was Morgan Arrested
    2. Was he arrested for Driving under the influence. Did he refuse a breathlizer test ? Did he plead guilty to a lesser charge ?
    3. Did he lie to his friend who wrote this article ?
    4. Did he lie about the arrest to the Dallas morning news ?
    It would be wonderful if Mr Meyer could furnish the answer to the questions himself.

    Dalllas chapter of:
    Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.

  16. Please furnish information regarding the arrest.
    1. Morgan Meyer were you arrested and charged with driving under the influence.
    2. Did you plead guilty to this or a reduced charge.
    3. Are you currently paraticing law in Texas.
    Mothers Against Drunk Drivers

  17. Is Meyer a Republican reincarnation of Bill Clinton? “I was not arrested” reminds me a lot of “I did not have sex with that woman” of course, both statements were based on the old lawyer’s tactic of what the definition of “is” really is.

    Look the guy lied. He took the lawyer’s approach to disown problem and he went looking for permission to lie an he got it. Any neutral observer is going to read the facts and come to the conclusion that he WAS arrested and he did lie about it.

    I am not with any campaign and I’m not a Democrat or a Republican (since it seems that needs to be made clear based on the comments here).

  18. Well this is clearer a paid political operative for Mr. Meyer. Waaay to much information.

  19. Interesting to read the comments. It’s pretty obvious his campaign is in full spin mode. Oh and, yes he definitely lied.

  20. Dear MADD:

    You are the most incompetent sock puppet this blog has ever seen. In the future, when you submit a comment, don’t do it using your actual email address, which, as you know, ends with @westcott.com.

    Helpfully,

  21. hahaha genius but we all still want the answers to the above questions. Tim, you wrote this article so you knew there was some story here unless you just wanted to brag about how you played basketball at the Y with a guy who is now running for 108. A cop will not ask you to blow if there is no suspicion of drunk driving. Did he get arrest for a DUI and then ticketed for lesser charges when he got lawyered up?

  22. Also Tim you know anyone can write in an email address to make it look like it was from @westcott.com.

  23. Why would someone from MADD pretend to be someone from the Westcott campaign? That makes no sense.

  24. Anyone can pump a fake email address into your system, Mr. Rogers. This reply just proves my point.

  25. Am I the only one that actually read the story above? Lying would be telling the DMN editorial board that you had never been arrested, which is not the case. Mr. Meyer told the editorial board that he had been arrested, and that he was charged with a CIVIL offense (yes, it is a civil offense in VA). The DMN editorial board then told Mr. Meyer that they were not interested in that, ONLY in criminal offenses. It was the editorial board’s questionnaire, and they said they didn’t want that information. This is confirmed in the story, itself. Finally, the editorial board clearly didn’t seem worried about it in the end being that the DMN just recommended Mr. Meyer today…

  26. Clearly to get you to make a “sock puppet” comment but that is neither here nor there. I just want to know the truth. Did he get arrested for DUI? I’m a sucker for a good political scandal.

  27. Westcott looks to be running a nasty campaign, he must be desperate if he’s having to reach back 17 years….

    Court Alley and Morgan Meyer are older in age, and it shows. I bet that if someone asked Meyer about this incident he would own up to it. Westcott hides behind his daddy.

  28. I’m no lawyer or a big time D Magazine writer just a lowly political blogger in Austin but I can see that he was arrested for DUI and charged with lesser civil charges. He told the DMN that the arrest was a civil matter, sounds like a lie. I have never heard of civil arrest. Can anyone explain that?

  29. You clearly didnt read the correction from Tim above. It was not someone from the Westcott camp so it look like the Alley camp has thrown their hat into the ring. Why can’t all races be this entertaining. Here is how I have it scored so far: Meyer | 0 (DUI Arrest). Alley | 0 (Fail on throwing Westcott under the bus) Westcott | 1 (Hasn’t done anything to lose points)

  30. Yup another Meyer campaign troll respinning. The question was whether or not you had ever been arrested, not had you ever been arrested on a civil matter (which by the way is impossible). The boy lied.

  31. Morgan Meyer was arrested. + Morgan Meyer said he wasn’t arrested. = “Morgan Meyer did not lie” (even italics on the “not”).
    Stefani Carter says she had a wreck. + Stefani Carter had a wreck. = “Exaggerating so much that we’d all agree her tale is the decimal approximation of a lie.”

    Seems legit.