Joe Grubbs denies Hellstern cover-up
By 01/31/2008 00:00:00
Witnesses: He was handed complaint
and JENNIFER SALINAS
The Ellis County Press
WAXAHACHIE - The husband of one of Joe Grubbs' assistant prosecutors was caught masturbating in 2006 and four Ellis County Sheriff investigators and a defense attorney said they witnessed the incident report hand delivered to Grubbs, who they alleged covered it up.
Investigators and witnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation, alleged Grubbs involved his office in a cover-up for Don Hellstern and his wife Cindy, Grubbs' assistant prosecutor.
'I know where you're going with this. I'm not going to get into it [and] that's enough questions,' said Grubbs.
Grubbs then denied receiving the incident report.
'No such case was ever filed [or received].'
At the time of the reported incident, Cindy Hellstern, a Democrat, was running for county Court at Law No. 2 against Republican Judge Gene Calvert. She lost the race in 2006 and in 2002.
According to un-redacted incident reports obtained by The Ellis County Press last week, '…the male was fully erected and he was not trying to hide the fact that he was exposing himself. [Complainant] gave me a Texas plate of J25*NJT, which came back to a 2000 Dodge four door to a Don and Cindy Hellstren. The address on the return was 400 West Baylor Ennis, Texas.'
Despite the misspelling of the name in the original report, the Hellsterns reside at 400 W. Baylor.
The complainant was an out of town truck driver who parked at Palmer Mile Marker 263 on Interstate Highway 45.
Both Cindy and Don Hellstern did not return phone calls for comment.
The report charged Hellstern with disorderly conduct, which would result in a fine 'almost like a speeding ticket,' one of the investigators said.
Attempts to reach the complainant were unsuccessful as of press time.
In another high-profile set of cases, Grubbs' office arranged a plea bargain two years ago for Waxahachie attorney James Leonard, who is accused of molesting two girls under the age of 14. His plea deal resulted in 10 years probation and the revocation of his law license.
And in 2005, Sherri Simpson was one of several victims of an Ennis Regional Medical Center doctor (Aniruddha Chitale) that filed a civil suit after he was given 10 years probation.
Simpson, like many of the other victims, was sedated and alleges Chitale fondled her. Simpson said she woke up to find semen on her face.
Grubbs and his assistant, Patrick M. Wilson, were quoted in the Dallas Morning News last year as saying the presence of semen on Simpson's face was not evident a crime had been committed. Chitale served 180 days in jail and revoked his medical license.
A day after the DMN piece, Ennis Regional's top two administrators resigned after reports came out that numerous complaints were filed with hospital staff and the Ennis Police Department as far back as 2003 on Chitale.
Grubbs faces a re-election battle on March 4 against attorney Rodney Pat Ramsey in the Republican primary. No Democrat filed for the race, assuring the winner of Super Tuesday as the next district attorney.