Smith Co. DA Matt Bingham responds to allegations made by Grassroots America

Smith Co. DA Matt Bingham responds to allegations made by Grassroots America

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Grassroots America We the People says they will uphold their endorsement for Smith County District Attorney candidate Jacob Putman.

Executive Director JoAnn Fleming said the internal audit of prosecutor actions released earlier this month is "irrelevant" and she accused Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham of practicing "selective prosecution"

"If those policies were so important to Matt Bingham, why weren't they important enough to enforce long before this election?" Fleming said.

Fleming brushed aside concerns about Putman, whom the Grassroots group endorsed back on November 7, and instead turned on the current Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham.

"Who you are, who you know, and who your attorney, is should not get you a special deal," Fleming said.

Fleming said her organization is endorsing Putman over opponent Alicia Barkley because Putman has pledged to end what she called "selective prosecution."

"This favoritism based on an elite status for elected officials and their defense attorneys needs to end," said Fleming.

Fleming brought up the case of Meraland Jackson, arrested in 2016 for shooting her husband, former Precinct 1 Constable Henry Jackson, and their 5-year-old granddaughter. A grand jury did not indict Meraland Jackson, and she spent just a couple hours in jail.

"To say it was selective is, again, her just trying to cast a shadow on something she knows nothing about," Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham said.

Bingham said the idea that any favoritism exists in his office is false.

"This office has been exceedingly diligent in pursuing justice in the cases," Bingham said. "JoAnn Fleming doesn't work here, she's not a lawyer."

Voting registration for the March 6 primary election ended February 5. Early voting will start on February 20.

Related stories:

Fleming calls internal audit 'irrelevant,' endorsement for Putman stands

Smith County DA candidate Putman addresses audit controversy in letter to supporters

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