CBS/INSIDER EXCLUSIVE “JUSTICE IN AMERICA” PROFILES OLGA HERNANDEZ CASE AND REID COLLINS’ PRO BONO WORK
June 2022 – A moving new documentary on Reid Collins’ pro bono representation of Olga Hernandez, a 66-year-old San Antonio grandmother who became the unlikely target of an FBI insurance fraud investigation, has just been released by CBS affiliate Justice In America.
“The Olga Hernandez Story” details the firm’s work defending the former San Antonio Independent School District employee and Board Trustee after she was wrongfully accused of bribery and conspiracy by the federal government. After four decades of service to the SAISD, she resigned in February 2017, when she was indicted, arrested, and publicly led away in handcuffs.
Speaking on why he and the firm took on this fight, William T. “Bill” Reid said: “Olga really impressed me…. [she was] someone who needed my help, and I could help….and when I learned [the degree to which the FBI and prosecutors were] willing to intimidate her…it angered me. So I put my own resources and the resources of my firm behind this case.”
Reid and the trial team, including second chair Brandon Lewis, Sean Johnson, and paralegal Mina Myers, handled Hernandez’s defense at trial in Texas federal court and obtained a full acquittal on all charges.
More than half of all wrongful criminal convictions in the U.S. are caused by government misconduct. The case demonstrates how important – and difficult – it is to push back against government overreach. Reid said, “Think of people you can recall who have the moral fortitude to stand up to the federal government and all its power…. Olga did. She told the federal government ‘I didn’t do anything wrong. Take your best shot.’ That takes a lot of courage.”
A former prosecutor who has spent the last 20 years handling high-stakes, often multi-billion- dollar, business disputes, Reid explains the unique pressure of representing someone so clearly innocent after this, his first criminal defense: “It is a lot more difficult to represent someone who is innocent. The pressure it puts on you of knowing that basically this person’s life is in your hands.
“This is the single most meaningful thing I have ever done as a lawyer.”
Click here to view “The Olga Hernandez Story”
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