Monday, March 12, 2018

Dan Rizzo and the Alfred Dewayne Brown Case

It's not easy being Dan Rizzo these days.

After retiring from the Harris County District Attorney's Office some time during the Pat Lykos Administration, he probably thought that he put all of the uncertainty and acrimony of being a prosecutor behind him.  While most prosecutors who leave the Office make some effort to keep in touch with one another, he kind of faded into oblivion.

He hadn't been gone all too long before he found himself in the crosshairs of the Houston Chronicle's Lisa Falkenberg, who was working on a story about the potential abuses of the Grand Jury system.  Initially, the story Falkenberg was working on dealt with how Rizzo and a member of the Grand Jury had used the Grand Jury's power to intimidate a potential alibi witness on a capital murder case.

It just so happened that the case where that occurred was the State of Texas vs. Alfred Dewayne Brown, which Rizzo not only presented to the Grand Jury, but also prosecuted at trial.

The case itself was a bad one, but it didn't grab as many headlines as some other capital murder cases in Harris County.  At least, it didn't until Falkenberg's Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation.

The allegations were that on April 3, 2003, three men robbed a check-cashing business where a woman named Alfredia Jones was working.  One of those men, Elijah Joubert, held a gun to Ms. Jones' head during the robbery, but Ms. Jones was able to notify her supervisors of a robbery in progress.  Because she alerted a supervisor of what was happening, the Houston Police Department dispatched patrol and Officer Charles Clark was the first to arrive on the scene.  When the police arrived, Joubert is believed to have executed Ms. Jones by shooting her in the head.  A second person (allegedly Alfred Dewayne Brown) shot and killed Officer Clark.

A third person, Dashon Glaspie, acted as a lookout and he named both Joubert and Brown as the principal shooters.

As noted in Falkenberg's original articles, Rizzo used the Grand Jury to bring in Alfred Dewayne Brown's girlfriend, Erika Dockery, as a witness.  Dockery had initially attempted to alibi Brown, but the transcripts from that Grand Jury meeting ultimately led her to recant the alibi testimony.  Before doing so, she was threatened with a multitude of things -- from charges of aggravated perjury to never being able to find employment.  Dockery not only recanted her alibi, but testified against Brown in trial, testifying that he admitted his presence at the check-cashing business at the time of the murder.

However, Dockery's original alibi of Brown actually had some corroborating evidence in the form of phone records.  Those records as (also) reported by Lisa Falkenberg were never admitted into evidence.  They were ultimately found in the garage of Homicide Detective Breck McDaniel.  Those records are what ultimately led the Harris County District Attorney's Office to agree that Brown was entitled to a new trial.  When the Court of Criminal Appeals granted that new trial, the D.A.'s Office decided that there was no longer sufficient credible evidence to retry him.

As I noted in a blog post last June, Alfred Brown decided to seek compensation for the time he spent on Death Row.  The trouble with that was that he had to be found "factually innocent" for the compensation to kick in.  Under Devon Anderson's Administration, that was going to be an uphill battle for Brown.  The Anderson Administration as well as the Homicide Investigators on the case believed that Brown was factually guilty, although they didn't feel they could prove it at trial.  What I wrote back then was that it put District Attorney Kim Ogg in a difficult position -- if the D.A.'s Office were to agree that Brown was factually innocent, it would be damaging to relations with HPD.  If she refused, it would be damaging to her relationship with a Defense Bar that looked to her to be a progressive and open-minded District Attorney.

A couple of things have changed since that blog post.  First off, D.A. Ogg has proven that she isn't really all that bothered about upsetting the Houston Police Department.  More importantly, however, was Ogg's revelation last week that an email had been discovered from HPD's Breck McDaniel to Dan Rizzo, notifying him of the corroborating phone calls.
"I was hoping that it would clearly refute Erica's claim that she received a call at work," McDaniel wrote, later continuing: "But, it looks like the call detail records from the apartment shows that the home phone dialed Erica's place of employment on Hartwick Street at about 8:30 a.m. and again at 10:08 a.m."
To put this into context, prior to the e-mail revelation, Rizzo had been able to maintain that he didn't know that there were phone records in existence that corroborated Erika Dockery's alibi of Alfred Brown.  It was a mistake. A miscommunication.   McDaniel's e-mail clearly shows that Rizzo was informed of it.  He just chose not to disclose it to the defense.  He also lied about it later.

And because of that e-mail, Rizzo is now joining the ranks of vilified ex-prosecutors at the levels of Charles Sebesta and Ken Anderson.

As well he should be.

I knew Dan when he and I were both at the Office.  He was a Division Chief and far senior to me.  Although I didn't have a personal problem with Dan, I didn't trust him.  I thought he was a dishonest guy.  I can think of at least two different scenarios where he lied to me personally.  The reason I knew that he was lying was because he contradicted himself.  They weren't on big issues.  They were pretty minor, but the guy couldn't keep his stories straight to save his life.  He just wasn't bright enough, quite frankly.

If you were to ask me if I thought Dan would downplay or neglect to mention some exculpatory evidence on a case, I would tell you that it wouldn't surprise me if he did.  It wasn't that he was evil.  He just suffered from tunnel vision.  He regarded the phone records in question to be an inconvenient piece of evidence that would distract from his firm belief that Alfred Dewayne Brown was one of the shooters.  He didn't think that it proved Brown's innocence, so therefore it wasn't exculpatory.

He was wrong about that.

Whether or not those phone records conclusively prove Brown's innocence or are something that could still be explained away is an argument that I will leave to someone more familiar with the case than I am.  But the records are most definitely exculpatory.
Exculpatory evidence is evidence favorable to the defendant in a criminal trial that exonerates or tends to exonerate the defendant of guilt. It is the opposite of inculpatory evidence, which tends to prove guilt.
The Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association today called for Rizzo to be prosecuted for Attempted Murder for seeking the death penalty on Brown.  That earned a big eye roll from me.  They know that is never going to happen and to pen a public letter to the D.A. advocating for it is just grandstanding.

But an investigation should be launched into whether or not Rizzo should hang on to his law license.  If proven to be true, his actions are no different than those of Sebesta or Anderson.

If his actions were no different, then the consequences for those actions should be no different, either.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

10 years of Blogging

The other day I was browsing the internet and checking out some different blogs when I noticed that Scott Greenfield was celebrating his 11th year of legal blogging at Simple JusticeFirst off, congratulations to Scott for writing the best legal blog on the web for 11 years.  He publishes several well-written, scholarly and insightful posts a day.  I am in no way, shape, or form comparing my blog to his here, but it did make me realize that I just passed my 10 year blogging anniversary and had failed to notice it.

My first blog post on this site was January 8, 2008.  Since then, I've written over 1200 posts, had almost 19,000 comments, and 3.5 million page hits.  Although the posts are all mine, some of those comments and page hits actually came from other people!  Looking back at some of my posts, a lot of the topics and a lot of the writing are cringeworthy.  Others are not so bad.  Every once in a while, I find one that I'm actually proud of.

I started the blog when I was a felony chief prosecutor in the 339th District Court under Judge Caprice Cosper.  I was married to a fellow prosecutor and we had a two year old son.  That seems like a different lifetime ago.  Today, I've been a defense attorney almost as long as my career as a prosecutor lasted, I've divorced and remarried, that 2 year old is now 12 and has a 4 year-old younger brother.

Blogging grizzles a man, I tell ya.  Makes him fat, too, apparently.

This blog began anonymously, shortly after the beginning of the e-mail scandal that would ultimately cost then-District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal his job.  The racist and sexist e-mails from our leader had led to a complete backlash against the District Attorney's Office as a whole.  We were getting slammed in the Chronicle and every other media outlet.  At one point, when picking a jury I started asking potential jurors if they already had decided that they hated the State because of who our elected D.A. was.  The answers were distressing.

The public perception of prosecutors had flipped from the "good guys" to the "bad guys" in the space of a few e-mails, and it just seemed to get worse every day.

So, I started writing in a small attempt to push back against all of the negative attention we were getting.  It started slowly at first -- like dipping a toe in the water to see how cold it was.  I didn't want to announce whether or not I was a prosecutor or a defense attorney, because I didn't want to get fired for what I was writing (that worked out well in the end, let me tell ya!)

But how do you publicize your blog without blowing your super secret identity?

Simple -- you just casually mention it to the most talkative person you know and then wait thirty minutes. (Thanks, Alexis Gilbert Bruegger!) By the end of the day, word of an Anonymous blogger was all over the CJC.  It was both exciting and terrifying.

And then came Mark Bennett.

Mark had been running his blog Defending People for some time before I wandered into the blogging neighborhood.  I enjoyed his articles and reading them very much made me want to write, as well.  I had a feeling that once he got word that there was an anonymous blogger out there, he would engage.  I was correct about that.  Mark absolutely engaged the anonymous blogger.

And then he threw out an ultimatum:  tell me who you are privately, or I'll find out on my own and out you publicly.

Well, shit.  That backfired.

So, I gave Mark a dollar.  Told him he was now my attorney and confessed my secret identity.  True to his word, he kept it a secret until I got fired went public.  Over the past ten years, Mark's writing has gone on to be recognized on the national level for some of the great work he's put together.  I've kept my writing on local topics for the most part.  I've semi-jokingly said that my blog was The National Enquirer compared to his Wall Street Journal.  But I would be very very remiss if I didn't point out that this blog would have never existed if it weren't for Mark.

And, of course, Pat Lykos.

During the 2008 election, this blog went nuts with comments on the D.A. race.  In the aftermath, when people would ask me if I was surprised that Lykos fired me, I would always respond, "Not really. I mean, I did compare her to a Bud Lite Lizard."  Politics are such nasty things.

The biggest misconception that I think people have had about my outlook on the Lykos Administration was that I just missed the "Old Guard Ways" of the Holmes/Rosenthal days.  That seems to be the standard refrain from people who disagree with what I write.  They forget that Lykos was an extremely controversial judge who brought her self-aggrandizing and paranoid tendencies to the D.A.'s Office.   And man, those tendencies gave me so much material to work with.

I think that's why I'm so disappointed with the way that Kim Ogg has been running the Office lately.  Lykos took over like an enemy combatant and she wasn't wrong when she thought the rank and file disliked her.  Kim listened to Lykos too much when she took over, but she didn't need to.  The prosecutors didn't hate her like they hated Lykos.  At least, they didn't until she fired about 40 of their co-workers.

But I digress.

Over the years, this blog has had highs and lows.  The motivation to write has ebbed and flowed and the readers and commenters have done the same.  At times, I've thought of scrapping it because it served no real function anymore, only to have something come up that made me really motivated to write.  I've made some amazing friends through the blog and I've made some pretty angry enemies.  I hope that, on occasion, I've helped effect some positive changes here and there, but who knows?

In the end, I keep writing this blog for (more or less) the same reason that I started writing.  I think that the Criminal Justice World is the most fascinating aspect of American domestic life.  It is a convening of heroes and villains, tragedy and triumph, brilliance and profound stupidity, hilarity and bereavement.  I can't imagine being involved in any other profession.  Only those of us who practice within it (not just write about it from the outside looking in) can truly understand what it's like.

This blog just tries to show that to the outside world.  I know I may miss the mark on conveying that effectively more often than not.

But for the past ten years, it sure as hell has been fun trying.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Judge Mary Bacon

I was very saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of Judge Mary Bacon, retired judge of the 338th District Court.

Judge Bacon retired from her bench just before I became a prosecutor, but I got the opportunity to know her during her occasional stints as a visiting judge.  She was one of my favorites and I hope that you will take the time to read Brian Rogers' excellent write up about her in the Chronicle.  She was a trailblazer of a lawyer and a judge, but you would never have known it to talk to her.

I got to know Judge Bacon while trying the first in a series of co-defendants who had murdered a 15-year-old boy.  She was the visiting for Judge Caprice Cosper and I was trying the case against Mack Arnold.  I didn't really know her before then, except in passing, but I during breaks and during deliberations, Mack and I would just go sit in chambers with her and swap stories.  She loved to laugh and she had this twinkle in her eye when she would talk about old stories from the old days.

She reminded me so much of my grandmother that it was almost surreal to be trying a pretty brutal murder case in front of her.  But she ran that trial like a complete pro.  Everything ran smoothly, and of course, the jury adored her.

We became friends during the trial and I was very happy that we kept up with each other after the trial.  I was very honored to know that she read this blog and (secretly) even commented in on it from time.  More often than not, she would call or text me to let me know her thoughts on things that I had written.  Although I can't remember how she found out, she was one of the first people who knew I was I was the anonymous blogger.  I probably confessed to her.

She had lots of opinion on the 2008 race for District Attorney.

Even though we didn't talk quite as much as the years went by, I would still hear from her every now and then with some frequency.  She was on Instagram, and although she didn't post much, she would always like any pictures that I put up of my family.

I last saw Judge Bacon in person during her portrait unveiling in May of 2016.  She was 86 years old, wearing a leather jacket and walking around like she was in her 20s.  She gave me a huge hug and we talked for awhile.  She seemed a little embarrassed about all of the festivities around her portrait being unveiled, but was happy to talk to so many people who came by to pay her their respects.  The courtroom was packed for the ceremony.

Reading Brian's article on Judge Bacon made me realize that she was even cooler than I always thought.  It also made me realize how much I will miss my sweet friend.

She was truly one of a kind.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Kim Ogg's War with HPD

I'm really beginning to think that Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg skipped the day they taught diplomacy at politician school.  KPRC Channel Two is reporting this evening that the D.A.'s Office suddenly revoked the City of Houston Police Department's access to the Consolidated Criminal History Database (CCHD) without warning.

The database is an extremely handy website available to all prosecutors and apparently, all (but one, now) law enforcement agencies in Harris County.  The way it works is that it gives the user the ability to enter the name of person and that person's entire Harris County criminal history pops up.  It shows every case the person was ever charged with, as well as the outcome of those cases.  That information is something that is readily available via a standard NCIC/TCIC criminal history check, but the CCHD gives much more detailed information.

Each listing of a criminal case provides links to a tremendous amount of additional information.  In most cases, each case is linked to the offense report.  It may also link to all the persons involved.  It can provide information on where the crime happened and past known addresses of a suspect.  In many cases, it even has digital downloads of audio and video recordings.  It is a valuable asset for prosecutors and police agencies.  Here's why.

Let's say that the Houston Police Department is working on a case and they are looking for a suspect.  They enter his name into the CCHD and it shows that he's had several cases filed on him by the Harris County Sheriff's Office, the Constables, or Pasadena.  The CCHD provides an easy click to read the offense reports from those other agencies.

It allows the multiple police agencies within Harris County to quickly access each other's relevant information, without having to go through the (sometimes painfully slow) process of reaching out to each other and asking for that same information to be shared.  It puts local criminal history at an officer's fingertips.

Defense attorneys even have (a very limited) access to it for their clients.  When I have signed on as attorney of record to a case, I can use the CCHD to look up my client's criminal history and have access to all of the old offense reports related to it.  It is an amazing website that makes my job so much easier.  I can see the related offense reports, get interviews, and see evidence on cases where my client was charged.  It saves the prosecutors an immeasurable amount of time because they don't have to make copies of everything and provide it to me.

But the irony is that now I have access to something that the freaking City of Houston Police Department does not.  HPD.  The biggest law enforcement agency in the county.

It's hard to decide where to begin with this, but I'll give it a shot.

When Kim Ogg fired decided not to renew the contracts of approximately 40 senior prosecutors in her new regime, she sent a very loud message that she was not to be trifled with.  She clearly had her own vision of the direction she wanted to take the Office and she wasn't really too bothered by the opinions of those who disagreed with her.

Ogg was more than happy to take on the ire of the police agencies when she decided to stop taking felony charges on residue or "trace cases" or small amounts of marijuana.  Those criticisms were to be expected for a "progressive" District Attorney.

But recent public complaints from HPD to the media have apparently pushed Ogg over the edge.  Some members of HPD have been complaining of prosecutors pleading out cases for too little punishment.  Ogg's way of dealing with the criticism was to simply ban her prosecutors from talking to the police about what was happening.

This memo in and of itself is pretty telling about the deteriorating relationship between the Ogg Administration and surrounding police agencies.  The very idea that police officers who worked on cases aren't allowed to speak to the prosecutors who handled those cases is absurd.

I'm not saying that a police officer's opinion of a case should be the controlling factor on how that case is handled -- prosecutors are trained to spot issues and make judgment calls on cases that a police officer may not see -- but that doesn't mean officers should get the silent treatment on the cases they work on.  Imagine a scenario like this:

OFFICER:  Hey, are you the prosecutor that handled that Agg Assault on a Public Servant case where the suspect shot at me?

ADA:  I'm sorry, sir.  I can neither confirm nor deny that.

OFFICER:  He got probation.  What the hell happened?

ADA:  Sir, you may speak to my supervisor if you are displeased.

OFFICER:  Aren't you the prosecutor who handled it?

ADA:  I can neither confirm nor deny that.  Would you like my supervisor's name and number?

But even that pales in comparison to the idea of shutting the county's largest police force out of a shared database.  In essence, Ogg has responded to the criticisms by withdrawing access to an investigative tool.   That could be construed as a declaration of war.

And that probably wasn't the best decision she could have made.  This war is not one that Ogg can win.

Suppose HPD decides to retaliate by blocking access to their databases to all HCDA personnel?  Prosecutors who want an offense report will have to request a printed version that is copied and turned over to them.  What would happen if every name an HCDA investigator wanted to look up was no longer available at the push of a button?  

It would bring the D.A.'s Office to a standstill.  What would the D.A.'s Office do then?  Stop filing all HPD cases?  Good luck with that.  What Ogg is withholding from HPD will inconvenience them.  If they retaliate, they could devastate a D.A.'s Office that is already reeling from the side effects of Hurricane Harvey.

I'm sure there is more to the story than is currently in the media.  Ogg giving a comment might help enlighten us.  The fact that she isn't in front of a camera, sharing her side of things is telling.  It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.  If we know nothing else about Kim Ogg, we know that she doesn't back down from challenges very often. 

No matter how devastating the repercussions.   

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

An Open Letter to Kim Ogg About Her Prosecutors

Hi Kim,

Long time, no talk.

I heard that your upper admin recently started some new thingy called "Selfies and Plans for Success" or something like that.  If I understand it correctly, the "Selfies" component is for each prosecutor to keep a file on his or her computer of all the professional accolades accumulated over the years.

I'll be honest with you -- it seems a little silly to me.  Prosecutors are too busy working their butts off these days to take time for patting themselves on the back.  Self-aggrandizing is really more of a sport for the politicians.  Not to sound too much like a grumpy ex-prosecutor, but back in my day, the upper admin knew the difference between the great, good, average and bad prosecutors.  They watched them in trial.  They read their evaluations.  They didn't ask them to make a "sizzle reel" as if they were trying out for American Idol.

Real prosecutors ain't got time for that.  But if you are keeping tabs on the compliments that the prosecutors in your office receive, let me pass one along:

Harris County prosecutors are the best in the business.

Now, I know I'm biased since I'm a former Harris County prosecutor and all, but over the past nine years I've spent in private practice and the last five years I've spent consulting on other projects, I've had the chance to see quite a few more jurisdictions than I had before 2009.  I've dealt with prosecutors in numerous other counties and numerous other states.  I'm not saying anything negative about the ADAs in those other locales, but there are few that can compare to a seasoned Harris County prosecutor.

Harris County prosecutors have seen every type of case and prosecuted it.  They know the rules of evidence like the backs of their hands because they've gone to trial so many times that procedure is ingrained in them.  They know the value of the case.  They respect their adversaries.  They honor their word.  They know what in the hell they are doing in ways that too many other jurisdictions miss the boat on.

And since Hurricane Harvey, your prosecutors have been absolutely killing it.

I'm not just talking about keeping intake up and running through the storm.  I'm talking about the aftermath.  The past five or six months where they have had to drag buckets of cases to various and sundry makeshift courtrooms across the county.  They have had to keep up with their Discovery obligations and learn a little bit of eFiling in the middle of all this too.  They literally work around the clock on their jobs.

It has not been unusual during post-flood conditions for prosecutors to answer texts, emails and phone calls late into the evening.  I got a (timely) Discovery notice the other night from a prosecutor at 11:45 p.m.  I've seen prosecutors lug additional files to court so some defense attorneys who really really really hate driving in the Galleria area wouldn't have to come to your Office.  I've had two prosecutors drop Discovery off at my house.  I've had another let me come talk to her about a case at her house.

For a displaced group of prosecutors, they couldn't be more accommodating or professional.  They do their jobs and do them well because they love what they do.

You should be proud.  Actually, you should be honored to lead such a group.

But I kind of get the impression that you aren't honored.  I keep seeing and hearing more and more horror stories about folks in your upper admin who treat your rank and file prosecutors like untrustworthy idiots with bad judgment.  I keep seeing more and more outstanding prosecutors leaving Harris County to go to Fort Bend or Montgomery or Travis County.  I know of others praying to get on with the Feds.

They don't want to leave the prosecutorial profession.  They just want to leave you.  That's a shame, because I'm really a big fan of your outlook on the Criminal Justice System.  That's why I voted for you.  That's why I normally defend you when the media is looking for somebody to give a negative sound byte about you.  I know we had our differences on the whole David Temple thing, but on the whole, I still like your policies.

But dammit, Kim.  You have got to start treating your prosecutors better.  They've been through a lot and they've made you look good in the process.  It's time you started treating them like the highly skilled professionals that they are.

And the first thing you need to do to make that happen is have a little chat with JoAnne Musick, your trial bureau chief.

I've known JoAnne since I was a baby prosecutor back in 1999.  She was the misdemeanor chief of Court Six (I believe) back then and we were friends.  It's a good thing we were friends back then, because I saw the way she treated people she didn't like.  She was one of those chiefs who picked a favorite in her court, and God save you if you weren't it.  I watched her nitpick the living hell out of prosecutors she supervised and then share her scathing reviews with all who wanted to hear.

She was a career prosecutor back then.  She bragged about how she was "raised on the knee of Johnny Holmes" and she acted as though she was heir to the throne.  Don't get me wrong.  JoAnne was good at her job.  She was smart and she liked to teach.  But that mean streak, man.  You didn't want to run afoul of that.

When plans changed for JoAnne, she moved to the defense bar.  Now, as someone who initially believed himself to be a career prosecutor, I can tell you that the change to the defense attorney can sometimes be a little awkward at first.  It wan't for JoAnne.  Within the space of one job change, JoAnne's D.A. "family" became known as the vilest group of liars and unethical cheats known to mankind.  The razor sharp tongue and opinions that she once used only on confused Misdemeanor Threes suddenly were being applied to the entirety of the Office.  She was so angry towards the Harris County District Attorney's Office that her former co-workers honestly didn't know what to make of it.

I remember one very senior chief dryly remarking, "I don't know why y'all are so surprised that JoAnne is just as big of a [expletive deleted, but you can probably guess] for the defense bar as she was for us."

And of course, the Defense Bar just ate that up.  They loved JoAnne and her insightful hatred of where she used to work.  To date, she's the only person to serve as President of the Harris County Criminal Lawyer's Association twice.

In the spirit of full disclosure (and in case you haven't guessed already), JoAnne and I aren't exactly buddies.  We got crossways when I was still with the Office after she left.  That got magnified greatly during the whole David Temple case reversal.  She was blasting me on Twitter from the HCCLA account.  It probably had something to do with the fact that one of her law partners at the time was Temple Defense Team Member John Denholm.  Those were good times.

Many of us were stunned when JoAnne took a job with your Administration, Kim.  After all of the things she had said about prosecutors, cops and victims of crime, we all thought those bridges had been burned, nuked, and spat upon.

But all we really needed to do to understand why JoAnne went back to an Office she hated so much was remember what she truly loves:


JoAnne loves being the person in charge and belittling those beneath her.  It's like, her thing.

Her move to Felony Trial Bureau Chief (replacing the far more respected and liked John Jordan) was right up her alley.  She's been going to town ever since she took over her spot, too.  Calling out prosecutor after prosecutor over long-disposed cases and demanding explanations as if she were addressing a renegade pre-commit.  You can call Harris County prosecutors many things, but "soft on crime" has never been one of them.

JoAnne clearly still has the same enthusiasm for belittling those under her as she did when she was a misdemeanor chief.  I've heard the way she talks to prosecutors.  I've heard about her memos. It is so very very vintage JoAnne.

JoAnne isn't talking to renegade pre-commits, Kim.  She's talking to seasoned, trained, ethical, professional, stand up prosecutors.  Prosecutors who have somehow managed to remain upbeat and together despite all they've gone through after Hurricane Harvey.  I wouldn't talk to my dog the way JoAnne talks to prosecutors.

And I don't really like my dog that much.

In short, Hurricane JoAnne is having a far more detrimental effect on your prosecutors than Harvey ever did.  I hope that you'll do something about it.

Many moons ago, when you were working for the D.A.'s Office under Pat Lykos, I ran into you at the elevator bank of the CJC.  It was in the middle of all that crazy Grand Jury surveillance-era and you shook your head and said, "We really need to go grab a beer and catch up on what is happening around here."  Over the months and years that followed, when you and I saw each other around the building and always noted how we still needed to have that beer.

We never did have it, and I'm guessing you probably wouldn't want to have one with me now.  I understand. But all of this is what I would tell you if we were to have that beer today.

You have some of the best prosecutors in the world working for you right now. Treat them with the respect that they have earned and deserve, and they will help you accomplish all of those things that you want and need to do.