Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Day After

Yesterday was a very strange day around the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.

The ADAs who had worked on Kelly Siegler's campaign were still shell-shocked over the results of the election.

Many of the members of the defense bar offered words of encouragement to the ADAs and told them that everything would be alright. The words of kindness meant a lot to them.

Not all defense attorneys were so kind. At least two that I know of took a morbid pleasure in trying to rub the ADA's noses in the election results, gleefully telling them that they would all be fired. I'm not real sure what ends those attorneys were trying to accomplish other than to give an exhibition on low class.

ADAs discussed scenarios under which they would stay within the Office.

Oddly enough, although shock and sadness permeated through the Office, the anger was only directed one way.

The name being discussed and cursed throughout the entirety of the day?

Chuck Rosenthal

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, of course.

Rosenthal's incredible actions created national headlines, made the Harris County DA's office a huge embarrassment to the citizens of Harris County and a laughing stock in the legal community.

Rosenthal apparently thought he was above the law, but try explaining that to Judge Hoyt.

While the DA's office has many good people trying to do a good job, the leadership was so in-bred with "good ol' boy" attitudes (and good ol' girl attitudes) that it created a level of supreme arrogance that was obvious and very palpable.

Siegler was a very significant part of that culture.

The voters of Harris County are not stupid people. They simply said enough is enough.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

That's what people keep saying, but I've yet to anyone cite an example of what happened.

One of my hesitations about Bradford is his overuse of the term "good ole boy" network. He's got so much more tangible things to go after Lykos on.

I would like to hear a tangible example of the "good ole boy" network in play.

And I hope Chief Bradford will change the focus of his campaign to Lykos. He's got a lot of material to work with.

Anonymous said...

Either way, enormous changes are coming, and it's long overdue.

A recent Dallas Morning News article about the new DA in that county, Craig Watkins, announced he was shifting the focus from "winning at all costs to justice".

We can only hope the same thing happens here.

Anonymous said...

I continue to hear various people say that the voters of Harris County said with their vote that they had enough. This statement overreaches to say the least.

Remember, Kelly Siegler crushed Pat Lykos in the general election, where far more people voted. But Pat had the support of the hard core party members. The type of people who want to know the candidates' positions on abortion, a topic that clearly has nothing to do with being a District Attorney.

The Lykos vicotry proves just how hard it is to win a run off when the politicians who back the party are not in your camp. This is a flaw in our system of elections, which tends to favor political parties over the will of the actual people.

That being said, it is the best system anyone has come up with to date. It has, however, left us with a person who will be elected as the next District Attorney who has never tried a criminal case. A sad day for Harris County.

Anonymous said...

JAGJO writes:

AHCL - You are spot on with your comment about what is going to rise to the surface during the CB and Liemyway's campaign sparring. ( " He's got so much more tangible things to go after Lykos on. and He's got a lot of material to work with.") Liemyway is going to find herself defending off the stigma of ' good ole boy/girl' syndrome that see so aptly accused Kelly of. If nothing else, for me it will be free entertainment and for Kelly, redemption in the public's eye. In my opinion, the blue hairs of the Repub party via mail in ballot are who got Liemyway the runoff win. I giggle when I think of those seniors out there thinking they really stuck it to the younger one and by getting a fellow senior citizen nominated. Age is a tricky little number vixen.... the longer one lives , the more opportunity to build larger closets to hold all the skeletons.

I have a quote that I like from the late night talk show of the 80's and early 90's, hosted by Tom Snyder who was just such a character but always on target. As he went to commercial break he would always entice the viewer to come back for what was largely a controversial type guest with this line;
"Fire up a colortini, sit back, relax, and watch the pictures, now, as they fly through the air."

There's definitely going to be er, 'pictures' flying through the air this summer and fall when these two start to really duke it out.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to ask the cops what they think about Bradford. You may change your mind about who to support.

jigmeister said...

Six of one...4 years of mediocrity or 4 years of malevolent autocracy. Neither one will ever or should ever step inside the courtroom. So much for representing the victim.

Custer R said...

OK. I'll bite. How do HPD personnel who were on the force at the time feel about Bradford?

It seems the crime lab ineptitude and the lucrative LeeP retirement scan make him unelectable.

To change the subject, how do the lawyers among you feel about a public defenders office?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

I will freely acknowledge that the two most qualified candidates' (Siegler and Leitner) exits have left us with two contenders that will be hard to get very excited about at the moment.

I know that there are plenty of law enforcement officers that may take issue with Bradford, but there are prosecutors, defense attorneys, police officers, witnesses, former-employees, and co-workers that have issue with Lykos. Look for those issues to be more exposed by the Chronicle in the months to come.

I don't want to describe this race as "The Lesser of Two Evils", because I only think that one of the candidates is truly evil.

Not to sound like Jim Lietner, but Bradford has my vote. I will be watching this race like a hawk, and I'm open to that vote becoming an endorsement (yeah yeah, an endorsement from AHCL and $2.50 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks, I know).

Pat Lykos will never get anything from me other than a guaranteed vote for her opponent

That being said, I'm more than willing to listen (and post) both sides of the story. I heard a vicious rumor that I may have been a bit one-sided prior to April 4th.

Let's talk it out about November 8th.

Chris said...

I'll post what I said at the Chron. If anyone really belives the DAs office is better off with Lycos or Bradford and their backgrounds then they aren't thinking clearly. It will get worse until 4 years from now. The city and county are under more risk now. If you look at Lycos' record as a judge and her work with peers then the vote was one of ignorance. We are now stuck with not much of a choice. Change is only good when the alternatives make sense. To quote Winston Churchill:

"There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction"

This was the right intentions with the wrong direction.

The Phantomn Bureaucrat said...

For the runoff, Lykos was able to mobilize her stable band of followers that were built up over years in addition to the hardcore GOP faithful so she won against a first time candidate with vastly superior qualifications. I laugh when I read the predictions and musings by some that suggest it was "the people had enough" bla bla bla because any decent political analysis (sorry Michael) would track her past votes. Had the "toss the bums out" vote been anywhere near what said pundits suggest it was, the vote would have been a blow out of epic proportions, not a handful of percentage points on a low turnout runoff.

Bradford has a lot of baggage and no one disputes it but it was under him that the city police gained hundreds of millions of dollars in pay raises & benefits. Just as there were ADA's supporting Lykos, albeit few of them, there are a lot more officers supporting Bradford (there are twenty times as many officers too) but most of them are not a factor (the Democratic party expects a sweep based on the Primary numbers).

In terms of who would be best for the ADA's, Bradford would be less antagonistic. Under most circumstances, they won't see him and unless one becomes a political liability, their career will be safe; allowing them to carry on their "mission". He will definitely replace some of the top crew but allow most to stay on and serve.

Lykos will likely seek out supporters of her opponents and pay them back, rule with an iron hand, and demand them to do things her way, regardless of law or best practice. If a case of political importance comes up, she will more actively involve herself to either quash actions against friends and political allies or jump to take credit for whatever cases are won that the media picks up on. There will be an element of "what's best for me" in any policy change that won't be nearly as apparent as with her opponent too.

jigmeister said...

A little birdie told me that Amy Smith is retiring early. For those that don't know, she has been the Director of the Victim/Witness Division for longer than most of you can remember. That's a tremendous loss to the future victims of Harris County. Good luck doll, your a beautiful person.