Tuesday, April 8, 2008

An Open Letter to Kelly Siegler

Dear Kelly,

You have been my friend for a long time now.

You are one of those people in my life that I can truly and honestly say that I am proud to know.

After Chuck's debacle at the end of last year, you stepped up to the plate to fight for what all of the Assistant District Attorneys who needed something to believe in.

You aren't a politician, and you never were. You are too honest and true to yourself to be a politician. You offered yourself up for to so much scrutiny to protect what the Harris County District Attorney's Office has always stood for (no matter what the critics said). You let people like Pat Lykos and Terry Lowry and Jim Leitner attack your professional and personal life.

And you did it all for us.

You sacrificed yourself to make one last valiant stand to see that justice was done.

And we went out in a Blaze of Glory, didn't we?

I'm so proud of you, Kelly.

I'm proud of the fact that the most talented lawyer in the United States stayed in a government job to do what was right on behalf of so many people.

I'm proud of the advocacy you have done on the most downtrodden of all people.

I'm proud of the fact that when this Office, in an absolute state of despondency after Chuck destroyed it, turned to you.

And you answered them with your willingness to serve.

There are friends that you call "friends" and there are friends that you call "family".

You are family to me and my family. You, Sam, and the girls. You always will be.

I'm so proud of you that I can't see straight.

You are the greatest lawyer that I have ever known, and in time, Harris County will realize everything that they lost tonight.

Thank you for every last thing that you have done for the past 22 years, and especially for the last four months.

You remain, always, my hero.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kelly ran an admirable race. She didn't stoop to the dirty tactic of Pat Lykos. Yet, for some reason that completely escapes me, the voters liked the trash that Lykos dished out. The citizens and victims of Harris County will suffer greatly. The DAs office will crumble and there will be nobody to represent the victims like Kelly did. Thank you Kelly. We will miss you.

Anonymous said...

This is on Jared Woodfill He shut down voting locations and kept voting down. Our party has committed political suicide. What a bunch of morons. The Lykos crowd is the last that entices crossover vote. Well, we get what we deserve. Sorry. We are just self destructive. Chuck is smiling.

Anonymous said...

I used to work at the HCDA many years ago. Kelly is/was great. She will survive. Kelly can move right over to the US Attorney's office. Better pay and benefits and still fighting on the "right" side of justice.

The office will survive. The sky is not falling. You are starting to sound so whiny that it is embarrassing. Welcome to politics.

Y'all better change your attitude if you want to keep your jobs. You do love what you do, right? You are dedicated public servants, right? If so, it doesn't matter who is in charge. Contrary to what you think, it is not about YOU. This loss was about Chuck, Sam, perceived ethics, perceived racism. The good ole boy days of the DA's office are over. You can deny the criticism of the office but all of us who worked there KNOW it existed. If you are capable of being honest with yourself, you KNOW. Can you ACCEPT it? Can you take some action and fix it? The voters thought not, so someone else will fix it.

There's an economic recession. All you who think you can run out and open up your own office had better think twice. Price office space, insurance, etc, then think about it. Perhaps you should think about attending some Al-Anon meetings....they will teach you how to accept life on life's terms, 'cause that is what has happened to "The Office"....life has happened.

I live in the DFW area. Look at what happened in Dallas 2 years ago. It was turmoil and pandemonium when Craig Watkins won. The sky was falling...."they" said. Those prosecutors who could not or would not accept what the voters said left the office. I am sure they are happier. The ones who stayed, and the ones who hired on, now work for a DA's office that is highly regarded as ethical and truly interested in justice. The innocence department they have established through a grant is a public relations miracle. Justice is still being served. Criminals are still going to jail.

For those DA's who just can't work for either the Democrat or Republican candidate, there are lots of people waiting for your jobs. You really should stop whining; it is getting old. Perhaps you should change the name of your blog to Life at the HCDA's office, 'cause I do not think you represent Life at the Harris County Courthouse....

I'm sure you'll feel the need to criticize and strikeout at what I've said....that's what "y'all" do.....berate those who disagree with your opinion. Isn't it time to just think, think, think...

Ron in Houston said...

I agree with 12:06. I really dislike when a clean campaign loses to an attack campaign.

1:16 is also right because this is largely the work of the Republican party establishment.

5:41 has a really good point about it being about the public and not about you.

Personally, I find it disturbing that such a scary personality as Lykos can win an election.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 5:41 a.m.,
I'm really impressed by your e-mail. Most people wouldn't get up so early to be a total tool.

Of course Kelly will land on her feet. So will all of her supporters, whether they remain in the office or go into private practice. Recession or no recession, there will always be crime, and Harris County will always have the best criminal lawyers in the world to deal with it.

And by the way, if those ADAs want to go drink at a bar, more power to them. That comment was petty and stupid, and actually sounds like something Lykos would make.

I'm glad you are happy with your D.A. in Dallas County, and their "public relations miracle". But, newsflash, there is a lot more to that than being a District Attorney's Office. You must not have advanced far enough within the Office to realize that.

I will keep the blog named as it is, although your comment brings up an interest point. You want me to change the name of it, because you disagree with my perspective, and yet you then call me out for berating people I disagree with. Interesting double standard, in my opinion.

And don't you live in Dallas, anyway?

Da Texan said...

Anon is a raving jackass of epic proportions. I always love how people who are no longer at a particular job know so much about it.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

To Ron and 12:06, the idea that you'd "really dislike when a clean campaign loses to an attack campaign" is a little naive in a runoff. That's how a two-person race works, and if Siegler didn't go negative, it likely explains her loss. (Our host, obviously, had no such compunctions!)

For the most part, politicians get a free pass except in tight elections. Nobody's record really gets examined thoroughly except by their opponents in oppo research. It's really the only aspect of the process that involves vetting the candidates at all. Perhaps it's because I used to earn my living for a dozen years or so as an oppo researcher, but IMO elections where negative campaigning was banned would lead to utter tyranny.

Similarly, the candidate that went negative in Travis County won big. Bottom line: Negative campaigning works. Winning candidates do it.

Ron in Houston said...

Grits

I know - it's reality.

Sometimes reality just sucks.

Michael said...

AHCL:

You're posting from pain right now. Calling Anon 5:41 a tool? In your experience, is that likely to change his mind? He has some valid points -- sometimes you can be too close to a problem to have the best perspective on what's wrong, or how to solve it.

And one silver lining: Does anyone think Lykos, should she win, will be able to be re-elected in 2012? By then, she'll have a four-year record to have to run on. If what your posters say is true, that should be enough to hang around her neck and sink her.

Finally, I'm not convinced the US Attorney's office is fighting the good fight. Sure, they're the front line soldiers in the war against drugs, and the people they're putting in prison deserve to be there, and more, but I am convinced we should pull the plug on that false bit of ideology and spend the saved billions getting to the root of addiction, treating it like a health crisis instead of a criminal crisis.

Anonymous said...

The people posting who used to work at the HCDA's Office have a different perspective. One that is grounded in common sense and reason. It is a perspective that lawyers gain when they leave the DA's Office that is priceless. I too, used to work at the DA's office (and I live in Houston), and I was so sad to leave it, but I knew there were better opportunities available to me as a lawyer outside the DA's Office. I still keep in touch with my ADA buddies and I laugh sometimes at the petty things that they whine about. I'm not saying this recent election was petty, because by no means was it. But hear the candidates out before you scoop up all your toys and stomp off from the sandbox. Anon 5:41 preaches it best when he says it's not about the ADA's. And AHCL you epitomized his argument: you just berated someone who doesn't agree with you. We who have left the DA's Office, gain a valuable lesson: being able to tell yourself the truth. Take off the rose colored glasses bro.

Michael said...

Grits:

I don't know what to say about Lehmberg going negative on Montford, and I'll talk about that on your blog, since it's OT here. But my vote for Rosemary had to do with experience, not advertising.

jigmeister said...

God Bless Kelly. She put up a great fight and after a few depressing self evaluation days, she will bounce back. She will still be a valued member of the community with something important to contribute in whatever way she decides to do that.

The DA's office has always been about the victims. Hopefully it still will be. Everyone will have to balance their personal asperations against their dedication to the overall purpose of the job.

For those who decide they have to stay because of the time they have put into it already, just keep doing right. You did that when Chuck disappeared into a closet for years.

As for me, I am glad I got to spend so many years with Johnny and great friends. The position I took, because I could afford to was: Leave when the job isn't fun anymore and I did. That might be good advice for the rest of you.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Michael,
Of course you are correct that there is a lot of pain right now. However, the fact that Anon got up so early to not just to have a mean-spirited laugh at Kelly and her supporters, but to also let them all know they were drunks who would soon be destitute pretty much qualifies him as a tool in my book. That is one mind I doubt I could change if I wanted to.
I was keenly aware of the fact that there would be a free for all today, but I had some hope that even opponents can try to exercise some class every now and then. And yes, I acknowledge that I stooped to his level. But it was mildly cathartic at the moment, to tell you the truth.

In regards to Kelly going negative, it becomes very difficult to do when the media isn't interested in sullying your opponent's side.