Wednesday, April 2, 2008

An Open Letter to Pat Lykos

Dear Pat,

In today's mail, I received not one, not two, but three different pieces of mail from you for your campaign. Not one of them seeks to establish you as the most qualified candidate in the race for the District Attorney's Office. Rather, they are all negative campaign pieces against Kelly Siegler.

I'll be honest with you, once Kelly Siegler announced her candidacy for the race, my mind was made up. I was very excited about the possibility of the Greatest Prosecutor in the Country being the elected representative of the Harris County. I was hired by Johnny Holmes when I became an Assistant District Attorney, and I've always been so very proud of the fact that I could tell people I had once worked for him. The idea of having a person of Kelly Siegler's caliber running the D.A.'s Office again was incredible.

When you did do your 11th hour announcement for your candidacy, I was disappointed, but not surprised. Face it, you like to run for things. It was nothing personal. You had your ideas. The other candidates had theirs. That's what the Democratic process is all about, right?

But then you took such a turn, didn't you? You realized that an ex-judge that last held elected office in the last millennium (1994) and had never tried a criminal case couldn't hold a candle to a brilliant trial attorney like Kelly Siegler. Kelly Siegler won tough cases like Dror Goldberg and David Temple against arguably the most skilled and reputable defense attorney in the State of Texas, Dick DeGuerin. In what was billed as a "Clash of the Titans", Kelly Siegler made the District Attorney's Office proud.

How could you compete with that?

The short answer: You couldn't.

So you resorted to every last low-rent, muckraking, and scummy tactic that you could possibly resort to. In a Country that prides itself on letting "the best candidate win", you strive to do nothing more than trying to drag your opposition down into the bog that you seem to politically dwell in. You found your greatest enabler in the morally decrepit and despicable Terry Lowry, and even he charged you $5,000 to help spread your desperation.

Of all three mailers that I got on your behalf tonight, nothing in your lists of qualifications brings you even close to Kelly Siegler. To put it bluntly, even I am more qualified for this Office than you are.

One of your mailers faults Kelly Siegler for "intemperate language", and yet you were the one who called Judge Mary Bacon a "f*ck face". Intellectual honesty will clearly have no place in a Pat Lykos administration.

But perhaps the most incredibly dishonest and despicable thing you listed (out of a field of many) is your first item on your latest mail out. Under the heading of "Tainted Evidence", you wrote:

Used evidence obtained by deceit causing the reversal of two killers' death sentence convictions. Siegler brags about the conviction -- but doesn't talk about the reversals, or the agony of the victim's family having to endure two trial, again!

In those two sentences, you absolutely, positively prove yourself to be a liar and a shameless one at that.

Both of the "two killers" cases centered around the murder of Farrah Fratta. You, as a former judge, would know better than anyone that the reversals had nothing to do with any sort of misconduct on the part of Kelly Siegler or the State of Texas. And yet you continue to mislead the general public about what was the true reasoning behind it.

And of the "victim's family having to endure two trials again" (one of which has already been sentenced to death again), the father of Farrah Fratta is a man named Lex Baqer. You speak on his behalf without his request or his desire.

Lex Baqer is one of the victims who personally spoke on Kelly Siegler's radio commercials, commending her for a job well done. He also took time out of his schedule to go walk door-to-door for Kelly during her campaign.

You don't speak for him. And you certainly don't speak for those of us who have been walking in and out of the doors of the Criminal Justice Center during your almost 20 year absence.

In fact, you really shouldn't be speaking in this race at all.

One of the things that has always made me so proud about practicing criminal law is the character behind everything that happens in Harris County, Texas.

Kelly Siegler will add to the character of that Office and Harris County will be proud to have her.

You, Pat, on the other hand, seem to have no character whatsoever.

AHCL

17 comments:

Mark Bennett said...

"To put it bluntly, even I am more qualified for this Office than you are."

Heh. True!

I am too, but that doesn't necessarily mean you'd want me actually running it.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Touche.

County Seat said...

Pat Lykos has been running for office for at least half of my lifetime, and she's been negative for as long as I can remember. I'll never forgive her for her disgusting slurs against Don Wittig's honorable military service in Viet Nam.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

AHCL criticizing Pat Lykos for not one, not two, but three negative attacks? Hmmmm ... pot, meet kettle: I think you'll find you have a lot in common. ;)

The Austin DA's race has gone very negative, too. Just the nature of runoff elections.

Anonymous said...

This is mildly off the topic, but something in the Chronicle this morning disturbed me. And please realize that I take what I read in the Chronicle with a huge grain of salt. But they covered the latest debate out in Clear Lake between candidates for DA. They quoted Kelly Siegler has having used the word, "ain't." Seriously, did she say ain't? I mean surely someone of her caliber and intelligence wouldn't stoop so low. Please tell her or her campaign manager that using the word "ain't," is so unprofessional. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying it's some awful four letter word that's so offensive, but come on she'a a lawyer and a memeber of mensa and she says ain't. It just screams good 'ol girl, and that's not an image she needs to portray. It seems a little insignificant and not something that a voter should necessarily hang his or her hat on, but it made me cringe.

Michael said...

AHCL: I'm betting some of your commenters know you and can vouch for the fact that you aren't Kelly Siegler, so I'll take their words for it. I can't tell for myself, given your unwavering support for her and your reference to her as the Greatest Prosecutor in the 8th quadrant of the universe (okay, I embellished that).

As a self-appointed grammar cop, I perked up at this sentence:

"And of the 'victim's family having to endure two trials again' (one of which has already been sentenced to death again)..."

Harris County is tough, I know, but I can't believe the DAs would convict the victim's family, much less twice.

But the reason I am posting is I'm not familiar with the Fratta case, and wondered if you or Mark (or Grits) could fill me in.

Finally, reading your barrage of ad hominems against Lykos, alongside the information that Fulbright and Jaworski has spent $5,000 to see her get elected DA, reminds me of Mike Tigar's old saw: "A story is like a pancake. They both have two sides."

Leif said...

Michael:
1. Lykos's old boss Bob Eckels is now in charge of Fulbright's public law group.
2. The nature of quadrants means you can have only four of them in the universe.

Mark:
It stings, because it's true.

Jason said...

Well, I live in Fort Bend, but work in Harris County. I actually am rooting for Seigler.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I haven't been interested in seeing Kelly run the DA's office. I think she is a phenomenal prosecutor, but not a superb manager. She is certainly a super star, however, most of the people below her will never hold a candle to her, and I don't know that she remembers what it is like to be them. Many at the top, DO NOT. I truly do not believe that much will change as to how lower level personnel are treated and looked upon. I think that those at the top will remain the same, and some of the people who fester that ugly attitude will not leave under Kelly.
That being said, I have also listened closely to the things that Lykos herself has said and I am far more concerned about her taking over the office than Kelly. Every word is purely political and virtually empty. She has twisted things and made them seem true when they are clearly not. Right now, even I, am more qualified than she is. Even a brand spanking new #4 is more qualified!!
I can't tell you why I became a prosecutor. It really was a calling. It was what I was supposed to do. I never knew Chuck or what his principles were. I knew my job, and what MY principles ARE and that is what I used to do my job.
But, realistically, as a citizen of Harris County, if something horrible were to happen to my family or my children, I would be absolutely proud to know that Kelly was at the helm leading the ADA's who were going to string up the bastard who did my family wrong! So, while I was hestitant before, GO KELLY!

The Phantom Bureaucrat said...

Grits, the difference here is that AHCL is working with the facts, not heavily distorted versions of them. They aren't ad hominem attacks either, merely showcasing of reasons why Lykos is an incredibly poor choice for DA.

Michael, taking your analogy to the next step if I may; Lykos is the burnt side of the pancake. Feel free to spend a handful of minutes researching her antics in the past for yourself and you may see why so many are vehemently opposed to her campaign. Whatever issues you may have with Siegler, Lykos' troubles are quite apparent without a lot of spin (and one look at her campaign literature is sickening enough to vote against her as a viable display of revulsion). If you have something nice to say about the qualifications of Pat Lykos, I don't seem to recall seeing it here but by all means share it with us.

Anon 528, if given a choice between the candidates based solely on their experience as administrators, what do you have to select from? Bradford's administrative decisions led to more scandals than most can count and reports have surfaced that his method of disciplining his employees were tossed out by arbitrators almost every time.
Lykos was the charmer of her clerks to such an extent that many of them quit after being bullied around, also leading to hearings were other judges would point out the woman's lies in open court. Unlike Bradford though, she only supervised a couple at a time.
Siegler supervised a division of the HCDA's office, including many lawyers such as the ones she would be in charge of as DA. How many scandals have we heard from the press (which is certainly trying to crucify her), her coworkers, or disgruntled employees that served under her section? (hint: the number is zero).

Michael said...

Phantom: The side of the pancake I haven't seen is Siegler's, not Lykos's. I couldn't understand why, if Lykos is, in fact, the devil's handmaiden while Siegler is the greatest prosecutor in this and approximately 40% of all parallel universes, why the race isn't more of a runaway. Leif kindly noted that Lykos's former boss works at F&J, thus providing a plausible explanation why she'd get a check from them. (Leif, the universe has 8 quadrants. Siegler subdivided them.) So, while I'm sure that Lykos's side of the pancake is burnt, I don't know what Siegler's side looks like. 9:52 anonymous's comment was another good insight: great lawyers may not be great administrators.

hcresident said...

I want to say one thing about Kelly's ability to administrate apart form her work at the DA's office. Just 14 weeks ago everybody that worked at the DA's office went to spend Christmas with their families. Two days after Christmas the scandal started. About 2 weeks later Siegler entered the DA's race. I think it is amazing that in such a short time she was able to put together a campaign that finished first in the primary. Just last weekend there were over 50 people who block-walked for her campaign. More went to other events and even more were calling and e-mailing their friends, families and neighbors in an effort to get people to vote. How is that for being a quick study at learning something completely new? The ability to react to and take control of the unexpected is what makes someone a great manager.

Ron in Houston said...

AHCL

I know what you say about Lykos is true. However, it might appear a little more credible if you weren't so gushy over Seigler.

The neat part of your blog is that the comments really help put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Anonymous said...

JAGJO writes:

I concur with hcresident's 9:04sentiments. And the same can be applied to AHCL as our blogger host and Siegler/CJC supporter.

Unpredicted circumstances put both into a position to want to stand up and have their voices heard.

In the beginning when AHCL was a brand new blogger hostess and came into the ring to fight for the reputation and integrity of the CJC and the ADA's, there were a lot of punches being thrown here and AHCL was about ready to throw in the towel. In one downtrodden post it was almost a farewell speech. ( do you remember AHCL.. and the comments I wrote you at that time?) But you persevered and prevailed. And now have had over 50k viewers to your blog. (that causes some blogger host envy out there) I am glad that you stayed in the ring to fight...and by far this commentary entitled, An Open Letter to Pat Lykos" is your TKO!

Takes guts and gumption to write a call out letter in an open forum and back it up. To slay a dragon you need knowledge(facts), determintaion(guts)and skill.

You have demonstrated those 3 things here without waiver in your plight for the CJC and the candidate that you support for D.A..
Siegler has also demonstrated those same 3 things since the inception of her candidacy. Those very qualities are what will make her the next HCDA.

TKO .... the count stands at 5( M-F ,one count for each day of voting)and one point for the next 5days which means by early Wednesday next week it will be a full 10 count. Lykos is down... and by Tuesday.. OUT!

A Harris County Lawyer said...

So much to respond to. I'll take a deep breath and try to cover everything.

Grits, you are such a double edged sword. I'm always flattered when you drop by, and yet, it always seems to be at my expense :) That being said, perhaps I am guilty of running some negative campaigning myself against Lykos, but I have tried to stick to the topic of her professional life, her professional working relationships, and her professional demeanor. I have tried (at least for the most part) to not make attacks on her personal life.

Michael, long story short: Farrah Fratta's husband hired a guy named Guidry to murder her. They both got the death penalty after Kelly prosecuted them. Both cases got reversed. Kelly has already re-tried Guidry and he has again received the death penalty. Fratta (the husband) has been reversed by the Federal courts, but I believe that it is still in the appellate process.

Michael (2nd post), I don't know why the race isn't more runaway than it is. It certainly should be. Unfortunately, Kelly not only has to run on her own ability, but she also has to single-handedly mend the reputation of the Office in the process, it seems.

Anon 5:28, I'm glad you are supporting Kelly. You are certainly correct that being a great lawyer doesn't make you a great administrator, but it doesn't preclude you from being able to be one, either. HC Resident is right, that Kelly has learned so much on the fly and done a good job with it. Most campaigns have candidates planning for months, if not years in advance. Kelly literally started this with a few hours notice.

Ron, you are right that I am probably "gushy" over Siegler. But that doesn't necessarily mean I'm wrong. I know her. I have seen her in trial. I admire her. It's kind of hard to hide. When you look at her versus Lykos, it magnifies my admiration of her, and I guess I just start getting a little enthusiastic about it. She's a great person, a great prosecutor, and a great candidate. Oh crap, there I went gushing again, didn't I?

JAGJO, yes, I remember very well the day I thought about tankingn the website. Your post was one of the biggest reasons that I kept it up and running, and yes, I'm glad that I did. On that day, I was just afraid I had entrenched myself in an argument that was making matters worse for the Office, rather than better. Out of concern for doing more harm than good, I considered tanking the site. I'm glad I didn't.

J said...

How ironic that Lykos, who questions Kelly's ethics and accuses her of doing anything to win, will say anything to get elected.

Anonymous said...

JAGJO writes:

AHCL - Awl... I thinketh time for group hug!! :-)

I am officially reserving some space here next week to display my gloating rights ;-) And gloat, I shall!

Vote Kelly Siegler!
Vote Bill Moore!