First and foremost, I would just like to say that words alone can never express how amazed, thankful, and humbled I was by all the condolences and well wishes that I received today from fellow prosecutors, Judges, members of the Defense Bar, and even people I had never met. I was absolutely overwhelmed by everyone's profound kindness. I kept thinking that it was like getting to attend my own funeral and hearing all the nice things people usually reserve to say about you until after you've died.
I've said over and over again that I consider our CJC group as a Family. Today, you all let me know that you felt the same way, and I will never forget that. I will be eternally grateful for the wonderful friends and colleagues that I have been fortunate enough to work with over the years.
On December 31st, I will walk out the door of the District Attorney's Office with some excellent company. Luci Davidson, Bert Graham, Craig Goodhart, Vic Wisner, Mike Trent, Joe Owmby, Rob Freyer and Don Smyth are some of the most talented prosecutors in the Nation and they've dedicated their careers to public service. (NOTE: For the record, Rob and Don were not "unrenewed" by Lykos. They both will be leaving of their own accord).
I am honored to work with them all. I'm equally honored to call them my friends.
As a side note, if you are planning on using the comments section of the post to speak badly of any of the aforementioned prosecutors, don't waste your time. Not here. Not now. I won't publish it. If you want to talk badly about me, knock yourself out.
And speaking of speaking badly of people, I'm highly confused by the angry rants of whoever is calling himself "Jeff's Dad". I've got no idea who he is or the reasoning of his very volatile rants on any blog that will post him. If you have a beef with me, I do wish you would tell me why. I will be happy to discuss with you whatever actions I committed that seem to have you so riled up. However, my guess is that your rants are probably more aimed at prosecutors in general, rather than me in particular.
Moving on . . .
Some people claim that my post yesterday was "whining" about getting the old heave-ho. If I sound like I'm whining, I don't intend to.
Are there things about leaving the Office that make me angry? You bet.
Do I have some anxiety about my financial situation for the first couple of months out on my own? I'd be foolish not to.
Am I going to miss the camaraderie and friendship of the Office? I would have to be dead on the inside not to feel that loss.
But am I crying in my beer because I really really really wanted to work for Pat Lykos?
Um, not so much.
Yes yes. I know that it now sounds as if I have shifted from "whining" to "sour grapes"? Oh well. If you don't like what I'm writing, feel free to check out another website. Or you can stick around and rant about the Blogger you love to hate. Doesn't really matter to me.
The bottom line is that leaving the District Attorney's Office is a big change in my life on every level, and I've got a lot to say about it. Hopefully I can refrain from being too repetetive about it, but I find it kind of cathartic to write about this stuff.
And finally, Joe Owmby and I were interviewed by Phil Archer from Channel 2 this morning, and I stated my unshakeable belief that these firings were politically motivated. If you have some strange desire to see my pasty bald head in action, you can click here. When it comes to being on TV, I'm certainly no Will Womble (NOTE: Inside joke.) Don't get me wrong, as far as I'm concerned, a political firing is pretty much fair game (as long as it doesn't violate the 1st Amendment).
I nearly spit out my beer when I saw that Lykos flatly denied that any of the firings were politically motivated. She added the beautiful statement that she wasn't going to say anything bad about us (thus implying that there are a lot of bad things to say, but she is rising above such pettiness).
I got a certified copy of my personnel file just in case Lykos wanted to insinuate something like that. It has all my evaluations. It has all my trial statistics. What it doesn't have is any reprimands, disciplinary actions, or complaints.
There weren't any.
I tried around fifteen murder cases. Two capital murders (one death/one non-death), and many many sexual assaults of children, aggravated robberies, and other felonies. My trial record was 51 convictions, 2 acquittals, and 2 hung juries.
And keep in mind that out of all those listed prosecutors, I was the most junior.
NOTE: Before anyone starts beating me over the head for "you prosecutors only caring about convictions", let me say that I do believe that trial statistics actually are important in evaluating a prosecutor. They certainly aren't the end-all-be-all by any means, but they are indicators. If a prosecutor has a really lopsided trial record, they are either a) not properly evaluating their trial cases or b) they aren't getting the job done in trial. Both are things that prosecutors need to be able to do.
My point is that I don't think there was anything in my file or about my reputation as a prosecutor that would warrant my ultimate termination.
But I did support Kelly Siegler against Pat Lykos (and I would do it again).
Coincidentally, the folks I'm walking out the door with supported her too.
Like I said, a political firing is fair game for the most part as far as I'm concerned. All is fair in love and war, and all that good stuff. I'm not whining about that.
I just find Lykos' assertion that the terminations weren't politically motivated is about as disingenuous as . . . well, pretty much everything else Lykos has to say.