Friday, May 1, 2009

Yet Another Departure

While today is the last day at work for District Court Chiefs Stephen St. Martin and George Weissfisch, yet another long-time member of the District Attorney's Office had his last official day at the Office yesterday.

Edward Porter, a 27-year veteran of the Harris County District Attorney's Office turned in his resignation a week or so ago, and his last day on the job was yesterday.

Edward had an interesting career path.

He started as a clerk in the 174th District Court while in law school, before ultimately coming to the District Attorney's Office in July of 1982. (NOTE: I'd like to point out that I was 9 years old when Edward started at the Office). He began working in the Child Support Division back when the D.A.'s Office still handled those matters routinely, and then went on to become the Division Chief of the Family Law Division.

In 1989, he went to the Office's Civil Rights Division where he would stay for the next 19 years. During the course of his career, he personally made the scene of over 200 officer-involved police shootings. Odds are that if you ever saw a guy on the news wearing a hat and a fanny pack at an officer-involved shooting, it was probably Edward.

His most high-profile case that he tried was that of Joseph Kent McGowan, a Harris County Sheriff's Deputy who illegally obtained a warrant and then shot a woman named Susan Smith. The story of that case was detailed in "A Warrant to Kill" by Katherine Casey.

Rumor also has it that Edward was the constructor of the legendary harpoon presented to Casey O'Brien (aka Jigmeister) upon completion of one of Casey's notorious "whale cases".

The Office is losing a great character and a lot of Institutional Memory with Edward's departure.

Best of luck to you, Edward. You're a good friend and a good prosecutor. You will definitely be missed.

38 comments:

Thomas Hobbes said...

Thanks, Murray. I often wonder who I know that was born when I was in high school . . .

Leviathan

jigmeister said...

Hey, I earned that Harpoon fair and square. Ask Chuck Noll. We tried that case together, but I had to. Somehow my fingerprints got on the gun before it got to the lab and I had to keep the case.

Porter deserves acolates for his work over the years. As much as we like to think that the cops always do the right thing, someone had to look over their shoulder and call BS when they screwed up. He did that honestly and thanklessly for years. Not many of us wanted to do that.

Since the gang that can shoot straight took over, he has been shafted, along with many others. Good time to call it quits. Thanks EDP.

Rage Judicata said...

Obama was only eight when Ayers was bombing stuff. Didn't stop his guilt by association. Not that your dude was bombing anyone, but I'm just saying.

Anonymous said...

Why did he leave?

Anonymous said...

WOW! They sure are losing alot of the best folks they've had there for years. Ed will be difficult to replace.

Tex

Anonymous said...

Edward, thank you for all your years of service to our community. We appreciate all you have done. Best of luck to you in your retirement and new ventures.

Anonymous said...

Ed is a great person and he was ready to retire.

Anonymous said...

I suspect the new administration may have played a role in his retirement. Didn't they move him down to Environmental Crimes? Seemed to be a waste of talent there.

Anonymous said...

Sad to see those
with sound judgment, sense of fairness and an understanding that their job was to seek justice, devalued and underappreciated by the new administration.

Pat, Jim, Roger, wake up. When will you see that these RESPECTED prosecutors leaving, are sympotomatic of a serious problem at the D.A.'s office?

Learn how to appreciate what you have before you lose it. Your disassociating yourself with everything and everyone who served under the prior administration ignores the competency and experience that comes with years of experience.

Doing things differently for difference sake is causing mis-step after mis-step.. . and causing career prosectors to abandon ship.

Wake up before your last bit of experienced talent walks out the door.

TLL

Anonymous said...

Ed is one of the finest people ever to walk the halls of the courthouse.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:03,

They continue to fill slots with people who are in need of a retirement package. The DA's office has become more like a retirement package for those who couldn't earn one in the real world. Leitner, Bridgewater, Chow, Greenwood, and even Garcia. Linda Garcia has now anounced that she is just to old to handle the child abuse docket and has asked to be moved. Request such as that were unheard of in previous administrations. Those who did not want to work were frowned upon. Now, those who want a retirement not earned by years of service but soley by age has become in vogue. Too many REAL prosecutors weathered different storms- personal or political- but what we see now is those who weathered no storm but just want 4 or 5 years to make the county pay for the rest of their life.

Chow, Garcia, Bridgewater, Leitner, Greenwood, Madden- you redefine having your cake and eating it too.....

If I were Ed, I would get away from this filth too....

Anonymous said...

Coffee shop rumor is that Ed got an offer he could not refuse from a high profile defense lawyer. Ed is certainly capable of doing a great job. He is a smart man. Look for him in the news.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:48

Please do not lump Linda Garcia into that group. She was hired back under Rosenthal and is nowhere near retirement age. And she did not announce that she was too old to be handling child abuse cases. If you want the truth as to why she is going to grand jury, just ask her -- she has been very honest about her reasons, so there is no need for those who don't know what they're talking about to gossip about her. And, NO, this is not Linda, but I am her friend and know her much better than you obviously do.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

I agree. Linda Garcia is definitely NOT a part of the problem here. She's a good prosecutor who is leaps and bounds about the others you named.

Anonymous said...

I may have been mistaken but wasn't she hired by Lykos? I don't recall Rosenthal hiring her.

Anonymous said...

If you know Ed,you know he has been overseas recently. Someone said President Obama was going to offer Ed a job in foreign service.He is certainly capable of the job and with Ed involved our country would be lucky.Ed has to much talent to retire from everything.I hope he goes to work in the Obama administration.Go Ed

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 5:42,
Linda was hired on by either Rosenthal or Magidson. I'm having a hard time remembering which, but she was definitely an asset in coming back to the Office that everyone was excited to see return.

Anon 8:56,
Ed isn't going into the Foreign Service, although the phrase: "The name is Porter. Ed Porter." does have an interesting ring to it.

Anonymous said...

Someone said Ed is going to run for Judge.I would certainly support him.He would be great.

Anonymous said...

We heard today that Ed will be working overseas on special assignment. Ed is the kind of man our country needs to try and stop the terrorists. With his honorable background ,he has a lot to offer. We wish Ed the best and will expect to hear great things about his work.Ed is a true patriot.

Anonymous said...

Hey 11:03 and 11:48,
Your points were highlighted last week by one of Lykos' hand picked new ADA's. You know, the botched case last week where a white boy shot his white girlfriend in the head just because she kissed a black guy. I guess it's okay for the defense to strike all the black jurors without protest from the state? Misdemeanor deferred? Are you fucking kidding me? A turd shooter leaves his victim permanently blind with a bullet in her head and he's out roaming the streets with impunity? Where is the media's outrage? Maybe this is the kind of Lykos "justice" Brian Rogers and the Chronicle herald?

Anonymous said...

Ed is a great guy. He has his moments as we all do, but you couldn’t ask for a nicer guy. He would do anything to help his friends or co workers at a moments notice. He will be missed by his co workers.
The crooks in Harris County are gaining the advantage. Look at all the new Defense Attorney’s that have great work ethics and trial experience at Harris County’s expense.
Go, Murray, Sylvia, Steven, Joe, George, Edward and anyone else that leaves the office before they are embarrassed by the current DA.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:55,the Houston job market is the 2nd strongest in the US.I'm afraid the real embarrassment rests with the veteran ADAs who fear making the requisite sacrifice to preserve principle.If an ADA does not stand up for doing what is just and right then he/she stands for nothing.Being an ADA is much more than just a J.O.B.

Anonymous said...

Libelous Anon 2:57,
The Houston Chronicle never reported on any case last week remotely like the one you cite. You need to get your facts straight before you unfairly criticize Judge Pat or her "hand picked" people. Pat's new hires are all outstanding and are doing a heck of a lot better than the old regime. The new guys obviously intimidate you--get over it and get to work before your head is on the block.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Linda Garcia. There are many things about Linda Garcia and her tenure you never found in previous administrations. First the fact that when she left the DA's office in 1999, Johnny Holmes told her that she could come back whenever she wanted to. That is the first thing that was unheard of. She then went on to represent the good folks of this State as a Member of the Parole Board and just by my reckoning she reviewed over two hundred thats right 200 Death Penalty cases. If you are a REAL prosecutor sooner or later you will need her experitse in a parole matter you will then see how caring, hard working and above all fair she is. She is a ROCK of a person and an asset to Harris County. Bye the bye I have known her for the better part of twenty years. My guess is that she has more respect for the DA's office whomever holds the keys than you ever will.

Arthur Seaton said...

"If an ADA does not stand up for doing what is just and right then he/she stands for nothing.Being an ADA is much more than just a J.O.B."

Damn right is. Any DA that stays is making a choice to protect the the citizens of Harris County, even your ungrateful ass.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Arthur,
Impassioned anger has clouded your judgment on this one.As a former police officer I totally support the ADAs at the HCDAO but am offended by the transgressions of the Lykos group.It bothers me that so many ADAs are scared to stand up for what is right in fear of Lykos/Leitner retribution.JBH would be ashamed at the cowardly behavior of so many he once stood strong with.Be assured that I am deeply grateful for all the sacrifices ADAs have made in the past for my county but am sad at how beaten down they have become.That's all.

Anonymous said...

Those of us who are doing our job are not beaten down. Judge Lykos has been very kind to me and some of my co workers. We are happy to be working there. Where are all the bad reports coming from? Some of you are really misinformed about the office.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who disparages Linda Garcia clearly does not know her. She is kind hearted, knowledgable, and has a true sense of what is important in what we do. Since meeting Linda, I have come to her with many questions, and she has always answered thoroughly and eagerly. To say she is an asset to our office is an understatement. And, yes, she was hired before the new administration came to power.

Do not cast stones at those you do not know. I am a seasoned trial bureau prosecutor with a damn fine trial record, and I would be honored to have Linda by my side any day.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:56,
1. The only inaccuracy in 2:57's comment was that in actuality the shooter got misdemeanor probation not deferred.....hardly grounds for defamation.
2. There was no coverage for you to read in the Chronicle because Brian Rogers is a chicken shit punk.
3. As demonstrated by your threatening comments, there is intimidation meted out by the new regime; but none is based on court room prowess.....the record speaks for itself.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:12,
Will you share your medication with me? PLEASE!!!!

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Dear Jim, um, I mean Anon 5:12,
Thanks for writing in. I know you are a regular reader of the blog, so it's nice of you to offer some input. Glad you are enjoying your job.

Anonymous said...

Linda came before the hiring committee during June, I don't remember exactly when. I knew her before she left and I'm glad to see her back. Her resume is rather impressive and instead of making the big bucks she chose to be here. She was originally appointed by Gov Bush then reappointed by Gov Perry twice to the Parole Board. She is one of us, you really should take the time to get to know her.

Anonymous said...

Art Seaton,
Way to show your ass without Rage's help. The Judge or Mr. Jim will ferret you out soon you little pissant.
Every move you make every smile you fake.....we be watching you.

Arthur Seaton said...

Jeez the comment shere make the chron comments look intelligent sometimes. I did not think that was possible.

Anonymous said...

I saw closing arguments on the shooting case of the defendant who shot and blinded his girlfriend. Since I did not see the trial, I cannot comment on whether that was a botched job, but I can say that the ADA who tried it is well thought of in the office and was not hired by Lykos (not that it matters because she is running that office into the ground faster than I run through a tank of gas in Houston).

Anonymous said...

What about Ed's virtuoso skills on the electric six string? Rumor has it that he was not allowed to join Death by Injection, the all prosecutor (at first at least)rock band for fear he would show up the other players.

NoMoreNoloContendere said...

To: All,I love this website BC it's not hosted by the Chron. & it has a touch of professionalism. With that said, if you are going to post a comment in any blog under the name Anonymous you are a PUNKASS BITCH. Unless you own the page you have the right to, I guess. Hiding behind a keyboard with an Anon. is weak. I go by the username listed above because I have a mission, that being to OUT each & every ADA that has miss used the plea bargaing tool.(Ex:Pleading out the innocent instead of dropping charges, when charges should have never been taken out in the first place.) I personally can't wait to hear about the Departure of the all of the folks that are from the "Holmes Stable" due to the convict at all cost mentality they all practiced in the 80's (especially 1984.) It's a shame that the rouge ADA's make the whole county look bad. Guilty by association sucks. You can read about just how bad it sucks in the book "The Griffith Files - (1984 & Beyond) Remember, we all have a voice here and a choice to hide behind it. Farewell to those departing that are NOT guilty of taking charges before the GJ while knowing the defendant was innocent and then proceed to trial and plead it instead of dropping charges. To those that are guilty and even went as far as to introduce falsified State's Exhibits like firearms, leave while the leaving is good. If you have already left and are enjoying life as you know it, "Do The Right Thing"(like Mr. N. mentioned) and recc. full pardons for all of those you have knowingly wronged. My gut tells me that aint happening anytime soon. To Blog On or Blog Off, you still have made a choice.

Anonymous said...

i miss ed