Monday, August 24, 2009

'bout Damn Time

Brian Rogers long anticipated article regarding the departures from the D.A.'s Office hit Monday morning's edition of the Chronicle today, and it's a pretty good read. It's a shame that whoever is in charge of article placement couldn't have gotten it in Sunday's edition so that more folks could become familiar with the wonderful world of the Davidians.

Of course, as usual, Lykos is stating that there is no problem in a scene reminiscent of Sergeant Schultz from Hogan's Heroes. There was nothing unexpected about that.

It was nice to see that Leitner was back to lying on the record by denying a a communication problem within the Office:

“Channels of communication have always been open,” Leitner said. “Just because one person says something doesn't mean that's the universal way of the office.”

Yeah, the problem with that, Jimbo, is that it isn't just "one person" saying it. It's your whole damn Office, and you arrogant schmucks aren't listening to a one of them.

My prediction - wait until after November and you'll see that these departures are just the tip of the Iceberg.

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

My question is why didn't Brian do a journalist job and follow up with the questions that needed to be asked? Talking about Donnally and Newaz, why not ask to see the disciplinary findings and the rule they violated. I am sure Lykos could not answer that question and Jim would refer to a very vague prior existing rule that clearly would not apply. Same with Donna. Brian follow up.

Rage Judicata said...

The rule they violated was Batson, genius.

Anonymous said...

I thought more people than that have left. How about a complete list of everyone who left, voluntarily or otherwise, since the results came out last November.

Tex

Anonymous said...

I have to give credit to Brian Rogers on this article.
He actually manned up for a refreshing change.
Sure he could have elaborated a bit more but what a risk he took overall to break away from his standing orders to protect the Chronicle's pet bitch.
I think Brian might actually be regenerating the backbone he once had....only time will tell.

As for Rage's one dimensional circumstantial mind; all we can agree on is: the crooks of Harris County are lucky he's never practiced criminal law and America is lucky that the only enemy combatants he ever engaged were his delusional voices.

Anonymous said...

Let's see . . . Brian Rogers and the Chronicle are "good" guys now?
I doubt the revolution has begun. I sincerely hope that these departures are "just the tip of the iceberg." And I agree with Rage: It appears that a number of ADA's do not understand Batson.

Anonymous said...

"I sincerely hope that these departures are "just the tip of the iceberg."

Why, exactly?

Anonymous said...

C'mon 10:36, obviously 10:22 is either an anarchist or a Jared Woodfill type Republican. Don't waste your breath on reason and applied logic.
I recommend that the clueless bastards are given enough rope to hang themselves. So in that vein, imagine if all the ADAs that actually walk the walk did just that and bailed en masse.
Careful what you wish for....

David said...

Message for Lykos and Leitner:

The way to determine if communication lines are open are to ask the people RECEIVING the communications. If they don't believe there is open lines, they are NOT open.

The top can talk all they want, but if the people on the bottom don't get the message, then there is no communication.

BLACK INK said...

anon 10:22,
The Chronicle has been anything but good for quite awhile. However, Brian Rogers breaking from the fold IS a refreshing step in the right direction and should be commended. I don't believe a revolution of journalistic integrity at The Houston Chronicle is eminent either, but I do hope that a few other writers take Mr. Roger's lead and report more responsibly.
The TRUTH about Judge Pat Lykos needs to get out to the public. That is responsible journalism.

BLACK INK said...

anon 10:22,
The Chronicle has been anything but good for quite awhile. However, Brian Rogers breaking from the fold IS a refreshing step in the right direction and should be commended. I don't believe a revolution of journalistic integrity at The Houston Chronicle is eminent either, but I do hope that a few other writers take Mr. Roger's lead and report more responsibly.
The TRUTH about Judge Pat Lykos needs to get out to the public. That is responsible journalism.

JK said...

It looks like Lykos has done a good job selling herself to the public. After reading the first 50 comments on the story, probably 40 of them are pro-Lykos.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that the average Harris County resident, including the reporters for the Chron, just doesn't have the perspective of years of experience down at the courthouse.

To them a few prosecutors leaving after 20 years sounds like a good thing. House-cleanin'. Good for the soul. Just as bringing in "outsider" Pat instead of Chuck's "buddy" Kelly seemed like a real good thing from the outside. It's "change you can believe in."

Look at it this way, if any of you lawdogs were plopped down in the suite of Big Oil Co or some other foreign environment how they hell would you know what was going on right away? The boss tells you it's "policy" to slow dance with him at 5PM - so who are you to say? It takes some time to penetrate these closed societies and most media can't afford it in these days of shrinking editorial budgets and dwindling ad revenue (due to dastardly bloggers like Murray). Brian writes on the courthouse today but maybe next week he'll be manning a hard-hitting investigation on why the Texans constantly draft the worst picks in the history of professional sport.

So I really don't blame the Chron for never getting the nuance of the courthouse and the sometimes Peyton Place atmosphere of the HCDA's office quite right. I don't think it's a matter of the journos needin' to grow a set, they just don't know no better.

At the end of the day just be happy that, unlike yours truly, you don't live in a city where you are in danger of being molested by a Senator in a public toilet, being shot for your lunch money by a group of 10 year olds, or having your commuter train run into a wall by a computer.

Things could be worse.

-Eric M—

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:22,
Maybe your mentor Judge Pat can hire Rage to fill in the widening gap at the former Harris County District Attorney's Office. He'd be perfect for the "Lose at All Costs" mentality that is so pervasive at HCDAO these days.
Little Loser Leitner needs to revisit his "no peremptory strike rule" for prosecutors. I mean the most efficient way to clear the overcrowded county jails is to not convict the criminals, right?
We need to not enforce the silly drug laws and those pesky DWI rules. While we're at it the more you think about the so called rapes Texas woman complain of the more you gotta think "What do little hotties ask for when they dress so provocatively in the first place?" You guessed it they're asking for trouble. And the robberies wouldn't occur either if the poor robbers weren't so taunted by those that have what they want. Murders wouldn't be a problem anymore if people would just not piss these potential killers off.
Thus the basic principle of "Lykos Law Logic".
Any fucking questions?

Anonymous said...

The Chron comments are just pissing me off today! If it's your kid who's been murdered, who do you want prosecuting the killer? A 25-year-old prosecutor who's being innovative or a 20-year prosecutor who's done this 15 times before? Argh, the ignorance of the public is so very very scary!!!

Anonymous said...

"Argh, the ignorance of the public is so very very scary!!!"

Hence our government. We get what we deserve, supposedly.

Anonymous said...

anon 113,
the troll will find you, drug you, jack and coke you, rape you, rob you and kill you-- all with impunity.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:34,
Fuck the ingrates of Harris County. If they want incompetence they got it now baby. Let's see how they like crack head prosecutors as "change they can believe in". Don't lose any sleep over a bunch of uninformed party liners or chip on the shoulder victims. The chickens are merely coming home to roost. Your attitude and personal life will be better when you finally accept that you just can't work at HCDAO anymore and move on.
Remember: Never expect gratitude and you won't be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

We heard today the county is glad the lifers are leaving to cut down on money being spent.They know that in most cases a young prosecutor can do just as good as an old one. We are glad they are leaving. Movement on 4

Anonymous said...

Here is the formula:

Bring incompetent to fill highest salaried slots.

Rely on experienced admistrators in lower paid slots to overcompensate for the heavy layer of muck above.

Runoff off experience because muck is not just heavy and lazy but slimey and filthy as well.

Replace experience with inexperience who does not have the tenure to tell the muck that what they are doing is illegal, unethical, not just, and only politically motivated.

Impressive strategy.

Anonymous said...

There really isn't much left to discuss when it comes to Lykos. Time to pick a new subject to talk about.

Novel Idea said...

Why are there any old guard ADAs left at 1201 Franklin?
Since the old guard prosecutors are so win at all costs corrupt, vilified and discounted why do they not leave and maintain their dignity and self respect?
To justify remaining by alleging that they are living out their calling does not cut it given the bastardization of their new job description. Performance of their new duties in fulfillment of this end is not what they signed up for.
I call bullshit on Pat and suggest she show Harris County what she's made of without the aide of these veterans she so despises.
If Brian Rogers can man up so can Harris County prosecutors; otherwise shut the fuck up and openly capitulate. It is way past due to walk the talk and quit being a bunch of whining hypocrites---it's embarrassing!

jigmeister said...

Well Novel. Not sure how we were all corrupt given that I don't have much money and certainly didn't get rich in 30 years of work at the office. Maybe your right though, turn everything over to the new, untried, and inexperienced folks including this administration and wait for the fall. I guess thats completely fair to citizens and victims. I guess you are all happy with your treatment from the administration and have complete faith in their loyalty to you? Just don't make any human mistakes.

Novel Idea said...

Jig,
My comments were a quasi satire. Of course the old ADAs are NOT corrupt...that was the whole point. Pat's characterization that all upper management was cut from the same piece of corrupt cloth as Chuck Rosenthal was as unfounded as the old clueless bitch's qualifications. The DA's office would collapse without the support of the veterans she continually throws under the bus. So I simply propose: FUCK HER. Sometimes you need to hit rock bottom to appreciate what's important. Rather than facilitating an insidious death and masking Pat's ineptitude; why not cut to the chase and be done with it and then rebuild. The people need to fully appreciate what a travesty that crazy woman is. The need for Pat's replacement would become obviously apparent and a qualified candidate would not only be mandated but also more viable in 2012.
What do you think?

Rage Judicata said...

Jig, no reasonable person believes that all of you, past or present, are corrupt. Just like no reasonable person beli reasonable person (like Black Ink here, or under his pseudonym loepard something in the Chron comments), believes that all defense lawyers love child molestors and murderers. But those DA's sure get defensive out of one side of their mouth while saying it out of the other.

jigmeister said...

Novel,

Sorry I misunderstood. Just so many DA haters these days, I get a little pissed and jump to conclusions. I think you might be right about hitting bottom. I talked to JBH yesterday and he really feels bad about what's happening.

Novel Idea said...

Jig,
No big deal I don't blame you.
JBH is good people; I miss his leadership. A tragic shame the torch was passed to CAR to extinguish the legacy.
Have you talked to KRS lately? I'm sure she feels really bad at what's happening too. What a missed opportunity that was.
Hang in there buddy, we've got it a lot better than the poor victims and ADAs who continue to endure the wrath of Lykos.

Anonymous said...

"Just so many DA haters these days, I get a little pissed and jump to conclusions."

Thanks man. I for one appreciate whatever support I get.

jigmeister said...

Novel,

Not much word from Kelly. She said she was having lunch with Bob Burdette the other day, but doesn't talk much about what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Jig & Novel: Johnny anointed Chuck knowing full well about his peccadilloes. It's much his fault for promoting Chuck within his regime even after questions about Chuck's temperament arose both in court and out. Chuck didn't suddenly become a problem child when he got elected. Holding him out as the heir apparent, especially after Johnny insisted he wasn't going to endorse anyone, also wasn't something Johnny needed to do. So I hope his "feeling bad" now is because he realizes the mistake he, and he alone, made when he promoted Chuck all the way to First Assistant.

It's true that Chuck may have won without Johnny's endorsement but he would have never been in the position to run in the first place if it wasn't for Johnny promoting him and overlooking a lot of his questionable personal and professional behavior for many years. "Boys will be boys" might explain drunken escapades but it doesn't explain willful Brady violations.

Additionally, Chuck didn't really change much office policy nor get rid of a lot of deadwood from Holmes' regime. In fact the slogan was something like "different moustaches, same policy" if I remember correctly. While I won't argue that the office didn't have some real strong points under Holmes, or that the vast majority of the ADA's were (and are) ethical, bright, and hale fellows and damsels well met, but there were also some glaring problems that didn't just suddenly appear under Chuck's watch.

So while y'all might get all misty-eyed about the good old days, methinks your memory may sometimes not be so good about how we got here and who has some of the blame for it. Frankly, a whole lot of you (including Kelly) were stumping for Chuck only a few years ago, a man you now drop kick for every collective vice.

Chuck has a lot to answer for, no doubt, but it takes more than one man (or woman) to bring down an organization like HCDAO and there is blame enough to go around.

Anonymous said...

4:22:

A lot of it is probably jealousy as well. Chuck was promoted over some of the complainers, so they'll take shots at him.

Anonymous said...

Chuck was a good man who got taken advantage of by trusting the wrong people. the two lunching together is a prime example of trusting the wrong people. Look what happened to Michael Jackson. At least Chuck lived through it. He was only human with his personal behavior.

Anonymous said...

Chuck will never get better as long as you people keep making excuses for his actions. He for one needs to take responsibility and quit making excuses and blaming others. I stumped for Chuck because the alternative is what we have. Chuck, single handedly destroyed the office. No doubt about it. He let things go from bad to hell all out of selfishness. Comparing him to Michael Jackson and implying his doctor made him drink all day is ridiculous. There wasn't a day that went by where he didn't reek of alcohol (vodka) by lunch.

Anonymous said...

Going back to Brian doing his job, what rule did Donnally and Newaz violate that resulted in days off, being removed from the trial bureau and being subject to the completely disgusting comments of the elected DA? We know the court, having found the prosecutors gave race neutral reasons for their strikes chose to improvidently grant the Batson challenge. The court simply did not like to appearance of no blacks on the jury. The court did not rule the prosecutors had violated any disciplinary rule of the DA's office. Next we have the elected DA taking her action having found the prosecutors had a Batson challenge sustained against them. To punish Donnally and Newaz the DA had to find they had violated some rule of the office. The DA did say there was no evidence the prosecutors struck the jurors because of race and that if there were such evidence she would have terminated them. So what rule did they violate? Not long ago, I was talking with a young prosecutor who told me about picking a jury. The prosecutor indicated the first concern was to insure blacks were on the jury. The prosecutor knew nothing about the jury other than the prosecutor had insured blacks were on the jury. So apparently the rule Donnally and Newaz violated was not insuring blacks were on the jury. Now look for that rule in the prosecutors handbook, emails or verbal communication to the staff. You will not find it, it does not exist. So what rule did they violate? Then we have the Donna Goode affair. She is essentially terminated when her computer access is revoked. What rule did she violate? She simply was asking, perhaps challenging, Roger Bridgewater on the issue of training. It would seem good training should be a high priority. So what rule did she violate? Asking questions, challenging decisions must be the rule she violated. Where are these rules? So who will be the next prosecutor to be sacrificed by this administration. If you have a high publicity drug, DWI, sexual assault or other case and a judge improvidently suppresses evidence necessary for the prosecution, are you subject to discipline? I guess we will learn as time passes. By the way, I have a copy of the most recent office manual and can not find these rules. Brian, ask the questions. Do not let them get off the way you have. There are no channels of communications in the office.

I also want to make a comment about John B. Holmes, Jr. and the current situation. I do not blame Johnny at all. Let’s remember who was running when Johnny retired. I would never suppose to speak for Johnny and certainly do not speak for him. I have talked with Johnny about Chuck once everything came out. I can tell you Johnny was upset and disappointed. If you know Johnny, then you know Johnny very colorfully described his feelings. I also felt he was kicking himself and hard for having supported Chuck. The blame for the current situation is clearly on the shoulders of Chuck and no one else.

OUTRAGED said...

Anons 7:59 and 9:10,
No doubt about it.
I too supported Chuck back in the day. Not because he was the best candidate for the job--he clearly was not. But as in all elections we are forced to pick the best of those offered. When Chuck ran, the other candidates were all so much worse than he was. Pat Lykos and Jim Leitner clearly highlight this assertion.
THE ISSUE IS NOT WHETHER OR NOT PEOPLE HAVE FAULTS--WE ALL DO. EVERY PROSECUTOR, DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND JUDGE HAS ISSUES--SOME A LOT MORE THAN OTHERS. The question rather, is how do those faults negatively impact the job.
How Chuck handled his issues was telling. He was not a stand up man. He did not fall on his sword. He did not own up to his responsibility. He was a selfish arrogant narcissistic bastard who, when the going got tough, discarded his supporters, friends, co-workers, wife, girlfriend, children, doctor, faith and the reputation of the office of the Harris County District Attorney just to cover his sorry ass.
A man who sacrifices all others for his own salvation has nothing and is nothing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:10,

First, Chuck did not become a blithering drunken idiot overnight. There were many years of problems going back to shenanigans like throwing firecrackers in the stairwell at the old DA's office. His questionable professional behavior, including Brady issues, go back years too. Despite all this Johnny, and Johnny alone, made him First Assistant. If Johnny hadn't promoted him he'd have never been able to run.

Second, I would like you to name for me three significant office policy changes Chuck made that reversed an established Johnny Holmes' policy. Name them. You say Chuck wrecked the office, how so? I'd like you to name one person, bureau chief or higher, that Chuck promoted that wasn't in the office under Johnny. Name them.

I know many of you want to think everything was just peachy prior to Chuck, but some problems go back many years. Just saying the office "went to hell" without discussing what, exactly, Chuck changed about the office isn't convincing. One man didn't destroy HCDAO.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 1:00 p.m.,
First of all you need to get your facts straight. Chuck was never the 1st Assistant under Johnny Holmes. He wasn't even a Bureau Chief. He was a Division Chief who had been there for years and years and years. Bert Graham and Don Stricklin were Holmes' first assistants while I was there.

When Mr. Holmes announced he wasn't running again, Chuck announced his candidacy immediately. If I recall correctly, the announcement of Chuck's candicacy was in the same article announcing Holmes not running. Mr. Holmes endorsed Chuck because he knew that Lykos would wreck the Office.

And he was correct about that.

All this talk of Chuck being Holmes' "annointed" successor is just simply not true.

Mr. Holmes was a leader that we were all proud to work under. Those who bash him are pretty much just not big fans of prosecutors in general.

You can blame Chuck all you want, but not Mr. Holmes.

LOL said...

anon 1:00,
?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
this must be a covert Rage or a Lykos minion analysis because even Mark "I wish I was Relevant" Bennett is not that dim.

jigmeister said...

Anon 1:00. Did I miss something? I was there and a Division Chief the same time Chuck was. I frankly fail to remember Chuck ever being 1st Asst., or on the executive committee. Also, Johnny never fully endorsed Chuck and did nothing to support him. Johnny told me that he was not running again because of his age. He was then the same age as his father when his father died and didn't want to spend the remaining years in office. I can tell you that he still feels a great deal of pain in not stopping him (he certainly could have) and that Bert was his choice. But those that know Bert, know that he had no ambition to be DA.

Chuck was one of those people that truly never had close friends (with the possible exception of Terry Wilson) and few, including me, had no idea that he had a drinking or prescription problem or any of the adulterous behavior. Many in the office supported him despite his narcissism to one degree or another for fear that we would lose our jobs and that the office was better off with an assistant who had come up through the ranks, rather than a political hack. However, Chuck didn't have the strength of character for the job and became what we feared when he allied himself to the hard religious right, though I don't know what Brady violations you refer to.

I only lasted 2 years into Chuck's 1st term, but I can tell you the office began its descent when Johnny retired. As I told Johnny, none of us can see into the future, but perhaps we should have known better because Lykos is exactly the same, but a better political hack.

Novel Idea said...

Anon 6:35,
You got it ass backwards....just like your relationship with Chuck.
Relationships are tough especially when your partner is a narcissist; but don't let it cloud who exactly threw who under the bus.

Anonymous said...

Lykos is not the only one responsible for the flood of experienced ADAs running for the door. There are division chiefs and bureau chiefs who are directly responsible for forcing people out as a result of unprofessional managerial tactics. The Pat and Jim need to get a handle on these power hungry people who are in supervisory positions.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:42,
That is crack logic. Judge Pat holds sole responsibility for the actual and impending mass exodus of prosecutorial talent at HCDAO.
These unprofessional chiefs you speak of are the top Lykos Lieutenants that Lykos personally brought in to decimate the HCDAO. These incompetent crony supervisors' arbitrary and inappropriate behavior falls squarely on Judge Pat's nasty little shoulders.
Think of it this way: Was Hitler not ultimately responsible for the atrocities of the SS?