Today, the Harris County D.A.'s Office posted some pretty significant moves that were only 3 weeks overdue. Some are really good. Some are interesting. Some are just downright confusing. On the whole, I'd give the moves a solid C+ from an administration that definitely needs a lift after Lykos' disastrous appearance on Channel 11 and Clint Greenwood's Not Guilty verdict in the Bellaire Police Officer Shooting.
The most intriguing of the moves is the creation of the "Capital Trial Division" which will be headed by Denise Bradley and Bill Hawkins. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but what I've heard from some of the prosecutors is that Bill and Denise will be serving as advisers to the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight on Capital Murder cases. Lord knows that they could use some lessons..
After the Lykos' decision on the Randy Sylvester case, I'm thinking lesson one should be entitled: Ass vs. Hole-in-the Ground -- Learning the Difference.
In another intriguing move, they have changed the Felony Trial Bureau from five divisions down to three. Actually, given the budget crunch, this is probably a pretty fiscally savvy move.
Major kudos go to the Administration for the promotion of Lance Long to Division Chief and putting him in the Trial Bureau. Lance is a brilliant trial attorney who has the experience to lead felony prosecutors and teach them how to try serious cases. He's a good leader because he'll lead from the front. This move was waaaaay overdue, and I'm glad to see them making it.
In some of the more "odd" (not necessarily "bad") moves, the Office has moved long-time Welfare Fraud Division Chief Carl Hobbs to head the Misdemeanor Division. I'm sure Carl will do just fine in Misdemeanor, but I don't get this move. He knows Welfare Fraud like the back of his hand from literally decades of doing it. It's a tough job that nobody else particularly wants to do. Why move Carl now?
Probably because the person they are replacing him with is none other than Division Chief Don Smyth. Don (who we are hoping will be "Judge Smyth" after November) ran against Lykos' "Chosen One" Rachel Palmer in the Republican Primary, and he beat her. My guess is that this is Lykos' subtle way of giving Don the finger for running against (and defeating) Rachel.
Other strange moves included:
- the creation of a co-Deputy Dawg of Misdemeanor by adding Justin Keiter to share with Rachel Palmer's duties. Congratulations to Keiter, who was most likely promoted because he makes Jim Leitner feel taller.
-the move of longtime appellate guru Shirley Cornelius to truancy. Truancy? Seriously? What's wrong with you people?
and the move of experienced trial lawyer Charissa Sloan to Grand Jury. By all means, if you've discovered that you have somebody who knows what she's doing in trial, please get her out of the Trial Bureau as quickly as possible.
But, all in all, it was a fairly decent round of moves for the Gang.
I guess time will tell how it all plays out.