Wednesday, December 1, 2010

John Jocher

Friday marks the last day of 248th District Court Chief John Jocher from the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Out of all the prosecutors who have left the Office over the past two years, for some reason, John's leaving has kind of brought about a melancholy feeling for me. I couldn't be happier for him as he heads to the Federal side of the street, and I know that he'll be happy there. But John is like a brother to me, and seeing him leave that place for good almost feels like losing family.

John and I interviewed for the job of Assistant District Attorney on the same day back in the summer of 1999. We'd never met before, and we didn't actually meet that day either. I remember seeing him waiting for his interview with the hiring committee, though. A few weeks later, on August 16th, we both started on the same day as prosecutors.

I was sent to the Justice of the Peace Division and he went the Juvenile route. We didn't really get to know each other until we all returned to the Misdemeanor Division around November of that year. John was a little bit older than the rest of us in Misdemeanor and he was clearly more sophisticated than folks like myself, Summerlin, Exley, and certainly DeLeef. (Just kidding, Peter).

John was polished, more mature, and smart. He was the very picture of what you would think of as a prosecutor. He was ethical, reasonable, yet unafraid of trial.

And more importantly, John was family.

When I left the D.A.'s Office at the end of 2008, the thing that I knew I would miss the most was the sense of that family in my co-workers. Nobody seemed to understand and exemplify that to me as much as John did.

He and I "grew up" in the Office together -- although some may make the argument that John was already grown up, and I never quite achieved that.

We became Misdemeanor Twos, Felony Threes, Misdemeanor Chiefs, Felony Twos, and ultimately Felony Chiefs together. Often times on the exact same day.

When I got married in Mexico, John and his lovely wife, Betsy were the first to say they were hopping a plane and coming down for the reception. The next year, John and I went to a book signing together. I'll never forget that day -- because about an hour earlier, I had just found out I was going to be a Dad.

John was always there for all of his friends and the good times. But more importantly, he was there in the bad times too. If a friend had lost a loved one, got a divorce, or was just going through a tough time, John would come by their Office just to make sure that they were doing okay. His concern and care for his friends was since -- and appreciated.

It was those qualities that made him a leader within the Office. In addition to being a damn good prosecutor, he actually truly cared about those he worked with.

And although I always worked with John at the same level when I was at the Office, I would have worked for him without question.

John Jocher is the kind of leader that should be running the D.A.'s Office -- not leaving it.

John, my brother, that place won't be the same without you. It is really the end of our era, I think.

There will be a party congratulating John on his move to the Feds tomorrow (Thursday, December 2nd) at Bubba's on Washington and Westcott starting at 5:01 p.m.

I hope to see you there.


24 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have written a good description of John. Another brick has been removed from the foundation of HCDA and it is that much closer to inevitable collapse. He certainly wouldn't be leaving if the place was worth staying in...

Anonymous said...

sCongrats John.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pat,


You suck !



Sincerely,

A victim.

Anonymous said...

More to come if this supposed 10% county pay deduction truly gets handed down.

Anonymous said...

John leaving Harris County is like Kobe leaving the Lakers or Peyton leaving the Colts. A true cornerstone and ALLSTAR of the Harris County DA's Office is going. Gonna miss you brother. Pat should feel like she got kicked in the nuts. What a loss!! BW

Anonymous said...

John leaving Harris County is like Kobe leaving the Lakers or Peyton leaving the Colts. A true cornerstone and ALLSTAR of the Harris County DA's Office is going. Gonna miss you brother. Pat should feel like she got kicked in the nuts. What a loss!! BW

Anonymous said...

John Jocher exemplified fairness as a prosecutor. He was always calm, courteous, and deliberate...a guy with class and presence. He also cared about victims and could be fiery in closing arguments when it was called for. John leaves, taking with him a wealth of knowledge and experience which will be sorely missed by the citizens, the defense bar, and particularly his former colleagues. Best wishes, John. You will do great anywhere you go.

Mike Trent

Anonymous said...

John is more than just a brother. I can tell John things that I would never say to my brother. Another huge, painful loss to my D.A. family.

Shipley

Anonymous said...

Yet another piece of the office gone in the game of DA's office Jinga. And management claims this is normal attrition?

Ophelia said...

I am from Malaysia and enjoyed your post on John Jocher. It is sad to note that a pillar of the HCDA office is leaving and note from yr post that all of you are close knit and that John was a caring person to his colleagues. The minute I read your post, I knew immediately that I want to join in as yr follower, which I have done so, as I have always been fascinated with watching tv programmes which featured D.A. and lawyers. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Some of these moves would have happened even if Kelley was there. Moving up to the feds is a sweet gig.

Get over it already folks, not everything is because of Lykos.

Rage

Luci said...

John is a true class act and will be incredibly missed. Good for 515 Rusk, bad for the CJC. Best of luck and God bless you, John. PS: Please work hard to keep my Marks (Blanco and Donnelly) in line!!

Luci

Anonymous said...

John will be back in the CJC one day. Only difference is he will be wearing a black robe.

Anonymous said...

Rager said ,"Moving up to the feds is a sweet gig. Get over it already folks, not everything is because of Lykos."

Rager, you are smoking crack if you think that all of these folks would have gone to the Feds if the elected DA of Harris County was not the "political whore" Pat Lykos. You have much less freedom and no discretion on Rusk. You also cannot run for Judge as an AUSA because of the Hatch act.

Rager, it stopped being about what if Kelly won a long time ago. It is clearly you that need to move on.

Anonymous said...

Jocker would have made a better DA than Lykos and Kelley. You were always above the fray. Godspeed John.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations John. I know you will be a great asset to the Feds and thankfully still serving the citizens of Harris County. Unfortunately your services are lost on the state level. They will be missed.

Edward D. Porter

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:04:

I suppose you could be right. I had not thought of it in that light.

My apologies. And, congrats to John.

Rage

Anonymous said...

it was a well attended event with prosecutors, ex-prosecturs, judges, and assorted drunks. It was a nice thing for an incredibly wonderful guy. Damn what a loss this is.

Anonymous said...

Including prosecutors, investigators, and support staff, the office has 81 open slots. This is not all management's fault, but the vast majority of departures are because of the current atmosphere. The rate of departure has traditionally lied with the younger prosecutors who leave for better paying jobs. But we're now losing career prosecutors with a lot of experience that can't be replaced overnight.

Anonymous said...

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Harris-County-judge-stands-up-against-program-that-expunges-first-DWI-offense--111239444.html

Anonymous said...

I wondered when y'all would start signing off as me.

Rage

Peter said...

One of the true gentlemen at the court house. I regret never getting to whip him in trial, or vice versa, it is sad to see someone with such intergty leave the office. Something is terribly wrong. I am not a Lykos basher but this needs to be addressed

Anonymous said...

RE: Peter- 'Something needs to be addressed'

Yes, it does and it needs to be addressed by the uninformed voters who have no idea how they are being played like the proverbial Lykos fiddle.

Please don't give the County 4 more years of horrendous management of smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

Murray, you need to post on the fact that Pat Lykos has told her troops to stand down in response to the hearing regarding the constitutionality of the death penalty taking place. She is light on the death penalty and her voters need to know that.