Monday, August 1, 2011

Of Raining, Pouring and Writer's Block

I've gotten a bunch of complaints lately that I haven't posted on anything in a while, either on this blog or the Chronicle blog.

Either there just hadn't been much happening of interest lately or I've just been experiencing a bout of writer's block.  Also, I've been very busy with my Little Man's summer activities and my Favorite Editor from New York being in town for an extended visit.

And then last week, several different things happened that were all worthy of writing a blog post (or two or three) on . . .

. . . and I'm at a place for the weekend that has no Internet connection.

Ah the irony.

One of the major things that happened last week was the stunning revelation by former Houston Police Department technical advisor Amanda Culbertson that HPD's mobile "BATmobiles" (used for the on-site testing of a DWI suspect's breath) had some major glitches in their reliability.  It was covered at length by Paul Kennedy with his post here.  (NOTE:  If you aren't reading Kennedy's blog, you should be.  Yes, you'll probably disagree with a lot of it, and he does wear that bola instead of a tie, but he is worth reading.)

Paul focuses in on the ramifications for HPD, but what I find interesting is the ramifications for the D.A.'s Office.  There are a ton of cases that Culbertson's testimony effects and it will be very interesting to see what the Office does with them.

I'm also quite skeptical of the idea that the D.A.'s Office was unaware of Ms. Culbertson's claims that the BATmobiles were faulty.  Why exactly did the prosecutors ask for a continuance on the case rather than dismiss it?  Look for there to be A LOT more to come from this revelation and the key question you'll need to be asking is "Who knew what?  And when?"

In addition to the BATmobile revelations, last week long-term prosecutor Bill Hawkins turned in his letter of resignation to the Lykos Administration.  I say that he turned his resignation into the Lykos Administration, because Bill Hawkins would have never resigned from a District Attorney's Office.  There is a distinction between the two.

Bill was the lead prosecutor on the upcoming retrial of cop killer Carl Buntion, which was set for trial in the next month or so.  His resignation is surprising in its timing, but there were early warnings that Bill was not going to mesh well with the Lykos Administration.

Integrity often causes conflict with those who have none.

Because Bill has integrity, he is not talking about his departure at the moment, but if I had to guess, I would bet it had something to do with the idiotic idea to have him supervised by a prosecutor junior to him as I detailed in this post.  Especially if that junior prosecutor is a darling of the Lykos Administration when Bill certainly was not.

I will be writing a much better post regarding my friend and mentor, Bill Hawkins when he has finished his last day at the Office.

In other news, I did finally get off my butt and write a new blog on the Chronicle.  You can check it out by clicking here.

And finally, on a sad note, my friend and former trial adversary, John Denninger, passed away yesterday after a battle with cancer.

But, I will be writing a separate post on him momentarily.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's about time you stopped being so lazy. Your liver will appreciate the break.

Yours Truly,
Arthur Seaton

Anonymous said...

Good riddance to Bill Hawkins.

Yes, I know you will all cry about my anonymity and/or lack of criminal experience.

Now would be a good time to tell everyone who I really am in the county employee directory, by the way.

Rage

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Wow, Seaton and Rage post back to back without attacking each other. It is the End of Days

Artie, me being? Start blogging again and then we'll talk. You are like the honey badger after getting bit by a cobra.

Rage, you're wrong about Hawkins. I disagreed with him on many issues, but he's got more character and integrity than most folks I know. His fashion sense, on the other hand . . .

Anonymous said...

Touché, douche. Maybe I'll start someting new soon.

I think that was a fake Rage posting, but I guess we'll see.

Hawkins is a prosecutor's prosecutor, and a he'll of a guy. People that think otherwise are idiots and not worth spitting on.

Seaton

Anonymous said...

Murray - you really think the DA's office knew about BAT van problems but chose to do nothing? I find that hard to believe. Don't forget, the program was expanded under Brent Mayr, who is also the first to criticize them. It's a catch 22 for the DA's office - called Amanda a liar then open themselves to writs on old cases or say she's telling the truth and confront the issue. Either way, I expect her to be indicted by the end of the year.

Oh yeah, you forgot one thing - Amanda had been hired by Tyler Flood to review blood testing done by the ME's office. Oh the irony.

Anonymous said...

So Culbertson claims that the BAT vans are faulty... makes me wonder who placed the machines in the vans, who kept up maintanence on the machines, who inspected them and signed off on them.... She did.. So by saying that they don't work, isn't she saying that she was not doing her job for the last couple of years?? How many cases did she testify that they worked with no problems?? Hmmm... I smell perjury....

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm...Interesting conversation around the Hawkins dinner table, I'm sure. I'm sorry to see Bill go. I would be very interested to see if anyone runs in the primaries against Lykos in 2012.

And Rage, you're STILL an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Bill was another prosecutor who was originally a Lykos loyalist whom the Administration later turned on. He contributed to her campaign (even in the primary against Kelly) and was on good terms with her when she was first elected. The Reign of Terror continues...

Anonymous said...

Murray-

You need to do some post on the HCDAO losing 7 prosecutors in the last two weeks. (Hawkins, Leah Shapiro, Scott Pope, Elizabeth Whitehead, Suzanne Hanneman, a misdemeanoe juvenile prosecutor whose name escapes me, and, as of yesterday, Paria Raifee)

Anonymous said...

Hawking made his bed. It is humorous watching turncoats like Hawkins who sell their soul end up whining as if they are now all of the sudden victims.

No sympathy here. There are a few turncoats left and I will enjoy watching the same thing happen to them. It is inevitae.

Anonymous said...

Huh. Hawkins quits, and Seaton starts posting again?

Hmmmmmmmm...

Anonymous said...

I was going to post "The poster above me is gay," but I don't see that as an insult like Seaton would.

And I'm not sure being a "prosecutor's prosecutor" is the point. Sebesta sounds like a prosecutor's prosecutor.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Hawk was not a turncoat and he did not sell his soul. He kept his head down and nose to the grindstone. Hawk just did his job and that included remaining a great example to all of us. If you want to talk about turncoats and sell outs, look to the Honey Badger--he is Lykos's lapdog.
And the darn irony is that those from the old regime don't know what a sell out he is because he talks shit about Lykos to them and then turns around and runs back and jumps in Lykos's lap to tell how great she is!! So with leadership like the Honey Badger, the summer casualty count is something like 1 division chief, 2 felony chiefs, 3 felony 2's, 4 felony 3's and a few misdemeanor prosecutors. But, hey, no worries, Lykos has the Honey Badger and a new $100K a year PR person!! DA Ginga!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad idiocy never changes with you Rage. You have mo idea what you're talking about, but you do it anyway. You'd make a great politician.

Anonymous said...

Uh, who is "Honey-Badger"?

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_badger

Anonymous said...

Anon 10.51, That was informative...NOT

Anonymous said...

Best Honey Badger source is youtube video. listen to narrator. recognize the voice?

Anonymous said...

9:47:

You ever think that "keping your head down" is part of the problem? You clowns kept yourt head down when Rosenthal was causing problems. You kept them down when Holmes and Rosenthal were helping convict innocent defendants and destroying DNA evidence. And now y'all arte keeping them down while Lykos is there.

If y'all had any balls at all, you would trty to make that place what you think it should be. You wouldn't keep your heads down. Keeping your head down is a sign of mediocrity and cowardice.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Rage for DA and I'm not joking....I want someone with your attitude to shake up the local Democrats....this is your chance and it's a free swing...because you're going to lose and that's OK if you do something meaningful to make politics in this town interesting again...I've read your post about Chris Bell Rage and I've heard the same from a professional fundraiser.....Reginald McKamie ran for DA and he's a civil lawyer and yes he lost but he ran...and from the looks of things the Dem Judges are on their own ...meaning they're getting no help from the local party and yes regarding the rumors Murray posted about they are true...I think it's worse than he thinks but no one wants to get a big L by their name in the general election or so it seems....run Rage....do it

Anonymous said...

Rage, I don't know who you are--and I really don't give a rip--but you are a complete freakin' moron!

Anonymous said...

Bill Hawkins was my #3 prosecutor when I was Chief in the 248th in the late 80s. He could be a bit stubborn and hard headed but in time mellowed out. The office is losing a real asset.

Anonymous said...

Referring to Billy Hawkins as "Hawk" is laughable.....unless maybe we're talking Chickenhawk.

Rage is generally a concrete thinking dumb-ass wanna-be, but he makes a very valid point when he condemns the pervasive chickenshit behavior widely held at the HCDAO these days. Is Patsy Lykos really that scary? Are ADAs really that government dependent that they'll melt in the private sector?

When the going gets tough, the Harris County ADA keeps his head down and under the radar......how fucking pathetic are them apples?