Friday, January 6, 2012

Pat Lykos subpoenaed

Last night on the ten o'clock news, Channel 11 KHOU reported that Pat Lykos has been subpoenaed to testify before the 185th Grand Jury, which will resume meeting next week.

I don't see a web article on their website, but it was reported on air.  They additionally aired comments from Lykos that the Grand Jury was politically motivated.

Well, that's just brilliant.  Insult them before you even walk in the door.

Perhaps she should read a prepared statement before giving testimony:  "I'm Pat Lykos, your elected District Attorney.  You all are a bunch of A-Holes.  That is all."

I actually thought that Lykos had previously testified to the Grand Jury, so I'm not stunned by this development.  I expected they would call her eventually.  Obviously, I have no idea what is happening in the Grand Jury room, but if I had to guess, the fact that they are calling her means the Grand Jury may be getting close to a resolution of its proceedings.

166 comments:

Anonymous said...

Count them:
1
2
3
4
Fif!

Anonymous said...

It will be most interesting to see if Lykos takes a page from Rachel Palmer's playbook and asserts her 5th Amendment privilege. If she chooses to testify, her ability to come up with politically cute quips won't help her much when she has to answer hard, pointed questions.

Anonymous said...

Can you picture Patsy answering on the fly? Her mouth alone will get her indicted. Or will it be her ignorance?

Anonymous said...

Oh Murray, that was file footage. There was not a Lykos interview.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Little Jimmy (balls in a jar) Leitner has sworn to Lykos that he'd never work for the new DA like he swore he'd never work for Lykos........

Anonymous said...

On January 12, Pat will be giving a CLE program on "Ethics at the District Attorney's Office" at the Golden Corral Buffet & Grill (really!), 13145 Northwest Freeway at Hollister, Houston 77040 from noon to 1 p.m. Free admission and one hour of ethics credit. Program sponsored by the North Harris County Bar Association. Should be interesting - I hope she entertains questions.

Anonymous said...

Intrade should be taking bets on this.

Anonymous said...

Will she get up an storm out of the courtroom like she did during that TV news interview?

Anonymous said...

I well remember the first time Pat Lykos came to the CJC building for her first "tour" of the offices after being elected as D.A. She had a small entourage toddling behind her one of whom was Hannah Chow. Instead of smiling and exchanging pleasantries with the employees, Lykos and her group walked at a brisk pace down the halls with no smiles and no comments. After she had passed by, we all realized the office was probably going to change for a lot worse than expected and, of course, it has. The interesting thing is that from the beginning Lykos has craved respect almost as she has craved admiration and praise from her staff. After three years, she still has none. And she still has no idea why.

Anonymous said...

Can we get someone - anyone - to run against Roger Bridgwater. I'll help collect petitions and contribute toward the filing fee.

Any Takers?

Anonymous said...

I'm not a lawyer and have a question, if someone pleads the fifth, thats the same as saying "I refuse to answer based on the fact it could incriminate me" RIGHT? So, if someone takes the 5th to a grand jury, isn't that evidence to the GJ that the individual has a crime they are hiding? Can they indict based on that or at least have enough cause for an indictment? I mean, at least if the person they are questioning is the one they are potentially going to indict???

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 2:48,
Legally, the Grand Jury cannot consider her invocation of the Fifth as evidence of guilt. But in the court of public opinion, it sure looks bad.

Anonymous said...

It appears that Mrs. Lykos intends to testify before the 185th and not invoke her 5th Amendment privilege. Wonder if she'll be given target warnings?

Anonymous said...

Why would Patsy plead the 5th? RP has already done it for her. I see Patsy going in there and trying to impress them with one liners and her credentials.

She will invoke the Reagan way of answering:

"I don't want to appear as though I am trying deliberately to be vague," "But, as I say, I would like you to realize in my history of holding this office, my memory is like a kaleidoscope of meetings, that I am sure if I sat down with someone and started in, I couldn't remember a thing." 'Please, call me Judge Lykos. I have earned it."

Anonymous said...

Hopefully she will go all Jack Nicholson in a Few Good Men on the grand jury. "You can't handle the truth!!! Damn right I ordered the BAT van information to be covered up and I'd do it again!!!"

Anonymous said...

Patsy would never be that cooperative or straight forward. She will file a motion to quash. Delay, deny and then lie

Mark W. Stephens said...

From May 2010

http://www.khou.com/home/harris_county_grand_juries_reject_increasing_number_of_criminal_cases-93376954.html

Mark W. Stephens said...

From May 2010

http://www.khou.com/home/harris_county_grand_juries_reject_increasing_number_of_criminal_cases-93376954.html

The infamous Lycos "urinating contest" quote.

Refusing to prosecute Clarence Laday, an 18 time loser, for the murder of Marty Koci may well come back to haunt the Lykos administration...

Want an example of a dangerous criminal walking the streets because of the Lykos administration?? Its Clarence Laday...

Anonymous said...

Murry, another non-attorney with a question following your reply to Anon 2:48.

You stated that the Grand Jury cannot consider her invocation of the Fifth as evidence of guilt, but should she invoke, could the special prosecutor charge her with obstruction if she is being called to testify as Lykos the DA vs. Lykos the citizen? Or is there a difference?

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Joe the Investigator will be escorting Pat Lykos to the grand jury room?

Anonymous said...

Joe Strange doesn't know where the Grand Jury is located.

Anonymous said...

Who is Patsy's lawyer? Of cours according to the popo, an innocent person doesn't need a lawyer unless paid by union dues. Seriously who represents her?

Anonymous said...

Joe will be around with camera in hand. If things turn out to her advantage, pictures will be used at a later date.

Anonymous said...

7:16 - she's represented by one of the former US Attorneys for the Southern District (the name escapes me at this moment). But he is supposed to be very good.

Anonymous said...

I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom!

Anonymous said...

Rumor was that it was Ron Woods.

And news from the bunker; thanks for the fabulous updates! Keep em coming!

Anonymous said...

Ron Wood

Anonymous said...

Predicted Results:

No Indictments, But, due to the unique nature of this whole situation / investigation / allegations of political agendas / prosecutors taking the 5th/ tax $ / as a Citizen of Harris County I would not only hope but demand - at a minimum - a Formal Grand Jury report - on it's general findings and conclusions that obviously do not violate the secrecy rules regarding specific testimony.

It is NOT every day an entire D.A.'s Office is investigated; a prosecutor sworn to not merely convict but seek justice and not hide exculpatory evidence takes the fifth; and the Grand Jury per se, rightly or wrongly is attacked as being politically motivated. I want to see how much this whole thing cost the County, and what if any irregularities or findings the Grand Jury discovered.

Integrity must be kept or reestablished in what ever area of the CJC you think it needs to be.

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

Lie, deny, make cross allegations.

Anonymous said...

Prediction: No Indictments but there sure betteer be a grand Jury report given all the twist and turns given this investigation. The Public is Intitled to know in general what if any irregularities or problems exist with the mobile breath test devices; possibility of inadvertent / or otherwise non complience with exculpatory evidence to the defence.

Cost to the tax payer for the investigation and how many cases had to be dismissed due to irregularities with the breath test machines if any? What prosecutors were primarily responsible for getting information from HPD that the machines were faulty in certian circumstances if any and who's job was it to disseminate this exculpatory information to the defense. A Grand Jury Report is unpresidented in harris County just as the whole Grand Jury investigation was / is unpresidented. BOTTOM LINE: Rights or Not I will beat this drum till the cows come home:

CITIZENS OF HARRIS COUNTY: prosecutors are suppossed to give the defense ALL evidence that might show their client is innocent or even remotely cast doubt on their guilt or remotely create a reasonable dout thereof.

This whole investigation delt with WHO knew WHAT and WHEN did they know it and WERE was this information kept and HOW did they react once they received the information.

For a supervisory prosecutor to refuse to testify before the grand Jury (5th) in this type investigation is tanamount to an admission in the Court of Public Opinion that this very prosecutor had something to hide and possible hide this information from an accussed!

Furthermore - VERY important: How does the elected D.A. react to this prosecutor's UNPRESIDENTED REFUSAL TO COOPERATE? THEY GET BASICALLY PROMOTED TO APPELLATE. This is the rgg head SMART division of the office that tries to save convictions from being reversed for say allegations that information was withheld from the defense. This is just wrong on all levels and makes NO sense.

How can the citizens trust this kind of management move? SHE SHOULD HAVE BEEN FIRED ON THE SPOT! Now the foxis guarding the appellate hen house!

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

Grand Jury function: Is ONLY PROBABLE CAUSE. Did they probably do it? Just because you are indicted does NOT mean that you are guilty. Prosecutors tell defendants that everyday. Let the trial courts decide if a crime has been committed. PROBABLE CAUSE is the function of the GRAND JURY.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Citizen Kane. (However, the correct spelling is 'unprecedented'...)

Anonymous said...

The fact that CBS ran this story and not ABC is revealing. Remember that CBS is also the one that got the "exclusive" interview with Rachel. Basically what is going on is that "Dear Leader" and her county employee media advisor have decided that ABC is the enemy and that CBS is a more friendly venue for their "politically motivated grand jury" spin. I am certain that CBS had the story leaked to them by the 6th floor so that they could control it.

T. Gerald Treece: you are the CBS legal analyst. You know how bad all of this is. Please give your station some guidance on the proper questions to ask Lykos about her testimony.

And I hope that all of the local media will attend and ask questions of Lykos at her "ethics" lecture. I wonder why the staff wasn't notified of the opportunity to pick up an hour of free CLE?!

Anonymous said...

When is lycos supposed to be testifying ? Wouldn't mind waiting in the hallway. When does the 185th GJ meet ?

Anonymous said...

with Lykos, Palmer and the gang dissing ABC (and claiming ABC is part of the conspiracy), I am curious why Palmer is Facebook friends with Miya Shea?

Anonymous said...

When does a conspiracy become a movement of people who are sick and tired of having a lousy DA? Perhaps it never was a conspiracy, just a recognition of something rotten in the state of Denmark.

Anonymous said...

As an outside, why is everyone so convinced that no one will be indicted? As an ordinary citizen, it seems to me that those who work in the Criminal Justice Center are not held to the same standard as the rest of us. Is it a good old boy network or simply better representation as they are in the business??

Anonymous said...

Isn't everyone who is anybody in town friends with Miya Shay? Just sayin... She is like part time report, full time socialite.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:25
Palmer is often a source for shays storys

Anonymous said...

To 10:28 01/07/2012, they meet on Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.

Anonymous said...

If Ron Woods is a former US Attorney for the Southern District appointed in 1990. Although he is certainly competent in State Court, his strong suit is white collar crime and working in the Federal Court system. I'm also guessing he would be offering his services pro bono.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Lykos just hired Ron Woods' son-in-law as an ADA with the office. I'm sure there isn't a quid pro quo in his representation of Lykos....because that would be wrong wouldn't it???

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 11:25AM:

Miya is also Facebook "friends" with Murray. Seriously, where did you learn to investigate; with Joe the Investigator? This is Ted Oberg's story - she has nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...

To: Outsider 2:13

Respectfully, the reason the "insiders" might perfceive things diffeently regarding there not being an indictment is because we are insiders - we know how hard it is to get such high level people indicted - especially when the one REAL target (regardless of what has been stated by the Special Prosecutors) is / was palmer and she nipped that whole inquirey in the bud. She still should be fired and because she wasn't speaks volumes about Pat Lykos. There will be a way to exercise your frustration in a month or so. Just make sure you live in harris County and are regestered to vote.

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

To Citizen Kane:

Thanks for your explanation. I thought Grand Juries are very liberal in handing out indictments -- like, over 95% of cases get indicted. Grand Juries are ordinary people, not members of the Harris County establishment, so why are they less likely to indict the well known. Scared to wrongfully destroy a career. In awe of the famous?

As an ordinary, hard working citizen, I am shocked that I pay the salaries of hoots like the s%^theads we obviosuly have running our DAs office, who are not held accountable to the same laws and standards as myself and other citizens.

Thanks for your input / helping all the rest of us to understand what is going on here.

Also, how was Lykos / the DAs trying to get this Culbertson lady indicted - like on what charge, if she is reporting ethical issues. Isn't that offical oppression?

Anonymous said...

To Outsider from Citizen Kane:

Two Grand Jury scenarios:

(1)

a) Grunt line prosecutor enters G.J. with stack of FELONY cases that have already been investigated by a police agency, witness statements, drug analysis, etc all complete;

b) The G.J. has a list of each case being presented complete with name and case number and after the prosecutor reads a summary - sometimes long - sometimes short, the G.J. members write down confidentially on their own sheet of paper "True Bill or Indict", or No Bill (not Indict) or maybe a third option: "?" undecided.

Keep in mind their only function is not to convict but only determine whether there is the most limited level of proof needed for a person to be arrested;

(2)

The Grand Jury is actively involved (ALONG WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE - NOT - SEPERATED FROM THIS OFFICE) in hearing a more complicated case that a basic cop on the street wouldn't handle. Could be and Organized Crime case involving many "players" and people are given the chance to testify etc. THE ELECTED D.A.'S OFFICE is still the one via an assistant district attorney who is doing the questioning.

(3)

VERY UNUSUAL YET VERY SERIOUS:

Possibly during the process of situation #2 (above) the G.J. ON ITS OWN decides the DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE ITSELF may have done something wrong. Like hide evidence; lie before this same G,J, in the original investigation of say a former chemist who they might be seeking an indictment for perjury - I have no idea what situation #2 might have been; Then the whole G.J. process compared to in #1 (which is the general publics' perception)gets real dicey. Now Special Prosecutors have to be appointed to actually investigate the sitting HARRIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE. And lets throw in a big fat "monkey wrench" into the mix: " One of the prosecutors who supervised all the DWI prosecutors and had (one could rightly hope) information pertaining to how this chemist might have lied if any, or maybe she didn't lie and actually told the office the mobile testing devices were NOT reliable and the D.A. supervisor in question testifies originally to one thing (when the target was the chemist) but now that it is the very office she works for and specifically herself possibly - pleads the 5th and refuses to testify as is her right. She then gets transferred not fired to a higher up position and presumably gets no reduction in pay (public record). And THIS is what is called the the presumed - REST OF THE STORY!

Anonymous said...

9:58, I'm an outsider like you and I believe I have a pretty good understanding of most of this and if I were you, I'd do a search under this blog for Amanda Culbertson to learn more about the beginnings of all this. Also, the show "Reasonable Doubt" on Thursday nights with Murray and Todd Dupont had a show or two on the matter, I think you can watch them on Vimeo.com, but not real sure how to get to the link for the exact shows.

Jigmeister said...

To anon 9:58:
I don't think there is an allegation of trying to get Culberson indicted, but the allegation is that because she blew the whistle on the BAT van problems, the office used its influence to get the contract cancelled, thus denying her employment. This could be interpreted as official oppression. Here is the statute:
§ 39.03. OFFICIAL OPPRESSION. (a) A public servant
acting under color of his office or employment commits an offense if he
(1) intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or
to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment,
or lien that he knows is unlawful;
(2) intentionally denies or impedes another in the
exercise or enjoyment of any right, privilege, power, or immunity,
knowing his conduct is unlawful.
So, the next question is retaliation for the whistle blowing unlawful or just odious and unethical and who actually did it or ordered that it be done. I'll leave that the Citizen Cane or Calvin.

Anonymous said...

Instead of focusing on individuals within the DAO, there sufficient PC why not just indict the whole DAO?

If business entities are indicted for theft, misapp, environmental crimes, why couldn't the GJ indict the Harris County District Attorney's Office?

Since Ms. Palmer is more afraid of Patsy than the court, just bring down the whole institution.

Anonymous said...

Citizen Kane...one last time. 1) jig is correct as a "possible" crime the SPECIAL PROSECUTORS might be looking into but there is no way the Office would be investigating itself. Probably BEGAN with LYKOS looking at the chemist then remember they kicked the line prosecutos out. Ergo Recusal and Special Prosecutors.

As for the last commentator - ain't takin the bait.

Anonymous said...

Just a few observations:

1. to 9:58- Just because most cases presented to a GJ get indicted doesn't mean Grand Juries are liberal with their indictments. The fact is, all cases are heavily screened by an ADA before a case is ever presented to a GJ. Additionally, in most cases being presented, the defendant has already been charged and is either in jail or out on bond. Texas law requires all persons charged with a felony offense to be indicted by a GJ before a trial can be had. The GJ decides whether probably cause exists to indict.

2. There are instances when information is presented to a GJ where no criminal charges have yet been filed. For instance, Police Officer-involved shooting cases where the DA uses the independence of the GJ to examine the facts to determine if the shooting was justifiable or not.

3. The GJ also is called upon to conduct an investigation in which no charges have been filed. The GJ hears from witnesses or reviews documents to determine if probable cause exists for charges to be filed. If PC is determined to exist, the GJ returns an indictment which will result in a warrant being issued for the arrest of the person indicted.

4. In example # 3 above, if the "target" of the investigation happens to be an elected official or even a public servant, much greater care is taken to make sure that not only probable cause exists but also that the evidence is strong enough that a conviction can likely be obtained. The reason for this is that if an official is charged with a crime and they will invariably claim the prosecution is politically motivated. If the prosecutor were to proceed to trial with weak evidence, justice is not accomplished. The bigger the target, the more evidence is sometimes needed to convict.

5. To Citizen Kane- I have trouble following many of your points. Way too much 'conspiracy' and speculation in your post.

6. Anon 1:25- With regard to indicting the whole DAO as an entity, that isn't legally possible. There are provisions for indicting a Corporation but not for indicting a governmental agency because it isn't a corporation. As far as bringing down the 'whole instititution', Lykos and her "management team" has almost accomplished that in three short years. Besides, there are plenty of very good ADA's in the office that are perfectly capable doing their jobs under a competent District Attorney.

Lastly, the tax payers would get a lot more for their money once the 5 media mouthpieces, 3-4 inept investigators, and several incompetent ADA's that Lykos has brought in are replaced in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Amanda Culberson, the lab tech in question, testified a great many times regarding the accuracy of the testing equipment, including the BAT vans machines. She did this for a very long time and was typically unequivocal in stating their accuracy. At some point, and this was long after the BAT van program was underway, she came to the conclusion that there might be problems under certain circumstances.

I'm not a certified expert in the machines and given some of the blogs by otherwise intelligent defense attorneys, it is clear that few of them know as much as they try to convey, but as the one in charge of verifying the equipment Culberson was in a unique position. The cynical position is "was she lying before or is she lying now?" A fairer position might be to ask what changed and I believe she tried to answer that a few times, to what degree her answers were credible seem to rely heavily on the perspective of those asking.

The mock indignation by certain defense attorneys would be more credible if it wasn't so predictably knee jerk and the less-than-veiled threats by a few in the DA's office about indicting her is just as problematic. It would be nice if the media would provide a better overview of the situation but given cutbacks at newspapers like the Chronicle, it might be too much to expect anything not handed to their staff on a silver platter.

Whatever the credibility Culberson might have, it is a fair position to expect such issues be brought forth in a timely manner to lawyers representing defendants charged with DWI. It is also reasonable for those at the county level deciding to terminate longstanding contracts (at great additional expense when the totality of circumstances are added in) to come forth and explain why, especially if it relates to what might be a whistle blower being hired.

I don't think anyone reading these blogs believes the initial decision to drop the Lone Star contract was done for fiscal reasons (the new contract costs more given the lack of reimbursement factor) and I don't think anyone believes that Commissioner's Court just came up with this all on their own as Lykos has professed. The stated time lines by her office have changed repeatedly and this causes many to think that the DA's office has withheld possible evidence, however weak, in violation of Brady.

Does that about sum it up?

Anonymous said...

It is well known to anyone who practices Law that you can indict a ham sandwich. It is easy and any prosecutor worth anything can get an indictment, because they can show only the evidence that they choose to. they do not have to show it all, unless the Grand Jury asks for it, which only happens if they know it exists in the first place.

Anonymous said...

9:14-
That's a worn-out phrase that you know is impossible since a ham sandwich is not a person and is unable to hire a lawyer! Additionally, I am quite sure most ADA's don't care to indict a case they would have to try and know they can't prove at trial.

The truth is, citizens expect and deserve that their DA's have the integrity and sense of justice to only present cases to a grand jury that have merit. The 185th GJ is currently trying to determine if Lykos or some of her staff have behaved in a way that violates those principles. There certainly is the appearance that they have.

With Lykos hiding out like a fugitive, Leitner spouting political conspiracy theories, and Palmer taking the 5th, together they offer pretty good prima facie evidence of wrong-doing.

Anonymous said...

"It is well known to anyone who practices Law that you can indict a ham sandwich. It is easy and any prosecutor worth anything can get an indictment, because they can show only the evidence that they choose to. they do not have to show it all, unless the Grand Jury asks for it, which only happens if they know it exists in the first place.

January 8, 2012 9:14 PM"

This sounds like Rage or one of his offspring.

I agree with the implication that when no indictments are handed down Anderson & Co. will look bad. A GJ report will mean nothing to the general voting public and come across as sour grapes from a failed conspiracy.
Citizen Kane a/k/a Republican Activist and the inside Outsider need to stick with Bunko night.

Anonymous said...

This is off subject. I have a question. I read an article from Mike Andersons FB that was written in May. It was in the Chronicle in May 2011. The article stated that there was a spike in no bills to the tune of 40% since 2008 when Lycos took over.

Yesterday an article in the Chronicle said the county jail population was down 31%. With 8,573inmates currently in residence. The jail can house 9,434.

My question for all you legal beagles. In your opinion is this directly related to the loss of such experienced DA’s? And is the way Lycos handles the prosecutors, telling them how to do their job a contributing factor? Are these folks really so scared to do their job that this is the results. Or is this just a coincidence?

Frankly this scares the crap out of me.

Sue

Anonymous said...

" Additionally, I am quite sure most ADA's don't care to indict a case they would have to try and know they can't prove at trial."

If that were completely true, why would there be a BAT van controversy? unless, some decisions to indict came from a a person who has some politcally motivated reason for doing it. I Can't imagine such an imbecile in our DA's office at the moment, can you?

maybe someone who has no experience as a DA, who also didn't realize that her skilled ADA's might be capable of prosecuting a case without a breath test,GASP!

Just saying, getting indictments are like going trick-or-treating. If you are willing to walk to the door, you will probably get some candy.

Anonymous said...

Sue:

Crime rates are way down and the murder rate in Houston is lower than it was decades ago. There is no need to be scared--we have had to many people in jail for too long. I'm tired of paying for warehousing defendants.

The biggest reason for the reduction in the jail population is the increased use of PR bonds for non-violent offenders, which is entirely appropriate. Don't let anyone scare you and say you are less safe. You are just fine.

Rage

Anonymous said...

Citizen Kane here..lmfao at 8:16...Thank God you don't work as a CJC profiler or jury consultant. You need new "Marco-Polo" radar....I do agree with the Rage assessment though.

Anonymous said...

Is it out of the realm of possibility that someone who got their position through a politcal process may use politcs in their decision making process on what choices to make while in office?

While those elected to be a DA may claim that they will seek the truth, there will be times when dismissing a case or not filing charges could hurt thm politically. In some cases it may be better to have one of your cronies lose a case and blame it on the jury, than throw it out and take heat from the public.

Anyone who thinks that you have to be qualified for the job or be honorable to be elected as the District Attorney has not followed the antics of the Supreme Ruler of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Anonymous said...

11:50 a.m.-

FYI, Misdemeanor DWI BAT van cases aren't charged by indictment; only Felony DWI's are.

The issue is whether the Chief of Misdemeanor, Rachel Palmer, was notified of BAT van problems, and decided to have her prosecutors try the cases anyway without informing the Defense of a Brady issue. This is one of the issues the GJ is investigating.

I find it very hard to believe most ADA's would consider obtaining an indictment equal to trick or treating. Perhaps you are missing the salient issue here: The vast majority of the ADA's are honorable and hard-working lawyers laboring under horrid management.

The GJ is trying to determine if a select few have done more than just make bad management decisions. Did they conspire to commit Official Oppression or Retaliation against Ms. Culberson? Did they falsify governmental records? Did they perjure themselves?

Theses are issues the public deserves to have answered.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Rage,

Since you're tired of paying to "warehouse" criminals, maybe you can pay the funeral expenses for the families of the next few murder victims.

With all the crack heads being let go and all the cases being no billed...you know its coming.

Is the crime rate down? Or did they just change the way calculate crime?

I seem to recall a story not too long ago...either on 13 or 11...that showed murder cases that were NEVER counted as murder cases in the official statistics.

So...just because you hear the "crime rate" is down...doesn't mean it is...

Mark W. Stephens said...

And...I can't belive some are still using the old "indict a ham sandwich" crap. I've presented cases to Grand Juries and I've served on a Grand Jury. Nothing could be further than the truth...LOL

Anonymous said...

Word is that Lykos - or her "esteemed counsel" will be filing a motion to quash the subpoena! Tantamount to pleading the 5th!!! Transparency?!?! What a joke!!!

Anonymous said...

NEWS FROM THE BUNKER

Item: We hear Six ordered data dump to determine source of Leitner email to this blog for Grand Jury Scandal post. Punisment coming. This witch hunt will not consider the possiblity of an unlocked keyboard in an office or courtroom ala Murry Newman style. Strict liablitiy

Item: In an effort to further restrict information. Emails from six being sent to a few, so that any email leaks can be traced. Also more word of mouth communication rather than anything written.

Item: Anon 3:50 correct in that we hear a motion to quash is coming from the Leader, alleging that 185th GJ (and all others) expired 12-31. This is confusing to those of us in the trenches since Leitner said the Grand Juries were good. We expect another Motion to recuse and mandamus action to delay proceedings in an effort to get past the 90 day extension for the 185th grand jury.

Anonymous said...

A new psychological personality Disorder has been discovered:

Cowardicelikosis:

is the perceived failure to demonstrate sufficient mental robustness and courage in the face of a challenge. Under many military codes of justice, cowardice in the face of combat is a crime punishable by death (cf. shot at dawn). The term describes a personality trait which is viewed as a negative characteristic and has been shunned and disdained (see norms) within most, if not all cultures, while courage, typically viewed as its direct opposite, is generally rewarded and encouraged.

Cowards are usually seen to have avoided or refused to engage in a confrontation or struggle which has been deemed good or righteous by the wider culture in which they live. On a more mundane level, the label may be applied to those who are regarded as too frightened or overwhelmed to defend their rights or those of others from aggressors in their lives.

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

Now the Leadership Team is data dumping for information on an office, official announcement?

Someone please inform this Team of Misfit Nuts that there are more important issues at hand than a memo.

What the Team should really be doing using the office's email system to conduct real business of the DAO. Oh wait. They still have no clue even after 3 years.

Flopping like a fish out of water. How exciting.

Anonymous said...

All of this reminds me of early 2007 when Chuck Rosenthal was beginning his descent down that slippery slope toward resignation. Lykos is hurtling down that same slope as we speak. The difference is that she is the subject of a criminal investigation whereas Rosenthal was merely caught up in a nasty civil suit that revealed his personal failures. Pat Lykos' 3 years in office is a study in abject failure to manage, patronage of positions in her administration, and dishonest claims of transparency. What a colossal implosion awaits on the horizon.

PS: Keep shooting yourself in the foot Pat; you only have a few more toes left.

Anonymous said...

Whew, glad I printed it and handed it over instead of emailing it....

Anonymous said...

All I did was copy and paste into personal email.
Or did I save it on a thumb drive and then copy it?
Or did I check my office email from home and save it to my computer?
Or did I just re-type it verbatim and change the font?
Or, or, or...
Out of curiosity, what is the crime here? Is there even some obscure administrative violation? Or is it just a political violation?

Wonder what the manpower cost-per- hour is for this witch hunt?

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:00, I think you're being facetious, but I am pretty sure they can check who printed the email as well. My personal technique has always been to copy work emails I want to leak on my personal smart phone. I just use the copy function and then paste the text into an email on my personal account. I figure that then they don't have a record of my email trail. At least, I hope...

Inquiring Minds said...

Murray,

If the DA's office has already argued, and prevailed on the argument, that a grand jury empaneled prior to the legislative change is still viable (as in the case of Judge Bradley's grand jury that was held over) wouldn't Lykos be judicially estopped from arguing that the 185th grand jury is defunct? If such an argument has not already been made by the office and Lykos is successful on that argument in her motion to quash, wont the office be estopped in the future from arguing that the indictments from Judge Bradley's grand jury are valid?

Anonymous said...

8:44, thanks for the info. I'll do it your way next time. Hope I don't get busted for my little screw-up. Live and learn, huh?

Anonymous said...

Seriously, even Lycos isn't dumb enough to order a search for a leaked email that is a public record is she? The email is subject to public disclosure via a public information request. Didn't she learn anything from chuck's demise?

Anonymous said...

Anony 6:24am

Do you really believe Patsy is intelligent enough to understand the definition of public record?

This woman and her clan of storm troopers are on their approach to the enviable crash and burn.

Just looking around the office, I for one enjoy watching each of the Leadership Team squirm like a defendant at counsel table.

Waiter! Some crackers and cheese, please. This experience is just divine.

Anonymous said...

"Cowards are usually seen to have avoided or refused to engage in a confrontation or struggle which has been deemed good or righteous by the wider culture in which they live. On a more mundane level, the label may be applied to those who are regarded as too frightened or overwhelmed to defend their rights or those of others from aggressors in their lives.

Citizen Kane

January 9, 2012 6:45 PM"

Dear Citizen Kane,

Exactly where are you a citizen? Surely not in Harris County!
What does: "POT CALLS KETTLE BLACK" mean to you Ms. junior psychologist?

Anonymous said...

Lykos has only two modes, coward and bully. Right now, she is playing coward to the public, while mercilessly bullying her employees for "loyalty."

ADAs are still loyal to their jobs and to the position of DA, but no one is less worthy of loyalty than Lykos.

Normal Rate of Attrition said...

Loyalty now means silence. So much for that media training.

Rumor is slightly different emails are going out to track who is the mole for emails, a.k.a. public documents. Surprised anyone on 6 was smart enough to think of that.

Circle the unwilling wagons, Patsy. It's too late. They can smell it, everyone can.

Anonymous said...

So did she go into GJ ?

Anonymous said...

anon 1:25
She's scheduled to appear 1/17. Apparently she's too "busy" this week to pencil in that pesky grand jury.

Anonymous said...

Question to Pat Lykos. Pat you have just been subpoenaed to testify before the 185th Grand Jury. How do you plan to get any meaningful sleep? Pat’s answer: First I lie on one side, and then I will lie on the other!

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight: There is a GJ investigation into the DAO and the 6th floor is sending out varied emails in an attempt to catch a supposed mole?

So sending out a "public record" is now considered theft of intellectual property. Is this what the Leadership Team defines as government espionage?

Dear Leadership Team, a word of advice. The fall isn't so bad if you walk the plank now. Looking for an individual mole is pointless. There are over 400 moles in the office.

Anonymous said...

I've got to wonder. What is it like to be the leader of an entire district attorney's office in such a huge state and know that you've proved that you're incompetent and virtually every person who works for you hates your guts? What is it like to send out the order to spy on your people and their computer activity to find out which one is the brave one who will bust you on said incompetence? Why doesn't Fat Lykos just resign from the job and leave with what little dignity she has left? She can't actually believe that she's going to win this upcoming election. I mean, we all know that Kelly kicked her ass in the primary in '08. We were all just too confident in how much Kelly was going to kick her ass again in the runoff and we got lax. Lykos is so far in the hole now with all the awful things that she's been outed on, e.g., her incompetence, her shitty management style, her... no. Wait. I think those two things are enough.

Pat, you are sad and pathetic. Just quit. Take your toys and go home already.

Anonymous said...

toys as in: Jimmy, Stevie, Hannah, Don, Joe, Clint, Rachael, Markay and Joni. Save yourselves some dignity. Your days are numbered anyway.

Anonymous said...

Today everyone's smartphone email access underwent a security update in which we now need a passcode in addition to the password to access work emails. Is it another step of Dear Leader's Operation Big Brother? I can't say for sure, but when people have been talking in these comments about how to transfer emails from your smartphone so they can't track it, then the next day, the remote email system they have used for years undergoes a major security change, the timing sure is fishy.

Anonymous said...

A lot of motions to quash can be filed before the 17th.

Anonymous said...

This so defines our Dear Leader:

1. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder[1] in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.[2] Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to egocentrism.

2. Symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to:
Reacts to criticism with anger, shame, or humiliation
May take advantage of others to reach his or her own goal
Tends to exaggerate their own importance, achievements, and talents
Imagines unrealistic fantasies of success, power, or intelligence.
Requires constant attention and positive reinforcement from others
Easily becomes jealous
Lacks empathy and disregards the feelings of others
Obsessed with oneself
Mainly pursues selfish goals
Trouble keeping healthy relationships
Is easily hurt and rejected
Sets unreal goals
Wants "the best" of everything
Appears as tough-minded or unemotional

3. Add to the above- Paranoia:
One of the key symptoms of paranoia is a firm belief that other people intend to do harm to the person, accompanied by a lack of trust in other people. Someone with paranoia is in a state of permanent delusion, with beliefs which cannot be shaken, despite ample evidence to the contrary.

These conditions are what stand in the way of her resigning.

Anonymous said...

Mark Stephens, that's exactly what I said, isn't it? "Let all the murderers free!"

Idiot.

Crime rates are down, whether you believe it or not, and apparently whether you like it or not.

And the main source of jail reduction is the use of PR bonds, you dolt, not the lack of prosecuting residue cases. Your "shy-is-falling" rhetoric is worn out and has no basis n reality.

Rage

Anonymous said...

There is a fundraiser/reception on Wednesday, January 18th at the home of Sandy and Keith Oden, 5:30-7:000 p.m. See Mike Anderson for DA website for details.

Anonymous said...

Grand Jury: Did you order the code red against Culberson?

Lykos: (quietly) I did the job you elected me to do.

Grand Jury: Did you order the code red?

Lykos: You're goddamn right I did!!

Anonymous said...

Attention! Attention! D.A. inneroffice communication problem solved: If you are a supporter of The Hon. Judge Pat Lykos you must Speak Pig Latin beginning tomorrow: All others are traitors:

Quick Tutorial per last night memo written on yellow sticky note:
You might think "Pig Latin" was just something your grandparents made up, but take a closer look.

This pseudo-language is widely known and used by English-speaking people, especially when they want to disguise something they are saying from non-Pig Latin speakers.

1
Pig Latin is good to talk around ttraitors cause they won't know how to speak it- igpay atinlay isyay oodgay otay alktay aroundyay ouryay arentpays auscay ethay ontway ebay ableay otay understandaye?

a) Hello = Ellohay

b) Hi = Ihay

c) You're fired: ooure Iredaye

d) I plead the 5th: Iyah eaday heay Ithaye

e) Grand Jury sucks: yand urray uksay

f) Ted Oberg sucks: ayed eyaerg uksay;

g) I'm stalling for a new grand Jury Term: Onaye Ooouds Onorneyah ayhay aweah

Good Luck and remember only Loyal subjects must speak this according to the memo I got written in lemon juice! Traitors and spys can just talk regular Texas "English".

Citizen Kane

Anonymous said...

Well, crap. Since they're gonna make me go through extra steps to check email from my phone, I guess I'm going to have to go back to the old route of taking a picture of the screen. It was easier than re-typing the email to my phone, but it's hard on my eyes to read the pic. Good thing I got that fancy blow-up thingy with the screen now.

Kinda cool how I made them order a new directive on cell phones and I didn't even come in to work today.

Oh, and if you didn't come into work Tuesday either, my apologies. I'm sure we'll all be getting called on the carpet until they find out which one of us it is.

Anonymous said...

Dang - I'm feeling bad; I read the email on my screen to my wife who was typing away on her computer at home. She sent it to Murray. Now I find at that my colleagues who printed Jim's email, read his e-mail from their cell phone, or tagged it for later is a target of Patsy's witch hunt. BTW Murray - just how many copies of Jim's email did you receive?

Anonymous said...

Tin cans and sting man - It's the only thing left. Too high tech for them. Possibly 'Wind talkers". Get back on that one....not many left....Wind Talkers that is.

Old Dog

Just Sayin' said...

To: all ADAs, investigators and secretaries
From: Jimmy "ADA-Lite" Leitner
Date: 11 January 2012

Re: Insubordination in the workplace

You little people are on notice.
Anything you say or do that negatively impacts Queen conTROLL will be grounds for termination with cause.

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

LMFAO @ Leitner being "ADA-Lite" I think we have a new nickname!

Anonymous said...

They were all disloyal. I tried to run the ship properly by the book, but they fought me at every turn. If the crew wanted to walk around with their shirt-tails hanging out, that's all right, let them! Take the towline - defective equipment, no more, no less. But they encouraged the crew to go around, scoffing at me and spreading wild rumors about steaming in circles and then 'Old Yellowstain.' I was to blame for Lieutenant Maryk's incompetence and poor seamanship. Lieutenant Maryk was the perfect officer, but not Captain Queeg. Ah, but the strawberries! That's, that's where I had them. They laughed at me and made jokes, but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt, and with, with geometric logic, that, that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox did exist. And I would have produced that key if they hadn't pulled the Caine out of action. I, I know now they were only trying to protect some fellow officer.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AznmrRZsRQ

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHhkZ6GpVlQ

Mark W. Stephens said...

Rage,

"Mark Stephens, that's exactly what I said, isn't it?"

Ummm...you don't know what you said, yet call ME the idiot? ok.

The crime rate may be down, I don't know. Crime statistics are calculated by politicians and bureaucrats. I simply don't trust the source.

IF the crime rates are down, there are more reasonable explanations, like maybe the exodus of Katrina evacuees, which caused the crime rate to spike in the first place. Whatever the case, I see it as artificial or temporary. Its certainly NOT because more crackheads are free to roam the street.

And apparently the crime rate in Harris County as a whole reportedly remained at the same rate. Crime inside the Houston city limits is what supposedly dropped.

Nevertheless, there were still about 200 murders in the City of Houston.

Try telling the families of those victims "you have nothing to worry about...the crime rate is down." I doubt it would go over very well.

You said,
"And the main source of jail reduction is the use of PR bonds, you dolt, NOT the lack of prosecuting residue cases."

Apparently, you didn't see this quote in the Chronicle from Lykos,

"Lykos says the trace case policy has lowered the jail population by 1,000 inmates and freed up resources for more severe crimes."

So I guess your argument is with Lykos, not me.

Anonymous said...

RE- the crime rate:

Knowing the dangers of using statistics, let us assume that the crime rate is actually down right now.

Let's also assume that because crackheads aren't being charged and put in the county jail, that the Harris County Jail population is down because the crackheads aren't being arrested.

Therefore, they are still on the streets every day and night robbing and stealing.

Can you imagine how much lower the crime rate would be if the crackheads WERE in jail?

Anonymous said...

I'm Facebook friends with Miya, and I doubt she could pick me out of a lineup.

I have also never pled the fif.

Anonymous said...

This morning kuhf had story about Lykos giving a statement at Comm Court this week regarding the already in the works forensic science center. The new center has been in the works since AT LEAST 2007. A lot of folks have worked on this project.

So - Lykos urged the court to "fast-track" the center.

Perhaps before the primary would be nice? Even if not, she sure got a lot of press for it...while everyone else has been doing the work for years.


KUHF also had an interview with the county judge - Emmett - he said they were already working on this project and indicated they didn't need to be urged (he said it much nicer).

What REALLY caught my attention, was when Lykos stated that law enforcement agencies should not be doing science. WHAT?

I recalled that the office made a statement regarding the BAT Vans stating that it is BETTER if DPS does the science because they ARE a law enforcement agency.

Here's the links - judge for yourself:

01/10/12 Pat Lykos Interview KUHF :

http://app1.kuhf.org/articles/1326243401-Push-Made-To-Build-State-Of-The-Art-Crime-Lab.html

"Scientists should be running laboratories, law enforcement should not. No police chief should have to make a decision on whether you put units on the street, or you put money in lab, and so, it's vital. And it also gives the appearance of impropriety when law enforcement controls science."



12/13/11 Press Release from HCDA:


http://www.newsrouter.com/nrpr.asp?intRelease_ID=6338&intAcc_ID=72

DPS SELECTION LAUDED BY DA PAT LYKOS

" We have been very concerned about outsourcing to non-law enforcement entities and
the problems created by personnel turnover. This results in needless resetting of court
cases, impacting inmates awaiting trial, witnesses, and law enforcement. The DA’s
Office recommended the breath alcohol testing services contract with DPS. The
decision, of course, and the negotiations belonged to Harris County Commissioners
Court and the Harris County Purchasing Office."

Anonymous said...

Did you take the strawberries?

Anonymous said...

"Seriously, even Lycos isn't dumb enough to order a search for a leaked email that is a public record is she?"

This reminds me of Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg in "The Caine Mutiny" determined to find out who pilfered the missing quart of strawberries.

Anonymous said...

8:33-
Your post just underlines why Patsy's name is Lie-kos.

She has a long history of changing the facts to fit her story. You can always tell when she's lying-

-her lips are moving.

Anonymous said...

She's a politician so don't expect consistency or integrity. Expect her to say what may help her get re-elected.

And the new lab is not independent at all. It is just another county agency.

Anonymous said...

The crime rate may be down, I don't know.

First correct thing you've said. You simply don't know.

IF the crime rates are down, there are more reasonable explanations

OK, fine. Does it matter what the explanations are, though? If crime is down, crime is down, regardless of the policies at the DAO.

Whatever the case, I see it as artificial or temporary.

A minute ago you didn't know if it was down. Now you say it's temporary. With no supporting information. Man, I bet you're a fantastic lawyer.

And apparently the crime rate in Harris County as a whole reportedly remained at the same rate. Crime inside the Houston city limits is what supposedly dropped.

And now you even agree with me that crime rates are down! Just in case you didn't catch it, because you seem to not be making a whole lot of sense and can't keep track of even your own arguments (you remind me of Seaton in that regard), when I said "you must be a great lawyer" it was sarcasm. Just wanted to clear that up. Your reversal two sentences away from each other can't even be considered arguing in the alternative. First you deny, then you don't know, then you agree with me. Good grief.

Nevertheless, there were still about 200 murders in the City of Houston.

Yes. And?

Try telling the families of those victims "you have nothing to worry about...the crime rate is down." I doubt it would go over very well.

Show me that any of those were committed by crack-heads looking to score, or a misdemeanor defendant out because he got a PR bond. And then I'll believe that maybe the crack pipe cases should be looked at again, or that every single misdemeanant on earth should be locked up, and oh yeah, that in the process we should do away with the parts of the Constitution that say that a person is entitled to reasonable bond and that we are innocent until proven guilty.

"Lykos says the trace case policy has lowered the jail population by 1,000 inmates and freed up resources for more severe crimes."

Now you cite Lykos as authority? How does she know what cases haven't been brought to her?

So I guess your argument is with Lykos, not me.

Until you started whining about one of my posts, I hadn't said a single thing to you. You stuck your nose into someone else's conversation, remember?

Rage

Anonymous said...

I bet Murray took the strawberries.

Anonymous said...

So hoping Dear Leader gets to follow Constable Abercia doing the perp-walk!

Anonymous said...

Anon. January 12, 2012 2:07 PM said:

"So hoping Dear Leader gets to follow Constable Abercia doing the perp-walk!"

Dear 2:07,
Be careful not to smile or smirk while thinking about such a wonderful thing at work.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Rage,

“Does it matter what the explanations are, though? If crime is down, crime is down, regardless of the policies at the DAO."

IF the crime rate is down, no one can argue against that being a good thing. IF it is, then I’ll be as happy about that as anyone. But I don’t trust the source of the statistics, so I can’t trust the accuracy of those statistics. But claiming the crime rate is down because of the no crack pipe policy would be ludicrous. That seemed to be the point you were making. If I misinterpreted your point, then that would be my fault. But if that is the point you were trying to make…then, well, it’s still ludicrous.

“A minute ago you didn't know if it was down. Now you say it's temporary. With no supporting information.“

Actually, I said “whatever the case,” meaning, whether there was a small dip in the crime rate, or whether there was a big dip in the crime rate, or whether the crime rate was down at all. Most people understood what I meant, as they understand the meaning of the word, “whatever.” Apparently, you don’t. Not sure how I can help you there.

Let’s assume the crime rate is actually down as much as they say it is. Do you think that releasing 1000 crack heads, as Lykos stated, would help the crime rate continue its downward trajectory? I don’t.

Therefore, any reduction in the crime rate would be temporary. The fact that I believe their statistics are inaccurate is why I said I think it may be artificial. I thought that was all self explanatory, my apologies that I didn’t explain it simply enough for you.

“And now you even agree with me that crime rates are down!”

Again, you’ve misunderstood. In your endeavor to grasp the complex meaning of the word “whatever,” please include the words “apparently” and “supposedly” in your research. Talking in terms of their reported crime statistics, does not by any stretch of the imagination mean I agree with them. Good grief is right. Wow.

“Show me that any of those were committed by crack-heads looking to score, or a misdemeanor defendant out because he got a PR bond. And then I'll believe that maybe the crack pipe cases should be looked at again…”

SO GLAD YOU ASKED! Look no farther than Clarence Laday, Crack Head extraordinaire and 18 time loser. He is the prime suspect...the ONLY suspect...in the murder of Marty Koci.

Why? Clarence Laday was and is, and I’ll use your words here, “a crack head looking to score.”

Marty Koci got in his way, so Marty Koci is dead.

When the Lykos administration dropped the murder charges and let Clarence Laday walk, within a few months he was arrested again for robbing another woman and stealing her car. Why? Again your words… “Crack head looking to score.”

You would have thought the Lykos administration would have seen this as a second chance to put this DANGEROUS criminal behind bars for good. But NO. They dropped the auto theft charges and simply charged him with the possession case.

But even though this dangerous crook has 18 prior convictions, they pled him down to just a few months and let him go again. Because...you know...being a crack head is such a COOL thing to be according to the Lykos administration.

Clarence Laday is a PRIME example of what is wrong with Lykos crack pipe policy.

ON ANY GIVEN DAY, Clarence Laday will have a crack pipe in his pocket. YET, law enforcement is forced to let him go EVERY time they catch him with a crack pipe.

They’re forced by LYCOS to wait until he commits a more “serious,” often times violent, crime that SHE deems “acceptable” for a criminal charge, regardless of State Law.

Meanwhile, Clarence Laday...Crack Head Extraordinaire...walks the streets with crack pipe in hand...looking for his next victim.

“Now you cite Lykos as authority?”

Don’t be silly. I cited a quote she made in the Chronicle. That doesn’t make her an authority on anything.

Anonymous said...

To Mark W. Stephens,
All the rest of us understood your points perfectly the first time. There was nothing confusing about them. Rage just makes himself look dense when he doesn't understand them. Perhaps he just pretends not to understand in order to pick a fight. Why? Need for attention apparently. It's what he does.

Mark W. Stephens said...

To Anonymous January 12, 2012 10:41 PM

I'm not real familiar with Rage, but it sounds like you've nailed it. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

How many people bonded out of jail today who wouldn't have otherwise because of the grand jury problem?? Try to put it all on the judges, but a DA who wasn't hoping to benefit from the grand jury issue would have been sounding the alarm to prevent this from happening!

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Stephens:

I appreciate the points you have made, I agree. I have several friends and a few relatives in the law enforcement field. I see and understand the problem asscociated with the crack pipe issue.

I am scared the results of the crack pipe issues and the D.I.V.E.R.T. program will cause more crimes and death that could have been avoided. Change is good, but common sense must be used when making change.

I have failed to see any common sense being used since PL took office. Sorry leader, poor judge, worthless DA, she brings nothing to the office. Hope she is gone soon.

Sue

Anonymous said...

Officer Stephens - can't officers still arrest people in possession of a crack pipe for possession of drug paraphernalia? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the only cocaine cases not being filed where cases when the microscopic amount of drugs would be used up during the testing at the crime lab. Given the problems at the crime labs, the back log of evidence needing to be tested and limited resources didn’t something need to change? The crime labs have a huge volume and neither HPD nor the county have ever properly funded the labs.
In reality, aren’t the only cases not being filed are cases where the drugs can’t be seen without scientific equipment?

At least answer this question for me, do you think that the DAs office should prosecute crack pipe cases when the only cocaine is contained in the black ash residue on the used pipe?

Anonymous said...

Although I'm sure this isn't the legal way to remove a DA, below is a link to a petition to remove John Healey in Fort Bend.

http://www.change.org/petitions/fort-bend-county-district-attorney-john-healey-resign-as-district-attorney-in-the-stafford-icehouse-capital-murder-case

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:33. I agree with you. When it costs too much we should not prosecute people. We should just let them continue to violate the law. Last year someone used my credit card number to charge $1500. I check my credit card every day and discovered it, called the credit card company and the merchant where the number was used. The merchant immediately pulled the video and told me they have photos the actor's parents would be proud of but $1500 just really is not enough. I can't get the police to work on it. It costs too much, they have more important things, I did not suffer the loss. So yeah, I agree, we should not sweat the small stuff and just not worry about having to pay for all the losses that nobody will prosecute. I know these crack heads probably steal only small amounts from people who can ill afford to lose their property but come on, the cost to prosecute is just too much.

If you can't tell I'm mad. If it is against the law, enforce the law. If you don't want the law, change it, don't ignore it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:30

How about leaving the crackheads alone until they do something to interfere with your liberty or use of your property. When the crackhead steals then he has cross a line that government should should be guarding. It is too expensive to screw with drug users who do not harm others. Let's just go after the ones who do and we might have the resources deter them. If you haven't noticed the "war on drugs" is not working.

Mark W. Stephens said...

TO Anonymous January 13, 2012 6:33 AM

"Can't officers still arrest people in possession of a crack pipe for possession of drug paraphernalia?"

They can write them a Class C citation (much like a traffic ticket) for Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia.


"At least answer this question for me, do you think that the DAs office should prosecute crack pipe cases when the only cocaine is contained in the black ash residue on the used pipe?"

I think the DAs should follow State Law. In Texas, possession of even a trace amount of cocaine is against the law.

Anonymous said...

Question from a non-attorney:

I have heard Pat Lykos say that the only trace cases they won't take are those where there is not enough evidence for it to be tested twice, once by the prosecution and once by the defense. Is this true?

If it is true that those are the only ones she won't take, how would another DA prosecute if it can't be tested twice?

It seems to make sense when she says it, but I really want to hear the other side.

Thanks for any help.

Anonymous said...

Officer Marky Mark - don't give lycoseque political answers. Answer his question. Do you want to pay to lock up someone who has a tin with black smoke residue?

We all want prosecutors to follow the law but that wasn't the question. Are you runaming for office too?

Mark W. Stephens said...

To Anonymous January 13, 2012 3:55 PM

I've stated my opinion here several times and I think its pretty clear. I COMPLETELY disagree with Lykos' crack pipe policy.

YES, I think crack pipe cases should be prosecuted.

Clear enough?

Anonymous said...

What's she going to unilaterally decide to legalize next? Prostitution? Marijuana > 2oz? Abuse of corpse? Public lewdness? Gambling? Unlawful carrying?

It's difficult enough that they've upped the standards on the subjective stuff. For instance, assault (bodily injury) has "physical pain" listed in the definition, along with illness and any impairment of physical condition. Five years ago, someone getting hit in the face causing pain was sufficient to bring charges. Scratches were enough. Today, they won't take it without a significant bruise or bleeding. (They usually ask for pictures as well.)

The point of the objection is that there's a time and a place to change the laws: the Texas Legislature. Not by suddenly deciding that such-and-such law doesn't apply here anymore. (See DIVERT for another example.) It's judicial activism, minus the actual judge.

Anonymous said...

There is no law that says drugs have to tested twice or that a defendant has a right to run independent tests on any evidence.

Anonymous said...

Mr Stephens - I also want a DA to prosecute criminals but in the real world, there are limited resources and something has to give. Under Mr Holmes, there were numerous problems with the HPD crime and firearms labs that were undiscovered until after he left. See what has recently been discovered about the Austin crime lab.

When the prisons were overcrowded, violent criminals with long prison sentences were let out early to make room for incoming inmates.

Sometimes there has to be a choice when neither option is best. Look at some of the judicial races for an example ?

Also, be honest when you answer questions, the law allows officers to arrest people for Class C possession of drug paraphernalia.

Anonymous said...

Re: Black smudge trace cocaine in pipe -
That would be strong indication that the possessor of the pipe had used cocaine. That is the reason the legislature made it illegal to posses cocaine (regardless of amount). Because it is next to impossible to catch someone using cocaine, they made it illegal to possess cocaine so as to deter using cocaine. If you want to stop people from using cocaine, the amount they possess is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

Think I'd rather have a crime lab spend money analyzing rape kits than aluminum cans with ash residue. The pipes and empty ziplocks get tested while rape kits gather dust.

Anonymous said...

Once again someone is trying to make this a crack pipe issue. It is not a crack pipe issue. The reason crack pipes were even brought up is because this D.A. has chosen to limit law enforcement's tools that they use to solve cases. Its not about locking up all crack heads for holding a pipe. Its about honoring the oath of office to protect and serve the people and the laws of the State. If the jails are full, then the simple solution is to build more jails. of course i could be wrong and spent the last 25 years working the streets as a cop, doing it all wrong.

Mark W. Stephens said...

To: Anonymous January 14, 2012 7:32 AM

“Mr. Stephens - I also want a DA to prosecute criminals but…”

Sorry, there is no “but.” The DAs job is to prosecute criminal cases…and to follow the law while doing so. No excuses. THAT is the real world.

And please don’t compare Mr. Holmes to Lykos. There is NO comparison. Mr. Holmes would NEVER legislate from the DAs office. He would follow the law and would be the first one to tell you if you don’t like the law, get it changed.

“Also, be honest when you answer questions, the law allows officers to arrest people for Class C possession of drug paraphernalia.”

Dishonest? Seriously?? I said Possession of Narcotics Paraphernalia was a Class C Misdemeanor and that violators could be issued a Class C citation, much like a traffic ticket. That is true and correct. Now, can a person be “arrested” for a Class C violation? Of course. Every driver’s ed student knows that, which is why I compared it to a traffic violation.

BUT spending a few hours in the city jail for a Class C violation DOES NOT equate to being charged with a FELONY for Possession of a Controlled Substance.

And if you’re trying to give equal status to those two wildly different offenses and punishments, then it is you who is being “dishonest.”

Mark W. Stephens said...

And someone tell me PLEASE...when did it become the DAs' responsibility to monitor the jail population?

If Lykos wants to manage the jail population, she should run for Sheriff or get herself appointed Prison Warden.

I don't want a DA who worries about putting "too many" criminals in jail. I want a DA who will follow the law, prosecute criminal cases, and leave prison management to the professionals.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2:40 pm:

Everyone agrees that rape kits should have been tested and not backed up. The problem, however, is not the number of crack cases being submitted for testing vs rape kits. The problem is and has been the way the Crime Lab was/is being managed. The folks analyzing crack don't do DNA testing. Testing for cocaine residue doesn't take anywhere near as long as extracting and profiling DNA evidence. If the City would properly train, staff, and fund the Crime Lab
this wouldn't be an issue.

Although the two sides seem polarized about whether to enforce the crack cocaine laws or not, the real issue is that until the Legislature changes the statute, it should be enforced. Only a career politician like Pat Lykos looks for controversial issues like this so she can self-promote. Believe me, that is her only motivation! An honorable DA would seek to change the law through the Legislature, not thumb her nose at the law solely for political attention. It's dishonest but that's one of her character traits.

Scott C. Pope said...

" If the jails are full, then the simple solution is to build more jails. of course i could be wrong and spent the last 25 years working the streets as a cop, doing it all wrong."

You probably did plenty of things right, but thinking that filling the hell out of jails and then building more and more is a solution to anything, then you missed the boat, and badly.

Anonymous said...

http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Angleton-man-killed-wife-injured-in-stabbing-2530593.php

Yes, absolutely no link between crackheads looking for money and crime. No link at all...

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stephens

Thank you for making the point about the job of the DA. I believe that the job should be to enforce the laws of this state.

The sitting DA has no right or authority to change the existing laws.

I totally agree that she should not be worried about the jail issue. Her job is to oversee the prosecutors, to make sure all criminals are being charged as they should be. The job does not call for politics, it calls for a common sense approach to management.

I want the DA that represents my county to do the right thing. PROSECUTE CRIMINALS, FOLLOW EXISTING LAWS and TREAT ALL EMPLOYEES IN A RESPECTFUL MANNER.

Not going to happen with PL.

Anonymous said...

I'm an outsider and have a questions.

Heres a questions for Mr. Stephens and Mr. Pope: since you have served on grand juries why are 95 percent of cases billed? It seems that some of the time ADA's aren't really prepared for grand juries? Is that because of the high volume of case loads?

Also I've heard many ADA's are scared to dismiss cases that are b.s. in fear of Patsy? Does anyone know of that is true or not?

Just curious...thanks

Anonymous said...

Still curious to see if anyone has announced in the Republican primary against those judicial candidates closely aligned or associated with the Lycos administration ?

Anonymous said...

The are only 2 Lykos (L-y-k-o-s) cronies running for judge this time:

One is Roger Bridgwater, who has no primary opponent at this time. Bridgwater is trying to regain the bench that he was appointed to and then lost after a little more than a year to a Dem. in '08.

The other is Lykos political hire, Lana Shadwick, who has never tried a single criminal case, but is running for a state felony bench. Her primary opponent is a former ADA named Kristin Guiney, who is board certified in criminal law and now does defense work.

Mark W. Stephens said...

To SUE & Anonymous January 15, 2012 9:32 AM

Thank you both.


To Anonymous January 15, 2012 11:19 AM

“Why are 95 percent of cases billed?”

I’m assuming you mean True Billed. I don’t know if 95% is an accurate percentage, but suffice it to say a large majority of cases presented to Grand Juries are True Billed, resulting in indictment. The answer to your question as to why such a large percentage of cases result in indictment, in my opinion, is because there is an excellent screening process in place.

When a patrol officer “on-views” or witnesses first hand a criminal act, he must make a determination as to whether there was probable cause to make an arrest.

Sometimes, the officer then has to discuss the case with a supervisor who must also confirm there was probable cause.

Then, the officer must contact the DAs Intake Screening and present the case to the Assistant District Attorney working intake. The Assistant District Attorney must ALSO agree that there is probable cause BEFORE they accept criminal charges.

Then and only then is the officer allowed to file the criminal charge.

Once the criminal charge is filed and the officer submits an offense report, ANOTHER Assistant District Attorney reviews the case and then presents the case to a Grand Jury.

Now, remember, the Grand Jury’s job is not to determine guilt or innocence. Their job is to determine whether or not there is probable cause. If they agree that there is probable cause, they will offer a True Bill or indictment. If they agree that there is not sufficient probable cause, they will issue a No Bill.

But this is the important part in regard to your question. By the time a case ever reaches a Grand Jury, its already been vetted by 1) The arresting officer; 2) a Supervisor (maybe); 3) The Intake Assistant District Attorney; 4) a reviewing Assistant District Attorney. And they ALL have confirmed that probable cause exists BEFORE it ever reaches a Grand Jury.

Cases presented by Detectives are often much more involved, but still go through a similar process.

So when you hear about Grand Juries being a “rubber stamp” for the DAs office or being able to indict a “ham sandwich” in Harris County, nothing could be farther from the truth. (Those are tired old complaints from Defense Attorneys)

A True Bill or indictment by the Grand Jury is simply a confirmation of what three or four OTHER law enforcement professionals have already determined, that there WAS sufficient probable cause.

Hope that helps.


TO Anonymous January 14, 2012 6:26 PM

The first Harris County jail back in the 1800’s had 2 rooms. Since that time, the need for building more jails as the population grows has ALWAYS been a valid concern. And since that time, there have also been idiots who would rather stop arresting bad guys or simply release the bad guys rather than plan for the future safety of our citizens. You didn't miss the boat. Its a valid point.

Scott C. Pope said...

"And since that time, there have also been idiots who would rather stop arresting bad guys or simply release the bad guys rather than plan for the future safety of our citizens."

F you too, sir.

Anonymous said...

JAIL OVERCROWDING:

With the technology we have now, I often wonder why the Criminal Justice System hasn't tried putting more inmates on a house-arrest system that utilizes a leg-band and house monitoring system. It would make so much more sense to have the defendant's family to pay the cost of feeding and housing rather than the taxpayer.

Why doesn't Lykos push this rather than letting the crackheads have a free pass that allows them to keep robbing and stealing to support their addiction.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Stephens,
I have only one disagreement with what you wrote about case screening. I wish I had a dollar for every time an ADA asked me what happened on a case, then responded, "no I didn't read the offense report." They do have a large caseload, but it happens a lot.

Mark W. Stephens said...

To Anonymous January 15, 2012 7:23 PM

LOL. That usually comes after the indictment and right before the first trial setting! You're right, they DO have a heavy case load.

Anonymous said...

Bridgwater or Mendoza? That's a tough choice.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, who ate my strawberries?

Anonymous said...

So is PL still scheduled for tomorrow? May be hard for her to hide from the cameras if they are on the 3rd floor.

Anonymous said...

Lykos will come down the back stairs to Grand Jury that isn't accessible to the media.

She's still deep undercover right now unless there's an opportunity for her to take credit for something good that someone else has done.

Anonymous said...

MR. Pope

You say that i missed the boat on wanting to build more jails then turn around and say there are those who would stop arresting people. You can not have it both ways. I did not miss the boat as you say, in 25 years of working the streets, narcotics and homicide, i have learned that one of the problems that this State has faced was Justice William Wayne Justice. When TDCJ became a revolving door and ceased being a bad place to be, Texas had to deal with it. In years past, TDCJ was self supported by prisoner's growing their own food and returned the entire amount of budgeted funds back to the general fund. But since the Fed's decided that convicted felon's needed more rights than tax payer's we have been struggling ever since. I know this is off thread but it does not take much to connect the dots to this administration's refusal to enforce the laws as written and a total break down in ethics and doing what is right. I have always respected the role of a defense attorney and you and i will probably disagree on some issues, but as an officer of the court how in the world can you stand by and let this district attorney violate the oath to protect the citizens and enforce the laws of this State in the manner that she has done. This goes beyond politics and even petty differences. Once we allow the break down following the written law, we then become worst than those we prosecute.

Sorry for the rant and I posted this anon but my name is Lon Craft, Retired Baytown Police Dept.

Anonymous said...

"The pipes and empty ziplocks get tested while rape kits gather dust."

Yet Stephens and that backwater cop haven't mentioned that at all. Rapists keep raping, and they haven't said a word about it. All they care about is filling jails.

Anonymous said...

Lon Craft,

A lot of the points you make are valid. However, there's nothing we can do to alter the Federal Court rulings. We are stuck with the changes made to TDCJ.

But, we are not stuck with Pat Lykos. Please contact everyone you know in Harris County and get her voted out. She doesn't have Robert Eckels around anymore to give her a job. People don't understand that he dumped Lykos on HCDA as a means of avenging Johnny Holmes' prosecution of his father in the early 1980's. Boy has he gotten his revenge.

Anonymous said...

Regarding filling jails: Here's another opinion from the Chronicle-

Enforcement is behind the sharp drop in crime
By Mark A. Stelter
Updated 08:08 p.m., Thursday, January 12, 2012
Opinion

The dramatic decrease in crime is one of the most significant events in our nation's history ("Homicides in Houston take tumble," Page A1, Jan. 1). If the murder rate had remained what it was in 1991, there would have been 600 more murders in Houston last year and an additional 13,000 murders nationwide. This unprecedented drop in homicide has saved more than 100,000 lives since 1991. How did this happen? Surprisingly enough, the consensus among criminal justice experts seems to be: We don't know. But while we may not agree upon the precise causes, we have learned much.



Humility is a virtue



Immediately prior to the great crime decline that began in the 1990s, the vast majority of criminologists predicted a crime increase. Most experts were convinced that crime would not drop until other social maladies were cured, such as poverty and racism. Most academics scoffed at the idea that tougher penalties (such as three-strikes-and-you're-out laws) and stricter enforcement (such as zero-tolerance policies) would reduce crime.

While no one factor explains the dramatic crime decrease, it turns out that the very things scholars believed caused crime (poverty, racism, inadequate education) seem generally unrelated to crime rates, and the very things most scholars ridiculed (tougher sentencing, more effective policing) seem to be among the things that actually work to reduce crime.

When nearly all the professional thinkers in the field so badly miss the mark, it should teach us to be wary of placing too much faith in self-appointed social engineers.



Mother knows best



While there is no one reason crime rates fell, the best candidates are the solutions offered by our mothers and not the solutions suggested by scholars. Our great crime decline has generally refuted the supposedly sophisticated view that crime is caused by social problems, ranging from bad schools to unequal distribution of wealth, and has generally supported the more common and obvious view that crime will drop if we rigorously enforce the laws and keep criminals in prison longer. The great crime decline correlates almost perfectly with laws designed to take criminals off the streets and keep them in prison longer. While this common-sense approach may seem obvious, it was anathema to most of the liberal academic establishment - and still is - in spite of strong evidence that it works.



Making a difference



The incredible decrease in crime did not just happen. The steps taken to reduce crime were vigorously championed by such people as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Reagan's crime czar, James Q. Wilson. These men fought against the status quo and their views have been vindicated. The lesson is that some things work.

When we find things that actually work, whether these solutions are liberal or conservative, we should put aside our ideological beliefs and embrace those programs. Doing so has enormous consequences. In the case of crime policy, there are more than 100,000 people who are alive today who would have been dead if we continued the failed policies of the past.



Stelter is a professor of criminal justice at Lone Star College-Montgomery.

Mark W. Stephens said...

To Anonymous January 16, 2012 9:16 PM

Not quite sure I know what you're talking about. Nor am I sure that YOU know what you're talking about.

"The pipes and empty ziplocks get tested while rape kits gather dust."

Forensic testing on crack pipes and Forensic testing on rape kits are Apples and Oranges. The back log of rape kit testing has NOTHING to do with the testing of crack pipes.

"Yet Stephens and that backwater cop haven't mentioned that at all. Rapists keep raping, and they haven't said a word about it. All they care about is filling jails."

Ummm...when we catch those rapists, and trust me I've caught my fair share of rapists, where do YOU suggest we put them...if not jail???

If you want to talk about rapists, we can certainly talk about rapists. The Windsor Plaza rapist and Elvis Mcgee are just two rapist that I caught who come to mind.

While both were violent rapists, Elvis Mcgee was the worst. I actually walked up and interupted the rape in progress which was occurring in a wooded area.

Actually, it was more than a rape in progress. It was a murder in progress. He had stabbed the young woman 7 times and was raping her as she bled out. I chased him through the woods at midnight, caught him, and saved her life. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison and still sits there.

What else would you like to know?

Anonymous said...

To Mark W. Stephens:

I can't say it enough: THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!! You are a hero! You and all the others putting your lives on the line for the rest of us.

Thank you!

Republican Activist

Anonymous said...

Mark Stephens is Arthur Seaton?

Rage

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Rage,

Mark Stephens is NOT Arthur Seaton. Mark Stephens is an actual person writing under his own name. He has never posted under any pseudonym. Arthur Seaton is entirely a figment of your imagination. Kind of like Ed Norton in Fight Club.

Anonymous said...

Dude- Mark Stephens is the real deal. He's the BEST cop I've ever known. And thats sayin a lot

Anonymous said...

It was another cross-and-crown of thorns joke.

I wish Seaton was a figment of my imagination. Unfortunately, I'm afraid he's out there.

Rage

Anonymous said...

4:55: the best cop you've ever known solves crime by stumbling upon it in the woods?

Those Sherlock Holmes trailers look awful. Maybe the Mark W. Stephens, Super Cop trailers will be better.

Rage

Mark W. Stephens said...

To Republican Activist and Anonymous 4:55

Thank you for the kind words. You are very much appreciated.

To Rage:

Actually, I didn't "stumble" across anything. My partner and I received a call to a "disturbance" where a man and a woman were "arguing" in the street. When we arrived, they were gone. Most officers would have shined a light around and then left. My partner and I didn't.

I noticed the area of the call was near a dead-end street. At the end of the dead-end, there was a vacant field about 40 yards across. It was an area designated for utility lines. On the other side of the field was a woodline with dense growth.

We chose to walk and search the area. We walked down to the dead end. We walked through the field and eventually to the treeline. We saw nothing. There was really no visible signs or reason for us to stay.

My partner was headed back to the car. I stayed near the woodline just to listen for a while. I heard a rustling noise in the woods and headed that way.

That's when I walked up on the rape/murder in progress.

Turns out, it wasn't the typical disturbance call at all. It was an abduction, rape, and attempted murder.

Now, if it makes you feel better to characterize that as "stumbling upon crime," then by all means, go right ahead.

And I've never claimed to be a "super cop." I just like catching bad guys.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that's still stumbling. Just because most cops would not have looked around doesn't make looking around amazing. Sure says a lot about cops in general though.

Rage

Anonymous said...

To Mark W. Stephens,

Thank you for what you do. Please ignore Rage. He has issues we can't fix on this blog.

Mark W. Stephens said...

Rage,

Now, where did you get "amazing"??? I never said that either. You sure embellish a lot.

Stumble, fumble, or bumble...call it what you will. Whatever blows your skirt up. The bad guy got caught, the young lady survived. That's all that really matters to me. You're opinion of me...does not.

Anonymous said...

Mark Stephens thank you for what you do. I am sure the young lady feels like you are a hero.

Hey Lon Craft, I saw your post and was glad to see this link is being circulated. Send it to all you know. Kinda reminds you of another situation doesn't it.

Sue

Anonymous said...

Sue,

It's fair to say the link to Murray's blog has been making the rounds for some time. People are waking up to the danger Lykos poses to the safety of the citizens of Harris County, and this is one of the outlets responsible.

Most people hopefully can separate the facts from bluster, and the facts plainly show she needs to go. When her anonymous supporters on this blog one claim as to what a successful DA she is, is the fact she has made offense reports available, that is a very telling.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:12

I know this blog link has been making the rounds. Just wanting to spread this information as far and wide as possible.

I agree with you. I have asked on numerous occasion for a list of her accomplishments while in office. The only thing every said was about the offense reports.

This woman cares nothing about the safety of the citizens.