Friday, February 3, 2012

From Around the Web

Brian Rogers and the Chronicle finally jumped on board and started following the story of Pat Lykos investigating the members of the 185th Grand Jury with this article.  As usual, the Chronicle has given it a soft sell -- the linking caption on their home page points out that Lykos merely "used the web" to look into the Grand Jurors, and they also put David Jennings' blog defending Lykos on their home page, as well.

Ted Oberg had a good follow up to last night's story with this one from tonight.  I do have to point out that since Channel 13 now apparently has the Ibarra brothers as legal commentators, I understand why Channel Two settled for Wice.  (Just kidding, Brian.)  In all seriousness, Oberg once again is able to get at what is of real concern and that is Chief Investigator Don McWilliams' use of Accurint.

I wasn't all that familiar with the use of Accurint until today.  Fortunately, Mark Bennett has done a very good piece explaining how it works.  Check it out by clicking here.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Like any Organization in the private sector, in the public world of the Criminal Justice System there should be a division of labor and strict boundaries. The following comment made in the Chronicle article is extremely disturbing: "We were simply trying to learn if there was a political motivation behind the attacks," Lykos said." What attacks? Comments on THIS BLOG? Or the
G.J. going "rogue on you" and requesting a Special prosecutor and or NOT wanting ANY current Lykos staff inside the G.J.?

You see here is the rub. Curiosity kills the cat. You had no legal authority to INVESTIGATE and you know what you ordered was jsut THAT Period! If you had faith in your office and wern't such a control freak, you would have done nothing.

Then later like DID occur, play by the rules with lawyers representing every side in Court. –

BOUNDARIES! YOU don’t get to peek in situations like this – just like normal citizens don’t.
Ms. D.A. what in the law gives you the right to investigate the Grand Jury AFTER they have been seated and names sealed, as well as your future political opponent based on YOUR perception of POLITICAL motivation and not PROBABLE CAUSE to honestly believe a crime was being committed by using County resources?

Hasn’t anyone learned from Watergate – You appear in person when you think it benefits you, then you only give unsworn paper statements when the facts do NOT serve you? Kind of like a prosecutor taking the 5th. Kind of being coy and hiding the truth from the PUBLIC because you forget YOU are a mere public SERVANT! SERVANT! SERVANT! Madam! Contrary to campaign promises you are NOT being TRANSPARENT – (hollow words now).

Where in the law does it state a Grand Jury has to inform YOU if and when they are investigating YOU Ms. Lykos? They don't. Ever seen the look on a client target's face when one of your investigators serves them with a G.J. Subpoena at their home in front of their family? Or they go into their bank and get funny looks because the bank has been busy collecting copies of years of bank records?

You overstepped your sworn duties as the elected District Attorney and engaged in the crime of Abuse of Official Information, (Not a mere cursory review of the internet) and Misuse of public property by a public servant.
The same Criminal Justice System that indicts Joe Citizen every day, and the same one in which one of your assistants took the 5th, when you and every assistant are to be held to a higher standard, demands that YOU now truly be investigated for your actions mentioned here.

As one notable prosecutor used to argue: If this investigation of your office does NOT happen, then instead of a “Justice System”…we only have – “Just-A-System”!

A Special grand Jury should be impaneled immediately and what they do in investigating you Ms. Lykos is none of your damn business! They are Grand...YOU are NOT! You are a Public Servant! And as such, your bosses, the PUBLIC deserve a formal “look see” into whether or not a crime was committed by their employee!

Franklin Bynum said...

I'm not positive what computer protocols are used to, say, pilot unmanned drones, but there's probably an argument that those pilots are just "on the web." You know: a private web, using a custom application, to kill people. But hey, just the web!!

Anonymous said...

I'm familiar with Accurint because it was only accessible to senior investigators at the office. That's because the information was considered sensitive and because each search cost the county money and therefore had to be justified to Don Stricklin or Bert Graham at the time. It is a wonderful INVESTIGATIVE tool, but it is just that, and only senior INVESTIGATORS could use it. Or misuse it, in this case. This sounds like possibly either theft by public servant or abuse of offical capacity. Another grand jury investigation, anyone?

Mike Trent

Anonymous said...

My goodness this woman must think she is so far above everyone that she can act any way she wishes. Either that or she is plain stupid.
I guess it never occured to her that all computer searches can be tracked. Caught in her own web of lies.

I stated a long while back that we should just wait and watch because with such arrogance she would do herself in.

I love Karma, she usually comes around to pay you back in kind.

Sue

Anonymous said...

BUNKER NOTES
McWilliams home sick the day his statement released. Look at morning report. Confirmed McWilliams did not write it!

Anonymous said...

BUNKER NOTES
McWilliams home sick the day his statement released. Look at morning report. Confirmed McWilliams did not write it!

Jigmeister said...

Tip of the iceberg Oberg. Will she throw him under the bus or hide him so he wont talk. Do they need an investigator in writs? Or maybe Obergs source is McWilliams. Flipping is probably is best option.

Anonymous said...

AMAZING !!!!!!!!!!!! She threw Lietner AND McWilliams under the bus at the same time. That new house in Maine must be looking pretty good right now....
Jump ship while it is still afloat
(think Italian cruise ship disaster / HMS Lykos.) Any news on Hannah and the G.J. lately ??,someone might want to check the Accurint logs.

Anonymous said...

The Chronicle article may be a "soft sell", but I feel a change is in the air.

Look, I am a former prosecutor, more than a decade away from the office. I read the blogs because of my experience at the office and in the CJC. Most everyone else who posts has some CJC connection. And we all know the general public probably doesn't care. But . . .

Today, for the first time I have "outsiders" with no CJC affiliation calling me or walking in to my office to ask, "Should an elected official behave like this? Should I be upset?"

You all know well enough that those are questions someone asks when they already know the answer.

And now they are questions being asked by ordinary citizens. And I am pretty sure they are all registered to vote.

Anonymous said...

Consider the following literal quotes from Lykos' press conference:

After the investigation was announced, this office did not impede the Grand Jury; we've been fully cooperative with the Grand Jury.

No you haven't. As another poster aptly stated - one of the "we" pled the 5th. You filed motions to try and delay her testimony. You've conducted unethical (if not, illegal) investigations. Sister, please - you have been anything but cooperative.

Further, Ladies & Gentlemen, in the days to come, we are so eager to show the public all the evidence in this case; and, we will be putting it on the blog.

Excellent. Please inculde in "all" the evidence the handwritten notes from McWilliams regarding your code red; print-outs and emails evidencing his carrying out of your orders. I look forward, as I know the rest of the "ladies & gentlemen" do in you following through with your statement.

There is so much irregularity and extra legal activity with this Grand Jury.

Best quote yet. Well said - it appears now, that quote was wrongly aimed (unless you were looking into a mirror).

I've not had an opportunity to discuss that issue with her.

I'll have an opportunity to visit with her on that.

The last two were made by you when questioned about your feeling on one of your prosecutors pleading the 5th. Again, we look forwad to reading about your feelings and the outcome of that conversation when you show us all the evidence, as you have stated you are so eager to do.

Eagerly Waiting,

-Voter

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/#!/FakerPatLykos

Anonymous said...

By the time Lykos testified before the185th G.J. - I would merely surmise that after all the drama that occurred before SHE went in, that the last thing the G.J. would have been focusing on would be questioning Ms. Lykos about THEM being investigated. No doubt they probably would have been bending over backwards to show they could be fair and professional - unlike the person sitting in front of them and trying to stick to whatever point was at hand re; Bat vans ETC.

Bottom line prediction: The 185th situation is a dead issue, EXCEPT, to show MOTIVE in this current mess she has again gotten herself into and involved other good people as well.

People WILL resign/be fired. People WILL be formally questioned. THIS one isn't going away. And this is about the only time where one should be happy to NOT be a member of the inner circle.

Bout the best place to be assigned as a lawyer or investigator right now WOULD be check fraud, or environmental crimes.

Just tell the truth and you have nothing to worry about........but check with your own private lawyer that YOU will have to pay for with your own money. The one thing a prudent and honest investigator (at least the ones I used to know many years ago who would have NEVER been put in this position (by any prior D.A. anyway) will guard at all cost………..their retirement and integrity.

Remember former colleagues, You are still a cop - don't forget that. Just tell what you were ordered to do. I'm sure you thought you were just following orders. But to be safe I would still get a lawyer and use some of my cop retirement to pay for sound legal advice.

Former ADA "friends" will only carry you so far for free. They have families to feed too!
Damn! And all she had to do was stay in her office, look in the mirror and let people do their jobs. But NOPE she HAS to constantly be "Crazy Making" (Google this term) to get attention.

Good luck guys - seriously. I'm so happy I retired under Holmes - with my $ and good name still safe.

Anonymous said...

Dear Republican Voters of harris County:

I give you a little "bed-time" story for you to remember at that crutial time when your decision to choose really matters. I'll let you guess who is the frog and who is the......

The Scorpion and the Frog

A scorpion and a frog meet on the bank of a stream and the
scorpion asks the frog to carry him across on its back. The
frog asks, "How do I know you won't sting me?" The scorpion
says, "Because if I do, I will die too."

The frog is satisfied, and they set out, but in midstream,
the scorpion stings the frog. The frog feels the onset of
paralysis and starts to sink, knowing they both will drown,
but has just enough time to gasp "Why?"

Replies the scorpion: "Its my nature..."

Anonymous said...

After the Civil lawsuit gets filed and won, I'm wondering which of the Grand Jurors will end up owning Lykos' $1,000,000 ranch in Brenham? Or will they have to split it 12 ways?

Anonymous said...

Just wondering what Lykos, Leitner, Bridgwater, Barnhill, Chow, and McWilliams would think if the Grand Jurors decided to run an Accurint search on them and their families "just as a cursory internet search"?

Bet they would be demanding an investigation.

Anonymous said...

Big Jolly has a long "statement" from McWilliams today.

Anonymous said...

Dear Self Righteous ADAs:

Does anyone remember former Chief Investigator John Ray Harrison?
Need I say more about Mike Anderson's old running buddy from Pasadena?

Hypocrisy is hypocrisy and as such I'm doubtful this comment gets posted.

Anonymous said...

Clearly Big Jolly believes every word that flows from the lips of anyone on the sixth floor .

Scott C. Pope said...

Big Jolly's really worked himself up in a lather over this stuff. that's the thing about people who live and breathe politics, like Lykos and Big Jolly: to them, EVERYTHING is politically motivated. Why? because they can't conceive that there are those that live a a life outside of politics, and so they view every single issue exclusively through a political lens.

It's a sad, divisive, destructive way to live.

Anonymous said...

I don't "Jolly" read JOLLY anymore. I don't care what the "statement" reads. Here's the point. The Office McWilliams and Palmer tried and are so desperately trying to protect should get the same consideration a regular citizen would get once they hear they might be the target of a G.J. or otherwise real bonified law enforcement investigation into whether or not they or are a target or have information to the possible commission of a crime. Joe sixpack doesn't get the luxury of telling the police to go read a blog or accept this unsworn statement. NO DEAL. You want to say it, then do it under oath in front of an investigative body or take the 5th.

Do real people see just how serious this is? When the "Target" stops giving press conferences and enters bunker mode and tries to deflect by first a non-sworn statement presented to the media on D.A. letterhead and NOW this: A "Statement" on a Blog that is also linked to the D.A.'s Office Blog. No Deal.

You cannot skirt a formal investigation by throwing the citizen voters of Harris County "breadcrumbs". NOT when it involves such a serious topic as possible investigating of a grand Jury that is investigating YOU or your company organization.

This informal crap needs to stop. Stories change or get more specific as time goes by and the Office tepidly responds: " Well heck, that didn't work, let’s try this; - Wow, that blew up in own face so how about THIS?. " There needs to be some "skin in this game" they are playing and it is called taking an oath under penalty of Perjury and bearing ones soul...with fluid cross examination questions or take the damn 5th!

Anonymous said...

Well said, Mr. Pope.

I'm glad Murray removed that guy's link. He kisses up so much, you'd think he be in line for Hannah's job once she is thrown under the bus.

"Because truth matters."

Makes me ashamed to be a Republican.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:31

Most people know that John Ray was part of Chuck's problem. I imagine that Anderson knows that if JR were to come back, he's loose a lot of support, especially from the former staff memebers. He caused the attorneys vs. investigatos controversy in the office. JR thought the investigators were his police department and refused to acknowledge that it's a law office.

Anonymous said...

Don McWilliams, why is that name so familiar. Oh, there was a Major Don McWilliams with Sheriff Tommy Thomas and the Sheriff had officers following a couple of brothers who were suing the Sheriff and the county for the misconduct of deputies and wasn't the sheriff's people taking photos of the brothers. Surely it can't be the same Don McWilliams because the tactics sound so familiar. Didn't the Sheriff claim the brothers had violated the law and that wasn't true. And now McWilliams is claiming he was conducting, well I am not sure what, but he believed the grand jury violated the law and that is not true. Lets see, first there was no investigation, then there was a cursory internet search for political reasons and now the new and improved I thought a crime had been committed. I don't know but if I could quote some Shakespeare , something is rotten in the District Attorney's Office.

Anonymous said...

Wonder where Chief McWilliams’ offense report is that surely he would have made after investigating what he thought was a crime? Maybe he could at least release the offense report number, right? I bet it’s BR459 (from Hee Haw). What a dog and pony show trying to rescue Lykos and her pitiful Administration. It’s time to do laundry on the 6th floor at HCDAO.

Anonymous said...

Hey Murray,

Just how many State and Federal laws have they violated?

McWilliams needs to start packing for Maine.

Lykos needs to start packing for the Federal pen.

Leitner needs to pack and move to anywhere to practice law except Harris County.

Chow needs to pack so she can work for the Justice Department and be assigned as a janitor for Americans with Disiabilities.

The other bureau chiefs need to pack to move out except for Maria McAnulty.

And give a medal to the 6th floor snitch for "coming clean".

If Lykos needs a ride to Seagoville, I know about about 350 DA employees that'll help chip in for her bus fare.

Do the right thing because Karma's a bitch.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if anyone is going to run against Rodger B.?

I always thought she'd listen to her division chiefs and Jim L to see how the folks at her office were feeling about things, looks like she never did.

And Rachel P? Are you kidding Pat, you know political talent when you see it and it wasn't there and now you are in a major pickle. Your opponent is working hard and making appearances left and right. It doesn't matter if the Chronicle doesn't like you and Big Jolly does. The folks who make political parties work, the ones in the local Republican clubs, are talking and it's not good.
You have a bad team around you. You chose them and it's not good.
People talking and an opponent working like crazy and not making mistakes. This doesn't look good.
This is almost crazy, candidates are going to be running away from appearing in public with you.
You enlist the Pollands of the party but this time it's different. This time lots of new voters are turning out for the primary and unless things change quickly for you it doesn't look good for you returning to office.
The team around you just isn't the best. If you fire one now you look like a person who couldn't spot a problem team member early on.
If an investigation is launched and it turns out what you said isn't true, the new R voters are going to vote against you and the people around you during the priamry.

Anonymous said...

"Politics" aside - let's look at basic human relationships.

Lykos has been in office for over 3 years. During that time, she has NOT built real relationships with even 10% of the staff - that would be about 55 people.

Why?

I submit she hasn't built relationships with even 5% - only 22 people.

Out of about 550 people - she has not managed to build real, honest relationships with 22 of us.

I'm not talking about only ADAS - I'm including investigators, administrative assistants, clerks, accountants, interns...

Why?

Are we bad people? Do we all have evil designs on the citizens of Harris County? Are we shifty?

I assure you - most of us are just regular people with spouses, kids, dogs and cats. Outside of work, we do all the things everyone else does - take our kids to scouts, hang out with our friends, go to movies, go camping, etc, etc, etc.

To all the Big Jollies and folks who analyze this stuff: Take a step back and ask yourself - could it be that Lykos has not formed real relationships because 1) she doesn't care to; 2) she isn't interested; or 3) she sees us not as individuals, but as widgets - interchangeable, nameless, and faceless.

And - if that is the way she sees us - how can she possibly be a good leader?

If she isn't a good leader - why would anyone support her?

Signed,

I Just Want this to be OVER