From our Guest-Poster, Spunk:
How ironic it was to see the Ibarra brothers on Channel 13 commenting about how it feels to be investigated for investigating. It was the Ibarras' federal lawsuit which indirectly drew in the Harris County DA's Office and ultimately lead to Rosenthal's emails, destroying his career. De ja vu all over again?
Before she took to dodging and ducking from Ted Oberg (thanks, Ted) and Wayne Dolcefino (thanks, Wayne), Pat Lykos was a compulsive camera seeker. Two of her favorite platitudes were, "We live in the 3rd largest metropolitan areas of the United States, ladies and gentleman ...."- a pointless comment, except to remind herself and everyone else of the vastness of her kingdom; and, "They (they being anyone who disagrees with her, criticizes her, refuses to endorse her, those who investigate her or run against her) don't like me because I'm tough..."
She still uses these lines, but more rarely now and in smaller, selective campaign venues where she is willing to show her face, surrounded by her traveling posse which includes Rachel Palmer. In fact, during one of her staged media statements good old Ted Oberg asked her something to the effect of, what have you done about Rachel Palmer? Her reply was dismissive, but she felt compelled to say that she hadn't even spoken to Rachel Palmer. LIE: Rachel had been with her the night before at a campaign event.
In a small attempt to convince Pat Lykos to stop describing herself as "tough," consider the following analysis and the real difference between the words 'tough" as she would like to be known, and just being"mean," which is really all she is:
Tough is defined by Merriam Webster as "uncompromising determination, capable of enduring strain, hardship or severe labor (ha!); stubbornly fought." (It also includes, "not easily chewed," which may in fact apply to her.)
Mean is defined as "worthy of little regard: contemptible; characterized by petty selfishness or malice, causing trouble or bother: vexatious."
Let us review known facts about Pat Lykos and consider whether each indicates toughness? or meanness?
1. Most judges hire only one or maybe two court coordinators. Pat Lykos had to hire scores of them because she treated them like dirt, they were afraid of her, and they would quit. I can't recall any of their names because we really never got to know any of them. It would be interesting to interview a few of them. Not tough, MEAN.
2. Judge Pat Lykos also failed to maintain a consistent staff from the District Clerk's Office and is notoriously prone to banning prosecutors from her court room. Not tough, MEAN.
3. After taking office as the District Attorney, one of her first efforts was to terminate the contracts of prosecutors determined by she and her first assistant to have been too loyal to Kelly Siegler so that she could use those pay slots to bring in her own unqualified political friends. (And PS- you missed some of the Kelly supporters and more than one has successfully kissed a-- right up the ranks and into your lap and may be at this moment trying to bring you down despite smiling at you and saying good morning to you everyday. The leaks are among people you favor highly and that's quite hilarious.) In doing so, she threw away 100's of years of talent and experience which, when added to the scores of people who quit in response to her being elected, has made Harris County the most dangerous place to be a victim in the entire state of Texas...but I digress... Did she stop there? Of course not. She learned that many of those she terminated were also being paid to teach the Texas Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure to the cadets at the Houston Police Department Academy. She approached HPD and proposed that if they would stop paying the terminated prosecutors to teach, she would replace them FOR FREE with some of her own remaining prosecutors. HPD took her deal, and suddenly people like Ted Wilson, Lyn McClellan, Craig Goodhart, and Vic Wisner (criminal law experts worth every penny of taxpayer money to educate new police officers to be good public servants) were fired and were replaced with, I kid you not, several young prosecutors with very little trial experience or teaching experience. Most of the replacement prosecutors are good people and hard workers, but no match for the Mount Rushmore of experience HPD let go at Lykos' request. As a result, because of her single desire to retaliate against Kelly supporters, the very next cadet class at HPD's Academy had the lowest passage rate in HPD history, and arguably our streets are less safe now because the graduating officers are less prepared to effectively police. Not tough Pat, just MEAN. (And stupid.)
4. Fast forward to 2011, the year of Amanda Culbertson. We all know what happened. Culbertson voiced concerns about BAT Van test results, and whether or not Culbertson was correct the DA's office and Pat Lykos personally decided to keep this information secret and continued to prosecute defendants without disclosing the fact that witness Culbertson had questions about test results. Criminal or not, the DA's Office remains G U I L T Y of Brady/ethics violations to this day for not disclosing an expert witness's concerns to the defense immediately. The violation remains, regardless of whether in the end Culbertson was wrong. On top of all this, did Lykos and her inner circle stop there? Hell no. Lykos/Rachel Palmer made the additional effort to persuade HCSO to join them in recommending to Commissioner's Court for the first time ever that the Lone Star College Contract (where Culbertson was employed) with Harris County for 20 years be cancelled, thereby causing Culbertson to lose her job. Now Lykos will say that DPS, (the "premier law enforcement agency in Texas" as she put it, who is ironically investigating Lykos at this time and may very well get her indicted) was a better financial deal for Harris County. Whatever, it remains clear that the motivation was to retaliate against Culbertson just like having all the pro-Kelly for DA supporters fired from teaching at the HPD Academy ( see #3 above.) Not tough, MEAN.
4. Another of Pat Lykos' endeavors upon taking office as DA was to attempt to prohibit prosecutors from running for judge. The operations manual was re-written with a tone similar to a veiled threat issued to anyone who might desire to run for office. She even invited visiting Judge Mike Anderson to her office for lunch and discussed this ludicrous concept with him and even flirted with the notion that Mike Anderson might become some sort of adviser to the DA's office so that his affiliation with her might lessen the chances that he would ever decide to run against her. Thank God he declined. Much to her chagrin, those darned Federal laws prohibited her from stopping prosecutors from seeking judicial office. Tough, no. MEAN, yes.
5. As DA, Pat Lykos, an award-winning public official acknowledged by organizations such as the Innnocence Project for her successful pandering to get public attention any and every way possible, has dumped the long-standing philosophy of all former DA's in Harris County that if a police officer is intentionally killed in the line of duty, the DA's Office will seek the death penalty, period, and the DA himself or herself will be lead prosecutor on the case. No wonder the police unions are against you, Pat. You have no respect for the rank and file of law enforcement, whether they be patrol officers working the nightshift or your own hard-working baby prosecutors or even the lowest file clerk in your office. They are beneath your consideration. It is NOT TOUGH to let murderers of police officers experience the criminal justice system without at least TRYING to obtain the ultimate punishment allowable by Texas Law. Insensitive and mean, yes.
6. Another situation which provides insight into whether Pat Lykos is really tough or just mean is the Mark Donnelly and Rifi Newaaz incident. The newly-elected DA, still riding high on her accomplishment of becoming DA and looking for any camera she could find to get in front of, took an opportunity to make a front page example out of two of the most respected and honorable prosecutors she had working for her in the office. Without bothering to (a) talk to Mark or Rifi herself, (b) or talking to the Judge in the case, Pat Lykos decided to call a press conference and report to the media that because her prosecutors lost a Batson challenge during jury selection, she acted swiftly to demote them and to give them days off without pay. It turns out that Donnelly and Newaz really hadn't violated Batson; the judge just granted the defense's motion 'out of an abundance of caution,' and assigned no malice to either of the prosecutors for the way they exercised their strikes on potential jurors. Lykos later privately approached Donnelly to let him know she may have overreacted but refused to retract her statements to the press about him, refused to reverse his demotion, and refused to give him the pay he lost. Not surprisingly, he left after finding a job at the US Attorney's Office. During that hiring process, Lykos contacted the US Attorney's Office and tried to convince them not to hire Mark Donnelly. Am I noticing a retaliatory pattern? HPD Academy instructors fired, Culbertson loses her job, and she also does this to Mark? Not tough, mobster mentality MEANNESS, Pat.
7. Shirley Cornelius, career prosecutor and mother of a special needs son. The DA's Office under Pat Lykos has earned a federal lawsuit as reward for its treatment of Shirley Cornelius. She was transferred to obscure assignments and pressured to falsify her time sheet and was told she could not work her 8 hour day in a time frame consistent with the needs of her son. Shirley resigned because of MEANNESS, not toughness.
8. Pat Lykos has turned the appellate division into the Island of Misfit Toys. Once the most prestigious appellate division anywhere in the United States, the administration has whittled this most important department down to a mere shell of its former self, and today Alan Curry and a few leftover brilliant others are pulling an enormous work load to absorb the two non-producers hiding out there, drawing huge salaries while knowing nothing about appellate law and doing nothing but either running her own political campaign for judge (Lana Shadwick) or laying low hoping not to be fired under pressure by the public's outrage for taking the 5th in front of a grand jury ( peek- aboo, we see you Rachel Palmer!) You should be ashamed for so many things, Pat Lykos, and high among them is for your absolute lack of concern for the people who work hard to make those hard-earned convictions stick and who work every day to keep your office in line with the law. MEAN.
9. And ditto #8 above, as to your trial bureau prosecutors. While you enlarge your own office, replace carpets with hardwoods and make the 6th floor conference room a high tech media stage; while you hire highly paid Public Information Officers, Community Outreach representatives, Lobbyists for the legislative sessions all of whom conduct dubious taxpayer business at best and are suspected of working primarily on your re-election campaign; while you give away money such as $500K to HPD as a media stunt to placate the BAT van situation, you have hundreds of prosecutors who have not received a pay raise in years, some of them never. You do not care to realize how hard these people work to make your operation function and make you look like you know what's really going on when you don't. They work after 5, before 8 am and on holidays and weekends to handle staggering numbers of cases. You do not realize how many of them are just trying to get to year 8 so they can vest in retirement and then QUIT. They resent you and they know you don't care. Look at it this way, if they quit and the DA's office never convicts anyone, you can just close down appellate all together because there won't be any appeals. Think of the money you'll have to waste somewhere else. Your maltreatment of the work-horse prosecutors, the back bone of your operation is no indication of your toughness, just meanness.
10. Most recently, you have dragged your entire office through a harrowing grand jury investigation. You constantly preach of this 'politically motivated conspiracy.' Yet that so -called conspiracy resulted in no indictment, when we all know that grand jury could have easily issued multiple indictments if it had wanted to do so maliciously. Seems like the process worked in your favor, so please shut up about the political conspiracy because there is not one. But you apparently can't shut up, as evidenced by your decision to come out of hiding and read a statement on 1/31 because you could not resist repeating your conspiracy mantra. It backfired because Ted Oberg was finally able to ask you questions again, questions you weren't ready for. And you lied, and you looked like a liar and you got caught at it. Call it what you want, but by your own admissions taxpayer resources, equipment, and work time were used by you for your own political purposes--to stalk andd intimidate and follow and harass grand jurors, investigate their backgrounds and those of the judge, special prosecutors, and your opponent. You are Richard Nixon. No wonder lots of people do not like you or have any respect for you or your arrogant Chicago mobster mentality. Official Opression, Retaliation, Conspiracy, Public Corruption, Misuse of Taxpayer Resources = YOU.
What about that other grand jury investigating you? Explain how THAT is politically motivated, since you never seem to address this in your propaganda. The 263rd grand jury was empanelled from a random jury pool. And we have yet to learn what will come from that contempt hearing. You sent your people after transcripts AFTER being ordered by a judge and a court of appeals to stay out of the grand jury proceedings.
Judge Brown should consider additional contempt show cause hearings based upon the DA's offices own admission that it used grand jurors' names and personal information for political purposes AFTER you sealed those names.
Thank goodness you cannot touch me, but on behalf of those silently trying to continue to work at the DA's Office despite the fact that you are bringing down the walls around them, the truth is going to come out and when it does the law and the voters are going to hold you responsible for every MEAN thing you have done.