An insider's view of what is really happening in the Harris County Criminal Courts
To the Harris County Lawyer: Your post will exponentically increase the clandestine water cooler conversations at HCDAO on Monday. This post nails it; excellent writing as usual. The use of the term "special prosecutor" in this writing gives it the necessary pizazz for the general reading public's consumption, and for those not schooled in Latin (pro tem????).Calvin A. Hartmann
Great post Murray, glad to see you putting it out there for all to see. As usual I will post a link from my facebook page.
Super post Murray. Maybe the public will get it even if the republican leadership does not. See you Thursday night.
In general, yet specifically here, in Past perceived scandals by public officials the Harris Co. Republican Party leadership always tried to project an image of having higher ethical standards.It is precisely because the ENTIRE EXECUTIVE REPUBLICAN BOARD AND CHAIRMAN are supporting the current D.A. that she will have to be pulled from office by TRUE ETHICAL VOTERS regardless of Party affiliation in May. Sometimes leaderless people of a LOWER ethical cronyism mentality have to get their holier than thou morally corrupt compass reset by those lowly voters - real salt of the earth people - to put the bridled bit in their mouths and LEAD THEM to the right path!
Just curious...I didn't realize Mike was administrative judge for criminal courts. Does anyone know what dates he served in that position? I thought one of the women judges was criminal admin judge in 2009, but his bio says 2009.. Do they switch in the summer?
Mike became admin judge as Debbie Mantooth retired in '09 and was admin judge until he retire in '11.
Ahh, forgot about that. Her courtroom was always a pleasant place to practice. I remember hearing she wasn't going to file to rerun, but I thought she was finishing her term. Didn't realize she left early. Why did she leave 6 months early? Pressured out by Perry and the establishment, so theyy could create a GOP incumbent for the next election, or personal reasons?
Judge Stricklin left early because of real estate reasons, nothing scandalous. If I recall correctly, the out-of-state home they had built to retire to was ready and their house in Houston sold.
Lykos is cut from the same cloth as John Bradley. Neither has a moral compass. They both abuse the power of their offices. They both have lost the respect of their staff prosecutors. They both have the inabilty to admit their mistakes. They both don't know when to withdraw for the good of the office. They both manipulate using fear and intimidation tactics. And the Republican Party leaders have yet to approach them for the good of justice. Bradley thinks he is entitled to use his grand jury list to call for political contributions while Lykos uses her grand jury list to perform contrived political investigations. Arrogant asses. WTF are these people doing in office? They both are retirement elligible and should be sent to the pasture after the primary.
Did anyone see Red, White and Blue tonight on channel 8. Pretty interesting.
Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote. ~George Jean Nathan
Any speculation about why the rangers seized computers from special crimes? Did the rangers take Leitner, Lykos or Bridgewatrts? Or whose computer was taken? I'm curious if there was a warrant or if Lykos signed a consent for the entire office? Anyone know
"We are eager to show the public all the evidence in this case." - Patricia R. Lykos (2/1/12)"The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has long been eager to share what we know with the public. Now that the grand jury’s proceedings have ended, we will be responding—vigorously.In the days to come, our website—HarrisCountyDA.com—will feature a new section devoted to setting the record straight." (source: www.harriscountyda.com).Ms. Lykos:Happy belated birthday. We hope your birtday was a great one. We have a present for you, but we are having difficulty finding you. Speaking of belated presents, it would be so appreciated if you could "give" us all that evidence you promised. Okay - looking forward to getting your gift. Oh, don't forget to incorporate some heels into the wardrobe. You've got great calves.Sincerely,- the public
Not So Clever LiesFrom the DA's website:"After the investigation was announced, this office did not impede the grand jury’s investigation. As an entity, this office was fully cooperative with the grand jury."http://app.dao.hctx.net/Article/460/Response_to_the_Statement_Issued_by_the_185th_Grand_Jury_Foreman.aspx"As an ENTITY?" Why not say "WE have been fully cooperative?" Because "WE" haven't, perhaps?This reminds me of one time when I was negotiating to buy a used car for my daughter. The salesman said, "What if I could sell you this car for $10,000?" We drove it and then said, "Yes, we'd like to buy the care for $10K." Then the salesman said, "The selling price is $12,000." What? He explained, "I didn't say I WOULD sell it to you for $10K, just what if I COULD?" No sale for him. And, no sale for Lykos.P.S. People get really angry when they've been fooled. Fool me once..
Can consent to search form and inventory of seized items be obtained thru open records request? Then Open Records request computer/fixed asset listing for DA's office. Compare computer tag/serial number to the fixed asset inventory schedule to see who it is assigned to. Request the consent and inventory forms from both the DA and TRs. If DA hides behind open investigation exception to Open Records request then that becomes an issue of transparency and more telling of their level of concern.
8:54 - those forms are evidence in an ongoing investigation, so they probably will not be available via an open records request.
Records from an ongoing criminal investigation are exempt from Open Records Requests until the investigation is completed and closed. If anyone inside the DAO has information or suggestions of where to look for evidence of wrong-doing, they should contact the Rangers and let them know. In the alternative, do it anonymously through Crimestoppers.
11:58 is correct. Then call Oberg.
I guess what i'm hinting at with OR request is for the DA's office to have to actually claim or admit that a real criminal investigation exists instead of this matter only being a friendly little request for the Rangers to come review for any little boo-boo. Keep pushing the issue so that it doesn't get shelved or forgotten.
If Lykos and crew wore wires into the grand jury then that is one of the most disgusting, disrespectable things they could have done. I wonder if they even told their own lawyers. I can't see Ron Woods or Jack Zimmerman saying that is is ok to wear a wire into the grand jury. Who is Leitner's attorney? Now someone ought wear a hidden mic in a few court rooms and record some of the crazy stuff said by judges. The 19th floor is a good place to start.
We used to have a term for people who got jumped for promotions, it was called losers. A recurring theme among young ADAs seems to be blaming problems on the person whose place you took. I guess since Lykos sets the standard for not accepting responsibility then why should her employees.
Another post on selective crime enforcement from Pat Lykos' office:http://blog.chron.com/newswatch/2012/02/group-wants-to-target-men-who-buy-girls-for-sex/The police aren't arresting and she isn't prosecuting prostitution Johns anymore despite letters from the community pleading for arrests. Last year, only two men were charged and prosecuted for those acts. Murray, can you write about this or get this info to Anderson? Our law enforcement personnel can't just decide to prosecute what it wants how it wants. This is yet another example of selective law enforcement. And, by the way, let me be the first to call bull$*&@ on Pat's excuse that she can't prosecute these cases because of the success of entrapment defenses. That was not the case when I was an ADA.
"We are eager to show the public all the evidence in this case." - Patricia R. Lykos (2/1/12)"The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has long been eager to share what we know with the public. Now that the grand jury’s proceedings have ended, we will be responding—vigorously.In the days to come, our website—HarrisCountyDA.com—will feature a new section devoted to setting the record straight." (source: www.harriscountyda.com). Ms. Lykos:Howdy. We've got to tip our hat to you. You really know how to create a cliff-hanger. This is the best tease since J.R. got shot at end of season on Dallas.We really think you have created the right level of anticipation. Now is the time - let's release the evidence. Excellent discussion. Remember - sometimes it works best when you sleep in curlers.Sincerely,- the public
Anon 11:00AM: Doesn't our government have bigger problems to deal with than prosecuting prostitution, a victimless crime. The large majority of the world, over 70% of countries, have legalized prostitution. If the drug addicts are prostituting for their drugs, at least they aren't stealing from the rest of us to fund the drugs.
3:03-1. Prostitution isn't a victimless crime. Pimps abuse the women who line their pockets. If no pimp is involved, then the women often steal from her John's and use their income to support drug habits which goes right up the chain of how crime, drugs, and prostitution are related.2.Laws will never completely stop prostitution nor will drug laws. People who patronize those activities contribute to the crime rate which affects us all.3. If you don't like the way laws are enforced in Texas, move to Nevada or some 3rd world country. BTW, your logic is what is chipping away at the fabric of our country.
Prostitution is one of the most prevalent uses for modern day slavery. The Hell it's victimless.Rage
Murry,Is disseminating secret GJ testimony a WTF issue or a significant transgression with criminal liability?Independent Activist supporting ZACK FERTITTA FOR DA!!!!
Anon 3:03: You refer to human trafficking, not prostitution. They are two completely different issues. Human trafficking is a major problem. The free choices of women not under the influence of drugs or human traffickers / pimps is an entirely different situation.
Zack 3:03 aka Don. Not a crime found in the penal code. Good thing too cause all those ADA's who debriefed on six after testifying would be charged, including your little lunar queen when she did not take the fifth the first time she went in. News flash, the leaks came from the DA's office. Staff members were told if you got a subpoena go tell six ASAP. Vollman said that order came directly from six. After ADA's testified they we're shuttled into the conference room on six to discuss their testimony. Hobbs and crew saw who went in to grand jury and saw several subpoenas. People in the office heard what was going on and people in the office talked about it. It was like the old telephone game. It is the same with the 232nd. Everyone knows they are winding down and knows Chow and Moore among others have been in grand jury.
Hypocrites like Michael Berry hurt society a lot more than prostitutes.
Speaking of Michael Berry, who was he supporting for DA? He seems to be about as transparent as Lykos.
Anon 3:03,I'm glad that you only get one vote. You are regerring to the local street elements. The Mexican traffickers often make their "cargo" work their passage fees off by selling sex. It's all prostitution,but on s diff scale. Same issue. Another method is to keep hostages, and force the female family members into the sex trade..Does not sound free to me..Vote Anderson or Fertitta.....ABL 12 (Anybody But Lykos)22 year UC Officer......
I hadn't heard that policy on johns, and I doubt Lykos would be stupid enough to eliminate an entire category.I know I had a heck of a time getting some tapes on a couple johns I handled a couple years ago. Vice had a lot of issues, which obviously RP has corrected and brought light and transparency to HPD as well.
Can't help but think that Sam Hoover would fit right in with Lykos and the gang if he were still alive today.
Anon 6:50 love the sarcasm bro! On another note Murray or anyone else, where have our imbedded reporters gone? Why no news from the bunker?
Who is the new special prosecutor?
Anon 9:07,The "Bunker" is fixin' to get hit with a Bunker-Buster, to wit:1. the end does not in and of itself justify the means2. failure to appreciate that the rule of law applies equally to both sides is not only hypocritical it is often fatal 3. meaness, stupidity, arrogance, ugly and coming really really close to criminal conduct is not as egregious to the voters as actual criminal conduct--regardless whether or not said conduct was engaged in to achieve a righteous result.Undermining the Grand Jury process is not cool it is criminal conduct regardless which side breaches the secrecy or other aspects of the process.
The average age of women entering prostitution is 13. Prostitution, whether the woman is an American or foreign born, is viewed more and more as human trafficking. When you work all day and someone else gets the money, that's not victimless. If you think it is victimless, then how would you feel if your daughter, wife, or mother decided to do it as her profession? And how would you like it happening across the street from your house? The news story that was referenced above indicates citizens around Harris County are writing letters about it being in their neighborhoods and not getting any help from HPD or the Harris County DA's office.When I was an ADA, I had a Chief who made us call the wives of arrested Johns. I hated doing it. But those wives were devastated and immediately starting thinking of the diseases their husbands might be passing onto them. Victimless? I don't think so. When I first got to the DA's office, adult bookstores and clubs had prostitution inside and because of a HPD policy, officers had a really hard time busting those kinds of places for law violations. As a result, clubs doing illegal things were all over the place. If it's widely known that HPD and Harris County aren't prosecuting prostitution, then Houston will become the prostitution mecca and human trafficking will increase dramatically. Saying, "We don't have enough officers" or "There is this sometimes successful defense to that crime" doesn't cut it. Crime is crime. You don't decide you're going to ignore an entire category of crimes because you feel like it. Unless you're Pat Lykos, DA of the fourth largest city in the U.S., I guess.
Anonymous 4:22,Your logic is not as good as that which you criticize. You point to other crimes like pimps abusing prostitutes and prostitutes stealing from johns to justify your premise that prostitution is not victimless all without showing how prostitution itself victimizes anyone. Back to the drawing board with you.Take a course on logic and the elements of valid arguments before attempting to criticize others logic please.
To those on both sides of the prostitution debate... a timely response from a reader on another blogadvocating legalization.http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/02/dissent-of-the-day.htmlFrom a Florida blogaholic
1:03-No use wasting time or energy on explaining why prostitution victimizes the woman or teenager as the case may be, the wife of the man, and society in general. You just aren't capable of understanding. Or perhaps, you and Elliott Spitzer use logic in the same way. Just keep living in denial...Folks like you also can't see a correlation between the effects of the drug cartel and how Americans buy "a little dope for recreational use". Sometimes for when they're paying for a prostitute...Now back to the problem at hand. Getting rid of Lykos.
Has a special prosecutor been named yet?
I'll bet Joe the Investigator could solve a prostitution case. He's simply the best investigator ever!
Has there been a ruling on appointing a pro tem?
My understanding is that Judge Belinda Hill will appoint a prosecutor pro tem. However, it is taking a little time to find one that is capable, available, and who has no connections to anyone.
For someone to see a prostitute is no more harmful to anyone than plain old adultery... wives are not any happier about that but we don't make it a crime. It is for the married couple to work out. And what about single people? It is a moral issue not a legitimate criminal issue.
Anon 8:56-Your posts (and some others) suggest that prostitution is just about sex. I would agree with you that criminal penalties shouldn't be applied to strictly sex between consenting adults. I think that's where you are missing the point. Prostitution is seldom just about sex. There are a whole host of issues going far beyond just sex. Drugs, theft, human trafficking, pimping, psychological issues,etc which are the real reasons the public, hence the legislature, believes prostitution should be illegal. It's just wrong on so many levels.
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