As the old saying goes, there is no rest for the wicked . . .
The Houston Chronicle is reporting tonight that Pat Lykos is about to be the recipient of the Office's fourth special prosecutor since October. The Texas Rangers have asked Judge Belinda Hill to appoint a Special Prosecutor to assist them in their investigation of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.
Now, as we all know from events of the past two weeks, the Rangers had been investigating Lykos' Office for several days before Lykos sent them a letter asking them to investigate her and tell the public that it was her idea. Given Lykos' penchant for "recycling" (taking an already existing good idea and claiming it for her own), this should not have been a shock to anyone. In the three years that we have all come to know and love Pat Lykos as District Attorney, she has now claimed to have initiated the Victim Witness Division, the Cold Case Division (twice) and now, an investigation into herself.
Nevertheless, poor Pat was still caught off guard and had to storm out of her own press conference when asked about the Rangers' investigation. I mean, come on, Pat! If you are going to launch an investigation into yourself you really should anticipate questions about it during a press conference about yourself.
The question now is, what exactly are the Rangers investigating and what was on the computers that they took out of Special Crimes on Tuesday?
Here are some interesting points to consider:
1) Special Crimes has its own little world on the 5th Floor. They are the Navy SEALS of the District Attorney's Office, right down to the special technology. When the Rangers started hauling stuff out of Special Crimes, they weren't taking information from the entire Office's computer servers (like an e-mail search akin to the one that brought down Chuck Rosenthal). They were taking Special Crimes equipment -- the type of equipment generally used for surveillance.
2) From Patricia Pollard's letter condemning the District Attorney's Office, we know that there are allegations the District Attorney's Office performed some sort of surveillance in an effort to either stonewall or intimidate the Grand Jurors. These allegations are what led Lykos to make her statement stating there had not been an "investigation" into the jurors.
3) There have been rumors running rampant that the Grand Jury room was bugged. As much as I dislike Pat Lykos and think that she and her upper-echelons are about as sleazy and underhanded as they come, I cannot imagine that she would be stupid enough to actually place illegal wiretaps within the Grand Jury room. I mean, she's dumb, but she's not that dumb.
4) The latest rumors that I am hearing, however, do sound a little more plausible to me as something that Pat Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight would do. The rumors are that Lykos and the upper echelon witnesses who were called into the 185th District Court Grand Jury miked themselves up before testifying.
Now, before Dave Jennings can jump in the Jollymobile and rush to Lykos' defense with his usual "this is no big deal," let me point you to Article 20.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure which states [in part]:
(a) The proceedings of the grand jury shall be secret.
(b) A grand juror, bailiff, interpreter, stenographer or person operating an electronic recording device, or person preparing a typewritten transcription of a stenographic or electronic recording who discloses anything transpiring before the grand jury, regardless of whether the thing transpiring is recorded, in the course of the official duties of the grand jury shall be liable to a fine as for contempt of the court, not exceeding five hundred dollars, imprisonment not exceeding thirty days , or both such fine and imprisonment.
So, if Lykos is proclaiming that she didn't commit a crime, I suppose she's right -- as long as you don't consider contempt of court a crime. If you are a student of Lykos' "B.S. Your Way through a Crisis" Game, it should be pretty easy to see where she and her Crew will be going with this.
Expect a statement very similar to this one in the near future from Pat Lykos:
"Neither I nor any member of my office have committed any crimes. Given the nature of this politically motivated Grand Jury committing an improper and illegal investigation into this office, we sought to protect ourselves by taping the proceedings for our own records."
And if Judge Susan Brown holds them in contempt (as mandated by the Code of Criminal Procedure), guess what Lykos and Crew will do then?
Claim that is politically motivated as well, of course.
Oh, and as a side note, if you are already reading along at home from your copy of the Code of Criminal Procedure, hop over to article 19.42 which reads [in part]:
. . . information collected by the court, court personnel, or prosecuting attorney during the grand jury selection process about a person who serves as a grand juror, including the person's home addres, home telephone number, social security number, driver's license number, and other personal information, is confidential and may not be disclosed by the court, court personnel, or prosecuting attorney.
So, even if Chief Investigator Don McWilliams didn't consider what he was doing to be an "investigation," he certainly was looking into information that his Office was prohibited from having since they had been recused from the 185th's investigation.