Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prosecutor Reunion--Thursday, February 23rd -- UPDATED

***UPDATE***
Chip Lewis asked me to let all those planning to attend that tonight is NOT a fundraising event for any candidate.  Additionally, all food, drinks and valet parking are complimentary, courtesy of our hosts.

In case you haven't gotten the e-mail or the Facebook invitation, tomorrow night is the Harris County District Attorney's Reunion at Cyclone Anaya's located at 1710 Durham, Houston, TX 77007 (***PLEASE NOTE:  This is the Cyclone Anaya on Durham, NOT the one at Midtown).

The event is hosted by Chip Lewis, Bert Graham, and Paul Doyle and runs between 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  And yes, Mike Anderson will be there.  He is a former prosecutor, as you may have heard.

It has been a while since there has been a prosecutors' reunion, and the last one was an absolute blast.  So many legends of the Criminal Law world were in attendance.  It really is an incredible opportunity to sit back and hear stories from past generations of prosecutors.

All current and former prosecutors are invited to attend, although it is understandable if prosecutors who currently get their paychecks signed by She Who Must Not Be Named are a little gun shy about attending. Unfortunately, their concerns about being seen at such an event are not baseless.

As I mentioned in the last post, there was a fundraiser tonight for David Hilburn at Junction.  There were a lot of former prosecutors there to cheer on an old friend.  Devon and Mike Anderson were in attendance for Dave. (He used to intern for Devon.)

Also inexplicably in attendance was David Benzion, who showed up and then left within five minutes.  I'm not really sure why he was there.  He seemed a bit surprised to see me when I saw him in the parking lot.

The moral of the story is simple, unfortunately.  If you are out at an event and you are worried that Lykos might learn you were there . . .

You should be.  Somebody is keeping tabs.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would love to go and catch up with some of the "legends" but we all know Pat will be watching. Shit, she probably has the place wired. So, sorry I won't be able to make it, got to keep my job.

Anonymous said...

So that is the reason Benzion was hired.

Anonymous said...

don't forget that several investigators will be taking surveillance photos in the parking lot.

David Benzion said...

Murray... I'm going to assume that you are drunk-blogging at this point, because you didn't spot me in the parking lot... I approached and surprised you, on the patio deck, coming from inside the bar. And I told you I was in the area for a meeting--ask Tim Fleck or Dr. Richard Murray if you doubt me.

The power to induce you into a public profession of paranoia has its charms... but I liked the old "courthouse-cynical-but-with-a-humorous-heart-of-gold" Murray Newman better.

I bet you do to.

Come back. It's not too late, and politics isn't worth it.

Be well,

Benzion

A Harris County Lawyer said...

No, David, not drunk blogging, but thanks. Just sitting on the couch and watching stuff on TV. You've been spending time with Hooper if you are making accusations like that.

I did see you coming up from the parking lot and yes, I was surprised to see you. Seeing how you never worked with David Hilburn or would have any reason to be popping in, I think you can understand my skepticism. Yes, you said you had a meeting in the area, but that doesn't explain your detour to Junction. You pointed out yourself that you "should probably leave before people start freaking out."

But hey, while we've got you on the line, perhaps you can issue a statement on behalf of your boss and let it be known that all current prosecutors are ENCOURAGED to attend the reunion tomorrow without any fear of repercussions at their job.

Anonymous said...

Just a Little Fact Checking

BTW - Remember when Pat Lykos was interviewed about Mr. Benzion - she said he'd be writing grants.

Question - How many grants has he written?

Here's the quote - from Big Jolly in December 2011:

"She (Lykos) also noted that Mr. Benzion’s position is not new; he is replacing a person that left the office, George Flynn. In addition to helping Donna Hawkins with the communications duties, he will be writing grant proposals."

http://www.bigjollypolitics.com/wp/2011/12/27/pat-lykos-vigorously-prosecuting-the-guilty-while-seeking-justice/

I can't keep up, but I thought Heather Cook replaced George Flynn.

And - as far as "helping" with communication duties - I notice that his job title is "Communications Director." Doesn't sound like a "helper" OR a grant writer. Sounds like a guy who is in charge of "communicating." Or, in common vernacular, "Spin."

There was another guy too who was her for several months and left - a former Chronicle reporter - he was also supposed to write grants. I don't think he wrote any either. And - don't forget about the former Probation supervisor who was put on contract to write grants - she's come and gone too - with no grants.

Just tryin' to keep all the stories straight - appreciate any clarification.

David Benzion said...

Your post says "He (i.e., Benzion) seemed a bit surprised to see me when I saw him in the parking lot."

I'm glad you are now acknowledging in your comment that YOU were the one who was surprised (by my appearance) and not I (upon being spotted by you).

The latter conveys an impression that I was up to something nefarious and had attempted to avoid detection.

It's your blog, but I'll respectfully suggest a correction (or at least clarification) within the post itself.

As already noted, I was going to be down the block anyway for another event, and thought you were the kind of guy who could appreciate a minute of good-natured ball busting.

After chatting for maybe 30 seconds, I excused myself and left--as a courtesy to Mr. Hilburn, and to get to my own event, and because by that point the black stealth helicopters we've purchased with asset forfeiture funds were properly positioned overhead and rolling tape.

I'm not going to speak for others, but if you want my personal opinion... EVERY employee of a government agency (including the District Attorney's Office) should be free to engage in any activity (including political activities) without fear of repercussion, so long as their actions are otherwise legal and undertaken on personal time while utilizing private resources.

It's great to know you share that same belief, and I trust you'll continue to respect and honor it down the road.

Best,

Benzion

David Benzion said...

BTW, could I suggest that Anonymous commenters at least be required to number themselves (i.e., Anonymous 1, Anonymous 2, etc.)?

Anyway, I appreciate the interest in what I do for a living... but it seems somehow wrong for me to spill the beans here, after Oberg has put in so much work uncovering the deep, dark secret. He's earned the scoop, let's let him keep it.

Cheers!

db

Anonymous said...

Oh, look. Benzion just got fired.

Anonymous said...

Why the hell does this Ben Gay guy get to defend himself in the press and Nathan Hennigan did nott? Shouldn't he get a few unpaid days off?

Anonymous said...

Mr Benzion,

Thanks for re-affirming our rights granted to us by a well known thing called "the constitution". Now ,if you can please use some of those asset fortfeiture funds to purchase a half dozen copies of "the idiots guide to the bill of rights" and pass them out to the gang, maybe we can see some faction of a leadership team. Also, while we have your attention. Please explain to us what happens to oh......let's say an elected district attorney who orders her chief investigator to use some of those "resources" to facilitate an improper investigation on two sitting judges, two former judges, oh with one being her primary opponent in a political race....

In the imortal words of the great orator known as Flounder, this is going to be great...

Anonymous said...

God is good.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, Lykos would also be welcome (technically) at the reunion had she ever prosecuted a case. Hey, maybe that one defense case in the 1970s should qualify?

Anonymous said...

I'm confident David's job description does NOT include doing political recon for the DA. Sure hope that time doesn't show up on his time sheet....

Anonymous said...

Murray,
Is there a cover charge or is it cash bar tonight?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure there will be no alcohol involved tonight at the ada reunion.

Anonymous said...

" EVERY employee of a government agency (including the District Attorney's Office) should be free to engage in any activity (including political activities) without fear of repercussion, so long as their actions are otherwise legal and undertaken on personal time while utilizing private resources."

So, Mr. Benzion, apparently the rules you cite don't apply to Lykos, Leitner, and McWilliams since their "criminal investigation" of the 185th Grand Jurors, Judges, and opponent is a farce. Just an excuse made up as an attempt to justify the illegal actions on government time using government resources.

Let me pose a question: What would happen if Pat Lykos learned that an Investigator had spied on and run Accurint inquiries on her, Leitner, Bridgwater, Chow, McWilliams, and Joe the Investigator just to see if a political connection between them existed? Would she believe them if they claimed they did it because they thought there might be some obscure criminal violation?

You know the answer to that.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

David,
You are writing in at 11:16 p.m. and signing off with "cheers" and you are worried about me drunk blogging? And by the way, Lykos hired you to consult, I didn't. My posters can sign in anyway they want to.

Anon 6:32,
There is no cover charge that I'm aware of, so it must be a cash bar.

Anon 6:45,
Really? Of course there is going to be alcohol there. Most prosecutors I know are over 21 and are allowed to drink if they so choose. Are you trying to sound judgmental? I mean, Lykos was the one who announced she needed a Jack and Coke in the middle of one of her interviews. I don't think she really wants her supporters playing that card on her behalf.

Anonymous said...

Current ADAs,

Don't forget to kiss the hands of the Leadership Team and pledge your allegence to Patsy before you leave the office today. Those who hide are usually the ones who are stepped on. Stand the Fuck up and come to Cyclone's today. Earn the respect you deserve.

Those who came before you will teach you. Not hinder like this Leadership Team of Misfit Storm Troopers.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Mr. Benzion,

You're new around here, but you'll learn just like the rest of us.

We write as "anonymous" because we learned early on what happens to people who both speak their mind and disagree. Ask anyone about Donna Goode. She was a 25+ year well-respected prosecutor. She found herself on the outs within 24 hours of disagreeing with the wrong folks. It was a shameful way to treat a hard-working, career-long public servant. If you want to talk with Donna herself, just give her a buzz at the Galveston County DA's Office - she's the First Assistant.

We don't actually care what you "do for a living." We care about knowing if we are getting the TRUTH from our elected DA. You are the third person hired who was also supposed to write grants. The first two didn't write any - just asking what grants you are writing. You can go to Big Jolly's blog and read the quote from our elected DA and decide for yourself.

And - finally - a sincere compliment and thanks. You have provided the most HONEST communication from this administration I have seen. Seriously. It actually made me happy to read your quotes - though I may disagree with you.

This is an example of the way we used to work - we argued - we discussed - we disagreed - and we got mad. It was wonderful. And, I miss it. As you can imagine, lawyers (and trial lawyers especially) don't mind a good discussion or argument. It is against our nature to bow our heads and bite our tongues - we do it because that is the only way to get by for the moment. And - we express ourselves via anonymous posts such as this one, private looks and conversations with each other, and each of us asking 25 people to vote for someone else.

I think you'll get to keep your job after being so honest here - only because they can't afford to make you mad. I wouldn't expect to stick around too long after the election, though. I do not mean to be cruel by saying that - sadly, you'll learn like the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Benzion,
Since history tends to repeat itself and animals don't change their spots, you should realize that even if Lykos were to win reelection you will not be employed at the DAO for very long. Just look at how she went through Court staff and how she is churning through DAO staff because of her inept personal and professional skills. In your position, you are standing way to close to the wheels of the bus. One misstep and you'll be hearing that thump-thump sound and she drives across your back.

David Benzion said...

Dear Anonymous 7:46 AM,

Thank you for your respectful, substantive reply.

I understand why people want the ability to post anonymously. My suggestions is simply that it would be easier for everyone to keep things straight if folks were to at least adopt an anonymity-protecting pseudonym such as "Intake Mama," "4th Floor Lurker," or “Leitner’s Former Mustache,” etc.)

I’m confident that as the scope of my work comes to fruition over time, fair-minded observers will be able to see that the initiatives have a legitimate purpose and office-wide benefit. Not that anyone needs my permission of course, but feel free to touch base with Donna Hawkins (who is a joy to work with) if confirmation is required.

I don't know Ms. Goode (and am not interested in becoming familiar with and rehashing every personnel conflict in the office over the years), but I'll take you at your word that she was and remains a great prosecutor and fine person. I admire your loyalty to a colleague and friend.

As a matter of general principle (let alone personal experience), I'm always prepared to believe that the upper-management of any organization is capable of ineptitude and making foolish decisions. Then again, I also know that in any institution there will always be people who disagree with the decisions of upper-management and accuse them of being foolish and inept.

I'm even starting to realize that often times neither side is entirely in the right, and that sometimes nobody is particularly in the wrong but things just happen anyway. Life is messy, and very rarely black and white. It would be unusual indeed if this were the case in every other workplace in America, but somehow the Harris County District Attorney's Office managed to operate from top to bottom according to a Platonic ideal of Justice and Wisdom.

I've worked in media, politics, public-policy and opinion-research for a while now. I'd like to think I've developed a reputation for balancing candor with discretion, loyalty with principle, and the ability to work hard on behalf of whoever is signing my paychecks without taking or making things personal with whoever happens to be on the other side of a particular divide at some time. If I can make one request, it's that others approach and judge me in the same spirit.

Having only been here a short while, I have already developed a much deeper and significant appreciation for the extent to which this institution contains some genuinely talented and quality people, doing good and important work. I can understand why people start to feel so passionately about the place. I hope we can all temper passion with prudence.

Be well,

Benzion

Anonymous said...

Benzion says:

I approached and surprised you, on the patio deck, coming from inside the bar. And I told you I was in the area for a meeting--ask Tim Fleck or Dr. Richard Murray if you doubt me.

Murray says:

I did see you coming up from the parking lot and yes, I was surprised to see you. Seeing how you never worked with David Hilburn or would have any reason to be popping in, I think you can understand my skepticism. Yes, you said you had a meeting in the area, but that doesn't explain your detour to Junction. You pointed out yourself that you "should probably leave before people start freaking out."

Benzion says:

Your post says "He (i.e., Benzion) seemed a bit surprised to see me when I saw him in the parking lot."

I'm glad you are now acknowledging in your comment that YOU were the one who was surprised (by my appearance) and not I (upon being spotted by you).

The latter conveys an impression that I was up to something nefarious and had attempted to avoid detection...(He then continues with)..As already noted, I was going to be down the block anyway for another event, and thought you were the kind of guy who could appreciate a minute of good-natured ball busting.

After chatting for maybe 30 seconds, I excused myself and left--as a courtesy to Mr. Hilburn, and to get to my own event.

OK TRIAL LAWYERS: Take Mr. Benzion on a hypothetical cross here. Can you see any discrepancies? Faulty logic in his intent on being there?

Seriously, the more words it takes to explain a simple conversational point, leads one to usually doubt the content of the explaination.

Common sense: Just happen to be in the area for a "meeting" and justhappened to see Murray while YOU were coming in from the parking lot - stayed so briefly - only 30 seconds with Murray that you had to excuse yourself out of respect for an out of county D.A. who has nothing to do with you or this mess in Harris County....? What a coincidence. Mens Rea: I pick - Intentional.

Anonymous said...

Oh and 1 more thing. I do hope all your activities that night were personal and not for comp time. I don't think tim fleck or rrichard murray have anything to do with writing grants. Oh that's right they are in the political business.... like you.

Anonymous said...

David,
As as a result of your choice to be hired by PL in the middle of the most embarrassing controversy ever to beset the HCDAO, you have put yourself in a camp. You will never been deemed objective, fair- minded, or balanced on the subject of PL and the way she's run the office. Don't even try to pretend. If all goes according to plan, you and your dubious "communications" talent will be looking for a job. In the meantime, how about communicating some "trials to watch" on the website so it actually looks like someone does something there...or does that give attention to someone other than PL....ah, but that's clearly a no-no, isn't it.

p.s. Don't like the idea that my tax dollars are paying someone to play word games and stir up crap on blogs during a work day. Might want to make sure your extra curricular campaign work for PL happens outside of 8-5.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lykos can go next year.

Rage69

Anonymous said...

I fully expect Benzion to be suspended for a week without pay, and relegated to intake for 6 months, because that seems to be the precedent for what he did in these comments.

Anonymous said...

No that punative Rule only applies to hard working prosecutors actually seeking Justice and trying cases and does NOT apply to members of the Politco-Bureau.

Anonymous said...

David, your last comment sounds reasoned and attempts to be balanced. Why you don't want to know the facts behind Lykos running off fine people like Donna Goode tells me your mind is closed to any attempt to explain why 90 per cent of the employees view Lykos with contempt and disgust. Where there is that much smoke there is surely a raging fire.
Time will show you her true self and it is not what you think it is. You've been forewarned. She can be quite pleasant when she chooses to be and this is apparently what you've been exposed to. It's not her real persona and you will find that out. We'll be here to commiserate with you when it does.

Anonymous said...

Benzion is a good guy and your wrong about 90 percent of the office. Your fact and figures are elementary.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:11. Your assertion about the percentages bein wrong is true. Actually 95% of the office views Lykos with contempt.

Anonymous said...

I never said Benzion wasn't a good guy but he is closed minded about his boss and her history. Just trying to give him a heads up as he has apparently already tasted the KoolAid. He is also being highly biased by the person who signs his checks.

I really don't think my estimate of the numbers is that far off. Out of the approximate 500 HCDAO employees I would be quite surprised if there are even 50 who support Lykos.

Anonymous said...

This whole exchange with lykos' flack demonstrates two things of note:

1) the fact that this blog is read by everyone on the 6th floor and is viewed by lykos et. al. as a threat to her reelection. Why else would he go to the event to bust Murray's chops?

2) the anonymous post above about demoting to intake raises an excellent point. Let's be clear about what happened. A paid employee of the office has gone on a public blog, used his real name, and made fun of the leading investigative reporter in town. This employee's purported job is dealing with the media - no one buys the grant writing nonsense. (By the way david, why don't you enlighten us all as to how many grant requests you have written). How does this advance the interests of the office exactly? 6th floor: prosecutors are waiting to see exactly how you respond to this because you will need to explain how Nathan responding to a personal attack in the chronicle gets him punished but your own pr person stirring stuff up on a blog that also mentions his name does not merit a response at all from you.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Benzion just provide evidence of the grant work he has done?

JRB said...

OMG!!! Incredible turnout tonight. And noone even flinched when the chopper flew over - - -twice!

Anonymous said...

Who is kidding who? Lykos, of course. Back in the old days the HCDAO was an office wherein the prosecutors were believed to be competent enough to prepare their own grant applications for positions, etc. associated with the areas of the office in which they worked. I am sure they still are, except for the subterfuge created by the current administration which claims to need grant writers (at salaries apparently that could be better directed to prosecutors). It was not necessary in the past to have an alleged "gifted writer" for these grants - the applications were straight forward and did not require a Ph.d. in Communications, English, etc. or some gig at an alleged purveyor of the 1st Amendment (e.g. Comical and whatever other "rag" of provincial thought). Yes, Lykos is patently fooling the electorate by asserting the need for a grant writer(s) - her grant writers are nothing more than the wolf in the proverbial sheep's clothing - in this instance, however, the texpayers of Harris County are the real sheep getting sheared.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

The helicopters were a nice touch passing two times over the reunion crowd...gave us all a good laugh. Thank you to all who came--it was too crowded for my taste, but in this situation, I was happy to be packed in like sardines. Now, everyone who was there, recruit everyone you know to vote for Mike. With the primary the day after a holiday weekend, May 29, the turnout will be low and the people you recruit can make the difference. Please dedicate yourself to this quest! I know I have!!!!

Anonymous said...

In this one instance I think everybody who was at the reunion would heartily agree with me. THANK YOU, Bert, Chip, and Paul for hosting this affair, and to those individuals "behind the scene" who assisted you. It was great to see and speak with former assoiates.
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

After doing a "little internet research", you can see why Lykos hired him on the taxpayer's dime. He's basically a political consultant. There's only one thing missing from his lengthy list of what he can do for a political candidate- no mention of 'grant writing'. What a crock...

http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidbenzion

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I am a freelance strategic communications and research consultant specializing in...

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Anonymous said...

Well damn, once again my tax dollars are paying for a political hack. I am so sick of you Pat Lycos why don't you do us all a favor and get ran over by one of your divert or crack pipe subjects. How very fitting an end it would be for you.

Anonymous said...

Question for the lawyers types from a non-lawyer. How do they allocate cases to criminal district court judges as they come in? Is it done randomly when you go to probable cause court? Heard about someone who was assigned to a court in a theft case where her parents know the judge. She is going around telling everyone she is going to get off. Doesn't seem kosher -- wounder if they will have to change it to another court. There seems to be so much favoritism in the Houston courts if you know the right people. This girl has been in trouble before, and did very little time, and I have done far more time for much less. The whole system seems so corrupt. It all depends upon which PO you get, which judge you get, who knows who, whether you are black/hispanic or white. I was just wounderin whether that system that determines the judge is random or if it can be manipulated. This could be chance but it sure doesn't smell kosher. This girl had several other drug related offenses and did no or little time either.

Anonymous said...

"I really don't think my estimate of the numbers is that far off. Out of the approximate 500 HCDAO employees I would be quite surprised if there are even 50 who support Lykos."

You really think so? Nine to one? Wow.

You think the 50 are genuine?

Anonymous said...

12:16-
Come to think of it, I honest to God don't know even close to 50 people there who have anything good to say about Lykos. I think 95 per cent vs 5 per cent is more accurate. The only people who like her are the folks she brought in, a few suck ups and RP.

BTW, my favorite "skills" of the political consultant/grant writer Lykos hired are :
Reputation management (she desperately needs this!)
Crisis communication (everyday is a crisis!)
Media relations (help get Oberg off my ass!)
Development controversies (all her policies)
Opposition research (grand jurors investigation)
Blogging

Still waiting for grant writing to be added to Benzion's list of skills...

Anonymous said...

My personal favorite from that list of specialties (and likely your DA's): REPUTATION MANAGEMENT

I'm in south florida & I thought our courthouse was F'd up from reading the local blog (JAABLOG), but you guys are in worse shape.

I've never supported a Republican but go Anderson !!!

Anonymous said...

Look at his new and improved LinkedIn profile:

I am a freelance strategic communications and research consultant specializing in...

Grant Writing


Heh.

Anonymous said...

NoteFTP currently employed ADAs - if you have a linkedin account Benzion can see who is looking at his resume / reading this blog

Anonymous said...

Well David - and 6th floor - now that you have had to sprint into action to correct the LinkedIn page, which is hysterical, please enlighten us all on the grants you have written to date as well as all the ones before you updated your page. Please let us know how much Harris county is paying for your resources. How many media calls are you fielding a day on average. Do we really need two or people during a period of fiscal austerity and a declining property tax base. 6th floor, exactly how can you justify Nathan's treatment but let your pr person off the hook? David, care to respond or have you lost your nerve?

Anonymous said...

Check and see how he's paid. Which "fund" is it? It is illegal to pay him from certain funds. Those darned rules.

Erica said...

I wish we could have made it to the reunion - we will need more advanced notice next time. We miss all our HCDAO friends and would have loved to have seen everyone. I hope everyone had a great time!

Anonymous said...

This is just FYI for the typical non-political courthouse "grunt" in the trenches trying cases, doing their job and wondering when is this election going to happen:
Probably May 29th, 2012 but "could be" JUNE 26th 2012!!!

From the Republican Web Site but factual in content:

Redistricting Update XI: It Is All Up To The Courts


The fate of the redistricting maps now rests solely with the three-judge panel in San Antonio. As of the time of this update, a global agreement between all parties has not been reached relative to the Texas House and Texas Congressional districts. Therefore, the final decisions as to where the lines will be are in the hands of the three-judge panel. The panel set deadlines for parties to submit final briefs on various issues and that deadline has now passed. This now means that all the arguments are over and all we are waiting for now is for the Court to rule.

If the Court issues maps on or before March 3rd, then the May 29th primary date can be accomplished - assuming a re-opened filing period can be accomplished within a few days. If the Court issues new maps after March 3rd, then the next and final available primary date would be June 26th. To accomplish a June 26th primary, maps would still need to be issued by March 30th to meet the June 26th date.

There is a possibility that the San Antonio three-judge panel (which handles Section 2 challenges of the Voting Rights Act) will wait to see what the Washington D.C. three-judge panel (who handles Section 5 challenges of the Voting Rights Act) rules, and that subsequently, the San Antonio panel incorporates the D.C. panel’s findings into new maps. The D.C. panel indicated that it would not rule prior to March. Consequently, if the San Antonio panel is waiting on the D.C. panel, a May 29th primary could only be accomplished if the D.C. panel rules at the very start of March and the rulings can be incorporated into alterations of the maps within a few days. Otherwise, only the June 26th primary date is an option.

If the San Antonio three-judge panel does not view it as a necessity to wait on the Washington D.C. panel, then we would expect to get new maps any day now.

As instructed by the San Antonio three-judge panel last week, the RPT’s attorneys have been in contact with the Texas Democratic Party's attorneys to negotiate over proposed deadlines relative to a May 29th Primary Election and we are proceeding to plan as if we will have a May 29th Primary. RPT will provide you notice of any rulings as soon as practical.

Anonymous said...

From an outsider's point of view, if things are as bad as what is described in the DAO, why doesn't everyone who supports either Anderson or Ferttita just stand up for them openly and exercise their Constitutional right to do so.

Ms. Lycos surely couldn't fire them all for that as she certainly would expose herself to a civil lawsuit if she did. Besides that, think of the impact it would make on the voters as the media would make a hey-day of it.

Anonymous said...

I heard that not one current prosecutor of the DAs office was present. Is this true?

Geez if that is true what a loud statement that makes about Lycos.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

There actually were a handful of current prosecutors at the reunion, no doubt emboldened by receiving Benzion's encouragement to go.

Those who didn't go can't be faulted. It is a noble idea to have everyone stand up and defy Lykos in unison, but the reality is that everyone has a responsibility to their families that has to come first. When you have incidents like Lykos cronies taking attendance at events and semi-literate ass clowns like Don Hooper writing on every website that they can, a little paranoia isn't entirely unwarranted.

Anonymous said...

Murray,
I understand employees have to protect their families, but my point was that I don't think she could fire 90% of the office or even do something administratively to that many people at one time.

The opportunity to defeat her at the polls will happen in the next few months. Silent employees make the public think things are just fine. Besides, when she reads on this blog that people are afraid to speak up for fear of being fired, I think it empowers her. Don't you know that she is just thrilled to think people of afraid of her?

I can recall where employees of the police and the fire department have used votes of "no-confidence" in their Chiefs as a political tool. A revolt against the "Queen" would speak volumes to the voters; I think her hands would be tied to do anything against employees if enough of them took a stand and contributed money to one of her opponents.

No government employee should be discriminated against for exercising their Constitutional rights. Isn't that why Lykos claims she couldn't do anything to the prosecutor who took the 5th?

Anonymous said...

I don't work for the current D.A. and left after 20 years of service when Mr. J.B. Holmes was in office.

Now, having qualified my history but lack of experience in having stood in the shoes of those who currently work at the office, and thus not truly feeling the stress, tension, and crazy making atmosphere that factually must exist - based on all accounts read here - I find it highly naive to suggest that anyone would STAND up, like "Norma Rae", and out themselves.

Ever heard of a lame duck administration? That duck becomes a Viper. EVEN IF she loses, she still has the power to fire. If all things go as one would hope she will just do what the “sour grape” lame duckers did in Galveston and just not show up for work. Honestly, the sad truth is this: Just think how much better off D.A. Lykos would be today if from the day she took office she did nothing but show up for work, let everyone do their job, keep all that was there managerially in place and didn’t use her every effort to feed her ever fragile ego? That’s right “Judge” – get elected – do nothing – and get re-elected, or at a minimum, NOT get a primary opponent? How simple yet impossible for even you to understand.

If this “lady” has the gall (not balls) to do what she did regarding the perceived political Grand Jury situation, how do you think she views an out-ed employee ant squirming and curled up burning on a hot Houston sidewalk? "I" wouldn't risk Insurance benefits etc. - especially since Anderson will NOT win or lose based on the few employees who might cross this irrational line drawn in the sand. This ain't the Alamo. The cause is worthy to unseat Lykos, but the true efforts to do so can be spent getting out the vote - under the wire - and keeping HER guessing and busy being the paranoid nut that she is. Why give any balm to her paranoia unilaterally? No current employee kamikaze political martyrs needed – not necessary. Just simply get out the vote WHEN the time comes.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows the least bit about Pat Lykos knows if she is anything, she is vindictive. There are many ways to damage any of her employees whom she feels are adverse to her. She can manufacture reasons to fire, or not give raises or promotions to name a few. She can move them to less enjoyable assignments, etc. This could all be done without stating the actual reason.
For years before Lykos regime, many prosecutors worked there as career prosecutors with no thought to political parties or DA elections because for 40 years the elected DA's put no political burden on the employees. We didn't know who were republicans and who were democrats and same for hiring decisions. We knew that if we did our jobs well and honestly, our jobs would be safe regardless of our political persuasion. That all changed with Lykos. That is the reason 90% of the prosecutors were smart to stay away from the reunion and also is why Mike made it clear he did not expect them to come (although I'm sure he admires those who did). When Mike wins, he needs those career prosecutors to still be there to help him right the office.

Anonymous said...

12:22 - a difference with fire departments and police departments is that those employees enjoy "civil servant" status, and it is very difficult to fire employees. At the DA's office, we are "employees at will," which means we can be fired at anytime for almost any reason.

Anonymous said...

Since Lycos seems to take attendance at all the events maybe we should turn the table on her.

How would it be if at every event Lycos attends just one person show up and ask her the questions we would like answers to. Be it a political or media event. Perhaps the blue hairs would learn something of value.

I know current employees cannot particpate but perhaps there is a relative that could go in your place. I have every intention of asking some friends to do this very thing.

So if anyone knows of any upcoming event shout it out on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:43:

Good suggestion regarding attendance at Lykos' events. As far as scheduled events/appearances, you can check out her website. She apparently puts everything there except the evidence she promised to release.

Hey, where is Day____; it's been a while.

Anonymous said...

You can go to the Harris County Republican Party website and look at the calendar of events. It will show all candidate forums and other events as well as the schedule for all the Republican clubs. Daughters of Liberty is a big one.

Anonymous said...

The reunion was great. Thanks to Bert, Chip and Paul for providing a venue where all the camaraderie of the Harris County District Attorney's Office was allowed. Thanks to Pat, Jim, Roger for providing a venue where nothing but depression and despair exist.

Anonymous said...

- "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."

Casablanca 1942

Anonymous said...

Mike and Devon Anderson, as well as Pat Lykos, were at a Republican picnic Sunday. Once again, Mike and Devon were very well received. It seemed like more people wanted to talk to the Andersons than to Lykos. Also, more people had on Anderson stickers than Lykos stickers.

Everyone stay encouraged. Things are looking good! Make sure your friends are registered to vote!

Republican Activist

Anonymous said...

Has anyone in the DAs office admitted to wearing a wire into the GJ? Not that I would expect lycos to give an honest answer. Just wondering if They have been asked

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 12:43 p.m.,

I don't know the answer. Perhaps we should ask David Benzion, since he checks in here.

Hey David,

Has anybody from upper-Admin admitted to wearing a wire in front of the Grand Jury?

Anonymous said...

If it was a WIRE Gary Johnson would know and won't lie for anyone. But digital age thin tape recorders - to me - would have been morr practical. Judt put in jacket pocket snd roll.

If they DID go to the trouble of a wire - public opinion will be negative either way; tape or wire.

Sny word on Special Prosecutor "Pro-Tem" - whatever?

Anonymous said...

It is not surprising that current ADA's are afraid to be seen at Anderson functions. It is telling that current ADA's are not showing up much at all for Lykos events. Where oh where can that supportive leadership team be? What's the matter Pat can't you scare them into showing up for you?

Not Vic said...

"Chip Lewis asked me to let all those planning to attend that tonight is NOT a fundraising event for any candidate. Additionally, all food, drinks and valet parking are complimentary, courtesy of our hosts."

And we are supposed to be surprised the place was packed? Even if it was a ruse for a photo-op and team sign-up Harris County prosecutors are not known to pass up free food and booze--not ever.

Not Vic

A Harris County Lawyer said...

So, "Not Vic", you think that prosecutors are just a bunch of freeloaders that will go anywhere for free food and drink? I think that type of contempt and disrespect for the ADAs is pretty much the underlying problem that the Lykos "leadership" team has. All of their other screw ups flow from that.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting for that Texas Rangers investigation into the ties of the GJ with the Anderson's. Remember that pesky little form one signs as a grand juror that one will not participate on any cases one has any ties or remote interest in.... yeah, that little form. Murray, I trust since you are unbaised, you will post this, as you did not lasttime...

No offense, but perhaps a DA investigation was justified by the law being broken by the GJ itself..

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Anon 8:18 a.m.,

I didn't post your last comment last time because I don't know what the hell you are talking about, and I think you are trying to spread more misinformation than Hooper at a Republican candidates meeting.

The premise of your comment is silly, because you assume facts not in evidence. Actually what you are trying to do is re-direct the negative attention on Lykos by insinuating that the Grand Jurors did something wrong. By doing what? Existing?

And if the investigation by the Rangers is truly into the Grand Jurors, then why is it that they keep seizing District Attorney computers, exactly? Did that crazy Pat Lykos let those Grand Jurors use her computers?

For future reference, I'm more than happy to post opposing opinions to mine. I'm a little more stringent when it comes to blatantly dishonest misdirection comments used to try to frighten people away from looking at their elected leader with a critical eye.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:18. That "form" you speak of does not exist. Stop making stuff up. You are not a lawyer Agnes.

Anonymous said...

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure RE: Grand Juries:

Art. 19.08. QUALIFICATIONS. No person shall be selected or serve as a grand juror who does not possess the following qualifications:1. The person must be a citizen of the state, and of the county in which the person is to serve, and be qualified under the Constitution and laws to vote in said county, provided that the person's failure to register to vote shall not be held to disqualify the person in this instance;2. The person must be of sound mind and good moral character;3. The person must be able to read and write;4. The person must not have been convicted of misdemeanor theft or a felony;5. The person must not be under indictment or other legal accusation for misdemeanor theft or a felony;6. The person must not be related within the third degree of consanguinity or second degree of affinity, as determined under Chapter 573, Government Code, to any person selected to serve or serving on the same grand jury;7. The person must not have served as grand juror or jury commissioner in the year before the date on which the term of court for which the person has been selected as grand juror begins;8. The person must not be a complainant in any matter to be heard by the grand jury during the term of court for which the person has been selected as a grand juror.


Art. 19.34. OATH OF GRAND JURORS. When the grand jury is completed, the court shall appoint one of the number foreman; and the following oath shall be administered by the court, or under its direction, to the jurors: "You solemnly swear that you will diligently inquire into, and true presentment make, of all such matters and things as shall be given you in charge; the State's counsel, your fellows and your own, you shall keep secret, unless required to disclose the same in the course of a judicial proceeding in which the truth or falsity of evidence given in the grand jury room, in a criminal case, shall be under investigation. You shall present no person from envy, hatred or malice; neither shall you leave any person unpresented for love, fear, favor, affection or hope of reward; but you shall present things truly as they come to your knowledge, according to the best of your understanding, so help you God".

JUST THE FACTS.

Not Vic said...

C'mon Murray that's a bit of a stretch even for you. What exactly was the point in highlighting the complimentary eats and drinks in the very first sentence if not an enticement?
When Anderson & Co. "ask" for donations of time an money as they surely will let's see if the freebies were worth it. Remember there are no free lunches for the working class.

Anonymous said...

Note to Texas District Attorney's- If you find yourself needing a "strategic communications and research consultant" - then you're probably doing it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Not Vic, I went to the reunion and apparently you did not because you are Don Hooper or not an ex ADA or current ADA. There was a discussion among my friends who were planning on attending about parking and the bar. The consensus was it would be a cash bar with snacks provided by the restaurant and we would take care of parking ourselves. We were all anticipating attending and the cost was not an issue. I was surprised when the extra post was added indicating everything was being provided by our hosts. In addition, a number of people came in from out of town at substantial cost just to attend the reunion. Surely you don't think they flew and drove large distances just for a couple of drinks, some food and free parking? Then again you do think that because you are delusional and your remarks make that clear.

I did notice none of the current ADAs who are Lykos supporters were present. A better case can be made they like free stuff since so many were hired at high salary while totally unqualified for their job. Its like getting money for nothing.

Not Vic said...

anon 10:47

1. Obviously you don't know Vic
2. "Methinks the lady doth protest too much"
3. Why would Murray even mention the free shit if it wasn't important to get the local peeps to attend
4. all ADAs are not mooches but a very very large percentage were, are and will be
5. whomever I am does not excuse nor explain the inappropriate behavior of freeloaders generally
6. back in the good old days of county rides there were ADAs who would drive all the way in from the boonies to tank up with free gas downtown instead of filling it up at their own expense. A free county ride with free county maintenance and free county insurance for personal use was not enough these mooches wanted free county gas in every tank.

Murray was always a stand up prosecutor who paid his way and didn't exploit the perks. His behavior does not excuse yours or others.

Anonymous said...

Not Vic, check the update and you will find the announcement of the free stuff was not made until the day before the event and after they had already received approximately 150 RSVPs from people attending. Looks like they really needed that announcement so that the approximately 150 people who RSVP'ed would really attend.

Yes I know Vic and know him well. I worked in the same office for well over 20 years. Don't paint all ADAs like Vic and I know you will be surprised but Vic is not quite his reputation. For whatever reason he enjoys his reputation. But you would only know that if you had more than a courthouse knowledge of Vic. I suppose none of your friends like free stuff and probably refuse to attend anything where the refreshments are free. I know you never would.

Quoting Shakespeare, the last person I saw doing that was Lykos.

Why would Murrary post the information about the evening costs being covered by Chip, Paul and Bert. Maybe so everyone would know since everyone who was at the reunion had already committed to attending. Even with that a number of people I know paid for their own drinks.

I don't know what beef you have with ADAs but yes we have had some who took advantage having cars. If you checked my car use you would find I was questioned about why my milage and gas use did not match. I told them I sometimes filled up the tank on my dime. I was instructed not to do that because it messed up some accounting system they had.

Bottom line in my experience at the office I found the vast majority of the staff to be extremely generous. It was extremely generous of Chip, Paul and Bert to pay for the reunion.