There was not a tremendous amount of news coming out of the CJC this week other than today's revelation that Lykos political hire and judicial candidate hopeful Lana Shadwick is moving to the Grand Jury Division (upon her request).
Now, as much as I love the fact that those political hires made by the Pat Lykos Administration pretty much get to dictate where they want to serve within the Office, I feel it is worthwhile to point out that this is the fourth slot that Lana has served in since arriving at the Office in 2009 (with little to no experience as a prosecutor). Ms. Shadwick has already bounced from Child Abuse, Family Violence, and Appellate during her brief tenure at the District Attorney's Office.
Please keep in mind that although 99.9% of all prosecutors at one point or another spend at least some time in the trial bureau, Shadwick drew a special exception from Pat Lykos. Perhaps Lykos thought that having the ex-wife of a prominent former Judge would provide some sort of political benefit for her down the road, and therefore there was no need to make her work in the trenches. You know, the Shadwick name is recognizable and all that.
Unlike the other political hires that Lykos made (Leitner, Bridgwater, Chow, Barnhill, Morris, etc.), Shadwick wasn't hired to work in the upper-Administration. Rather, her hiring is more of a blatant example of trying to find job placement for someone to draw a steady government salary without actually having to put them in charge of anything. The unfortunate experiments of putting Shadwick in Child Abuse and Family Violence failed miserably, but she has managed to spend the past couple of years in appellate, quietly refraining from doing too much damage.
But apparently the pressure of being in the Appellate Division has proven way too much for Lana, especially since she is trying to run a campaign for judge against the vastly more qualified Kristin Guiney. Word from the campaign trail has been the Guiney has been outclassing Shadwick so much during Republican events that now Lana won't even show up to events where her opponent will be present. At some point this week, Shadwick requested to be moved to the low-pressure position of Grand Jury prosecutor.
Grand Jury prosecuting ain't a real tricky job. Quite frankly, if you still have something to do in your Office that will go past noon, you are probably doing something wrong. It is the very definition of a "cush" position.
But the pressures of the campaign trail were so demanding on Ms. Shadwick that she asked for some reasonable accommodation, and Lykos gladly complied. Please keep in mind that Assistant District Attorneys Ryan Patrick, Brad Hart, Joe Vinas and Renee Magee have all somehow been able to run for office without asking for a lighter caseload from the boss. Then again, they weren't Lykos Political Hires.
If you think I'm sounding even more annoyed than usual about this particular move, you're right. I'm highly disgusted by it.
I have a hard time understanding why the Lykos Administration would make accommodations for Shadwick so that she could campaign more effectively. In light of the fact that they wouldn't make any accommodations for Shirley Cornelius when she asked for consideration in light of her severely handicapped son, it bothers me tremendously.
I saw Lykos this morning, actually. I was headed to interview a client at the jail, and she was outside smoking a cigarette, with Hannah Chow following diligently at her side. I heard from a friend of mine that at about the same time, he saw Lana Shadwick getting her car washed. I wonder if she took comp time to do so.
I'm sorry if these criticisms seem petty, but they really freaking bug me. I thought the District Attorney's Office was supposed to be a place where people worked together to do the best job possible for the administration of Justice. It isn't supposed to be some sort of political incubator where the main purpose is to help foster political allies.
Lykos and Shadwick just took cronyism to a whole new level.