Two weeks ago, there was an appearance before the Commissioners' Court that had something to do with the salary levels of some support staff within the Office. There are some reports that at tomorrow's meeting, she may be making a similar appearance in regards to tinkering with prosecutorial salaries. There is some confusion and controversy about what those appearances are designed to accomplish, so I'm not posting about them quite yet.
What is very clear on tomorrow's Commissioners' Court agenda is item 14(d), which is a request for money that reads:
$17,108 to reimburse Stephen Scott Morris for legal expenses incurred in connection with an investigation and court proceedings in the 185th District Court.Morris, if you will recall, was one of two prosecutors and two court reporters who were ordered to appear in a Show Cause Hearing in front of Judge Susan Brown when it was alleged he and the others had unlawfully come into possession of some Grand Jury transcripts on a proceeding the Harris County District Attorney's Office had been recused from. A contempt action was considered and ultimately dismissed against Morris, Carl Hobbs and the two court reporters.
During the pendency of the Show Cause proceedings, Morris was represented by Randy and Josh Shaffer. Apparently their bill to Morris was so significant that Lykos is asking you, the taxpayer, to help him out on it.
Now, let's take a look at a couple of thoughts that may spring to mind here. I suppose an initial reaction to this might be: "Well, if the case against him was ultimately dismissed, then he deserves to be reimbursed for any money he had to spend. He's not guilty of anything, right?"
Well, that's a lovely thought, and wouldn't it be nice if every time a case was dismissed or a defendant was found not guilty, the government reimbursed the Accused for his or her attorney's fees? It seems only right, doesn't it?
Yeah, that never happens.
I mean, ever.
So, it seems pretty disingenuous to me that you have an employee (and lawyer of the very Agency in charge of prosecuting people) wanting reimbursement when he finds himself prosecuted. All of those other folks that get prosecuted and then get their cases dismissed (or are found not guilty) still have to pay their legal bills, but that type of thing is just unseemly if you are a prosecutor.
The absurdity of the idea that Lykos would even approach the Commissioners' Court and ask them for money to repay the expenses of a debacle that her Office created and perpetuated is astounding.
Every day, hundreds of people get charged with crimes by the simple accepting of charges by an Assistant District Attorney sitting at intake when a cop call in. As a result, they may lose their jobs, their homes, their spouses, and tons of money. If Steve Morris is getting reimbursed for his fees, then every last person who pays for their own attorney should get the same benefit.
Do you think that Roger Clemens is going to be getting money back from the government to help him pay Rusty Hardin's bill? He was found not guilty after all.
Of course not.
But Roger Clemens' tax dollars will certainly be helping pay for Steve Morris' legal fees if the Lykos Administration gets its way.