Monday, September 10, 2012

More from the Lame Duck Administration

As of this morning, we are 112 days away from the End of the Pat Lykos Era at the Harris County District Attorney's Office.  Whether the new District Attorney will be former Judge Mike Anderson or former indictee Lloyd Oliver will be decided in November, but the fact that Patricia R. Lykos is now an official Lame Duck politician has long been decided.

It is an interesting phenomenon when a politician becomes a Lame Duck.  Some use their short time remaining in Office to prepare for a clean and seamless transition.  Others try to rally their troops to execute one last piece of policy that will become their Legacy.  Some simply do nothing and just wait for the end to come, patiently drawing a paycheck.

And then others seem to want to treat the office like a hotel room being occupied by Motley Crue and Quiet Riot on a bender.

Ever since Pat Lykos lost the Republican Primary, she has been making regular trips to the Commissioners' Court, tinkering with the personnel roster, and toying with the budget.  All of these things are designed to leave the Harris County District Attorney's Office in a much weaker position when whoever takes over on January 1, 2013.

She's dropped the maximum salary slots on several positions in favor of handing out some raises to her chosen few.  She's been hiring both new investigators and new prosecutors of political allies.

And she's been raiding the Office's Budget fund like it was King Midas' piggy bank.

Apparently, Lykos now has an item on the Commissioners' Court agenda for Tuesday where she is going to be asking for about $365,000 for payment for a three day CLE seminar for about 160 or so junior prosecutors.  It is mandatory training for them and she wants to take the funds out of the D.A.'s Discretionary account.

The CLE is to be hosted by the National District Attorney's Association (on which Lykos is a Board Member).

The idea that a CLE would cost well over a quarter of a million dollars is staggering -- especially when it isn't in Hawaii (where she sent herself for a CLE last year).  The idea that there is some sort of rush to get it done before she leaves office is foolish, as well.  Unless there has been a sudden and massive change in the law or the way that prosecutors handle their jobs, I fail to see the urgency.

It would seem to me that the decision on how the money should be spent would be better decided by the new Administration.  They will have to operate under budget for the next several years to come.  Frivolously throwing away $365,000 to an organization where you serve as a Board Member seems, well, unseemly.

When I was a kid, my parents taught me that I should always leave a place where I visited in better shape than how I found it -- or at least not in worse shape.

Too bad that Lykos doesn't follow that same principle.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a bit curious, since Lykos asked to send "approximately" 200 employees, the training is being provided within a mile of the CJC (no overnight stays required), and - including multi-employee discounts - the advertised tuition is about $550 per person ($595 for the first person, with a $50 discount for each additional from the same office). Unless my calculator's broken, the tuition seems to account for only about one-third of the requested expenditure.

Anonymous said...

Having attended both NDAA and TDCAA training, money is better spent on TDCAA training. In fact I would put TDCAA staff up against the NDAA any day of the week.

If the Commissioners' Court allows that expenditure, they should all be throw out of office.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there will be some investigation of Lykos after she leaves office if this expediture is a sham. When you return to the DA's office, you will have a lot to look into. Are they going to let you continue blogging? Is your readership down now that Lykos is a lame duck? If it is, you can call it even. It served its purpose.

Anonymous said...

She has scheduled the NDAA training 1 week after TDCAA's annual CLE conference in south Texas. She could have sent all those prosecutors and investigators to that conference instead, and even w/ hotel and travel cost would be much less money.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same Pat Lykos whose brother Nick (County Attorney advisor to Commis Ct) along with Barbara Schott (auditor) put the quaeidos on Ken Magidson's attempt to send asset forf funds to TDCAA for training under the theory that the TDCAA wouldn't benefit the HCDA enough to justify the donation ? TDCAA is a valued partner in prosecution and benefits the HCDA much more than NDAA ever has. I wonder why there is no complaint from Schott and Nick this time ?

Anonymous said...

Just a month ago TDCAA put on a one day training session at Harris County Jury Assembly Room for all prosecutors in the area. It concerned eyewitness identification and ethics. The only way Harris County prosecutors found out about it was word of mouth and individual emails to each other. Lykos' head of training (Roger Bridgewater) never even as much as sent an email to the staff to notify them of the FREE CLE provided by some of the stellar speakers from TDCAA.

Why does Lykos suddenly feel the need to put together a last minute training session with little time for prosecutors and judges to prepare to handle the dockets with 2/3 of the prosecutors gone and schedule it one week after the biggest TDCAA training session of the year ??

Anonymous said...

There is a method to Lykos' madness and madness to her methods. Here are her rules,of behavior:

1. First and always, she must have and exercise Control or she gets very anxious
2. There is always some underlying motive for her reasoning.
3. ATTENTION! She must have attention and will do anything she can to get it.
4. Vengeance. The woman is always scheming to get back at those she perceives as having 'done her wrong'. In this instance, she is doing anything she can to make HCDA a disorganized, under financed organization.

Anonymous said...

There is a method to Lykos' madness and madness to her methods. Here are her rules,of behavior:

1. First and always, she must have and exercise Control or she gets very anxious
2. There is always some underlying motive for her reasoning.
3. ATTENTION! She must have attention and will do anything she can to get it.
4. Vengeance. The woman is always scheming to get back at those she perceives as having 'done her wrong'. In this instance, she is doing anything she can to make HCDA a disorganized, under financed organization.

Day 224 said...

"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).


Dear Ms. Lykos:

Perfect timing. Hopefully, you are scheduled to speak at this event. Let's release this evidence and have the last laugh.

Okay - great chat. BTW...was at NYC fashion show last week. High-waisted skirts are back in style. So, hike 'em up.

Sincerely,

- the public

Anonymous said...

That is a serious amount of money. She hasn't done squat to train young prosecutors and now wants to spend a fortune. She must be trying to drain the tank and leave it empty fr the next driver.

Anonymous said...

Why is the 1st Assistant working intake at night?

Anonymous said...

I giggle every time I see a NOT FOR SALE sign. I think he may have gotten my vote because of that. And to keep shaking things up. And to try and prevent a return to the Rosenthal era.

Rage

Anonymous said...

The interesting things about that is that the NDAA is under investigation for squandering and/or losing millions of federal dollars. This should help out with the federal investigation.

Anonymous said...

The last NDAA seminar I attended was not recognized by the Texas State Bar for CLE credit.

Anonymous said...

so what happened at commissioners court?

Anonymous said...

How about spending some money to fix the showers at Intake? They have been broken for over a year. When we work a night shift, we have no way to get cleaned up for the next day's work.

We have asked repeatedly for someone to fix them. No response.

Anonymous said...

To : 7:22am

That would be Leitner's job to buttonhole head of Facilities and Property Management to find out why it's not fixed.

Anonymous said...

See Chronicle article on web tonight about the $360,000. Probably in tomorrow's paper. Lykos tries to justify spending $1800/prosecutor for CLE but writer points out the tuition is only $550/attendee.

Murray is prominently mentioned.