Friday, January 4, 2013

The Anderson Era Begins

On the morning of January 1st, I got up around 9:00, put on a suit and tie and headed to the South Texas College of Law to watch Mike Anderson be sworn in as Harris County District Attorney.

I wasn't getting sworn in myself -- contrary to popular speculation I wasn't seeking my job back as a prosecutor.  I just wanted to see an Office that had meant so much to me in my life put into the hands of a Leader who would do a good job of running it.  Obviously, this blog has pretty much been devoted to that goal for the past four years or so.

January 1, 2013 was a day that I have been waiting for since about May of 2008.

I wasn't the only member of the Defense Bar who got up early in the morning on New Year's Day to see Mike Anderson sworn in.  In addition to the Harris County prosecutors, investigators, and support staff there to be sworn in, there were plenty of District Attorney Alumni as well.  I saw Mike Hinton, Brad Means, Chip Lewis, and Todd Leffler there.  Judges Ryan Patrick and Mike Schneider were in attendance, as well.

Judge Denise Bradley gave the introduction and swearing in of Mike.  When she introduced him, he got a standing ovation.

Unless you are a former or current prosecutor, I don't think I can really explain how happy the Assistant District Attorneys were to finally have a new boss.

Mike's speech was pretty awesome.  Yes, I know I'm a big fan of his and so I'm biased, but it was really inspiring.

He told the prosecutors that being a prosecutor was the best job they would ever have and he wanted them to always feel that.  He emphasized that although they may ultimately leave for bigger salaries and nicer cars, he wanted them to always look back on being a prosecutor as the best time in their careers.

He said everyone started with a clean slate -- "even if they had worn a Lloyd Oliver t-shirt."

He said he wanted to mend the fences that had been damaged with law enforcement during the previous administration.

He told them that they should always play by the rules and there should never be any question over whether or not something wasn't disclosed to Defense Counsel.  He stated, "You've either got 'em or you don't," and there was never a need to cheat as prosecutor.

He told them that he wanted compassion to be part of their outlook in how they did their jobs.

He said that he would always have their backs -- standing by them when times were tough, and standing behind them, cheering them on, when times were good.

He wrapped up his mission statement by asking those who wanted to go forward with him to please stand and raise their right hand as he administered their oaths.

I was glad I went -- just to see it happen.

Over the past year or so, I've gotten asked the question, "Are you going back?" about a zillion times, it seems.  My answer was always pretty much the same.  I'm very happy with my life and my job as a Defense Attorney.  I have no desire to go back to the Office.

The only thing that made it slightly tempting was that I believed Mike Anderson was a very inspiring leader -- the kind of person you would follow into battle.

His speech pretty much exemplified every reason I believe that.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Murray. That nearly 2 minute standing ovation said it all. It was amazing how many defense attorneys (former ADAs) were there. Pretty sure that's not happened before. So proud of Mike and looking forward to things settling down and good work getting done by good people.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had been there but Scotland and fireballs were calling.

Mike, make us proud.

Edward D. Porter

Anonymous said...

Well, Rosenthal told people to play by the rules too...

Ron in Houston said...

Now wait - two questions:

1. Were there really Lloyd Oliver t-shirts?

2. If they exist, does anyone really admit to wearing one?

Anonymous said...

Wish I'd been able to make it. It doesn't seem that long ago (autumn of 1985) that I was chief in the 248th D.C. and Mike was my number two and Belinda my number three. Where did those 27 years go so fast? That's what's scary! Best of luck to the new Administration.
Sid Crowley.

Anonymous said...

In case you didn't know, Rosenthal resigned in 2007 and is no longer relevant to HCDA. Additionally, it's very unfair to compare Anderson to Rosenthal. They are entirely different people. Mike has never displayed the on-going moral failures of Rosenthal nor has he behaved hypocritically. His reputation as a prosecutor and as a Judge is impeccable. His choices of First Assistant and Chief Investigator could not be better. Those people WILL play by the rules and would not play any other way; they will insist their staff do the same.
Mike is a seasoned Prosecutor with significant Judicial experience who has always been respected by those who have worked for and with him. Pat Lykos did not have those qualities and that was why she only was in office for one term. You are an obvious supporter of Lykos trying to link Anderson to Rosenthal. There are no links so go spew your venom somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

3:42, you think that was venom? You have the thinnest skin I have ever seen.

Bradley thought he was playing by the rules too. Just because someone says they will doesn't mean their interpretation of the bounds of the rules is accurate, fair, or compassionate.

Anyway, good luck unwadding those panties.

Murray Newman said...


Where have you been?

Yes, there were Lloyd Oliver t-shirts. The only person I ever saw wear one was Dupont, but he was just being funny.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I understand Patsy will be heading the Criminal Justice Bureau of the sheriff's office. She role is to oversee the court division. Nice going Adrian.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if the rumor about Lykos being hired by Adrian Garcia but if its true, I extend my most sincere sympathy to the Sheriff. He would truly be shooting himself in the butt. I wouldn't wish my worst enemy the fate of having to deal with Lykos everyday. HCDA just got rid of the Lykos Scourge. Geez Adrian didn't you get the message from Harris County voters? We don't want Pat Lykos in a government job!

Anonymous said...

If true, way to go Sheriff Garcia! We stand behind you.

Newman your hated will catch up with you one day, repent!

Anonymous said...

"Unless you are a former or current prosecutor, I don't think I can really explain how happy the Assistant District Attorneys were to finally have a new boss."

Until moves came out, and everyone saw that it was politics as usual at the DA's office...

Anonymous said...

Many of us are saying, "WTF?!" These moves by these women have to stop! Their idiotic ideas are doing nothing but bringing down the morale of the office. Sure, there are a few happy people, but for most it's crap all over again. There are 5 or 6 women in charge there. I can hardly wait until Mike Anderson actually begins making some decisions! I don't dislike women, but these women are idiots and they're just plain mean!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:59

I agree with you, when is something good going to happen? Look what they have done to Gary and others. There is way too much estrogen involved and it will come to a crash faster than before.