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.