Saturday, May 16, 2015

Our New Sheriff

Unless you pay absolutely no attention to Harris County politics, you are probably well aware that (now) former-Harris County Sheriff, Adrian Garcia resigned his position to run for Mayor of the City of Houston.  The move had been rumored for months, but since Garcia was required to resign before he could officially announce, he held off on making it official for some time.

What had also been rumored for months was that Harris County Commissioners were planning on appointing Harris County Constable for Precinct Four, Ron Hickman, to fulfill Sheriff Garcia's unexpired term.  That was a smart move -- Hickman is very politically active in the Republican Party and has a good reputation.  He's also a great campaigner.

Sheriff Hickman wasted no time in getting to work on cleaning up some of the messes created under the Garcia Administration -- focusing largely on problems that consistently plague the Harris County Jail.  Sheriff Hickman also set a goal for getting rid of some of his unnecessary administrative positions in favor of more deputies out on the streets.  One of those unnecessary administrative positions has apparently been the job of former-Harris County First Assistant Jim Leitner.

I've heard from several reliable sources this morning that Leitner was terminated from HCSO by the incoming administration.  Although Leitner and I aren't big fans of each other, I can empathize.  It really sucks to lose your job because of politics, doesn't it?  As of this writing, it does appear that Sheriff Hickman will be keeping Clint Greenwood, for some reason.

The path that Leitner takes from here will be interesting.  After leaving the Lykos Administration in 2008, he tried going back to the Defense Bar for a little bit before going to the Sheriff's Office.  He got started on a lot of appointed cases that he didn't finish.

The mayoral election is on November 3rd of this year.  Given that everybody and their dog are running for mayor, it will almost certainly go to a runoff (scheduled for December 12, if necessary).  If Adrian Garcia loses the election, it is rumored that he fully intends to try to reclaim the Sheriff's Office in 2016.  If that is ultimately what happens, Jim wouldn't be able to land himself another political hire with the Sheriff's Office until January 1, 2017 at the earliest.

So, does Jim return to the Land of Burned Bridges within the CJC as a defense attorney where he can deal with prosecutors (who detest him) on a daily basis?  Does he hope and pray that Garcia wins mayor and appoints him to be the King's Hand?  Will he go to work as a guest blogger over at Big Jolly's website?  Will he get to work early on Kim Ogg's inevitable 2016 campaign for District Attorney?  Does he get a job as in-house counsel at Don Hooper's energy trading firm, Kramerica Industries?

It will be interesting to see what happens next.

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your post about the new sheriff, but I have a lot of concerns that no one seems to be talking about:

1. Ron Hickman stating he did not take this job to run a jail. "I wouldn't take this job to run a jail," Hickman said. "If we can find a way to carve off the jail and make it affective logistically and strategically, I'm on board."- KHOU
The problem with this is more than half of the Sheriff's Office employees work in the jail. If Hickman did not want to manage a jail, he should have stayed a Constable. Sheriffs in Texas run jails.
It appears a back room deal was made here. Ed Emmett does not want the largest budget item in Harris County, the jail, to fall under an elected official who Emmett can't control (possibly a democrat - the horror!).
Hickman has always wanted to be sheriff. The deal was made, Emmett promises Hickman the Sheriff appointment- Hickman in turn agrees to support a plan to cut the jail out from the Sheriff's Office. All this done by an official, Hickman, who is not an elected Sheriff.

2. The new chief deputy, Cannon, was indicted for tampering with evidence. http://abc13.com/archive/6248852/
This was an investigation that went all the way to Hickman's door. Hickman does what he can to protect friends, specially donors. Sure Cannon was acquitted (by the way, he was represented by none other then..... Clint Greenwood) - but it stinks. He now is the day to day administrator of one of the largest sheriff's offices in the country (that is until Hickman and Emmett find a way to dice it up for their benefits).

3. Hickman, while Constable, wrote a letter on official letterhead requesting the son of a long time friend, who oh by the way killed one of his deputies, get his prison sentence reduced.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_78xMPbtXAik/SSbiisA_mGI/AAAAAAAAAAM/wOewMpd7Xa0/s1600/Constable+Hickman+letter.JPG

This is wrong on so many levels, I cannot even bring myself to write about it. Hickman did what he always does- protect those that keep him in office- if that means possibly having evidence disappear or supporting the killer of one of his deputies, so be it.

In the short term, Hickman will be good for the Sheriff's Office for the sole reason of commissioner's court has a vested interest in his success. They will approve money and vehicles for the department which they withheld from Garcia. They can't let a republican fail after all... and if that means diverting some funds from the bloated constable offices, so be it.

Yes, Garcia had a lot of issues as Sheriff- but he was also working with a commissioner's court that wanted him to fail. Garcia tried to move the department away from the good ol boy system of days past. Are we going to see it resurface?

What are your thoughts Murray?

Anonymous said...

My bet is on Garcia to head up Pct. 6 Constable's office in the event he loses out on a mayoral bid. His folks from the S.O. Are in olace iver there and not interested in getting in his way if he doesn't make CEO of Houston.

As for Jim, who really cares what he does or where he goes, just as long as he goes away. He brings a dark cliud with him when he enters the CJC.

Hickman has a bit of time available to prove his worth as Sheriff. Commissioners Court will do their best to see that he shines. Maybe he can get some deputies out of the admin and back to investigating robberies, burglaries and homicides & not each other.

Anonymous said...

Murray,

The name Leitner brings back so many bad memories. He and Chuckster tag-teamed to destroy the once prestigious HCDAO and it continues to rot from within. Any thoughts whether Leitner will re-surface to run in the Republican DA primary again? Do you think anyone will challenge Devon in the Republican primary?
Adrian Garcia had no real experience to run the HCSO and I'm hoping Ron Hickman demonstrates that experience counts in law enforcement and this transcends to the HCDAO in 2016.

Just Sayin' said...

1. After Garcia loses his mayoral bid Hickman will beat him in the '16 general election for sheriff

2. Anderson won't make it out of the republican primary

3. Leitner will fight the troll for discarded chicken bones under a bridge somewhere

What goes around comes around........ain't life grand!!!

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

Hey Just Sayin,

Who exactly is your white knight in the primary?

Siegler is NOT running, so who's it going to be?

You? Not I think in this life or the next.

Just Sayin' said...

Dear Angry Devonite,

We'll just have to wait and see what KS actually does since we both KNOW it's hers if she wants it.

I'll bet if her Hollywood gig continues to rock you'd be correct in that she won't run. However, her endorsement carries a lot of weight these days and the way team Anderson has misbehaved they won't get it.
How do you think a KS TV blitz with TNT polish would play? That was rhetorical.

Just Sayin'

Anonymous said...

"Up Tight White Knight" @ 9:10:

The only thing you can run is your mouth.

Time to update your resume.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:10 and her Post Turtle make me laugh!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:10 here. Appreciate the resume advice, but mine is up to date. Is yours?

If calling bullshit on a phantom primary opponent makes me uptight in your mind, so be it. I promise i will not lose sleep over it.

Still waiting for a worthy successor to be named.

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

10 Worthy DA candidates for Harris County:

1. Kelly Siegler
2. Belinda Hill
3. Rusty Hardin
4. Ted Wilson
5. Murray Newman
6. Toby Shook
7. Denise Bradley
8. Mike McSpadden
9. Mark Brown
10. James Anderson

Lucky for the Post Turtle and her Girls' Club none of these folks appear to be interested.
Notwithstanding, I am hopeful a worthy candidate will step up.......it's been too long!

Murray Newman said...

The idea of Devon not being the Republican nominee for DA is just silliness.

1. Kelly is absolutely swamped with TV stuff. Trust me.
2. Belinda isn't going to run against her boss. Get real.
3. Unless Rusty has suddenly decided he doesn't like his current hourly rate, he's not going to stop being the most successful criminal defense attorney in Houston (if not Texas).
4. Ted Wilson loves his gig of being mostly retired except for the lecture circuit.
5. Me? Ha!
6. Toby Shook is Dallas based and also doing extremely well for himself.
7. Denise isn't going to leave her bench to run against Devon.
8. Judge McSpadden isn't even going to run for Judge again, let alone D.A.
9. Judge Marc Brown would make a great D.A., but he's uniquely suited for the Appellate Bench. He's not going to run against Devon.
10. Jim Anderson could have kept on running for County Court at Law and winning for as long as he wanted to.

Devon may have a fight in the general election next year, but she will be just fine in the primary.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a post about the new sheriff. Silly me.

If you really want to know about the new sheriff, find out which deputy chiefs he let go and which ones he kept.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:46, since when has this blog stayed on topic? Remember it began as an anonymous platform to get Kelly Siegler elected DA in 2008. In the past 7 years it has evolved admirably. Sometimes you have to go outside the lines.

Anonymous said...

Indeed, Chuck and Pat did a great deal of harm to the reputation of the DA’s office. Chuck should have been held in contempt of court, or possibly indicted. Pat was incompetent, and brought in some incompetent supervisors. Devon lacks the judgment and does not seem to have the support and backing of the employees that her husband had. I guess that after the decades of stability brought by Vance and Holmes some period of adjustment was inevitable, but who thought it would be this protracted.
It looks like we’ve got a good new sheriff, and let’s hope that the situation in the DA’s office improves.

Anonymous said...

And today the Houston Comical is bashing the new sheriff for a "lack of diversity" in his command staff.

God forbid they give the man some time to clean up the mess Adrian left behind and get into a groove.

The "friends" at that pathetic rag never cease to amaze... They are NEVER your friends. They always look to shame someone for the next "GOTCHYA" moment int he news.

I hope that the new Sheriff does well, and if he proves that he is not up to the task then we can vote him out... But dont let the comical make that decision.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:35 I thought we were talking about real candidates, not fantasy football. I agree with Newman, not gonna happen

Anonymous said...

The belief that any and all troubles with the jail started with Garcia is amusing given how many inmates died there or were raped, tortured, and otherwise abused prior to 2008. As inept as Garcia might be and his unremarkable record as a police officer who could never promote aside, many of the reforms he initiated as suggested by his overpaid consultant were sound.

Those expecting anything other than a "yes man" for commissioner's court from Hickman are going to be disappointed in a major fashion. His expertise for the position is shaky and he's already trying to farm out the majority of his responsibility to whatever private sector jailer buys off commissioner's court. His judgement is questionable given his actions as Constable including his handling of high level employees destroying records and pressuring deputies to drop cases, the support of a deputy killer, and many other quirky events tied to a constable's ability to fire employees at will.

The more you dig, the worse Hickman looks so while the local GOP will make sure he wins the primary, his ability to hold the spot in a presidential election year is questionable at best. Why do you think he passed at running in 2012?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:29,

Your "admiral" evolution brought forth Patsy and Devon…….good job enlightened one!

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:03 are we talking naval officers here or what?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:22,

Patsy and Devon qualified Coxswains, hardly…..…..Admirals, never.

It was a play on the words spoken by anon 9:29…….Darwin would be appalled.

Anon 12:03

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:03 please stop picking on Devon's divas! They get really angry when people point out that they can't think outside the rigid lines of their nasty little boxes and the secretions flow downhill.

Whoops I hope that wasn't too abstract!

Thank you

Anonymous said...

Hey Pablo Picasso aka 4:32, Freud would have a field day with you dude.

Catfish said...

LOL 5:35. Can you imagine how your boy Pablo would cover the canvas with Devon's dysfunctional out-to-lunch boxes?



Anonymous said...

Anon 6:24, "Boxes"! I am continually amazed at the way you objectify women that you fear.

Anonymous said...

I understood Hooper's company was CrackAmerica Industries.

Anonymous said...

@Murray @9:31

We'll see how it turns out. I suspect the Hillary Clinton wave will bring in a lot of changes.

Anonymous said...

Praying Garcia is not voted in as Mayor. Obviously wasn't capable of running the Sheriff's office. Lying Continously. ALL lives matter. Personnel should always follow policy and procedures. You say you weren't aware of our sons conditions, you should have known. He's ill. Blessed and covered in the blood of Jesus. Inhumane. There is a Judge that sara quite high on the throne. He has the last say. He can and will fix it. HCSO must do better. Much room for improvement. It takes a whole community. We are in continous prayer for our son. We're praying for complete peace. Accountability is essential. Awareness change and most of all, changing the culture is key. We must care. Justice for Terry!!!