The Ogg Administration has continued to make some positive additions in the personnel department over the past two weeks.
On January 11th, Ogg announced that retired-178th District Court Judge David Mendoza was joining the Administration as the head of the newly created Office of Professional Integrity. As regular readers of this blog know, I'm a big fan of Judge Mendoza. Although he had previously been a judge, I had never met him before he won the 178th bench in 2008. I quickly developed a strong respect for him after appearing before him in his court.
Judge Mendoza is a quiet and thoughtful man who will be a tremendous asset to the Office in the days to come. I'm glad to see that he'll remain a regular in the CJC as well.
Today, the Office announced two other solid additions to the CJC team with the addition of veteran defense attorney (and actual veteran) Tom Berg. As noted in Ogg's e-mail to the staff, Tom is a defense attorney and former Federal Public Defender, as well a retired colonel in the United States Army reserve. He is joining the office as "First Assistant over the Trial, Appellate, and Special Crimes Bureaus."
Based on the specific title, I'm not certain if this means he will be the First Assistant in the same role that previous First Assistants have held. Either way, he's a good choice. He is highly respected by his peers and he is passionate about the Criminal Justice System. He's also an experienced leader who will do well with the troops.
The other addition is Ruben Perez, a former Harris County and Federal prosecutor. I don't know Ruben personally, but we seem to have a lot of friends in common. Everything I've heard about him has been extremely positive. His resume is impressive. He is a 25 year veteran with the Feds who headed Human Trafficking, Civil Rights, and the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.
He is taking over as head of Special Crimes and his resume seems to indicate that this will be a great match for him.
As I've written before, the personnel choices made by Ogg thus far are actually pretty strong (with three notable exceptions). Hopefully the Office continues in this positive trajectory.