Monday, February 4, 2008

Balls of Steel?

Alan Bernstein is reporting in his article on the Chronicle website about Kelly Siegler calling for Chuck Rosenthal to resign. Admittedly, she isn't the first candidate in the race to do so. Jim Leitner did it first.

But as Mark Bennett points out there are two candidates who have still failed to do so: Pat Lykos and Doug Perry.

Why wouldn't they?

Well, Lykos is probably still being the ultimate politician, listening to her advisors who are telling her "the longer Chuck is in Office, the more people will associate Siegler with him". So, she is waiting to decide whether such a statement will play favorably with the voters.

And Perry is still probably trying to figure out who this Rosenthal guy that everybody keeps talking about is.

So, Kelly states her opinion when asked, and what are they saying on the Chronicle blogs? They are saying she stabbed Chuck in the back. Man, those bloggers over there are fickle. They call him the devil in all of their other blogs, and then they blast Siegler for stating her opinion that he should resign. Talk about "can't win for losing"!

So, while Lykos and Perry consider whether or not they want to go on record for saying Rosenthal to resign, Kelly Siegler probably had to say one of the hardest things of her life:

That her boss for the past seven years . . . her friend . . . a person who promoted her to division chief and then bureau chief . . . should resign.

How do you think that made her feel?

And in addition to that, don't forget that Chuck Rosenthal is still Kelly's boss. He could fire her tomorrow. Fire her from a job that she's devoted over 20 years of her life to.

So what? you say. She's married to a doctor, for crying-out-loud! She doesn't need the money.

Well, she was married to a doctor seven years ago when Rosenthal took office, so she probably "didn't need the money" back then any more than she would "need it" today.

Maybe, just maybe, Kelly does the job because she genuinely cares and knows she's helping the people of Harris County.

And yeah, Ron in Houston, it may seem like I've got my lips firmly pressed against Kelly's posterior (as you mentioned on Mark's blog), but is it really so wrong to stand for the proposition that if a person accused of a horrible crime is entitled to hiring a high-powered defense attorney like Dick DeGuerin that a victim's family doesn't deserve someone with Kelly's talent on their side?

People will keep talking. I know that. I can pretty much guess what the responses to this posting are going to sound like, already.

Her statement came too late. Her statement was politically motivated.

But her statement came.

And it came with consequences.

She lost a friend. She may have even lost her job.

What she said today was probably one of the toughest things she's ever had to say in her life.

Kind of makes you wonder why Lykos hasn't said the exact same thing . . .


Anonymous said...

I couldn't have said it better myself.

Anonymous said...


A Harris County Lawyer said...

Nope. Ask Mark if you don't believe me.

Anonymous said...

You act like you dont use the blogs on the Chronc to further your agenda AHCL

Anonymous said...

Upon reflection, Pat Lykos has definitely taken sides on what Kelly Siegler said, and her statement should appear in the print version of my story for Tuesday's paper, which will be posted on our web site, per routine, about 12:30 a.m.

Also I await the assertions that my coverage of Kelly's Siegler's remarks somehow betrayed a deep-seated commie bias. My e-mail address appears at the bottom of my stories and can be used to shovel such gimlet-eyed analyses directly to my inbox.

-- Alan Bernstein

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Mr. Bernstein, I should have known it was too good to last. I'm still waiting on you to run the story about Lykos and the yarmulke.

Anon 10:51, I don't post on the Chron. I used to, but found it to annoying dealing with folks like Charli and crew.

And to the person who is wondering where their post is, I deleted it. See the posting on Deletions that I did below, and you can see how I feel about people posting rumors on here that have nothing to do with the issue.

For future posters, thanks to the actions of a few, I'm going to have to follow Mark Bennett's lead and require you to sign in to post. This place is for discussing issues, not for running a National Enquirer-styled gossip blog.

For those of you who regularly read and post valid discussions, I'm sorry for the inconvenience.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Like I've said before, I'm not afraid of posting comments that disagree with me but there are some things that I'm going to draw the line on.

Please keep writing your thoughts, and I'll enable the comments as quickly as I can. There are just some folks out there that can't seem to play by the rules.

I'm as disappointed that I had to do it as you are.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Mr. Bernstein, in your current article (before the 12:30 change) you state : "Defense lawyer and former prosecutor Jim Leitner, another candidate for DA, already has said Rosenthal should step down. The other Republican contenders, former judge Pat Lykos and police Capt. Doug Perry, said they were neutral on whether Rosenthal should remain in office."

Did that change somehow in the past eight hours?

And pardon my "gimlet-eyed analysis", but I'm not a professional journalist.

Anonymous said...

Yes, as I stated above, candidate Lykos weighed in after further reflection. "Read all about it" and then let's all go to sleep.

Northside said...

Do you find it ironic that anonymous posters bother you but yet you yourself are anonymous as well?

I agree with many of your opinions regarding the life of an ada prosecuting violent crimes. But really, this blog should have a paid political disclaimer for the Kelly campaign. Believe it or not, there are lots of folks in HC law enforcement that think a strong disciplinarian like Judge Lykos would be good for the office.

I think the Chron is actually doing a great job covering this fiasco. But there are more questions they need to be asking about the office. And those questions not only bring into doubt the way the office ran under CR, but under Holmes as well. Falkenberg needs to keep asking questions about those racist emails until a believeable answer is provided by the participants.

Now Holmes was an interesting DA. Those who ever met in his office, darkened as it was, the only sound being that of his police scanner. It was kinda spooky.

Your website is great, in terms of providing some insight into the mind of nitty gritty prosecutors. Yes, prosecutors have a tough job. It is not just the death penalty prosecutors that take home issues with them each night, but all prosecutors dealing with senseless violence, especially regarding children.

That was my point in other posts about ada's becoming burnt out. Call it secondary wounding, call it PTSD, but the attitude displayed on this blog especially shows that some HCADA's are way out of touch with the populace, and indeed, with some common ideas of humanity.

Other than the lying, the political use of county equipment, and the double talk during capital voir dires, I am most troubled by the lack of concern about the racism issues. And I'm a white man. And if I'm concerned, how does the minority community feel about your office?

Years ago, perhaps 25 or more, LAPD was under federal court order to increase the minority ranks of officers. One astute commentator said at the time, and I'm paraphrasing..."It doesn't matter how many 'To Protect and To Serve' stickers you have on your car, if you are treating minorities unfairly".

And there are some serious questions related to race that need to be answered by Kelly.

How can the doublespeak regarding strikes on Lakewood members be tolerated by you? Strategy you say? Really, I thought under Batson you had to use the same striking criteria for all venire inside the strike zone?

Why are there only 15 black ada's in a city where there is approximately 40% blacks? With 260 ada's, HC should have more than that.

And please don't tell us that qualified blacks don't apply with your office. Wait, you don't have an intership program with the black law school in town? Really? What is the justification for that?

It was nice that Mr. Durfee admitted in a released email that the non-discriminatory guidelines in the policy manual were not followed. I don't see Lloyd as anyone's champion, but maybe a black applicant who was not hired recently by your office (and I am sure there are a few) will hire him and file suit and dig further into this worm hole.

My final question: what does Kelly say to the parents in this situation, other than "Trust me, I'm the government": The law abiding black parents of the non-violent first offenders, who hear that (insert name here, like Trent or Freyer) are prosecuting their child. How does Kelly assure them that the things they fear from your office are not true? How does Kelly convince them that their son will be treated in a race neutral fashion by your office?

Kelly has a hard road ahead of her. The Lakewood comments, the jewish issue, her husband and his baggage...these are all relevant to her qualifications and ability to run that office.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Mr. Bernstein, I misread your 11:46 pm post from last night until you clarified it. I thought when you said "Upon reflection, Pat Lykos has definitely taken a stand", I took you to mean that upon your OWN reflection that you had decided that she had taken a stand, which I found very odd.
Sorry about that. You cleared the issue up. Sorry for the earlier sarcasm.
I'm sure we'll butt heads again in the future, but at the moment, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Yes I find it ironic that I post anonymously and get irritated with Anonymous posters. I feel like a hypocrite quite often, to tell you the truth.
Unfortunately, it's a balancing test, and the benefits (and actual NEEDS) of remaining Anonymous outweigh the ideals of putting my name under each article, like Mr. Bernstein does.
I try to balance that out by keeping this blog about views and discussing them. I try to shy away from stating gossip or things that may not be true as cold hard facts. I'm doing my best to just keep this about opinions.
My issue is when an Anonymous poster wants to do the equivalent of writing on the restroom walls. The one last night was one of the more egregious examples (and it was also very clear who had sent it FYI).
Anyway, its all a balancing act in the end, and I'm trying to do the best I can, but yeah, sometimes I do feel like a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

All apologies welcome and unnecessary, from Quanell's to yours! And since Mr. Bernstein was my father, please call me Alan, or Trotskyite. Now let's see where this ever-changing story leads next . . .