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Showing posts from March, 2008

Did You Vote Today?

If not, why not? You've only got four days left with the convenience of voting at any location. If you are working Downtown, it couldn't be any easier than to go by the Harris County Administration Building located between Fannin and Main, with Congress as a cross-street. The rest of the locations are listed in the link to the right side of the screen. Come on and get out there!

Guest Contributor

Since everybody seems to be having Guest Bloggers these days, I thought I would include the hard work of a reader who wishes to remain anonymous. He or she posted the following information: You've been asking how many times Lykos was reversed. These are all the cases involving Lykos as a judge that come up in a search for " Lykos " in the Lexis "Texas State and Federal Cases" database. I didn't include cases where the appeal didn't involve a ruling that Lykos made or where the appellate court just said that a petitioner wasn't entitled to a writ of prohibition or mandamus. Neither did I include the three cases where Lykos was involved as appellate counsel (losing a request to prevent foster parents from adopting a girl, winning a discharge of her client from the hoosegow for not paying his child support, getting a property division and support order affirmed). It's my opinion that most of the cases where she's affirmed are easy call

More on the Lowry-Lykos Campaign

It looks like I'm not the only one who found the moronic mailer sent out by Terry Lowry to be offensive. The much more politically savvy County Seat also had some interesting commentary on the now infamous "Link Letter" (not to mention some fantastic photo-shopping). In addition, it sounds like Lowry and Lykos are two of a kind. Below is a brief snippet of his interview with Pat Lykos when she was on his radio show. http://bigjolly.com/images/stories/audio/lowry_ethics.mp3 Sounds like Lykos and Lowry were a match made in Heaven. For more of Big Jolly's article on the Lykos-Lowry connection, check out http://bigjolly.com/index.php/Politics/Gutter-Politics.html NOTE: This is the first time I've tried a sound clip on the website, so if you have any problems with it, please let me know ASAP. My default audioplayer is ITunes, and it starts the beginning of a song in my music library before the clip finishes playing. You should be to hear Lykos' resp

EARLY VOTING HAS NOW BEGUN!

Have you voted yet? Come on, early voting started thirty second ago, what are you waiting for? Remember, you can vote in the Republican Primary as long as you did not vote in the Democratic Primary on March 4 th . Even if you didn't vote at all, you can still vote in the Republican Primary. You can vote in any polling location all week long (on Election Day, you have to go vote at the polling location assigned to your precinct, so this is much more convenient). For a list of locations, check out the upper right-hand box of this page. Now, get out there and vote!

Revelling in the Mud

Since we were all grade school age, we've all heard that old saying about how you should never wrestle with a pig, because all that happens is that you get dirty, and the pig enjoys it. Not that Pat Lykos exactly ran a clean campaign prior to March 4 th , but she is really proving herself to be the proverbial "pig" during the run off against Kelly Siegler . I understand that Lykos needs something tangible to give to the voters that will somehow bridge the gap that Kelly holds over her. I mean, something has got to make up for the fact that Lykos has never tried a case as a lawyer, and she's running against the most skilled Prosecutor in the Country. But, there are some things that just don't make sense to me. Kelly Siegler's campaign signs are being vandalized and stolen all over the county. Half the time they are found cut up in pieces to assure that they can't be used or fixed. This doesn't just happen in one portion of the county, either. I

Contact Information

Okay, I've finally caved in and gotten myself an e-mail address if you want to send me an e-mail, and you don't want it published. ahcl2008@gmail.com And if you have only a short term memory, it's listed over on the right side of the postings.

The Importance of the Ertman-Pena Murders

This week the United States Supreme Court decided the case of Jose Ernesto Medellin, stating that the World Court has no binding authority over the United States' laws (specifically not over the laws of Texas). Ted Cruz, the Solicitor General of Texas wrote an opinion piece about the issue in the Chronicle today which illustrates the importance of the ruling. (NOTE: Cruz's article has just got to be dismaying the hell out of the Chronicle's Jeff Cohen who had blasted the ruling earlier in the week for disingenuous reasons that his wife's agenda dictated ). By the way, where is Mark Bennett to accuse the Chronicle of fear-mongering, when you need him? Although the ruling is a significant ruling by the Supreme Court on a national level, I think it is important to remember the significance that the murders of 14-year-old Jennifer Ertman and 16-year-old Elizabeth Pena on June 24, 1993 had locally. The case, to this day, is still one of the most shocking to have ever occ

From Our Humor Section . . .

Top 10 Reasons the Chronicle Endorsed Pat Lykos for D.A. 10. Despite years of chain smoking, she still has dazzling white teeth like the Osmonds. 9. The way her eyes twinkle before she calls other judges "f*ck face". 8. She makes Clarence Bradford look a little more competent. 7. Because dirty campaigning and baseless allegations sell papers, dammit! 6. Lykos stating the same meaningless things over and over again make Lisa Falkenberg's articles seem a little less repetitive and irrelevant, by comparison. 5. Drug Legalization Advocate Dean Becker wasn't running. 4. She reminds Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen of his great-grandmother. 3. Threats of "I'll get you, my pretties" during meeting with the Editorial Review Board. 2. She is rumored to be in possession of nude photographs of Alan Bernstein. 1. Every fifth time she cites "The Rule of Law", the Editorial Board gets a free pizza from Pizza Hut.

Chronic Inconsistency

Anybody who likes to start their Sunday morning with a little bit of stupidity from the Chronicle was given to a special treat this morning in their editorial section. Under the "We recommend" section, they do the two following endorsements: • Judge, 174 th Criminal District Court, Kevin Keating — A career prosecutor, Keating has a wealth of experience. He has appealed capital murder cases for the state to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is an expert on forensic mental health issues that increasingly affect the course of justice. • Harris County district attorney, Pat Lykos — A former state district judge and Houston police officer, Lykos is well-qualified to be the county's chief prosecutor. She promises to seek justice, not convictions regardless of guilt or innocence. An outsider, Lykos is better prepared than her opponent to restore ethics and judgment to the district attorney's office. Alrighty then. So, Kevin Keat

The Defense Bar As Police

Rick Casey wrote a column earlier this week about the difference in sentences for disgraced ex- TSU president Priscilla Slade, and her (arguably less culpable) co-defendant, Quintin Wiggins. I think that the article brings up an interesting topic, although I think it makes an incorrect assessment in doing so. Priscilla Slade, earlier this week, pled to a 10-year Deferred Adjudication with a significant amount of restitution. Her former chief financial officer, Wiggins, on the other hand, got ten years "to do" in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. Casey acknowledges in his article that Wiggins had a criminal history (while Slade did not), and he even ventures that new District Attorney Ken Magdison may be a factor in plea deals without prison time (I'm not sure I agree with that premise much). Casey, in my opinion, overlooks the biggest factor on why Slade was offered deferred adjudication: the case had already gone to trial and resulted in a hung jury afte

From the People Who Brought You "Fear"

Okay, I don't know how long this has been up on Bennett's website , but I just noticed this blurb he has in the upper right-hand corner: Defending People is about protecting the people, one at a time, from the only viable threat to their liberty: their government. Um, isn't he the one who has been blasting prosecutors for instilling fear in people? I plan to fully investigate this, but right now, I'm hiding under my covers because the government is trying to get me.

Houston's R Club Endorses Kelly Siegler

Congratulations to Kelly Siegler for picking up the prestigous endorsement from Houston's R Club , adding to growing list of crime victims, police officers, and Republican leaders from around Harris County who want an experienced prosecutor to lead the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

The Rosenthal Contempt Order

I just got done reading the Rosenthal contempt order , courtesy of the Chronicle. For those of you who relied heavily on Cliff's Notes during high school and college, the portion where Judge Hoyt is really blasting Chuck is between pages 15-18 for the most part. I think it is also noteworthy that Judge Hoyt clears 1st Assistant Bert Graham of any wrong-doing in the opening pages. Strangely enough, despite Pat Lykos ' numerous insinuations, I don't see Kelly Siegler's name even mentioned in it. Although Hoyt dismisses Chuck's numerous excuses for his actions, the opinion does paint a pretty interesting picture of a man who was losing control of his rational judgment the more things spun out of control. When this story first broke, I had some ambivalence about how I felt about Chuck Rosenthal . Personally, the man was always kind to me. Based upon my personal (albeit limited) experiences with him, I have nothing bad to say about him. But as I read Judge Hoyt&

Rosenthal Held in Contempt

Channel 11 is reporting that Chuck Rosenthal has been held in contempt and fined $18,900. For reasons that I have to admit that I don't completely understand, General Counsel Scott Durfee is responsible for $5,000 of it. Federal Judge Kenneth Hoyt wrote that he did not accept Chuck's "over medicated" explanation that Chuck came up with at the last minute. More news on this as it develops. My opinion right now: it's appropriate.

Rusty Hardin's Endorsement

Rusty Hardin endorsed Kelly Siegler today for District Attorney. He issued the following statement: "I think Kelly Siegler would make an outstanding District Attorney. I have known Kelly for 22 years. Her ability, tenacity and experience far exceed that of any other candidate. In this critical time for the criminal justice system in Harris County, I think it is very important that the county's chief law enforcement official be an experienced prosecutor with a distinct sense of fairness. Kelly Siegler is that person."

Condolences

My condolences go out to Loretta Muldrow , who learned her brother passed away today. I don't many of the details, but I'm very sorry for her loss.

Mark Bennett and Jury Nullification

Mark Bennett is clearly branching out on his website. A day or so ago, he actually had an official "Guest Blogger" who did a piece on Jury Nullification from a prosecutor's point of view. However, let Guest Bloggers beware, because Mark posted today , bashing the Guest Blogger's position . The Guest Blogger's Position was that jurors who participate in jury nullification are violating the law, and an article in Time magazine shows that the authors of The Wire are guilty under the Law of Parties because they solicited and encouraged jury nullification. My position is that the writers of The Wire should be prosecuted. Not because of their encouraging and soliciting jury nullification, but because they killed off Omar. Okay, seriously, my thoughts on jury nullification are probably more in tune with Mark's Guest Blogger than with Mark. Paul Simon sang that there were 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover. Well, there are more than 50 ways to find a person Not

What Exactly Does Lykos Have to Offer?

Alan Bernstein is back in his original duties of acting as Pat Lykos' unofficial campaign manager with his post on his little blog today . He points out that Kelly Siegler has "changed her answer" about whether or not racism existed in the Office. I don't have the energy to address that issue tonight. I will try to get to it over the weekend (and trust me, I've got a lot to say about that issue). What I found interesting was Pat Lykos' comment about it: Lykos said to the racism question: "You would have to be deaf or blind not to realize that there was that element among a certain segment at the district attorney's office." Um, okay, Patsy. What in the hell would you know about what went on within the Harris County D.A.'s Office? I mean, let's be honest here: 22 Criminal District Court Judges out of a total of 22, as well as 15 County Criminal Court at Law Judges out of a total of 15 don't allow you to sit as a visiting judge i

Kelly Siegler's Opponent: Apathy

For once the Chronicle ran an article today that I finally agreed with completely. With the runoff coming on April 8 th , the prudent and wise voter will be voting early. The article goes on to say that there will be less places available for voting, so check out your polling places early. Voting during the early voting time period will give you more flexibility on where and when you can go. If you are like me, you may be a procrastinator. Now would be a really good time to get rid of that bad habit. Yes, Kelly beat Lykos in the March 4 th election to the tune of about 10,000 votes. But thinking that means you don't have to get up off your keister and go vote again is what Lykos is banking on. Lykos came in behind Kelly in the early voting numbers and on the votes cast on March 4 th . Where Lykos actually edged Kelly was on the absentee and mail-in voting. You can guarantee that all those folks that sent in their ballots through the mail for March 4 th election

A Prelude of Things to Come?

Lisa Falkenberg's column today was her third in an apparent three-part series of saying the exact same thing -- that Harris County needs a Public Defender's Office. This time, the article, in addition to saying the exact same thing, had quotes! Quotes from people! Quotes from people in politics! Other than that, it was nothing new. As I've mentioned before, I don't really give a rat's behind whether or not we get one, although I don't think it would be beneficial for defendants. What was interesting to me was how the Chronicle is already starting to turn its back on its endorsee Pat Lykos in favor of the, uh, wisdom of Clarence Bradford. Check out this quote regarding Lykos' response to the idea: "It's going to take some considerable thought," said Lykos. "We certainly can't go on the way we are. And I certainly don't have a visceral rejection of it by any stretch." She paused. "That doesn't make sense, wha

Where Experience Matters

A Galveston County jury today convicted Joshua Joyce Mauldin of the first degree felony of Injury to a Child Causing Serious Bodily Injury, rejecting defense claims that the Defendant was not guilty by reason of insanity. Congratulations on a job well-done by prosecutor Xochitl Vandiver . Prosecuting an "insanity case" is a tricky proposition, even though the burden of proof is on the defense to show beyond a preponderance of the evidence that a defendant is legally insane. It takes experience and intelligence to be able to try a case like this, as you deal with psychologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, and other experts. Not to mention it takes the intestinal fortitude to stomach such horrific acts to a small child. I just can't help but think that if something horrific like this ever happened to my child, that I would want a career prosecutor on the case -- someone who has been inspired their entire life to try a case like this. I would want someone who an

Kelly Siegler's New TV Ad

Kelly Siegler's new television ad is out.

Fear Factor

Mark Bennett has done a post about something mentioned in the Alan Bernstein article on Kelly Siegler where Kelly had written in her notes at Baby Prosecutor's School "make jury afraid". I'm going to skip the part of my argument where I point out that the phrasing is open to interpretation and was just a note she made as part of her lecture on closing arguments. NOTE: Kelly also wrote in the same notes "Make jury proud", meaning to make the jurors proud of you (the prosecutor) for the job you've done on behalf of the State of Texas. Let's just assume for the sake of the argument that Kelly made a part of her lecture pointing out that sometimes a prosecutor should make a jury afraid during closing arguments. What's so wrong with that? A jury is called in to, first, make a decision over guilt or innocence, and then decide what is the appropriate punishment. Some cases call for them to feel fear. My personal belief is that when it comes to a

Kimberly Ann White & Negative Campaigning

With the possible exception of the 174 th Republican Race, most political races get nasty at some point or another. Some more so than others. I've been chastised before by people who's opinion I respect (Big Jolly from Lone Star Times, for instance) that when we focus on the negative, all of our candidate's positive attributes get lost in the wash. Big Jolly's point is well taken. And I'm absolutely guilty of listing a lot of negative things about Pat Lykos in this campaign. My defense to that, however, is that the negative things that I've listed were genuine things regarding her job performance as a judge and as an employee for the County Judge that I, personally, found relevant to what kind of job she would do as a potential District Attorney. I think it is worth noting that when this race involved four candidates, I didn't sling any mud at either Jim Leitner or Doug Perry (other than saying that I didn't feel Perry was qualified for the job).

Testing Something Out

With Mark Bennett's tutleage, I'm trying to learn how to embed a video image on the website. I figured this was a worthwhile video clip to start with.

"Us" versus "Them" - a Parable

An older prosecutor was sitting on a park bench, reading about a scandal involving his office, when an older defense attorney walked by. "That story makes your office look bad," the defense attorney tells the prosecutor. The prosecutor nods, grimly. "I've been warning people about that guy for years," the attorney continues. "I knew he would be an embarrassment." The prosecutor says nothing, having no argument. "It wasn't just him , either," the defense attorney says. "It was an Office-wide problem." "Your office should have acknowledged its mistakes sooner," he goes on. "You are all over-zealous. You don't care about the truth. You have this culture of arrogance. You all look moronic with your 'war on drugs'. You are a bunch of liars and jack-booted thugs. You are unreasonable and unflexible, and I hope that a new D.A. fires you all." "Well," the prosecutor said, "

Hell Freezes Over

I'm a little emotional right now. Alan Bernstein finally broke the Pat Lykos yarmulke story and wrote some other ones as well in his on-line article today . I was so inspired that I actually created a Chron poster ID and had to congratulate him on his article. I'm just speechless. NOTE: If the past history is any indicator, Alan will probably do something to ruin the moment with his next article.

Mark Bennett's Political Analysis

Do any of you remember the Stephen King book "Christine"? An average high school kid buys a '57 Plymouth Fury that is possessed, and suddenly his behavior starts changing? He becomes darker. More angry. More morose. There's lots of other stuff in the book, but that was one of the side affects mentioned in the novel. I can't help but be reminded of "Christine" after seeing Mark Bennett's change in behavior since he got his website powered by a new blogging company. He's darker. More angry. More morose. Mark has dropped his happy, go-lucky, anarchist-may-care attitude toward the election that he had prior to the new website design, and has been coming out pretty hard-core against Kelly Siegler and those who would support her. The tone of the banter between us has gotten much more testy. In his March 19 th article, entitled "Three Opinions" he seeks to debunk the "myth" that "no one at the courthouse" supports Pa

The First Changes

As detailed in Brian Rogers' article in the Chronicle today , Ken Magidson started out his first full day on the job with some minor changes. Probably the one of the most interest to those who have enjoyed the dirty details of the Rosenthal e-mail scandal was the demotion of Kerry Stevens from the position of executive secretary. In addition, Magidson clarified within the Operations Manual about the use of the phone and computers for personal use. He also started a policy that if an HCDA employee receives an offensive, racist, or sexist e-mail that it must be reported to his or her supervisor and an e-mail must be sent to the "sender" of the offending e-mail, requesting they no longer send offensive e-mails to the HCDA employee. At first, that seemed to me like a bit of overkill, but the more I thought about it, it definitely will help government employees "cover their asses" should another e-mail scandal break out. From a practical standpoint, I don't th

Today's Chronicle Agenda

For the third time in the week, the Chronicle has run an opinion piece on the need for a Public Defender's Office in Harris County. It's amazing to me that a story that is against their pro- Lykos agenda doesn't get published at all, but something that they want gets run three freaking times in a week! The Chronicle certainly has a special way of being annoying, doesn't it? In an unrelated story, there is no article, but just a brief snippet with a photograph in the lower right corner of the City & State section about the swearing in of Kenneth Magidson . I guess the fact that it would be a positive and non-scandalous story about the District Attorney's Office probably made it non-newsworthy to Jeff Cohen and crew. Back to the editorial, I would suggest reading the comments in the on-line version of it. A poster under the name of "Helpful" points out, much more eloquently than I can, his or her views against a PDs Office. As I've said

The Swearing In Ceremony

Kenneth Magidson was sworn in today at the Jury Assembly Building at 4:30 during a fairly short ceremony, attended by those ADAs and Investigators who aren't on Spring Break with their families, as well as several county officials. Bert Graham appeared relieved as he handed over control to the Assistant U.S. Attorney. District Court Judge Don Stricklin gave a brief speech, acknowledging that the D.A.'s Office had received a series of "body blows" to its reputation over the past 90 days, and he stated that Mr. Magidson was the right person for the job. Magidson was then sworn in and gave a brief speech. He made no bombastic statements and promised no sweeping changes. He simply stated that the mission of the office was to seek justice for everyone and to do the right thing. He encouraged any of the ADAs who didn't know what the "right thing was" to come talk to him. The ADAs and Investigators were then re-sworn in to their jobs. Chuck Rosen

Lykos' Radio Ad

I heard Pat Lykos ' radio ad today for the first time. She continues her strategy of offering nothing appealing about herself, but just taking potshots at the clearly more qualified Kelly Siegler . Lykos has another voice doing the talking for the majority of the commercial, so I guess, technically, it isn't actually Lykos misleading the public this time. The ad yammers on about the Rosenthal Administration, and refers to Kelly as Rosenthal's "Top Lieutenant". Um, that's not true. Bert Graham, as First Assistant, would have been Chuck's "Top Lieutenant", but I think we've clearly established by now that Lykos isn't really all that big on acknowledging the facts. For those of you interested in the truth, Kelly has been the Bureau Chief of Special Crimes for a couple of years now. She handles things like Cold Cases, Major Fraud, and the extremely violent offenders. It's the elite branch of trial lawyers within the Office,

A New Era Begins Today

Today will officially begin the New (and relatively short) Era of District Attorney Kenneth Magidson. Magidson will officially be sworn in as the Harris County District Attorney today at 4:30 p.m. at the Jury Assembly Room on Congress. Shortly thereafter, all the Assistant District Attorneys will also have to be re-sworn in under their new leader.

Guess Who Is Back

The Chronicle is reporting that Lloyd Kelley is requesting $4.4 million for his legal fees from representing the Ibarra Brothers in their lawsuit. I think the county should consider three questions before paying Lloyd anything more: 1. Is it fair for you to be getting almost three times what your clients had to split between the two of them? 2. Did you bill your fees for all your press conferences calling for Chuck Rosenthal and Tommy Thomas' ouster? AND 3. Shouldn't these bills really be paid by Clarence Bradford's campaign fund?

Politics versus Experience - A Hypothetical

On Channel 13 last night, political consultant Alan Blakemore pointed out that Pat Lykos attacking Kelly Siegler through Chuck Rosenthal's record was probably the wise political move for Lykos , because it distracts away from the fact that Kelly has vastly more qualifications and experience than the politically savvy Lykos . It may be good for Lykos , but it's certainly bad for the voters and the citizens of the county that Lykos seeks to represent. Lykos keeps uttering the phrase "Rule of Law", "Rule of Law", "Rule of Law" all day long. Ask yourself this, would you vote for a Presidential candidate who just stated "I'm going to make America better", but then could provide no meaningful ideas of how to do so? Why do the Assistant D.A.s currently working at the Office become queasy at the idea of Lykos becoming the D.A? Well, on top of the fact that she and her people keep referring to the hard-working ADAs as a "bunch o

The Harris County Lab

Channel 11's Shern -Min Chow reported yesterday on the Harris County Crime Lab that comprises the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office, as well as its own DNA lab. This time, there was no scandal involving a State-based laboratory. This article compliments the Medical Examiner's Office and the lab. For those of us who have dealt with the Medical Examiner's Office on homicide cases or other cases involving a fatality, we have known for quite some time that there are some real "All-Stars" that work for the Medical Examiner's Office. Their level of professionalism, integrity, diligence, and reliability is quite impressive. It was nice of Shern -Min Chow to give them some well-deserved recognition. It's worth noting that in all of the DNA scandals caused by the HPD Lab, that Harris County's Lab never ran into the same problems. Then again, Clarence Bradford wasn't ever the head of the Harris County Lab.

The Pasadena Debate

Okay, I'm clearly falling down on the job here. Not only did I fail to attend the debate between Kelly Siegler and Pat Lykos last night in Pasadena, I wasn't even aware of it until yesterday afternoon. I saw a brief snippet on the news, and it was pretty much the same thing. The first words out of Lykos ' mouth was "Rule of Law", which I believe means "I have no idea how to try a case" in Latin. NOTE: If you elected to play a drinking game and took a sip of alcohol every time Lykos said "Rule of Law", you would now officially have cirrhosis . Kelly's camera time was limited in the brief news segment that I saw, so I don't know how the overall tone of the debate went. If you attended the debate, or can find a link to it at one of the news websites, please let me know in the comments!

One Act Play

Channel 13 reported today about the "sharpening of the attack" between remaining Republican candidates for District Attorney, Pat Lykos and Kelly Siegler . They then aired the story, which mostly consisted of Pat Lykos talking about the " Rosenthal - Siegler Administration". You know, its funny, I don't ever recall anybody calling it the Rosenthal - Siegler Administration before Kelly threw her name in to run. Yet, Lykos seems to want to run the term into the ground. Lykos ' attempts to link Kelly to Chuck are nothing more than an insubstantial ploy to get voters to overlook Kelly's overwhelming qualifications to hold the job. Kelly has been a prosecutor for almost 22 years. She is widely regarded as the greatest prosecutor in the State, if not the Country. She has tried numerous capital murder trials and knows the in-depth work that trying those cases takes. Kelly is also a leader that the rest of the Assistant District Attorneys are will

Copy Cat!

Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace started keeping track of the days the Barack Obama has failed to be on his show, under the title of "The Obama Watch". Wallace is apparently hoping that keeping track of the days will entice the Senator to come on the show. You know, if it didn't work on Bernstein , I don't know why Wallace thinks it will work on Obama.

Lykos' Blatant Lie (AKA You can't say "Lykos" without saying "Lie")

For those of you who attended or read about the February 19, 2008 debate between the D.A. Candidates, perhaps you remember Pat Lykos responding to a question from Jim Leitner about why no police unions or retired police officer unions had endorsed her, even though she was a former cop. The Chronicle article by Alan Bernstein described it at the time as: Lykos, a Houston police officer more than 25 years ago, said she has refrained from seeking campaign support from officers and police organizations because the next district attorney must be immune from any charges of favoritism when prosecuting misconduct cases against law enforcement. At the time, I described her saying that she didn't seek the endorsements because of "sour grapes". As it turns out, it wasn't sour grapes, it was just a blatant lie . This memo from the Houston Police Retired Officers Association (HPROA) shows that Lykos did, in fact, seek an endorsement from them, unsuccessfully. Under the

A Public Defenders Office

Not much in today's Chronicle regarding Life at the CJC , except for an editorial article written by Rodney Ellis and Barry Scheck calling for the creation of a Public Defenders Office. I already addressed the issue in this article for the Lone Star Times earlier this week, so I'm not feeling like writing it up again. The bottom line is that most prosecutors couldn't care less if the person that they are facing on a case was appointed, retained, or part of a Public Defenders Office. So, I guess it could be fair to say that I don't really oppose it, other than I think its unnecessary . I think that the current attorneys who do appointed work do a good job, and I don't envision folks like I listed in the Lone Star Times article going to work for a government agency. I guess, to me, it's like nailing in a tack with a sledgehammer.

The New Guy

I'm sure it is quite the unusual feeling for all parties involved when the "new guy" at a large organization just happens to be the "new boss", as well. That's what Kenneth Magidson and the Assistant Harris County District Attorneys are experiencing now that it is all official that Magidson will be taking over. My understanding is that Magidson walked the floors of the Office, meeting all of the ADA's before his 4 o'clock press conference with local media. It was an appreciated gesture, I'm sure. It also means that over half the office has now spent more "face time" with Magidson than they ever did with the normally aloof Chuck Rosenthal. At this writing, the Chronicle has yet to post the contents of his press conference. However, I just saw him on Fox 26, and what he said sounded good. He, of course, wants to restore faith in the Office and the Criminal Justice System, but he also moderated his comments so that they didn'

Commenting Problems

I got a technical complaint from a reader about troubles he was having with "Firefox" and reading the other comments before posting a response. I have to plead total ignorance to what Firefox is. I'm sorry. When I write a comment in response, the message box is about two inches wide by four inches wide, and I have difficulty reading it myself. If I plan on a detailed response, I open up another window so that I can review the comments in one, and respond to them on another. I don't know how to fix it, but I will gladly take any technical advice.

Please Help Mack Arnold

Mark Bennett is posting on his blog about a trust fund recently created for our friend and favorite Curmudgeon with a Heart of Gold, Mack Arnold. He needs our help. Here's the information from Mark's Blog, in case you missed it over there: Yesterday Mack Arnold’s daughter Angela and HCCLA President Pat McCann opened bank accounts for the “Mack Arnold Trust”. Pat writes: As you may know, Mack was felled by a stroke recently, and will be a long time in recovery. To my knowledge he has no medical insurance and as anyone who has dealt with a catastrophic illness or injury knows, even if you do it never covers enough. His daughter wished to express her thanks to all who have sent their kind wishes, but I am asking you all to dig a bit and please consider donating to the trust so that we can help defray at least some of his expenses. If you can help, please make out the checks to “The Mack Arnold Trust.” While Angela is busy finishing up school out of state, I will make deposits to t

The Lykos PR Man: Alan Bernstein

If the phone rings around your house some time over the weekend, Alan Dearest, you might not want to answer it. It just might be the college where you got your journalism degree asking you to return it. What has started out as a joke over your refusal to run the Gil Fried yarmulke story has now developed into you becoming the de facto PR person for the Lykos campaign. After reading the "article" you ran this morning, I think you pretty much put the last nail in the coffin that contains your "journalistic integrity". Its gotten to the point that the term "journalistic integrity" seems like an oxymoron if you use it in the same sentence with the Chronicle. (As a side note to the Chronicle : Nice job on running the story about Deputy Craig Miller's blood alcohol level as your headline so his family and kids couldn't avoid seeing it. Would that article not have been just as newsworthy a little further down the page?) Now, back to you, Alan Dea

Lykos Gets Desperate

I just watched Pat Lykos desperate cry for help on Fox 26. Lykos called a press conference today, not to tout anything worthwhile about herself (because, let's face facts, that well ain't all that deep), but just to blast Kelly Siegler . Wow. That's just pathetic. During her press conference, Lykos criticized Kelly Siegler over two things: 1. Over a video tape of Kelly teaching a law school and stating that it shouldn't bother a prosecutor if something gets objected to, because the information has already been aired in front of a jury. Now, let's see. Who had that tape when we last looked? I believe that would be one Mr. Dick DeGuerin (AKA Sore Loser of the Year). So, I guess in his little snit of anger over having his ass handed to him by Kelly during the David Temple trial, Dick decided to turn the tape over to the Lykos campaign. That's not all that shocking given the great lengths that Dickie has gone through to try to somehow justify his loss