Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Phenomenally Bad Year

Good-bye and good riddance to the Year 2008.

This year has been so damn bad, that I came to Florida just to get the year over with an hour earlier.

I can remember like it was yesterday when I came into the Office on December 27, 2007 and another prosecutor pointed out to me the online article on Chron.com about Chuck Rosenthal's e-mail scandal, and I felt a feeling of dread over what the New Year would bring. My cousin was in town, visiting from Baltimore, and I tried to explain to him the significance of what was happening.


Something inside of me knew that I had a year left at the D.A.'s Office, if that long.

Sadly, my worst fears on that day were not only met, but exceeded.


The first part of the year was filled with embarrassment after embarrassment as the e-mail scandal went from bad to worse. At one point, as prosecutors, we were even having to ask potential jurors how bad the E-Mail Scandal had affected them and whether or not they could still be fair to the D.A.'s Office. It was terrible.


The Republican primary battle was hard fought and exhausting, and ultimately, our side didn't prevail. The damn run-off system bit the Siegler Campaign in the butt. (NOTE: I still think its interesting that if you add the total number of votes from the General Primary Election and the Runoff Election, Kelly Siegler had about 5,000 more votes than Lykos did.)

I lost more friends to untimely deaths in 2008 than I had in the five years preceding added together. So many of them came from our CJC Family. From Melissa Harper to Dick Wheelan to Sharon Levine, it seems that this year never gave any of us the chance to finish mourning before we had to start all over again.

In November, the people of Harris County elected their Lesser of Two Evils for District Attorney, but I guess the events of December showed us all that the "Lesser of Two Evils" is still Evil. I ultimately was fired, and sadly, I'm feeling like one of the lucky ones when compared to those that will be staying.

Yep, this year was without a doubt the Worst of my Entire Life. At some point, it got to be comical over how much could go wrong in just 365 days.

My cousin from Baltimore came back to visit this Christmas. He asked me if things had turned out as badly as I thought they would back on December 27, 2007.

I shook my head as I thought about all that had happened since I had seen him last. It seemed like a lifetime worth of tragedies.

"It was actually a lot worse than I had imagined," I told him.

But as in all things tragic, none of it ended up being a complete knock-out blow.

In 2008, time and again, we all got knocked to the canvass.

And time and again, we all got back up and kept on fighting. That's what we do -- what we all do.

This round of fighting will come to a merciful end tonight at midnight, and if you are reading this post, it means you went the distance. You may be bruised, battered, and spitting blood, but you survived it like Warriors do.

Good-bye 2008. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

Here's to hoping for a much better 2009 for all of us.

Happy New Year.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

you were a good prosecutor and did the right thing in your career. some of the others have not been as honorable as you.save some office space because when their misdeeds are discovered they will be moving from 1201.you may need plenty of space for them

Anonymous said...

anon 12 31,

For example, who?

Anonymous said...

As a former prosecutor with almost twenty-five years at the Harris County District Attorney's Office (fortunately not one that this usurper and legal "impersonator" would have renewed if I had been there - I would have resigned first) I feel that when the clock has struck twelve on New Year's Eve the real witching moment has occurred and the office that I fondly remembered will have died - forgive the voters -they do not know what they did - I do though.

Anonymous said...

if you worked there 25 years why didnt you do something about the problems going on there? do you fondly remember our co workers leaving early while on county time to go to the bar? or laughing because they bluffed some dumb lawyer into a plea when you knew there was no case? who should the voters put in office?voters did what they did because they were mad

Anonymous said...

Here's to a much better year for you, Murray!

Tex

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:49

Is that you Clint? The ADAs that I know didn't go to a bar on county time or laugh about a plea. They brought files home, worked nights and called witnesses on their personal cell phones with their own minutes to get ready for trial. They woke up in the middle of the night because they were worried about a baby rapist or a murderer going free because they had forgotten a To Do (even when they didn't). They worked weekends and nights to protect the public. My guess is that those are the people that Anon 8:49 was talking about.

Anonymous said...

I meant to address that last comment to Anon 9:42.

Darla Z. said...

Dear Anon 9:42,

You're so stupid and grammatically challenged that I wonder if you are in fact Murray just trying to provide his blog with some comedy relief.

Murray,

I originally read this blog because you were a Republican that annoyed me. As your story unfolded I began to empathize with you.

You really seem too smart to be a Republican. But I digress...

Seriously? You really think that Lykos was the lessor of two evils? But why?

Perhaps it is time to consider other paths? Democratic Party? LLM? You'd be a fun professor...

Anonymous said...

Voters did what they did because they're uninformed. They don't bother to educate themselves about people they vote for and believe whatever the left wing media (paper and tv both) feed them for purposes of their agendas. And for 9:42 pm, hey you twit, if all this was going on when you worked there as you imply, where and when did you take a stand and notify anyone? Either you NEVER were an ADA or you were lousy at it and this is you're way to get back at all those who have the talent you don't. What office doesn't have a few bad apples; it's the whole that counts.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:42

Ignorant fuck does not begin to describe you. Whenever people left early it was on comp time. That is time that they have earned by sacrificing vacation days, weekends, and evenings away from their friends and family. And no one tries to get a conviction when they know their is no case. Go write comments on the chronicle with the rest of the village idiots, and stay away from trying to sound like you have brain. Fucking retard.

Rage Judicata said...

Voters did what they did because som elight was shone on the HCDAO, and they didn't like what they saw. Policies come from the top, and the top man was an admitted pill popping old fool who was giving his paramour kickbacks (probably in exchange for keeping quiet) in the form of a higher salary and county car. The only secretary in the county with her own car. That doesn't even include his use of county computers and time to the benefit of his campaign.

And that guy was in charge of one of the largest DAO's in the country? Something was going to change. We're damn lucky it wasn't with Bradford in charge.

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Darla Z.,
I think I've always been much more of an independent than officially aligned with the Republicans, and my social beliefs are definitely MUCH more in-line with the Dems.
I actually liked Chief Bradford very much, and I didn't consider him to be "evil" as a person. But I strongly disagreed what his plans were for the structure of the Office.
Around the CJC, people described the race as being "Evil vs. Incompetent", actually. In this case, Evil one. But, even though Lykos is eliminating the heart and soul of the Office, the skeleton of it will remain intact.
As for me being a professor, it's an appealing thought. Does ITT Tech have a law school? :-)

Anonymous said...

Just to clear something up what Rage Judicata brought up as well as others (i.e. the media) over the past year. The secretary was not the only one in the office that was not a lawyer or investigator that had access to the use of a county pool car, nor was she the highest paid secretary in the county.There are other departments in the county that the elected(s) let their secretary have access and use of a county vehicle.

You (Rage Judicata ) and the media should have checked all this out before lambasting her.

Also, everyone wants to slam Mr. Rosenthal, but after Lykos takes over maybe they will remember the good he did for the county and the people that worked for him. I read and have heard many former ADA complaints about Mr. Rosenthal, it is amazing how people forget the good one does at that office.

It is now time for people in and out of the DA office to move on, leave the past behind, it is over, done with. Get a life, leave the past where it belongs, move on, move forward. Start fresh it's a new year.

Rage Judicata said...

There are other departments in the county that the elected(s) let their secretary have access and use of a county vehicle.

Examples.

Also, everyone wants to slam Mr. Rosenthal, but after Lykos takes over maybe they will remember the good he did for the county

Like being in charge of an office that intentionally hides exculpatory evidence? Yeah, lot of good that does.

and the people that worked for him.

His duty wasn't to those who work for him near as much as it was to the citizens of the county. I don't care if he personally gave hand jobs and raises to every attorney on a weekly basis, the way he ran that office was to allow nothing short of an insidious evil to affect justice in Harris County. I think we'll see in the future that the office convicted many more people than we guessed through Brady violations and faulty eyewitness procedures.


it is amazing how people forget the good one does at that office.

And how fast his cronies refuse to ever acknowledge the bad.

It is now time for people in and out of the DA office to move on, leave the past behind, it is over, done with. Get a life, leave the past where it belongs, move on, move forward. Start fresh it's a new year.

Now this we can agree on. But moving on does not mean forgetting the past.