Friday, December 26, 2008

Today's Chronicle Article

Brian Rogers has an article in today's Chronicle detailing the fact that acting District Attorney Ken Magidson is honoring those Assistant District Attorneys who are not being kept on by the Pat Lykos Administration.

It is a nice gesture by Mr. Magidson and recognizes my fellow ADAs who dedicated their careers to helping the victims of crime in Harris County.

It does mention my termination due to the writing of this blog and my criticisms of the new Lykos/Leitner Administration. So far, my favorite comment from one of the readers of the article is "God help the person who dared to criticized the head of the new Gestapo, I'm surprised he's not already been arrested on some trumped up charges and died a mysterious death in the Harris County Jail. "

Although that gave me a pretty good laugh, let me assure you that I'm alive and well. I'm working hard at getting up and running in my new practice. I've been working on getting my new website up and running (it's www.murraynewman.com, if you are looking. It should be up on the web in the next 24 hours or so) , and I look forward to a new start in 2009.

As for those of you who were honored, it was an absolute honor to work with all of you. I thank you for all you taught me over the years and for the Public Service you provided to Harris County. I look forward to working with all of you in the future.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for you Murray,

What would you change as a Defense Attorney that you wouldn't have done as an ADA?

Ron in Houston said...

Murray

There's some truth to that statement in the Chronicle comment. The way your career with the District Attorney's office has been handled is frankly scary.

Anonymous said...

Website looks good. I would have a link that has directions to your office.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Today the Chronicle has a correction of this article. It says that it "mischaracterized the circumstances" under which two investigators are leaving. Steve Stewart and Milton Ojeman are retiring voluntarily. The original article stated they were retiring. So the correction was issued because....?

Now to my point. There is an undercurrent running through most of the discussion with regard to the incoming Lykos administration. This Chronicle story is in line with that as well. E.g., "..before they are forced out of the office by incoming DA Pat Lykos on Jan. 1."

No one is "entitled" to keep his or her job in the DA's Office. Lykos has the right to put her people in place and make the changes she sees fit. It is an elected office so it should have been expected by the people in the upper echelons of the DA's Office that they would be affected by political considerations. Does that make it right? No. But it is reality. The sad part, however, is when people who are not so high in the hierarchy like DA secretaries are broadsided.

At least the DA's Office has the Chronicle shining a light on the plight of ADAs. I am sure I missed the Chronicle's coverage of the plight of the coordinators and court reporters who lost their judges? Or even the bailiffs, process servers, CLOs and clerks whose jobs are affected by the near Democratic sweep and they don't even work for the judges.

As you pointed out, attorneys can easily set up shop and make a living. Others are not so lucky. Remember good people--who are NOT ADAs--are being forced out all over the CJC for reasons other than job performance.

Critical said...

Anon 10:20,


Comparing the DA's office to a court is like comparing apples to lettuce. The Lykos administration also promised they wouldn't do that and proceeded to fink out on the promise as fast as they could. The Judges are 100% political benches, the ADA's are not but for the DA. The article was wrong on many fronts but that is to be expected by the inept Chronicle. Unless a story is given to them (i.e. written for them) you can bet your bottom dollar that Bernstein the drunk and Rogers the flake will get it wrong.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:52

My analogy is spot on.

1. Lykos(R) is elected. The new judges (D) are elected.

2. Everyone in the DA's Office serves at the pleasure of the elected DA. Directly or indirectly, everyone I named-coordinator, court reporter, CLO, bailiff, process server and clerk-serves at the pleasure of the respective elected judges.

3. Accepting your point for the sake of argument, if ADAs are not political then none of the positions named above are "political" either.

Clearly you have never worked in a courtroom, have you?

On the other hand, if your argument is that the people I named are not important as ADAs that is an entirely different (and unfortunate) argument.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the mere existence of this blog is why the article(s) of this nature have been written by the Chronicle staff (Bernstein was not the only Chronicle staffer reading it). The resulting price was high, the loss of a talented public servant, but at least the world at large was made privy to some of the problems of the HCDA office from an insider's viewpoint.

Keep in mind that under the current regime, the public has lost that perspective as Murray is out of the job, so for all the BS claims of "transparency" by the Lykos camp, public scrutiny is again limited in regard to the office.

TxGoodie said...

Nice website, informative without being over-done or flashy...however, if I might be so bold as to suggest... I'd do something about the pic you use on the Bio page...cut down the number of pixels so it'd load faster...won't take away any of the quality of the image, but will load quicker for those of us with short attention spans! :-) Good luck to you, sir, and I'm sure you understand if I say that I hope to heck I never need your services!

Anonymous said...

An open letter to the outgoing King, Ken "King" Magidson:

As a native Houstonian who has long voted republican, I have an issue with several of your edicts. It appears you are posturing, and indeed, pandering, to the Republican powers that be in this county.

First, with regard to your non-prosecution of Rosenthal. Surely this is political. As much as he is now despised, it would cast further clouds upon the glory of the Republican party. Be a man and impanel a random (i.e. 1st 12) grand jurors that are chosen not by commissioners, but through the jury wheel. Let's see what 12 honest citizens think about Mr. I'm blessed.

Secondly, your firing and non-honoring of Murray again seems to be another pandering moment to the Republican party. No doubt they disliked his drubbing of Lykos throughout the year, culminating with his reprint of commentators 12days. Folks say you are highly critical of Lykos and her ilk, yet you pander to her. I suggest that you are pandering not to her but to the Republican party for your future run for DA. It is transparent, as was your mass disbursement of forfeiture funds this year. "Love me, I'm Ken the King".

Finally, you dishonored many fine employees by only honoring the outgoing ADA's. I know this is because you are a yankee, and unaware of the southern culture that recognizes efforts of the entire team and not just the captains. Some of the most thoroughly devoted employees you have are not ADAs.

You disappoint, Mr. King. But you will not be king much longer, and I take solace in that fact. There is another DA in Texas who is a yankee like you. You really remind me of him, and his shallowness.

Anonymous said...

Nice post re: Ken the King. I would only disagree with the Yankee part. I knew Ken when he was an ADA. He has been in Houston long enough to know how things work. What you miss is that he is a federal prosecutor at heart. The federal way is to take the path of least resistance and follow the "party" line. I am happy to know that Ken will soon be under a democrat. I hope the democrats throw Ken in the basement. For all of Chuck's weaknesses and problems (more than one can list), he at least was not afraid to make the unpopular decision. Most of the time his thought process was flawed or impaired, but he definitely wasn't worried about a popularity contest as Ken is. Truth is, King Kenny shouldn't have let Ms. Leitner and the crew move into the county "teet" prior to the troll being sworn in. They came in and started to make one bad decision after another. Ken told many employees he didn't agree with what Ms. Leitner and the troll were doing, that said here is my point:

WHY NOT FIRE THEM? Huh King? Tell them to take their three ring circus and get the hell out of the CJC until the first. Why not do that you spineless terp. FIRE MURRAY but let that crap go on.

The moment that Ms. Leitner and crew started the political retribution, you should have shown them the door. Too bad you didn't, you could have become a heroe. Now, you are just another loud mouth federal prosecutor pandering the malfunctioning Republican Christians. YOU of all people shouldn't pander to that.

As you reflect, you sure missed an opportunity.

Cougar said...

ANON 1050 and 315,
Federal prosecutors, as a rule, are pandering political pompous asses just like Kenny. To elevate his stature to that of "King" only serves to validate his delusional persona. Had any of Governor Perry's four (4) other choices ahead of Magidson accepted the offer to be transitional DA of Harris County I suspect they would have manned up and not tolerated the Troll and her bitch's bullshit. I hope the next Four (4) years of political carnage at HCDA will open up some Republican eyes to reality.

Anonymous said...

Cougar,
How do you know Magidson was the governor's 5th choice for interim DA?

Anonymous said...

I know Carol Vance was offered the job, J. Holmes, and Rusty Hardin not sure who the fourth was. It did take quite some time for the appointment.

TERRIFIED said...

So we had a 5th choice loser as temporary DA while Harris County picked between two completely unqualafied buffoons? Lovely....why have a competent and respected leader at the helm? The Chronicle will have a field day with "Ms. Pat Leitner" Geeze!

Anonymous said...

It's starting to sound a lot like you commenters think that no one would be acceptable as Harris County DA.

Col. T.S. Bear, III (ret) said...

Hey 1140,
Is asking that the 4th largest city in America have its DA be an experienced and qualified leader unreasonable? Lykos and Bradford are both clearly unqualified and lack any experience to be DA. That is a sad and indisputable fact. Magidson was a Harris County ADA of marginal ability many years ago but at least he had some experience. Prior to his current appointment as acting DA, he served in middle management prosecuting for the feds. Magidson is eminently more qualified to serve as Harris County DA then Lykos; just as a passed over 2nd lieutenant is eminently more qualified to serve as Commandant of the United States Marine Corps. then is an old Cub Scout leader. However, neither is an appropriate choice.

Anonymous said...

Is asking that the 4th largest city in America have its DA be an experienced and qualified leader unreasonable?

Rosenthal had experience, but he was clearly unqualified. Even some of the DAO-loving circle-jerkers in this forum would agree.

Yet you weren't crying about it back then.

Anonymous said...

I think you miss the point. The point is that Magidson showed that he is weak and not a good leader. There was no need to fire Murray.

That decision caused many of us to reflect on exactly who Magidson is, how he ended up here, and what were/are his motivations. After reflection, it appears he is just another republican kiss up.

After reflection, who couldn't have looked like the king after what Chuck did.

You do make a good point re: Chuck.

The sad end to this story is that if you ask most of us ADAs, we would tell you that Kelly was really the most qualified for the job. I think it is hard to argue against her qualifications. Any chance she runs in four years?

OUTRAGED said...

ANON 922,
Excellent point regarding Rosenthal. The result speaks for itself. His backers, myself included, made tragic misjudgments in our support of that self-righteous loser. He is precisely the reason why we need a qualified leader as DA. Lykos and Company will be even worse then Rosenthal (hard to imagine). However, I'm afraid her horrific tenure will result in another Chuckster in 4 years unless the powers that be put competence over politics. The point earlier made was that the DA must be qualified as well as experienced;not one without the other and surely not someone with neither credential.
ANON 957,
Kelly would be crazy to run again in 4 years. She gave her heart and soul to an office and county that at the end of the day slapped her in the face. Besides, why would she give up a lucrative private practice with clients that actually appreciate hard work and a dedication to winning?