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Showing posts from May, 2009

Ed Gonzalez for District H

On June 13th, there will be a special election for District H City Councilman which has my friend, Ed Gonzalez as a candidate in the run off. Ed is a City of Houston Homicide Sergeant who grew up in District H and has dedicated his life to public service. He has a very impressive biography that details his care and commitment to his fellow neighbors and his community. His dedication will serve the City of Houston very well if he is elected to the City Council. As we all know (unfortunately), run off elections don't generate much attention or turnout which can lead to really bad results in elections sometimes. Please do everything in your power to make sure it doesn't happen this time. Check out Ed's website and go vote!

I Don't Know Where to Begin . . .

I have to admit that I was pretty much caught off guard to read this article from the Houston Chronicle today announcing that your friend and mine, Patsy Lykos , had decided to create Pre -Trial Diversions for first time DWI offenders. Now, I know that I am now a defense attorney and should probably be dancing in the street over any type of program that gives wholesale leniency towards a type of crime, but this policy decision deserves a pretty critical look, if you ask me. Now, I know that the Chronicle was practically gushing in it's article, but that's to be expected. After all, Lykos did support them in their efforts to have the Press Shield Law passed (becoming one of about, uh, two District Attorney's in the State to actually support it). In doing so, she bought the Chronicle's love forever, so expect this type of ass-smooching to continue for some time. As a side note, the term "Journalistic Integrity" has officially become an oxymoron in Houston

Another Friday - Another Chief Leaves

In what is seemingly becoming a new Harris County District Attorney's Office tradition, yet another Felony District Court Chief turned in his resignation this Friday. Chief of the 178 th District Court, Lester Blizzard, turned in his two week notice this afternoon. On a sidenote , neither Pat Lykos nor Jim Leitner could be found on the 6 th Floor to accept the resignation, so Lester turned it over to the administrative assistant in charge of timesheets . I don't know where Leitner was, but it must have been Lykos ' nap time. For those of you who don't know Lester Blizzard, he had been a Division Chief in Major Fraud/White Collar Crime prior to Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight pulled into town. In addition to taking on massive and complicated cases involving specialized knowledge and a tremendous amount of patience to prosecute, Lester was also in charge of taking on dirty lawyers that practiced law without a license. He has a very analytica

Bernstein's Back

I heard from several folks and sources this week that former-Chronicle writer Alan Bernstein is changing jobs over to the Harris County Sheriff's Office. Given the current climate towards newspapers as they are rapidly becoming extinct, it is probably a wise move on Bernstein's part to grab a lifeboat before the S.S. Chron is completely submerged under water. Now, although Bernstein didn't want to be my friend on Facebook for some bizarre reason, I wish him well in his new position. And to Sheriff Adrian Garcia, you've made an excellent call for a PR guy! There ain't nobody that can ignore negative news about who he supports quite like Alan Bernstein! Welcome back Alan!

Richard Wintory

This is a little bit outside of our CJC realm, but a notable prosecutor and friend to many of us in Harris County, needs the help of anyone who can possibly add a little bit of assistance. Richard Wintory was a high profile prosecutor with the Oklahoma County District Attorneys Office (Oklahoma City) for quite a while. He tried a lot of major cases. At one point in his career, he headed up a section out of the Oklahoma Governors Office targeting highway drug interdiction. He was very active in the National District Attorneys Association and involved in committees as well as a regular lecturer at NDAA conferences and the National College. In 2002, Richard left the Oklahoma County D.A.'s office after being recruited by the District Attorney of Pima County(Tuscon) Arizona to work in that office. He was assigned to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area ( HIDTA ) prosecutor trying major drug cases. He was awarded Prosecutor of the Year by the Arizona Narcotics Officers Assoc

Lykos on Diversity (Revisited)

You know, as I prepared to write this post, it occurred to me that I'm starting to run out of title captions that will accurately convey that the article is about yet another Lykos Administration screw up. I mean, she and the Gang just keep throwing me softballs here. During her four and a half months in office, Lykos has , in fact, made some good decisions. She's made some iffy decisions. She's made some bad decisions. And then, on days like yesterday, she makes decisions that honestly leave me wondering whether or not Lykos could beat a cantaloupe in an intelligence test. Now, as I've pointed out here before , Lykos has never been particularly good at promoting diversity within her Office. With the exception of Hannah Chow, she formed the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight out of 100% white folks. In addition, she brought over Frances Madden, a Caucasian friend and former Montgomery County prosecutor, who is now progressing up through the ranks of the Office lik

Drama

A few weeks ago, I was told by a friend of mine that she couldn't ever imagine dating me (in a theoretical situation) because I thrived too much on "drama". My office-mate, Luci Davidson likes to refer to me as "C-Squared", which is short for "Captain Chaos" because of the seemingly endless amount of dramatic situations that I seem to always to be griping to her about. So, I've been thinking about it a bit lately. According to the internationally respected basis-of-knowledge known as Wikipedia.com, the term "drama" derives from a Greek word meaning "action" or "to do". And I think that we can agree that the term "action" ain't so bad, can't we? It's a helluva lot better than "inaction", isn't it? Manufacturing drama where drama normally wouldn't be present would probably have the makings of a good Drama Queen. But I think that there are some situations where a bit of dram

"Look Good, Think Smart, and Win!"

"It doesn't matter if you win or lose. It's how good you looked!" - David Lee Roth Despite the fact that District Attorney Pat Lykos campaigned partially on the platform that there would no longer be any "counting scalps" under her promised regime, it appears that she and the Gang have backed off of that promise in regards to how the Misdemeanor Division is being run. A month or so ago, Jim Leitner got to eat some, uh, crow, over the Office's new "whale policy", which dictated that misdemeanor prosecutors were to find a no-lose case and refuse to plead it, thus ensuring a trial victory. The motivation behind this quickly-retracted policy was to boost the winning stats coming out of the Misdemeanor Division. The idea was stupid from get-go. If a case could work out to a reasonable resolution, isn't it a bit unethical to be selectively prosecuting cases more aggressively just because it is a weak case for the defense? It seems to me tha

Yet Another Departure

While today is the last day at work for District Court Chiefs Stephen St. Martin and George Weissfisch , yet another long-time member of the District Attorney's Office had his last official day at the Office yesterday. Edward Porter, a 27-year veteran of the Harris County District Attorney's Office turned in his resignation a week or so ago, and his last day on the job was yesterday. Edward had an interesting career path. He started as a clerk in the 174 th District Court while in law school, before ultimately coming to the District Attorney's Office in July of 1982. (NOTE: I'd like to point out that I was 9 years old when Edward started at the Office). He began working in the Child Support Division back when the D.A.'s Office still handled those matters routinely, and then went on to become the Division Chief of the Family Law Division. In 1989, he went to the Office's Civil Rights Division where he would stay for the next 19 years. During the course of