With the closing of this year's Legislative Session, it is now time for Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys across the State of Texas to begin familiarizing themselves with the newest laws that are coming into effect on September 1st.
The Texas District and County Attorney's Association (TDCAA, for short) which is an organization of all the prosecutors across the State of Texas has typically spearheaded the teaching of the new laws as their upper administration travels from venue to venue across the State, holding day-long seminars that cover everything you need to know. In the past, every two years, there will be a seminar that joins together Judges, Prosecutors and Defense Attorneys. TDCAA, especially Staff Attorney Shannon Edmonds, does a thorough and entertaining job of presenting all the new criminal laws.
Obviously, in years past, the Harris County District Attorney's Office has comprised a very large portion of the attendees there. Prior to Pat Lykos' arrival on the 6th Floor, Harris County was one of the two most sizeable and active counties involved in TDCAA, and it was a great relationship. TDCAA is a wonderful organization that serves as an excellent resource for prosecutors across the State. They organize Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars year-round, including the incredibly helpful Baby Prosecutor's School for rookie prosecutors.
More importantly, TDCAA helps foster a feeling of camaraderie with all prosecutors and builds friendships and contacts across the State. One of the things I hated the most about leaving the D.A.'s Office was that I was no longer a member of TDCAA. It really was something I was very glad to be a part of.
Apparently, however, Pat Lykos is taking a bit of a more chilly approach to TDCAA.
Prosecutors were informed on Friday via e-mail that the Harris County District Attorney's Office would not be participating in this year's Legislative Update in Houston. Instead, they would have several prosecutors from within the Office giving lectures on the new laws.
The kicker on the deal, however, is that the in-house update is occurring on July 23 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. So, after a long day of work, Patsy and her Gang are going to make all the prosecutors and investigators stay until 7:30 p.m. to get their CLE. I guess if you have such a thing as a "family" or some of those pesky "children" thingies, you are going to have to get a babysitter or make other arrangements.
God knows that Patsy, Little Jimmy and Roger could give a crap less if they are inconveniencing you.
It is worth noting, however, that at the end of Bridgwater's e-mail regarding the new mandatory CLE, he notes that the Houston Legislative Update offered by the TDCAA is still going on at South Texas College of Law on July 31st. However, he posts the following caveat:
Please be advised should you desire to attend that presentation it must be on self-pay basis and using vacation or comp time.
Are you freaking kidding me, Roger? I mean, I can understand you making the prosecutors pay for the class if they want to attend, but seriously, comp time? A prosecutor wants to go listen to the organization that helped write a lot of these laws actually speak on the topic and you are treating it like they are taking time off the go see Weekend at Bernie's II? If a prosecutor is willing to pay to take the class to make them a better prosecutor, then don't insult them by making them take Comp Time.
Here's the bottom line on this, folks. Once again, Patsy and Crew are making an ass out of themselves and the entirety of the Office. By pulling out of attending the TDCAA Seminar, she is guaranteeing that the seminar will be better attended by Judges and Defense Attorneys than prosecutors. Seeing how TDCAA is an organization for prosecutors, that's just embarrassing. And taxpayers should be aggravated that Lykos is going to make all of her prosecutors and investigators earn some comp time with her stupid after hours lessons.
As a side note, these after-hours training sessions are nothing new. Bridgwater has been forcing his misdemeanor people to have after hours training sessions quite frequently on Thursdays. Kind of funny when you consider the fact that even the Babies have more prosecutorial experience than he does in recent memory.
So the big question about Lykos' decision to pull out of the seminar is "Why?"
I can think of three possible scenarios. Let me know if you've got a theory.
Scenario # 1-recently, Lykos tried to persuade TDCAA to move the Advanced Advocacy Training from Waco to Houston. TDCAA looked into it, but ultimately declined. The leaving of the TDCAA Seminar is possibly nothing more than a straight up retaliation from a cranky old lady in a snit.
Scenario # 2-given the absolutely sterling budget management that Lykos and the Gang have exhibited during their six months in Office, they flat out just don't have the money. Looks like the water coolers that were strategically placed throughout the Office by Hannah Chow were more important than actually, uh, having prosecutors who were up-to-date on the law.
Scenario # 3-since Pat Lykos is clearly not a prosecutor and is more interested in appeasing the media than doing her job, she may be a little bit nervous about what TDCAA might have to say about some of the bills that she had the Office advocate for -- especially that whole Journalist Shield Law that TDCAA has always opposed. God forbid that the scenario arose where TDCAA came to town and had to talk about what a bad idea for prosecutors that bill was. That scenario might have Lykos looking like, um, I don't know, perhaps, an idiot.
Whatever her motives were, Lykos is once again showing her unbridled arrogance. She has been a prosecutor (in title only) for less than six months and is already shunning the guidance and assistance of the best prosecutors organization in the country for her own "wisdom".
She continues to be an embarrassment to Harris County, and now she is taking it to a Statewide level.