Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lykos 2009: A Year in Review

As a kid, I always enjoyed reading Dave Barry's Year-in-Review every December, so in the spirit of Dave, here is a review of our first year with Snookems and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight . . .


January 1 -- a beaming and freshly polydented Pat Lykos is sworn in as District Attorney while hundreds of Assistant D.A.'s are forced to attend the ceremony at gunpoint. During the ceremony, she criticizes the minister who swears her in for mispronouncing her name. Noting that Lykos is pronounced "Like us", it will be the only time that anyone says anything about "liking" the new administration. After the ceremony, there are numerous reports of Lykos shaking down prosecutors for cigarettes.

January 7 -- in an effort to promote a lack of familiarity with cases, Jim Leitner detaches his lips from Lykos' posterior long enough to announce a new policy against prosecutors holding onto cases that they've worked on if they switch courts. When called upon to explain his actions, Leitner explains that it will make himself and the new administration seem a little less clueless by comparison if they are ever called upon to handle an actual trial case.

January 26 -- in an effort to seem like just just one of the troops, Leitner and Roger Bridgwater decide to sign up for intakes and probable cause shifts. In an effort to ensure that they don't screw anything up, they make sure to only take the prime shifts and never work midnight to eights. To make sure they have enough shifts, they help themselves to the shift of single mother, Sylvia Escobedo, who they kick off the intake list without notice.


February 4 -- after a month of having to dodge getting caught smoking in the stairwells next to her office, Lykos issues a memorandum to all prosecutors that the stairwell to the sixth floor was now forbidden for prosecutors to use. She mentions that the constant beeping of the door is disturbing the fragile mind of General Counsel John Barnhill.

February 5 -- in a cross-over episode of The Dukes of Hazzard and Driving Miss Daisy, Lykos' personal driver and D.A. Office investigator crashes her County Ride.

February 7 -- in response to some tardiness, Jim Leitner issues the 0800 memo declaring all prosecutors must be present in their office at 8 a.m. sharp. On that same day, Sylvia Escobedo attempts to turn in her resignation letter at 8:00 a.m., only to find that no personnel is on the 6th floor that morning until after 9 a.m.

February 19 -- in an effort to promote diversity within her staff, Lykos attempts to recruit Tiger Woods as a Bureau Chief within the office so that she can claim multiple races and nationalities are represented within her upper administration.


March 2 -- in an effort to kiss up to the Defense Bar in a way that totally works, Lykos FINALLY makes copies of offense reports to defense attorneys.

March 10 -- the first hints that Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight were suffering some budgetary issues arise when signs begin popping up on Hannah Chow's water coolers which read: "No Free Refills".

March 26 -- in what will, by far, become the most stupid thing she does all year, Lykos publicly calls popular prosecutors Mark Donnelly and Rifi Newaz "negligent and incompetent" in the Houston Chronicle. Although she never apologizes for the insult, she does try to lamely explain that she was making nicknames for ALL of her prosecutors, much like the Seven Dwarves. She points out that she affectionately refers to Roger Bridgwater as "Dopey" and 1st Assistant Jim Leitner as "Kiss Ass".

March 31 -- in an effort to rebuild her reputation with her prosecutors, Lykos holds a motivational Continuing Legal Education session with paid lecturer Lisa Blue. The message conveyed to the prosecutors is that their job is to make Lykos "look good". On a related note, the television show Extreme Makeover is bombarded with requests to take Lykos in as a special project.


April 1 -- Lykos snubs long-time prosecutors Lance Long and Stephen St. Martin when they are honored by the FBI for their work in law enforcement during a ceremony at the office. After work, Lykos is seen protesting a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, carrying a sign which reads "Your kid sucks."

April 20 -- departing chief prosecutor George Weissfisch sends out an All Prosecutor e-mail with helpful suggestions for the office. He is sternly warned that attempts at competence will be dealt with harshly, and if he does not cease and desist with his help, he will be doubly fired (also known as "Newmaned").

Aprill 24 -- in an illustration that not only Old Regime employees were bailing out of the U.S.S. Lykos, Beverly Chambers, Lykos' hand-picked administrative assistant resigns after less than four months of service.


May 7 -- Deputy MISDEMEANOR Division Chief (as opposed to Deputy Chief of the D.A. Office) and honorary Lykos God-Daughter Rachel Palmer coins the new office motto of "Look Good, Think Smart, and Win!", which is a radical departure from how the Lykos Administration had been running up to that point. The Junior League gives them a standing ovation.

May 14 -- in another great moment in Race Relations, Lykos restores the positon of Probable Cause Chief BACK to a paid Chief slot after African-American prosecutor Carvana Cloud resigns from the Office. During the history of the Office, the only time that the position was a non-chief slot was when Carvana occupied it. Carvana's predecessor and successor in the position were both Caucasian.

May 29 -- caught off guard during a press conference which she had called, Lykos is forced to acknowledge the beginning of the now-famous DIVERT program which allows Pre-Trial Diversion for DWIs. In doing so, Lykos creates and subverts the laws regarding intoxication offenses. MADD is madder, and drunks around the county celebrate.


June 4 -- Lykos makes her famous "I wish I had a Jack and Coke right now" statement during an interview with Lisa Falkenberg. Roger Bridgwater, who is also present for the interview nearly swallows his tongue and then immediately attempts an exorcism on his boss.

June 9 -- Lykos celebrates along with her buddy, Jeff Cohen of the Houston Chronicle over the passage of the Journalist Shield Law, which protects journalists sources from those dastardly police officers who might actually be trying to solve a case.

June 20 -- in an apparent snit with the Texas District and County Attorney's Association, Lykos boycots this year's Legislative Update with an in-house training session. Rather than focus on substantive changes in the law, the Lykos Show has such topics as Hannah Chow's "Your Friend the Water Cooler", Jim Leitner's "The Effect of the Porn 'Stache on Jury Credibility", and Roger Bridgwater's lecture on "Insubordination and Anger Management".

June 24 -- after watching a Death Wish marathon on TNT, Roger Bridgwater goes off on fellow Bureau Chief Donna Goode for daring to question him during a Tuesday morning staff meeting. After attempting an exorcism on Donna, he files a complaint on her with the Disciplinary Committee for insubordination and has her locked out of her office computer. In a move that conclusively showed that Donna had more class and guts than him, Donna gave Harris County the finger and resigned.


July 14 -- in a speech to rookie prosecutors at TDCAA's Baby Prosecutors School, former Harris County Prosecutor George Weissfische publicly denounces Lykos' new DIVERT program. That same week, former prosecutor Donna Goode, is named as the First Assistant in the Galveston County District Attorney's Office. Bridgwater suffers a nervous breakdown.


August 10 -- surrounded by churning turmoil and chaos within her Office, Lykos decides to decisively remedy all the problems by getting the Office a dog. The dog quickly becomes the most highly respected member of the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight.

August 15 -- Hannah Chow takes time out of her busy schedule of monitoring the water levels in the Office coolers to write a letter to the Chronicle criticizing Lisa Falkenberg's article on the lack of diversity within the D.A.'s Office. Rather than acknowledge that the D.A.'s Office has a stunning lack of African-American and Hispanic prosecutors in upper echelon positions, Chow instead criticizes Corporate America for their stunning lack of leadership positions for Asian and Native American employees.

August 20 -- the Twitterverse is shocked by the appearance of a Twitter participant calling herself "Pat Lykos". Once it is clear that the poster actually understands the legal system and has a sense of humor, it becomes obvious that the poster isn't REALLY Pat Lykos. This in no way appeases Republican Chairman and Joseph McCarthy wannabe Jared Woodfill from blaming the practical joke on a vast left-wing conspiracy.

August 24 -- The Chronicle's Brian Rogers finally does an article on the massive amount of prosecutors fleeing the Office under the Lykos regime. It is met with a resounding "no shit" from frequenters of the CJC.

August 28 -- Lykos is caught dismissing the case against Supreme Court Justice David Medina's wife for the offenses related to arson. There is no confirmation that Lykos also personally gave Justice Medina a T-shirt that read: "My wife got prosecuted by the Harris County District Attorney's Office and all I got was this Lousy T-shirt".


September 6 -- the Lykos Adminstration implements a seemingly good idea of putting law school pre-commits in felony courts to get some real world experience before they pass their bar exams.
That real world experience?
Don't trust politicians, because we ain't actually gonna pay you once you pass the bar.

September 26 -- the move to create a Public Defender's Office gains steam until Lykos points out that with all the concessions she's been giving to the Defense Bar lately, that the D.A.'s Office has actually become a Public Defender's Office.


October 6 -- I finally give up and realize that Lykos isn't sending me a birthday card, yet again.

October 19 -- Lykos and Crew resurrect a disposed of case where a driver killed a couple in an automobile crash, by agreeing to a Motion for New Trial, and then subsequently dismisses the case. Cocaine-using reckless drivers across the county rejoice.

October 19 -- Lykos clarifies her new policy on auto-related fatalities by saying that if a cell phone is involved in a fatality, not only will you be taken to trial, but you will also get some pretty nasty name-calling from the elected D.A. herself.

October 23 -- in a press conference to explain the D.A.'s Office's new policy on automobile related fatalities, First Assistant Jim Leitner has a nervous breakdown and flees an interview with Channel 13's Ted Oberg. Rumors that Jim may have wet himself a little when faced with a tough question are unconfirmed.

October 28 -- despite a finding of a blatant Brady vs. Maryland violation against Child Abuse Division Chief Denise Oncken during a sexual assault of a child trial, the presiding judge does not grant a mistrial based on the prosecutorial misconduct. This leads Lykos to do a dance of joy and she declares Oncken the Employee of the Year.


November 3 -- the pre-commits at the Harris County D.A.'s Office learn the hard way to never trust a politician when they are told that the Office doesn't have the money to pay them real salaries once they pass the Bar Exam. Jim Leitner defends the information by saying, "Hey, we've only known this was coming for about two months now, and we were afraid if we had told you back then that you might not have done all this work for us for $10 a hour."

November 5 -- the pre-commits pass the Bar Exam and Pat Lykos goes back to being the only licensed lawyer in the D.A.'s Office to have never tried a case.

November 14 -- D.A. Child Abuse Paralegal Kim Flores, who brought to light the Brady violation of Denise Oncken gets "Newmaned" (aka Fired despite the fact that she was already leaving the Office) by Hannah Chow. For such a ceremonious event, Chow wears her judicial robe from the 5 minutes she spent on the Bench, and tells Flores that she was firing her "because she can". An attempt to have Flores escorted out of the building is foiled by people with some actual integrity.


December 9 -- Lykos announces that as of January 1, 2010, the Office will no longer be filing crack pipe residue cases.
Crackheads around the county rejoice!

December 10 -- Lykos announces that she will be rethinking the policy of no longer filing crack pipe residue cases.
Crackheads are confused. So is the rest of Harris County.

December 14 -- the announcement that 262nd District Judge Mike Anderson will not be seeking re-election causes many to wonder if he will (TRANSLATION: pray for him to) run for District Attorney in 2012. Lykos increases her chain smoking to a carton a day.

December 18 -- Judge Don Jackson is convicted by a jury for the offense of Official Oppression. The Lykos Administration issues the following statement: "See. We told you we'd do something right by the end of the year."

December 22 -- in lieu of the annual Office Christmas party, Lykos allows all employees to come see the new hardwood floors in her office. She then leaves early to go to the mall and tell children that there is no Santa Claus.

December 31 -- Lykos invites everyone to a mandatory meeting at the jury assembly building at 9 a.m. on January 1st to help her and the Gang celebrate a wonderful first year.


Anonymous said...

Best yet! Kiss Ass and Dopey are going to be berry berry upset with you..

The Observer said...

This is the best entertainment yet to come out of the CJC. I laughed from beginning to end.

Anonymous said...

Funniest post of the year. Finally one worthy of the "humor" tag. Awesome work.
Jim ( not lil' Jim leitner)

Aggie Pct Chair said...

I found myself laughing and then I thought about how many disasters happened due to Lykos and crew. I am saddened that the GOP failed so miserably. We need to get it right next go around. Tell me about Mike Anderson?

Twilight Zoned said...

It was two thousand and nine;
Only a few ADAs had a spine.

The Troll was on a roll;
She sure took her toll?

What a litany of abuse;
Chuckie ain't no excuse.

Wee Man, Holy Man, Black Robed Skank;
The office has fallen, deep in the tank.

In two thousand and ten;
We'll have the same old hen.

I'm packing my bag;
I can't handle the hag.

Our beloved office lays in ruin;
The hanger-ons are just stewing.

It's really quite sad;
To know what we had.

Thanks Murray Newman for keeping track;
Of all the atrocities made by the nasty old hack.

DCM said...

Aggie Pct Chair:
We need a thick skinned tough sumbitch to open up a can of whup azz on the cave dwelling jacked up nicotine whore in 12.
Mike Anderson is a nice guy and all but is not up to that kind of challenge or personal scrutiny.

Anonymous said...


THIS is reason so many people who "get it" enjoy your blog. Thank you and please know that you do provide a valuable service to those of us still here at HCDAO. Laying low till 2012...

p.s. - Don Smyth for CCT 13

BLACK INK said...

What an incredible level of shame and disrespect Pat Lykos has brought upon the District Attorney's office.

The disgrace that woman has levied on the men and women at the CJC who serve our community and insure our safety for relatively marginal financial remuneration is reprehensible.

Anonymous said...

I spend everyday at the courthouse and I never see Dopey, Kiss Ass, or the Water Girl, do they all get special parking. How do they slime around the building without being seen? I regularly saw Munier, Bert Graham, Mclellan.

Anonymous said...

Murray, what about the rumor some high level official in the Bush regime was recently divorced because his wife found out he was a cross dresser? What is happening to the people who are supposed to be our leaders?

Anonymous said...

Outstanding post Murray. Keep up the good work.

Edward D. Porter

Anonymous said...

You are such a great writer Murray! This was so funny and so sad - hard to believe it all actually happened!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like the old Murray is back. Good.


Anonymous said...

I love it!!! Well said, Chief!!

Kimberley M Miller

Anonymous said...

Sad, but true Murray. Good people have to kiss ass or keep their heads down in order to keep their jobs. They have to do what is politically correct instead of doing the right thing. Never seen such a mess. Lykos and her cronies need to go in 3 years.

Anonymous said...

One year down and hopefully only three more before the voters restore the HCDA's Office to an office of professional prosecutors with integrity and concern for the public.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate that you write this and accepted the consequences for it when you were let go. You knew by writing the blog you probably weren't going to have a job come January 2008 if Lykos won. Very admirable. What I can't stand are the anonymous posters on here who will put Lykos down and then put a smile on and wish her well to her face. These are the pieces of crap I have to work with each day. If these "friends" of mine (and yours) do this to Lykos, supposedly to keep their jobs, imagine what they say about you and me behind our respective backs.

Anonymous said...

The Chornicle wrote a piece on the top cases of the decade. Not surprisingly, zero of Kelly Siegler's cases were reported on. Peggy O'hare wrote the article. Clearly the article was intended to be a jab at Kelly, a petty one at best. Which case do you think Lykos/Leitner/Roger/Hanna will be remembered for trying......

Jason said...

Damn!!!!!! Well done!

Anonymous said...

Wonder when someone is going to do an article on... guess how much Lykos spent on 6th floor remodel. Now working on old IT office, it's gutted and turning the library into a media room. Don't forget the money on redoing the supply room, Chow's office, and a complete make over in central records.

Anonymous said...

How come when you mention the dismissal of the wrecker driver case, you never mention the Brady violation that made it occur? Denise was gutted but you have spared Warren.

Murray Newman said...

Anon 1:07,
There was a judicial finding that Oncken withheld Brady, despite the fact that no mistrial was granted. The wrecker-driver case was something handled by the D.A.'s Office internally. I've heard rumblings of Brady violations, but no details.
I worked with Warren for a long time. I understand that he is controversial and often considered way over-aggressive by the defense bar. He also ain't exactly the snazziest dresser. But I've never known him to hide exculpatory evidence. If you're getting your information on that from the Lykos Administration, I'd take it with a grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

There was an agreed motion for new trial in the wrecker driver case. The motion says there was a Brady violation. It was bad enough that they admitted to it which is more than they did with Denise. Ask Overstreet or Goodhead for the details of WP's lying & cheating.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to all in 2010.

Anonymous said...

Some of this is great satire. But the line between satire and pettiness is razor thin sometimes, and you end up on the petty side quite a bit.

There is plenty to criticize (even for me) without being small.


Anonymous said...

You are right rage, Lykos can be very petty at times. Thanks for keeping a record Murray.

Anonymous said...

Free Management Tips:


Anonymous said...

Free Management Tips (better link)


Anonymous said...


Looks like Warren is dispensing his own brand of "justice" in a new county. I guess trials don't mean a whole lot to some people.

Anonymous said...

Why do some people keep popping up in this blog? You people need to get over Rosenthal, Siegler, Diepraam, and everybody else who is long gone and start doing your jobs. Your hate and animosity are indicative of a deep personailty disorder. As an ex-employee who worked with everybody you people continue to bring up, all I can conclude is that you are a bunch of whiners with petty jealousies. Frankly, you are more of a disgrace to the office than Lykos.

Anonymous said...

Great blog Murray! The only thing I could not figure out is why the wrecker driver case pops up? Then it struck me. Its great to see that PatsyWeemanOnckenPalmer continue to read this blog. Par for the course from the gang....

Maybe we can make other people look bad to hide the fact that we have no idea what we are doing? When we retroactively undo a defense lawyer requested plea on a cocaine using drunk driving wrecker who killed two innocent people, all we have to do is blame it on somebody who has not touched the case for over a year before the case plead guilty. Well, that one did not work out so good for ya when the victim's family went public did it?

Keep up the good work, gang. You will be your own undoing.