Don Smyth Retires from HCDA
Career prosecutor Don Smyth retired from the Harris County District Attorney's Office today, putting the end to a 33 year career as a prosecutor.
Now, as we all know from articles here and here, that this is by no means the last we've heard of our friend, Don. He's still actively campaigning as the Republican candidate for County Court at Law # 13.
And although I hope we are about to see the beginning of Don's "new career" come January 1st, I wanted to tell him congratulations on 33 years at his old job.
Don is a man of the highest character. Although he was more than eligible to retire when the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight rode into town, he didn't leave. Even when they demoted him from Bureau Chief to Division Chief, he remained loyal to the people who had served under him and stayed to act as a buffer between them and the folks who knew what they were doing.
Unlike some of the other prosecutors (who in Don's position who would sell out their prosecutors to be "team players" with the New Administration), Don was known to always have his prosecutors' backs. He was a leader where being a leader wasn't exactly deemed a good quality after January 1st, 2009.
And the loyalty he showed his fellow prosecutors was returned, when in late December of last year, he decided to take on a campaign for Judge that pitted him against Lykos' Office Darling, who had been prepping her campaign for two years priors. The real prosecutors of the Office rallied around Don's campaign was able to pull off an amazing upset.
Quite frankly, it restored my faith in the idea that sometimes (just sometimes) character still matters in politics. It also showed that Don had extreme courage.
They don't make leaders like Don Smyth anymore. The District Attorney's Office was lucky to have him for nearly a third of a century.
Here's to hoping we'll have him on the Bench for many years to come.
In the meantime, Happy Retirement, Don!