Friday, September 17, 2010

Another Friday, Another Good Prosecutor Leaves

Today marks the last day of prosecutor Sean Teare, who is leaving the Harris County District Attorney's Office to join the world of civil practice. Sean leaves as a second-time Felony Three in the 339th District Court. (ON A RELATED NOTE: We are currently now looking for a foster parent for Ryan Mitchell.)

I got to know Sean on the day he actually learned he had passed the Texas Bar exam, and I didn't really get the chance to work with him as a prosecutor.

I did get the chance to work with him as a defense attorney, however. Sean was a damn good prosecutor who had the cajones to make a call on a case based on what was right or wrong, and not out of fear of getting in trouble with schmucks like Bridgwater and Leitner (who lately can't even seem to decide what their policy actually is.)

Over the past year and a half, I've noticed (with concern) as senior prosecutors were leaving and the experience level that was leaving with them. Sean's departure actually shows that Lykos and the Gang are burning the talent pool at both ends. Prosecutors like Teare (and Womble before him) at least gave some of us hope that there were good lawyers coming up through the ranks.

Now Lykos and Crew are running off the Next Generation of Prosecutors as well.

Pretty soon, the Office will be filled with nothing more than those who have successfully managed to suck up to either Lykos, Leitner, Chow, or Bridgwater. The promotion requirements will be based only on who you know and not how you do the job.

So, good luck to you, Sean. You'll do great in the civil world.

And soon a Legion of Palmers will have filled your spot at the Office.


Anonymous said...

Finally, I can swim the seas freely. I now feel safe.



With Womble and Teare now gone, who will take care of Pope?

On a serious note, good luck to you Sean. You, and your talent, will be missed.

Anonymous said...

And to think the Chronicle and Channel 13 both reported that Pat is doing such a wonderful job. The only thing wonderful about the job she is doing is creating a better defense bar that has to go up against her ever dwindling staff that is shrinking in experience.

We would love to see a report that shows how many have left comapred to how many have been replaced. Keeping in mind that there is no way to capture the disparity in enxperience, it wold certainly be a great platform for the candidate who chooses to run against this wretched soul.

My vote goes to Palmer in 2012! NOT.

Ron in Houston said...

Can people even be replaced? I thought there was a county hiring freeze.

Murray Newman said...


They can't be replaced, but people will be moved up to fill the spot. Pretty soon the definition of a "senior prosecutor" will be someone who has worked there over a year.

Not to mention that they will be running pretty thin on prosecutors at the Misdemeanor level. There are a lot more resignations in the works, too. Lykos and Crew are going to need to do some begging to the Commissioners to be allowed to hire some people.

Or just stop treating her current employees like crap. Whichever one comes easier for her.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck, Sean!! You were a great prosecutor and will do well in your new job.


Anonymous said...

I've only recently had the pleasure of working with Sean, and I'm sorry to see him go. He's a smart guy, a good lawyer, a strong advocate for the citizens, and a class act all the way. He will do well wherever he goes.

I understand that Lykos herself personally called Sean to her office and (presumably after extinguishing her cigarette) asked him to stay. I wonder when the steady stream of talent walking out the front door will tell the management that something is amiss...

Best wishes, Sean. Don't be a stranger!

Mike Trent

Anonymous said...

Now did Sean leave because he didn't like his employer or was it for the money? He's now going to be doubling his salary. As much as I am not a real fan of the administration, let's be fair and get an HONEST answer to this. As you well know, Murray, being a county prosecutor keeps you from making some "real" money. I would imagine that your own salary has gone up, even if you had to leave on somebody else's terms.

I understand that not everyone has left just for the money, however, if the prosecutors that did leave knew they were going to be making less money, would they really have left? Honestly?

Anonymous said...

Did he leave because of Lykos or because he was working for the WORST judge in the building? I've heard horror stories about Maria Jackson and that Sean just couldn't take her anymore; that coupled with the lack of him getting promoted anytime soon left him to leave for greener pastures.

Good luck Sean, you'll do fine in civil litigation.



Anonymous said...

She'll never realize that treating folks a bit better and being a bit more sincere is better.

I suspect the way she sees it is that when folks quit, she says they'll realize it's a mistake and a tough job market out there and when she can hire again, the applicants will be three feet thick in this market.

But what kind of applicants will they be, and it would be impossible to duplicate the talent that has been lost.

Anonymous said...

8:26 -

Teare may have left for the money, but plenty of other very talented prosecutors left because of the way in which the Office is managed. I suspect the majority of the five people going to the feds did not make that decision for the money. And I know that at least two of the district court chiefs who recently left (and who Lykos never even said goodbye to, much less ask them to stay) would still be at the office if it were managed properly.

Lykos has done a great job of being a politician. Every public statement made is calculated toward reelaction. And the media really like her, probably b/c of her anti-death penatly leanings. But there is a problem when the decision maker bases her decisions upon what is popular instead of what is right.

David Ryan said...

I will miss Sean around the courthouse. I always found him to be both tough and fair. He was 1 of only 3 prosecutors in the office I could completely trust under the last 3 administrations (No slight at you, Murray - we never really worked together).

Sean's word is his bond and you can't say that about many at the CJC on any side of the table. Sean and I made off the record agreements routinely and never once did he go back on it, even if it was against ever changing "policy". Sean never charged a trial tax as a chief (same for Womble and the recently departed Jeremy Gordon).

I do think it unfair to lay his departure at the feet of the current administration. Some folks do leave the office for reasons that have nothing to do with the name on the door.

I wish Sean the best of luck.

David Ryan

Anonymous said...

Having Lykos as your boss makes the decision to leave the DA's office so much easier, even if it is for civil practice and more money. If you read management and employment studies you will find the number one reason people leave their job is not for money, it has to do with management issues. Perhaps Sean got an offer and with an administration like this, the answer just had to be yes. Regardless I wish Sean well.

Anonymous said...

Good Luck, Sean. We will miss you and your legal wit here.

It is shameful how many people are leaving, but more shameful at the number of people with so much legal talent. It's never a good time to be a defendant, but it certainly is getting better. Thank you, Pat Lykos. May the rest of your time as Harris County DA be short and of a lingering malignant and torturous nature.

Anonymous said...

The best part of Lykos asking Sean to stay was that she offered to promote him to 2 with pay. I'm sure that really makes all of those presently working without standard pay feel really appreciated. And if they can find the money on a whom for Sean, why haven't they started paying others yet? I guess people just need to turn in a resignation letter to get what they want.

Anonymous said...

That's the only part that pisses me off--there's been a couple of people now who have decided to quit, and then get offers of promotions and money. That's 100% bullshit. You don't jump people for promotions just to hang on to someone, and you certainly shouldn't offer them more money when you have been "promoting" people but not paying them.

To be clear--the people that WANT to stay and be prosecutors--no money and no no promotions. But hey if you don't want to work here, we'll offer you a better deal than we'll give those that do want to work here. Bullshit.

BLACK INK said...

Anon 8:26,

Some sell their soul for "the money".

Some sacrifice "the money" for honor and integrity.

Some balance the two (2) and are highly compensated while retaining their honor and integrity.

Some settle for neither and work for folks like Pat Lykos.

Sean will no doubt fit in the 3rd category.

Anonymous said...

A cardinal rule of good management holds that if an employee seeks to resign one does not tender a promotion or a salary increase in an attempt to dissuade that resignation. The Peter Principle essentially holds that in an hierarchy every person will rise to the level of their incompetence. It could be argued that this Principle might have been applicable to the District Attorney in every position which she occupied prior to becoming District Attorney. As demonstrated by the many incidents chronicled in this blog, however, an instant application of the Principle should be beyond dispute.

Anonymous said...

Served on a jury recently. 2 out of 6 decided not guilty. As it approached 6pm, it was clear we could not come to a unanimous decision. We asked the bailiff what would happen if we could not come to a unanimous decision. We were told that it would continue the next day. We immediately took a "revote" and then it became unanimous. It was quite unfortunate that the deciding factor was staying an extra day. Various reasons, including not eating lunch until 1:30pm, requiring extra days of jury duty should not be a reason someone is guilty/not guilty. But it was today. Sorry.

Cjclawyer said...

Uh, 8:28pm... That's not on Pat Lykos. That's on the 6 of you, or rather the 2 that caved rather than come back and/or stand true to your decision. I'm a prosecutor and I think that's hideous. Hope you're never faced with a jury like that. Does it feel good knowing you made a rash decision that potentially limits a persons freedom and possibly their livelihood?

Dorian said...

Sean told me that he left for the money - family man and all. As far as where he was and the administration, Sean is the kind of person that will get along anywhere.

He's going to a plaintiff's firm. Yawn. Ho hum.

Sean, make your $ and then come back to the fun courthouse. You'd do well as a defense attorney.