Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Hypothetical Situation for the Conspiracy Theorists

As the investigation into the Harris County District Attorney's Office continues to heat up, Lykos supporters are starting to grumble about the timing of the "Runaway Grand Jury" and they are trying to connect the dots between the Grand Jury and rumors of Republican challengers for D.A.  To catch a summary of what they are saying, you can check out Mark Bennett's blog post here or listen to what Gary Polland is saying in the hallways.

Let me give you a real-quick hypothetical, here:

Let's say you are a high-profile defense attorney well known for your aggressive representation of your clients.

Let's say that the District Attorney's Office has been making some very loud noise about indicting a client who has retained you in advance.  She's heard the rumblings and (like any other law abiding citizen) would really prefer not to get indicted.

Along the way, as a high-profile and intelligent defense attorney, you have heard that the District Attorney's Office doesn't have "clean hands" exactly in regards to how they handled evidence that they didn't want to hear regarding some super-high-tech equipment utilized by the Houston Police Department.

Being the high-profile, aggressive defense attorney that you are, you elect to take the tack that the "best defense is a good offense" and you send a letter to one of the five Grand Juries in session asking that they look into how the District Attorney's Office is handling their investigation into your client.

They agree to do so.

The timing of the investigation corresponds to the time that members of the District Attorney's Office were going on the offense against your client.  The fact that they chose to do it right before the filing deadline for the Republican Primary was their call, not yours.

Whoever is sitting on the Grand Jury and who has ties to who is absolutely none of your concern.

Whatever special prosecutors are appointed to investigate the D.A.'s Office doesn't particularly interest you.

The news media is thoroughly fascinated with the idea of a bullying D.A.'s Office.  The elected D.A. is really miffed and calling it all a political conspiracy.  They continue to just make matters worse for themselves as they panic that they might get indicted.

You don't really care.  Nor should you.

Go home and have a beer.

Know that you just did a really damn good job for your client.


Anonymous said...

Good post, Newmie!

Anonymous said...

You just so happened to send it to the grand jury whose foreman was sworn in by a judge whose husband may be running for DA; a grand jury assembled by a judge whose husband was demoted by Lykos for his support of Siegler; and whose foreman is very knowledgeable of forensics and has advocated for a crime lab that would take quite a bit of control away from Lykos?

Man, that's some fortuitous timing you have...

Bennett's Dune reference was awesome. Too bad he's a bit of a chump.


Anonymous said...

Murray---do not underestimate the devious behavior of some of Chucks old gang. Look at the Penn state scandal. You think all the good people there knew what was going on? politics is a dirty business and dishonesty is not out of the question. The hate towards judge lykos is way out of control.You were not around when Chuck and his gang did some unethical lawyering and got by with it. chuck never had an open file policy.for the people who do not like her ,they did not work as defense lawyers before she was elected.She has done a lot for the defense bar.Ask some of the long time defense lawyers what they think,rather than a group of cry babies who had to step out in the real world. NO AXE TO GRIND

Murray Newman said...

Anon 6:22 p.m.,

I'm not defending Chuck, but there was always an open file policy under his regime, and under Mr. Holmes. That particular thing hasn't changed under the current administration.

Anonymous said...

Lawyers were not given a copy of offense report. it was always amazing how a supplement was added after the lawyer had taken notes and prepared his case.I know you are trying to be neutral,but if you never dealt with Chuck and some of his cronies,you got no idea how bad they could be.Laughing when some poor minority went to the pen for a non violent crime is bad behavior and chuck and crew were famous for making fun of the under dogs that you are now doing a good job defending.That was sorry behavior they were doing and Chuckie must have been sleeping when he was in church because he wasnt living up to what ed young was preaching. keep your eyes open to what some of these people are saying about this grand jury. there may be some truth there.

Anonymous said...

Rage you idiot Pat Lykos wants a regional crime lab more than anyone! She has publicly spoken on the issue countless times. Hell she's fretting that this episode will prevent it from being named in her honor.

Also Mike Anderson will not be a candidate for DA. Neither will Siegler. Maybe once the filing deadline is past you grassy knoll types will see this for what it is, a minor investigation that mushroomed when Lykos and crew over reacted.

Anonymous said...

Lykos has done some good things for the DA's office. But she has also made a lot of knee jerk reactions without all the facts, and without the knowledge of a practicing prosecutor. She made these decisions as she makes all others, what looks the best for her politically. Sometimes doing the right thing isn't favorable or well viewed by the media. She can't make a decision that paints her poorly with the media. If she is going to look bad, she simply doesn't show and avoids the media. When Ted Oberg tried to get a statement on October 21, 2011, Leitner tried to supply him with a written canned response. Avoidance. Until she could compile a response that she could claim that she was taking care of the situation by pulling the BAT Vans from HPD's supervision. Makes her look good, right? That was done six months ago. Bottom line, everything has been some with an air of secrecy and hush hush. She can fool some into the false appearance of transparency, but it is all a show.

Is this all a conspiracy? Who knows? It makes for awful entertaining reading material. And heck, Newman hasn't posted this often in months. I guess I don't get why Chucks personal life and campaigning indiscretions were so much worse that the Republican party asked him to step down and Lykos is still seen as untouchable. Still the darling of the Republican party. Seriously? Morale is lower than it has ever been at the office. Prosecutors are afraid to make decisions in some cases for fear of someone reviewing the decisions at a later date, and criticizing. She doesn't stand up for her people, instead would rather hang them out to dry with the media. And here she is, in the middle of a large scandal, accused of withholding exculpatory evidence. Yet she still is untouchable. What is wrong with this picture?

I hope someone with respect and clout runs against her. I hope they win. Sadly, I think it's going to be Judge Lykos in 2012.

Anonymous said...

Wait Lykos promoted Marc Brown and helped him get elected.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Rage, you don't know a damn thing, as usual. Kelly was actually pissed that she didn't get much support from many of the higher up ADAs when she was running, including Marc Brown.

The only thing more stupid than conspiracy theories are morons who buy into them--either because they've an axe to grind it because they're, well, stupid.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering if Nick Lykos is related to Jack Larson(Jimmy Olson)?

Anonymous said...


You eloquently captured the essence of who Pat Lykos is and how she has mangled a good office along with her job. The only thing you missed is how she has used hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars to hire incompetent lawyers as managers, totally unqualified investigators, and media writers whose prime directive is to suck up and spin the facts so Lykos can give the appearance that she knows what she's doing. It's all smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

Hey Santa Anna does this mean you'll be found dressed as an ugly woman when the Texicans capture you.

Scott C. Pope said...

NO more posts in all caps. I will seriously kill someone. I will put an all cap in someone.

alex bunin said...

a tribute to scott, and e.e. cummings.

Anonymous said...

Occam's razor

Anonymous said...

Hello Murray and readers of LATHCCJC,

This is off-topic, but I didn't know where else to post it.

Can you or someone else provide a comprehensive list of names of all the A.D.A.'s who have left the office under the Lykos regime?

I understand people leave for various reasons, and many for reasons having nothing to do with her....but I am interested just the same. I am mostly interested in the higher-ups as opposed to the baby prosecutors, but would love to see the most inclusive list possible.

Love your blog btw.

~Signed former employee under Chuck's tenure

Anonymous said...

Jefferson Davis was wearing a shawl, which in that era was a common clothing item for both sexes. The story about him wearing a woman's clothing was propaganda.

Murray Newman said...

Just FYI, the comments of "Santa Anna" were removed from the comments section at the commentor's request. I did not edit or delete them for my own reasons.

I'm all about customer service here on the blog.

Anon 1:22,
I'll see what I can do about a comprehensive list.

Anonymous said...

Dear Santa (not Claus),

The AG's office, really? Those crack investigators found no wrong doing on the part of Rosenthal after he resigned. They found no perjury by Park Dietz after he lied in the Yates trial. That doesn't inspire confidence, unless you want the result to be a whitewash.

Anonymous said...

Look for the Commission on Judicial Conduct to be looking in to What Judge Brown has done.Some of the parties supposedly filing complaints.Plot Thickens

Anonymous said...

Rage you idiot Pat Lykos wants a regional crime lab more than anyone!

One she controls, and of course, she has to be in office to even attempt that.

Kelly was actually pissed that she didn't get much support from many of the higher up ADAs when she was running, including Marc Brown.

So? Brown was still demoted, doesn't matter why. He still has an ax to grind.


Anonymous said...

I really find all the conspiracy theorist pretty funny. You really think there is some big conspiracy behind the current situation. Why would the "conspirators" wait until the end of a grand jury term to begin their investigation? Did the "conspirators" include Lykos' "leadership team" otherwise acknowledged as the Keystone Cops of HCDAO. If the "leadership team" aka Keystone Cops, had not thrown such a fit, there is a good chance nobody would know about the investigation or if anyone did know, it would have been a small blip on the radar screen. Instead, they tried to bully their way into the grand jury, they tried to get a judge to order the grand jury to allow them in, they tried to mandamus the judge because they still wanted to be in the grand jury, they outlined in detail what was going on, thus creating more news and now there is apparently some information given to the judge that staff members had transcripts of the testimony of witnesses from the independent investigation. What are they so afraid of? What are they hiding? Why the great need to be in the grand jury? It seems to me, Lykos and crew took lessons from Nixon Response 101 when you have plausible deniability, start a cover up that brings down a President.

Since I really don't know what the grand jury is investigating, let me suggest they continue to looking into Lykos and company. The Lykos reaction sure looks like a guilty response.

In a better time, when a couple of grand juries had announced they were going to do an independent investigation of prior incidents that had been investigated and there was still some public outcry, the District Attorney of Harris County ordered his staff to cooperate fully with the investigation and provide anything the grand jury requested. But then that was when Johnny Holmes was District Attorney.

Anonymous said...

Hey Rage, I mean, Judge:

Herman Cain called and needs suggestions on how to handle inappropriate conduct allegations. Please pick up.

Anonymous said...

But then that was when Johnny Holmes was District Attorney.

And when the allegations weren't directly related to the conduct of his office. Try to be honest at least once.

Hey Rage, I mean, Judge:

I'm a judge now! Man, I better get to campaigning.


casie gotro said...

I have historically understood Judge (Susan) Brown's reputation on the bench to be pro-State (contain the juvenile humor, please). I have had a very different experience with her of late, but I am curious....why would a defense attorney seek out a purportedly pro-State grand jury as a political ploy? Doesn't it make more sense that 1) the DA was the one forum shopping or 2) at the very least, the subject matter was related and was properly presented to the same grand jury? Any thoughts on that conspiracy theorists?