Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Prosecutors Campaigning in a Lykos World

"I would be hard pressed to punish anyone because they exercised their constitutional rights." - Jim Leitner

As we all know by now, Pat Lykos, Jim Leitner and the rest of the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight are really really big fans of the 5th Amendment.  The big question as we enter campaign season, however, is, "How are they feeling about the 1st Amendment these days?"

Those around the Harris County Criminal Justice Center know that the vast majority of the prosecutors at the District Attorney's Office are miserable under the Lykos Administration.  They don't have the discretion to deal with their cases the way they know how.  They are worried about being "on the radar" which could possibly land them on the Upper Administration's Enemies List.  They are worried that the slightest infraction, whether real or perceived, could end up with them being gainfully unemployed.

Judge Mike Anderson's candidacy and the possibility that 2012 will spell the end of the Lykos Regime have installed something in those prosecutors that has been missing for the past three years --


I can't begin to tell you how many prosecutors have expressed to me their delight at the idea of Judge Anderson being the District Attorney.  

But every time they tell me that, they tell me in private, and begin it with the traditional caution that I hear so often:  "Don't put this on the blog, but . . . "

Their concern is a reasonable one.  Higher ups from the D.A.'s Office have let the word go forth that Assistant District Attorney's and all other Office personnel had better "watch themselves" (i.e. not get caught openly supporting anyone other than Lykos.) The chilling phrase coupled with those warnings has been, "Pat won't be as forgiving as she was in 2008."  

Ah yes, Good Old Forgiving Pat.  As someone who didn't quite make it onto the beneficiary list of Pat's forgiveness, I can attest to what it means when she isn't feeling so forgiving.  Now, to be clear, I wasn't really expecting nor wanting Pat's forgiveness, either.  I knew very well that my tenure as an ADA was ending when Lykos won the primary run-off election.  I compared her to a Bud Lite Lizard, for crying out loud.

But for every one of us who did oppose Lykos and subsequently lost our jobs, there are plenty more who kept them.  I point this out to give you some reassurance that they can't fire all of you and there is a big difference from what I did during the 2008 campaign and simply expressing your 1st Amendment-protected-political-beliefs in a more, um, "toned down" manner.  

Here are some helpful hints if you would like to exercise your 1st Amendment rights as freely and enthusiastically as Rachel Palmer enjoyed her 5th in front of the Grand Jury:

1.  Order a copy of your personnel file right now.  Seriously.  Go do it.  I'll sit here and wait for you to get back.  
At the end of 2011, Pat Lykos abruptly ordered that all evaluations done on office personnel would be pushed back until after the election.  Why exactly she did that is anyone's guess, but it certainly leaves the door open for her waiting until after election time to grade everyone on how they behaved, doesn't it?  If she, or the Upper Admin, don't like the way an ADA acts this Spring, they can add an evaluation with bad things and say "Well, we like totally would have put that in the evaluation at the end of 2011, but we didn't do them then," and "This has nothing to do with the prosecutor's 1st Amendment political choices."
Knowing how much Pat Lykos loved me and would probably love going through my personnel file once she became D.A., I ordered a copy of it long before my last day.  Pat and Company can curse my name until the cows come home and Don Hooper can call me every name in the book on the Chronicle blogs.  But nobody can say I was a bad prosecutor.  I've got my personnel file to prove otherwise.
Get yours now before the election.  All you have to do is let Scott Durfee know.  If John Barnhill asks you why you want it, tell him it's for a scrapbooking project, or better yet, "None of your damn business." Knowledge is Power, people.

2.  Your Facebook profile is your own business, too.  If you are like me, you are pretty much Facebook friends with everyone you've shared an elevator with at the CJC.  Secretaries, Prosecutors, Clerks, Bailiffs, Investigators, Process Servers, Coordinators, Defense Attorneys and even Judges comprise many of our friend lists.  With that many people, anything you post on the World's Greatest Social Media Website can easily be learned about by the 6th Floor.
There have been a few instances that I'm aware of that somebody from the Office got in trouble because Jim Leitner got wind of what they had posted on their Facebook account.  
Again, remember that discretion can be a big determining factor here.  There is a big difference between you "Liking" the Mike Anderson for District Attorney page and you taking a picture of yourself, mooning the camera, with a caption that reads "Pat Lykos can kiss my . . ."
But, if you so choose to support Mike Anderson, do it as an individual.  That doesn't mean that you have to take down the Harris County District Attorney's Office as your place of employment before posting anything.  Just don't say "As a Harris County Assistant District Attorney, I support anyone other than Pat Lykos."
If Jim Leitner or anyone from Upper Admin even thinks about asking or criticizing you for your 1st Amendment right to vote for whoever the hell you want to, refer them to your lawyer.  Or better yet, just plead the 5th.  They are totally cool with that.

3.  Even if you are concerned about supporting publicly, you can still help privately.  As an earlier commenter pointed out, you can still spread the word through your own private e-mails and phone calls to people.  Just make sure to be doing it on your own time.  Your address book on your home computer or Blackberry or iPhone is filled with plenty of Houston voters that you can send an e-mail blast to.  Or just start telling people by word of mouth.  

4.  Remember that bullies rely on the fact that you won't fight back -- the very definition of a bully is a coward who picks on those they believe to be weaker than them.  Those from the Upper Admin who are going around talking about Lykos "not being so forgiving" are banking heavily on the idea that this will scare you into submission.  When you come armed with your good personnel file, you can say, "If I get fired for exercising my 1st Amendment rights, I can guarantee you that I'm not going to be forgiving either."

5.  VOTE.
6.  VOTE.
7.  VOTE.
8.  VOTE.  

9.  Remember the passion you have for your job and translate it into election action.  As I've pointed out time and time again, if you add up all the votes received by Kelly Siegler and compare them to those gained by Pat Lykos, Kelly crushed Lykos by thousands of votes.  The reason was that during that first primary vote, there was so much passion involved in getting out there, spreading the word, and voting.  Unfortunately, when it came time for the run-off, too many people took it for granted that Kelly would crush her again.
Pat Lykos didn't win that run-off, Apathy did.  Don't let it happen again, folks.
In the 2010 elections, the passionate work of people working hard for good candidates helped Judges Don Smyth and Marc Brown defeat two very unqualified candidates, despite those candidates having a lot of Republican support.  
You've got the Power.  Now use it.

10.  Keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel.  You've made it through three years of Lykos and this next one is going to go by quickly.  Of course there is no guarantee that Judge Anderson is going to win the election, but I think he will.
Think about what life would be like for you with an actual prosecutor at the head of the Office.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a leader who has been through everything you're going through when he was at the Office?  How about one who understands that sometimes there are cases that you just can't make?  One who won't have policies that defy justice solely because they please the public?  One who won't make you feel like the KGB is watching you at every turn?

If you are ready to get fired up about your job as a prosecutor again, the time to do something about it is now.  

Here's a little motivational music for you as we wait for the Primary.


Anonymous said...

"I would be hard pressed to punish anyone because they exercised their constitutional rights." - Jim Leitner

Stupidest comment ever made.

I mean, the entire employee handbook is taking "constitutional rights," from racist jokes to searching your desk to telling Patsy what you did on your one day off.

You have a constitutional right to take the 5th, and to, say, send racist emails. But don't expect to stay a prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Well stated, Murray.

And, thanks for the motivational song and video from your prom, old man.

Anonymous said...

Murray,check the history on people Chuckie fired for not supporting him. This is nothing new. Ask someone about the HPD chief who went to prison. He did not get along well with the person who was DA then. If the prosecutors are so unhappy ,why are they staying?

Anonymous said...

Loyalty is a basic prerequisite for any employer to expect from his employees at will.
If the kitchen's too hot at 1201 Franklin get the fuck out or shut the fuck up and cook. This incessant whining is getting old.
What a bunch of spoiled little cry babies. Boo hoo boo hoo whaaa whaaa whaaa enough already. Judge Pat obviously has a lot more house cleaning to do.

Murray Newman said...

Thanks Anon 5:07 for proving my point and illustrating what Lykos supporters are doing in an effort to keep the rank and file quiet about their antics.

Anonymous said...

Anony 5:07,

Just like a Lickycos fan to talk about loyalty to an individual. How about loyalty to the position, you dumb fuck?

Let me guess: You are either part of the Titanic Leadership Team or you have been promoted based solely on your loyalty to Patsy?

Either way, your loyalty will be returned when Patsy is out of office. Let me suggest you go over to the Auditor's Office and set up a vendor number.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:07
Thank you so much for helping out by proving your point here. It certainly fires me up. I can assure you that all of my energy and focus will be on unseating that hateful woman from the DAs office. I too worked for a person such as her and I can empathize with the current employees. You, Mr.or Ms., whatever the case, are an asshole. Stick your head in the oven with the gas on and save us all from your dribble. Furthermore that bitch does not deserve to be called Judge. You win the prize though, I have read this blog for a long time and never said this type of stuff to anyone. Your comments have inspired me to donate to Mr. Andersons campaign.

Blood pressure up and pissed.

Anonymous said...

Murray this is an awesome post. Thank you so very much. The song was perfect.

STUPID JERK The only housecleaning Lycos needs to do is remove the taint she has put on the DA's office.


Anonymous said...

From an old post, but bears repeating:

Dear Mr. Oberg:

Please do a search on Harris County's Auditor website for Lykos. When you do, you will see several high-price payments made to her. An open records request should be done for these invoices.

Why did she need $50,000 on March 2, 2011?

Why did she need $30,000 on July 12, 2011?


-Interested & Suspicious Employee

Anonymous said...

How much more money does Anderson need to get the request in for why Lykos was reimbursed all that money? (Also, seriously, how much cash does such a request run? I know that civil subpoenas have a set fee associated with the research time and copies, but it can't be that much, can it?)

I pledge to assist in any way that I can. I will find no fewer than 25 people who will vote in the primary for Anderson, and ask them to find as many people as they can to vote as well. We can do this, and I'm excited to be part of it.

Hopefully, every police officer who lives in Harris County will vote en masse. I think there are probably upwards of 3,000 HPD officers alone who can vote in Harris County, and I'm going to remind everyone I can to vote.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of placing a Mike Anderson for DA sign in my car window, how does one go about getting one of those?

Anonymous said...

The only way to effect change in Harris County government is through Wayne D at Channel 13.

Anonymous said...

Dear ADA Blowhardlies,

Classic ADA behavior---squawk squawk squawk while cowering in a corner.
Mike Anderson bumper stickers, yard signs and neighborhood walks---you chickenshit cry babies make me laugh.
Oh, and I can't wait to see how much $$$$ the tight ass ADAs contribute to the Mike Anderson campaign.
Even the "Political Activist" is afraid to openly campaign for the anointed one.
And you guys actually prosecute murder cases? ROTFLMAO

Anon 5:07

BTW Murray the ADAs are chronic excuse makers and THAT is what keeps them quiet--courage can't be trampled so easily

Anonymous said...

Breaking news: 232nd and 248th grand juries disbanded. All grand juries on hold until at least January 19th. (I don't think that applies to 185th, just for general presentation

Anonymous said...

Old Dog to readers of 9:03.

The first thing to do in an honest debate is listen. Then find SOMETHING however minimal that the other pinhead said that can be agreed upon. Then refuute that which needs even acknowledging...then hammer home YOUR more rational points.

1) 9:03 is a Dick for the tone and disrespectful manner he spews forth his vitriolic "thoughts" - AGREED.

2) Take what is said a a realistic challenge to do what has already been suggested here: Dont worry bout old achool yard signs or bumper stickers - legetimately get $ to MA and let his campaign use it to purchase commercials;

3) Start TODAY with your list. Cross check from home via Tax office voter data base if your 25 ARE even regestered to vote - you eould be surprised how many adas arent regestered...or police. If they aren't them how.

4) Use "Face book" wastful time getting. YOUR 25 on board, Print their votor data to them snd PUSH them to get their own 25.

5) 9:03 is a liar - Agreed. This election will boil down to early voter mass mailers, media, and money. Dr. Hotze - like him or not - is the creator of the mass mailer and a political force not to be ignored. He's right there on MA web page.

Listen each have the ability to "mine" your own "gold" that sits waiting for you AT HOME- so start digging through your address books now and do only what you have control over. Thank You 9:03 Dick!

Anonymous said...

Another alternative to facebook is Google's new social network, which only shows posts to people you want to see it. How about some folks setting up accounts with friends and colleagues they know and trust and openly discussing Anderson or Fertitta's campaigns with them?

As for the crass and rude comments expressed earlier in this post, if you've never been a prosecutor and you don't have a calling for it, you don't understand why some of these people can't just leave. Also, the legal market right now just sucks, even in Houston. Your taunts and name-calling do nothing but make people rally around Anderson even more. Maybe that's not your intent, but regardless, maybe you should keep posting! You're encouraging anti-Lykos fans to press on!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:03
For all the noise your making you are not saying much. Just loud, rude remarks that continue to show everyone on this blog what the people of CJC get to enjoy everyday. You should really find a life somewhere, because come Election Day you will need it. No more riding on the coat tails of one PL or RP. Good luck on your upcoming job search.

I am praying for you and your lack of decency to your fellow man. Did your Momma not teach you to do unto others as you would have others do unto you? You have a blessed day now.

REMEMBER KARMA IS A BITCH....Just saying, eventually you will get what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

I am struck by how bravely Anon 9:03 is calling out ADAs (who could lose their job if they openly support Mike Anderson) from behind Anonymous. Clearly you have nothing to lose if you were to post using your name so might I suggest you openly post using your name.

I understand why ADAs have to remain anonymous and have not lost any respect for them. The only ones I have lost respect for are those sycophants who have revealed themselves. Great disappointment in some of them, greater disappointment in certain members of the leadership team.

Anonymous said...

Updated: no grand juries at all (except for the special investigations). Any inidictments or no-bills after 12-31-11 are invalid. Mass chaos in trial bureau resulting.

Anonymous said...

Bet that no young ADA'S will risk their job my supporting Mile unless there are several indictments of higher ups. Then they will all jump ship

Anonymous said...

Govt Code Sec. 24.018. CERTAIN EFFECT OF DISTRICT REORGANIZATION. If the counties that compose a judicial district or the time or place for holding terms of a district court are changed by law:

... (2) the grand and petit jurors selected or drawn under the prior law in any county in the judicial district are lawfully selected or drawn for the next term of the district court of the county as fixed by the amended law; and ...

Sounds like post 12/31 Indictments and No Bills are ok to me, no?

Anon 5:07 said...


Maybe if Murray posts my last comment you can re-group your thoughts.
The "Republican Activist" has her weak ass Kumbaya methods of motivation and I have mine.

Now grow up, stand up and stop making excuses.

Anon 5:07

Scott C. Pope said...

"Now grow up, stand up and stop making excuses.

Anon 5:07"

And who are you, exactly?

Anonymous said...

A single voter voting four times for a single candidate
position in a single election would be illegal. Hope this helps.

Anon 5:07 said...

Scotty it looks like they forgot to beam you up.

I am Captain James Kirk.

With few exceptions this is an anonymous comments section for a myriad of reasons.

The issue is not who I or any of the other anonymous commenters are. I am offended as I am sure most people outside the "sacred hallowed halls" of the CJC world are when I read how petty, whining, excuse making and childish fellow ADAs appear in far too many of their comments.
The responses to my baiting were pathetically predictable.
If this type of behavior contines all is lost---yes it is THAT simple.
Grow the fuck up and act like professional adults if that is how you want to be treated.

Aon 5:07

B. Todd Dillon said...

"Grow the fuck up and act like professional adults if that is how you want to be treated."
-Anon 5:07

Considering the very 'professional' tone you've taken in your comments, you must be seeking to be treated as moody teenager who's just listened to his first hardcore rap album. However, even that's a stretch as your lame Star Trek pun suggests you're a middle-aged man. You're quite a mystery, 5:07, but one thing seems clear: You're the only on lacking maturity here.

Your assertion that most people are fed up with complaining ADAs is not supported by either the comments on this blog nor's comments. I don't understand why you're so perturbed by these so-called complaints, but if it bothers you so much, I'd kindly advise your to take your own advice: get the f*ck out.

Anonymous said...

Grow the fuck up and act like professional adults if that is how you want to be treated.

Aon 5:07

Do you really think that's an example of professional adult behavior? If so I'm glad I don't work where you do...but then I'm pretty sure you don't work.

Anonymous said...

ANON 5:07

First I would like to clarify. I do not work as the CJC, never have and certainly would not under the current admin.

I am a concerned citizen of HC that does not like the Lycos approach to TOUGH ON CRIME. I would prefer someone that really does know what they are doing. Someone that might have at least prosecuted a case.

Lycos is a very poor leader. You cannot lead when you have no idea of what is going on.
The reality is she treats her employees like they are idiots. I have a real problem with that as well.

You are certainly a good motivater for those of us that are trying to do the right thing. Since your nasty little post last night I have spent hours on the phone and email talking with people I know.

They were truly shocked that someone from the DAs fan club was acting like you were and saying such awful things about the ADAs. They really felt sorry for the employees.

I have five firm commitments to donate to Mike Anderson and twelve promises to vote for him. They of course will tell their friends who will tell their friends.

Come on fella keep them coming I can use all the ammunition you would like to give me.

Would your name be Donald? My name is Sue.

PS Thank you for your help.

Anonymous said...

Old Dog...

Anger the Dick must result in postiive political actions by order to WIN. Instead of thinking up a quick retort or yes neing baited by this "taint" of a person, add more people to your 25. Remember the 6 P's to stay the course in a POSITIVE PRODUCTIVE POLITICAL direction: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

Don't Dick around with s dick that has no BALLS. IT'S a waste of precious political energy"

Respectfully - Old Dog

Anon 5:07 said...

Dr Spock's (not the dude from Star Trek) touchy-feely psycho-babble is now in the workforce.
Too bad for the by-product that in the real world everyone is not entitled to a trophy and a new BMW.
The oversensitive whiners don't thrive in the private sector--so sad.
Tough language for tough times. And it sure looks like even tougher times ahead for the victim mongers at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center.
I may be a sorry mother fucker but life is full of sorry mother fuckers and how a professional deals with that element of society is a reflection of him/her.
Blame me, Rage and anyone else who calls bullshit on your bullshit--it doesn't change your shit.

I can only imagine what a citizen outside our world thinks of how Harris County prosecutors deal with people they don't like after reading these comments.
There are really bad people out there that do really bad things far worse than my silly comments--if I can generate this level of vitriole by simple taunts, they must wonder wonder how the big bad prosecutors are going to deal with the crooks they prosecute on a daily basis? None of you could handle working the streets of Harris County as a Houston Police Officer---you wouldn't make 1 shift.

Anon 5:07 said...

Anon 4:13, if the commenters on this blog were in fact as influential as you delude yourself into thinking Pat Lykos and Jim Leitner would not be officing up on the 6th floor now would they.
As for the Chronicle commenters-- you were kidding, right?

Anon 5:26, My name is Sue. Now that's funny I don't care who you are.
As for lighting a fire in your belly--I hope so, Anderson depends on it so remember to follow up and stay focused

Anon 5:07

Anonymous said...

Let's all ignore Anon 5:07 posts from this point on. Let's put our energy into informing, getting people out to vote and raising $$$.If he's ignored he'll really have NOTHING to do with his days.

Anonymous said...

@5:07 - I am a Houston Police Officer, and I stand with the ADAs here. Not you. There are very, very few street officers who have anything whatsoever good to say about the DA's office these days. Don't invoke us trying to make your point, because we disagree with you.

Anon 5:07 said...

Anon 1:05,

and I'm US Sen.Marco Rubio.
You people just don't get it.

Maybe this time law enforcement will get off their fat asses and vote. I'm guessing we'll just flap our gums and then complain after the fact like last election.

People who play the victim are extremly difficult to motivate and prefer to find an excuse to blame any messenger of change that threatens their dependency. You guys are like talking to a bag of rocks--best of luck.

Anon 5:07