Showing posts from February, 2012

Q&A with David Benzion

I have to admit that last week I was a little shocked when recent-Lykos hire David Benzion showed up out of the blue at David Hilburn's fundraiser.  A lot of questions flashed through my mind. Why are you here when you don't know Hilburn? Why are you here when you don't know any of the other people here either? Did you come here because you think Hilburn is a political enemy or are you just tailing Mike Anderson? And after reading all of David's responses in the comments section that came in through the evening and on into the following work hours day, I realized that perhaps I had not given David the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps after all this time, we are finally getting some transparency out of the Lykos Administration.  After all, he was there to encourage people to go to the Prosecutor Reunion.  Maybe he was there to answer questions openly and honestly for his new boss. So, in the spirit of goodwill, I decided to provide him with a forum to explain his

Prosecutor Reunion--Thursday, February 23rd -- UPDATED

***UPDATE*** Chip Lewis asked me to let all those planning to attend that tonight is NOT a fundraising event for any candidate.  Additionally, all food, drinks and valet parking are complimentary, courtesy of our hosts. In case you haven't gotten the e-mail or the Facebook invitation, tomorrow night is the Harris County District Attorney's Reunion at Cyclone Anaya's located at 1710 Durham, Houston, TX 77007 (***PLEASE NOTE:  This is the Cyclone Anaya on Durham, NOT  the one at Midtown). The event is hosted by Chip Lewis, Bert Graham, and Paul Doyle and runs between 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  And yes, Mike Anderson will be there.  He is a former prosecutor, as you may have heard. It has been a while since there has been a prosecutors' reunion, and the last one was an absolute blast.  So many legends of the Criminal Law world were in attendance.  It really is an incredible opportunity to sit back and hear stories from past generations of prosecutors. All current and

David Hilburn Event Tonight

There is a fundraising event tonight for our friend, former-prosecutor in Harris and Brazos County, and man-about-town, David Hilburn, who is running for District Attorney up in Brazos County .  I don't expect this posting to be of too much interest to the non-CJC folks who read this blog, but David was an immensely popular prosecutor during his time in Harris County and I know all of his old friends will be excited to see him. The event is hosted by Paul Doyle and Brent Mayr and is at the Junction Bar and Grill, located at 160 W. Gray Street, Houston, TX 77019 and runs between 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. I hope you all can make it.

New Post on the Chronicle Blog

I'm trying to pick up the pace on the Chronicle blog a little bit.  I just published this article on why Lykos should resign .

Gary Polland & Party Loyalty

Earlier this week, in his bizarrely-written-in-the-plural website, former Harris County Republican Chairman and Defense Attorney Gary Polland crystalized the problem of bringing politics into the Criminal Justice World with this silly post: It has come to our attention that several notable supporters of District Attorney candidate  Mike Anderson  have stated that they will not support District Attorney  Pat Lykos  if she wins her re-nomination bid in the upcoming Republican Primary Election.  TCR  is disgusted by this "I'm taking my marbles and going home" attitude. We believe that there is nothing wrong with a robust primary process, provided that Republicans unite behind our Republican nominees against the Democrats. TCR calls on Mike Anderson to ask his supporters to do the right thing and pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, not the Democrat. If the Anderson supporters still refuse, then Mike Anderson should demonstrate his commitment to our Republica

REMINDER: Tomorrow is the Michael Barrow Fundraiser

In case you might not have put it on your calendar, please remember that tomorrow, February 18th is the fundraiser for the Michael Barrow Fund.  It being held at the Grove Park located at 33 Waugh Drive between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of a lot of members of our Harris County Criminal Justice Center Community, this event has jumped from being just a run-of-the-mill fundraiser to a true event to celebrate the life of a great attorney and friend.  There have been extremely generous donations from too many people to list here for items on the silent auction that are amazing. You can bid on everything from rounds of golf at exclusive courses around the county, Rockets tickets, a week stay in Playa del Carmen, a catered crawfish boil, artwork, wine, time at a timeshare in Vail, a duck hunt and much much more. And the biggest prize to the highest bidder is the opportunity to use a Tazer on Robb Fickman.  I'm not kidding. So, if you thought this was

Of Crime and Contempt

As the old saying goes, there is no rest for the wicked . . . The Houston Chronicle  is reporting tonight that Pat Lykos is about to be the recipient of the Office's fourth  special prosecutor since October.   The Texas Rangers have asked Judge Belinda Hill to appoint a Special Prosecutor to assist them in their investigation of the Harris County District Attorney's Office . Now, as we all know from events of the past two weeks, the Rangers had been investigating Lykos' Office for several days before Lykos sent them a letter asking them to investigate her and tell the public that it was her idea.  Given Lykos' penchant for "recycling" (taking an already existing good idea and claiming it for her own), this should not have been a shock to anyone.  In the three years that we have all come to know and love Pat Lykos as District Attorney, she has now claimed to have initiated the Victim Witness Division, the Cold Case Division (twice) and now, an investigatio

Home Sick

I am home today with what feels like the flu. Looks like there are big doins down at the CJC with Texas Rangers seizing computers out Special Crimes. Y'all feel free to discuss amongst yourselves.

GUEST POST: The Difference Between "Tough" and "Just Plain Mean"

From our Guest-Poster, Spunk: How ironic it was to see the Ibarra brothers on Channel 13 commenting about how it feels to be investigated for investigating.  It was the Ibarras' federal lawsuit which indirectly drew in the Harris County DA's Office and ultimately lead to Rosenthal's emails, destroying his career.  De ja vu all over again?   Before she took to dodging and ducking from Ted Oberg (thanks, Ted) and Wayne Dolcefino (thanks, Wayne), Pat Lykos was a compulsive camera seeker.  Two of her favorite platitudes were, "We live in the 3rd largest metropolitan areas of the United States, ladies and gentleman ...."-  a pointless comment, except to remind herself and everyone else of the vastness of her kingdom; and, "They (they being anyone who disagrees with her, criticizes her, refuses to endorse her, those who investigate her or run against her) don't like me because I'm tough..."  She still uses these lines, but more rarely now and in sma

The D.A.'s Office Requests DPS to Investigate . . .

. . . the D.A.'s Office. As if all the investigations and counter-investigations that have gone on over the past several months weren't enough, DPS has issued an official statement that today they were asked by  the Harris County District Attorney's Office to investigate  the Harris County District Attorney's Office. Now, in all honesty, I'm not really sure what to make of this. Weren't the Texas Rangers and the FBI already  investigating the D.A.'s Office?  If so, isn't requesting them to investigate today kind of akin to inviting someone into your house after they've already come in three days ago? Or did Lykos finally realize the hypocrisy of all her "transparency" blather in light of all the stonewalling and investigating they did during the 185th Grand Jury investigation? Or did the people behind the 185th Grand Jury/Mike Anderson conspiracy just convince Pat Lykos to initiate a politically motivated investigation into hersel

More Humor from the Holdover

During an interview at the jail with a client set for trial next week: ME:  I'm going to need to get you some clothes for trial.  What size pants do you wear? HIM:  My waist is 34. ME:  What length for the pants? HIM:  I don't know. ME:  Well, how tall are you? HIM:  Six feet. ME:  Really?  You look shorter from this side of the plexiglass. HIM:  Yeah, and you look like you got a lot more hair from this side, too.

Tonight's Reasonable Doubt (2/9/12)

Tune in for tonight's Reasonable Doubt with me and Todd Dupont.  Our guest will be Defense Attorney and the Democratic Candidate for Harris County District Attorney Zack Fertitta .  We are excited about having Zack on and hearing about what he has to say. As always, you can tune in at 8 p.m. on Houston Media Access, or watch it live streaming by clicking here .

Fundraiser for the Michael Barrow Fund

As you all know, Michael Barrow passed away last week and his family could use some help during this very sad time. There is a fundraiser being held on Saturday, February 18th between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the Grove Park located at 33 Waugh Drive. I hope you will come and share your memories and help out the family of this wonderful man.

More Late Breaking News **UPDATED**

I'm suddenly hearing from multiple sources that the Texas Rangers have begun an investigation into the Harris County District Attorney's Office and have begun interviewing people. 4:35 p.m. - Channel 13 is now reporting that the Texas Rangers and the Federal bureau of Investigation are interviewing people at the Harris County District Attorney's Office.   Click here for more info and tune into Ted Oberg at 5:00 p.m. to catch his report.

The Big Jolly Conspiracy

As some of you may have noticed, I de-linked from Big Jolly's blog yesterday.  It wasn't an easy choice to do so, but one that I ultimately believed had to be done.  I have no problem printing contrary opinions to my own and I link to several websites that I have a different outlook on Criminal Justice than the author does. But Big Jolly jumped the shark the past couple of days, and I just don't feel right about linking to him anymore.  I like Dave Jennings as a person, but he has become so grossly misinformed about what is going on around the CJC that I just can't put a link up there that might imply I find his information even intellectually honest. Back in November, when Rachel Palmer was whooping and hollering about pleading the 5th and recusing Judge Brown, the District Attorney's Office took time out of its busy (and budget-strapped) schedule to hire David Benzion as a media spokesperson.  It was a savvy political move by Pat Lykos.  After all, Benzion had

From Around the Web

Brian Rogers and the Chronicle finally jumped on board and started following the story of Pat Lykos investigating the members of the 185th Grand Jury with this article .  As usual, the Chronicle has given it a soft sell -- the linking caption on their home page points out that Lykos merely "used the web" to look into the Grand Jurors, and they also put David Jennings' blog defending Lykos on their home page, as well. Ted Oberg had a good follow up to last night's story with this one from tonight .  I do have to point out that since Channel 13 now apparently has the Ibarra brothers as legal commentators, I understand why Channel Two settled for Wice.  (Just kidding, Brian.)  In all seriousness, Oberg once again is able to get at what is of real concern and that is Chief Investigator Don McWilliams' use of Accurint. I wasn't all that familiar with the use of Accurint until today.  Fortunately, Mark Bennett has done a very good piece explaining how it works.

Quick Programming Note

I've gotten several comments over the past three days regarding a website that was recently established that contains numerous false and libelous accusations about me. From a legal standpoint, I cannot do anything that assists in the dissemination of that material and that means that I cannot and will not publish any comments that link to it, either. I can only say that the material in it was absolutely false. As a rule, I will publish any comment regardless of whether or not I agree with it, but I won't publish something that I know to be false or invasive into the private lives of  anyone.  I am not trying to limit anyone's ability to speak freely, but there are some parameters that have to be followed.

Investigating the Investigation Investigating the Other Investigation

Okay, so I'm sitting at home on the couch with my jaw hanging wide open after just watching Ted Oberg's six o'clock report on Pat Lykos' latest antics.  I mean, I know that no one is going to ever accuse me of being President of the Lykos Fan Club, but Oberg's story tonight falls under the "Holy Cr*p" category regardless of your feelings of Lykos. The long story short is that despite Lykos' triumphant "Hey I didn't get indicted!" press conference yesterday, where she denied investigating the 185th Grand Jurors, she, in fact did.  On SATURDAY ,  October 22nd, First Assistant Jim Leitner called Chief Investigator Don McWilliams at home and ordered him to run all the background information he could on the Grand Jurors.  On SATURDAY , October 29th, that investigation expanded into researching not only the Grand Jurors, but also Judges Marc and Susan Brown, and Judge Mike Anderson. Lykos' response is that this is not an investigation.