Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rules Only Apply to the Little People

I got back to my office from court on Monday to find a very impressive piece of campaign literature from aspiring judge Lana Shadwick.  Not impressive in the sense that it made me feel that her credentials had been somehow boosted, but impressed as the son (and former employee) of a printer on how much money Lana must have spent to get it published.

The target of Lana's mailers were clearly Houston attorneys who would possibly be voting in the upcoming Houston Bar Association poll, and she blatantly asks for the recipient of the mailer to vote for her as being well-qualified.  This kind of flies in the face of logic, since she just had to move to Grand Jury because she couldn't handle the pressure of campaigning and being in appellate.  Also, I'm hearing numerous reports that Lana has yet to figure out how to read Probable Cause to a Grand Jury.  It really isn't that tricky.

Given how badly Kristin Guiney has been outclassing Lana at public appearances, it is no wonder that Lana would feel the need to shell out a lot of money for these direct mailers.  Perhaps in her mind, a flashy print piece might help overshadow her bumbling through answers in person.

But here's what the title of the post is about -- Lana had her mailers sent to her fellow employees at the Harris County District Attorney's Office, in direct violation of Rule 2.11 of the Office's rule book, which states, in part:

    "Political activities are prohibited from within the office.  No campaign material will be mailed by an employee to personnel at a District Attorney's Office address."

Perhaps you remember how pissy Jim Leitner got when Chip Lewis invited all of the Assistant District Attorney's to come to the D.A. Reunion awhile back?  I wonder if Jim is feeling equally indignant that Lana is so flagrantly violating the rules.  I mean, hell, Chip was just inviting people to a reunion -- not to mention that he doesn't work for Pat Lykos (or Jim) and he isn't running for anything.

Yet again, we find that there are special rules for those political candidates that Jared Woodfill is trying to shove down our throats.  Pat Lykos is helping accommodate Jared, which is why Jared endorses Pat.  Isn't that convenient for everybody?

While we are all waiting for Lana to be called up from her cushy position in grand jury to be disciplined for this violation of Lykos' rules, I suppose we could go vote in the HBA Bar Poll.

Just remember when you are voting which candidate left the Office as a District Court chief after years of service, trying the most serious cases under the Texas Penal Code, and which one is asking around for a cheat sheet on how to read a probable cause statement to a Grand Jury.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic! Just add this one to the following list:

1. Concerned prosecutors run an offense report implicating DH as a criminal trespasser (at the very least - I've read the OR). All of them get letters of reprimand.

2. RP takes 5th amendment and brings further heat to office - she get cush job in appellate.

3. Benzion goes off on comment section of this blog stating all kinds of personal beliefs -- no punishment.

4. Hennigan defends himself in comments section after being called out by a balding defense attorney. His pay is docked for a week and sent to the desk for 6 months.


Anonymous said...

Bar polls arrived in the mail Friday and Saturday, yet not one ADA I've asked as seen theirs---traditionally sent to the office and distributed internally. Curious, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

Please let us know if Lykos and crew are keeping all HBA ballots to fill them out on behalf of everyone. I suppose she thinks it is her right since the office pays the dues. I'm not sure opening someone elses mail is ok though.

Anonymous said...

What a great way to turn up the heat by clearly stating the facts Murray!

Anonymous said...

Maybe Lykos keep teach Lana how to read the PC statement....uh oh, forgot Lykos doesn't know how to do it either.

What a joke the "Leadership" is around here.

Anonymous said...

Any idea what happened to that Texas Rangers / FBI investigation two months back into the DA office. Why silence? Is the TX GOP establishment burying it as they do almost all of their other scandals. Or is silence for so long normal? Just an ordinary citizen trying to figure out what is going on...

Anonymous said...

HBA Judicial Candidate Qualification Questionnaire

Instruction: "If you do not know an individual candidate well enough to have a fair and intelligent opinion regarding his/her qualifications, please mark the first column (Not Rated). In arriving at your opinion concerning a candidate's qualifications, you should consider: (1) honesty; (2) intelligence; (3) legal ability and experience; (4) freedom from bias; (5) judicial temperament; (6) diligence and dedication; and (7) courtesy."

Not even close.

Anonymous said...

ADAs got their bar polls today on their desk/mailboxes. Filing deadline is the 20th, so plenty of time.

Anonymous said...

Here's the Story of Shadwick at the DA's Office:

--Upon election, Pat Lykos hires Lana (who had not ever tried a criminal case-and still has not ever tried a criminal case) at felony #2 pay grade.

--Rather than have to earn her stripes as all lateral hires prior to those under the Lykos admininstration had to do, Lana is assigned to the Family Criminal Law Division (FCLD). After about a week or two in FCLD--where her accomplishments were to demand that her office be painted a' la' Roger Bridgwater and to take it upon herself to call the victim in a case that had just been tried to a not guilty verdict by another prosecutor (whom Lana was not assigned to help and had nothing to do with the case except to watch some of the trial from the audience) and tell the victim that the case could be tried again. Darn that sticky double jeapardy clause that even a novice criminal lawyer knows about!!

--After paint crisis and victim P.R. debacle, Lana is transferred to the Crimes Against Children Division's Child Porn Section led by Erick Devlin. After a week of running around dressed like a Ninja--seriously, wore all black and wore a DA raid jacket every day--Denise Oncken had enough good sense to have Lana transferred out of the Crimes Against Children Division.

--Lana lands in Appellate. We know the story there.

--Lana, with Pat's sympathies, stroke, and blessing, is transferred to the Grand Jury Division. The Grand Jury Division is, by the way, perhaps the easiest and least stressful job at the Office. It's traditionally been preserved for tired, worn out, battle-tested, and break-deserving felony #2s for a limited 6-month gig. Lana is none of the above...well, never least not by too many trials!

Now Lana has broken a MAJOR rule by having her campaign literature sent to the all the ADAs at their Office address. Anybody else, past or present (well, maybe not Roger), would have been fired on the spot.

Let's see what happens to Lana.

Anonymous said...

Attention 6th Floor (Pat, Jim, Roger, Benizon - we all know you read this): Your prosecutors are all watching with great interest as to how you are going to deal with this blatant disregard for the office policy manual. We all know how you deal with people who are not your allies -- Donna -- vs. people who are -- Rachel. That Lana has not immediately been demoted, relieved, or put on leave is further evidence that you play favorites and tolerate incompetence among your political cronies. We all await your response, but expect you to do nothing.

Attention Republican activists and members of the general public: This is really bad. Lana's mailing to the office was sent to prosecutors and asked for campaign contributions of up to $2,000. And this is from a self-procalaimed "scholar" and "strict constructionist." This woman has no abilities as a prosecutor and no business being a criminal judge.

Anonymous said...

Nathan Hennigan defends himself in the Chronicle and is suspended for a week without pay and given a demotion. Lana Shadwick blatantly violates Section 2.11 of the operations manual (which was also emailed to everyone in March 2011), and she is allowed to stay in a spot that requires her to do no work. Great leadership 6th floor. And you wonder why all of your employees hate you.

Anonymous said...

The order appointing the special prosecutor for the Texas Rangers is now posted under "resources" on the website

Anonymous said...

An old District Court Chief of mine in the '80s once said there was so much dead wood in Grand Jury it was a fire hazard.

Anonymous said...

Prediction: It will get leaked that nothing will be done to Lana, a la Rachel, because she's merely exercising her 1st Amendment right to free speech and that section of the manual is merely a suggestion and not actually anything that can be enforced.

Besides, if she can't read a probable cause statement, do you actually think she can read a pesky old rule book?

Anonymous said...

You aren't supposed to actually meet lowly, trial-lawyering co-workers, are you?

Anonymous said...

"Judge Shadwick is well-versed in the Code of Judicial Conduct and in the opinions interpreting the Code. She is an ethical jurist that is both tough and respectful."

Wrong rules, dear.

roger trinkle said...

I will donate 400 dollars for her campaign. She will make a great judge and will make the right decision.

Anonymous said...

There is dead wood in Grand Jury? I sure hope Carl doesn't spontaneously combust...

Anonymous said...

Did the flyers get mailed to HCDA employees at home or at work?

Anonymous said...

While you are voting on the bar oll and simce most ADAs are not
well acquainted with the civil side, may I make a suggestion. Let me put it this way, this is who Jared Woodfil will not be voting for..
Tx Supreme Court:
David Medina
Steve Willett

Appellate folks are unchallenged

11th Ditrict Court ... Michael West
61st District: ... Jeff Hastings
127th ... Russell Lloyd
129..... Michael Landrum
133 ... Lamar McCorkle
151st ..... Leif Olson
152nd .... Janet Townsley
164th .... Sophia Mafrige
174th .... Joe Vinas
177 ... Ryan Patrick... oh gosh, Woodfil woild never vote otherwise
179 .... Kristen Guinney
337 .... Renee Magee

Anonymous said...

5:57 - the campaign material was mailed to the employees at work. Our office garbage cans are full of these mailers from this hack.

Anonymous said...

ADAs! Please mail your bar poll back directly. Don't rely on whomever Patsy sends around to collect them up and deliver them to the bar by the deadline. She's got too much motivation to miss the deadline or "lose" them.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Bottom Line: I'm NOT voting for Lana and I AM voting FOR Kristen - period!

Having said this, I am still confused on what the specific office policy is that prohibits any candidate who is an employee from sending to D.A. employees via U.S. Mail (not personally handing them out) to these persons work place?

Obviously this administration plays major favorites and palmer and Shadwick are just two examples of the blatant cronyism that occurs there.

I know about Nathan's deal, etc., but would someone please tell me:

1) What is the Policy No. that prohibits this political mailing and what does it say?

2) What is Rule No. 2.11 and what does it say and how does it relate to Shadwick;

3) Logically, other than playing blatant favorites and trampling all over Nathan’s 1st amendment right of free speech, what is the comparison of his "crime" and the mailing of political literature.

BOTTOM LINE: IS THERE A BRIGHT LINE RULE PROHIBITING CANDIDATES WHO WORK FOR THE HCDAO FROM MAILING POLITICAL LITERATURE TO OTHER EMPLOYEES AT WORK? If so, would someone please quote this rule prohibition by number, chapter and verse? IF, this rule does exist, as inferred but not specifically pointed out in this comments section, then absolutely, Lana should be demoted, Pay docked, and sent to the desk just like Nathan.

Desperately Seeking Clarity, Transparency, and Equal Treatment in this Dictatorship

Anonymous said...

I heard the Coast Guard is calling up Lietner to assist in sinking the Japanese ghost ship. They heard what a good job he has done helping to sink the Harris County DA's Office they felt they would be assured of a quick although not necessarily clean sinking.

Anonymous said...

anon 9:03
Rule 2.11 of the Office's rule book, which states, in part:

"Political activities are prohibited from within the office. No campaign material will be mailed by an employee to personnel at a District Attorney's Office address."

Pretty darn clear--no political mailings by an ADA to another ADA at the office address.
Had she mailed them to home addresses, she would probably be fine.

Anonymous said...

Lana isn't really an ADA. Therefore she isn't breaking an office policy.

Can someone go tell Joni Vollman to quit walking around the floors professing her "I just do as I am told" rhetoric. Frankly, its making me sick to my stomach. Just stand up for your actions, Joni. You always asked what a leader is. Lead and go down with your ship like the fellow leadership team.

Anonymous said...

There are other new rules, aren't there? I thought ADAs can't use the name of The Office in campaigning...

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that another one of Jared Woodfill's darlings is Robert Summerlin, who would be about as good a judge as Lana. Robert tried cases and Lana didn't. But he also tried to ruin the careers of several co-workers, treated everyone below him like dirt, called female prosecutors a profane name for female genetalia, and caused an uproar when he was promoted to felony 2. Not long after he was promoted, he left to do civil work for several years.

Joe Vinas is much more qualified and professional than Robert every could be (Robert is especially prone to the very worst case of black robe disease). Robert works for Jared and can be lumped in with the Jared/Lana/Rachel Palmer/Lykos crowd. Please don't vote for Lana. And please don't vote for Robert. Vote for Joe Vinas in the primary election.

Anonymous said...

Somebody needs to check and see if Shadwick has broken any laws. The law does not allow campaigning on government property. When the county party met at 1019 Congress years ago, candidates could not get their petitions signed or ask for money because it was government property. That law is still around. Don't know if Lana has broken the law or not, but someone should check.

Anonymous said...

We're still waiting, Patsy.

Show us that transparency you promised. Show us how tough and fair you are when someone flaunts your rules.

Anonymous said...

Soliciting campaign contributions on courthouse grounds IS a crime, and that is exaclty what Shadwick was doing. It's in the mailer for crissakes. It's in the election code.

What a moron. This is certainly a situation where a special prosecutor should be named--more than any other so far perhaps.

Sec. 253.039. CONTRIBUTIONS IN CERTAIN PUBLIC BUILDINGS PROHIBITED. (a) A person may not knowingly make or authorize a political contribution while in the Capitol or a courthouse to:(1) a candidate or officeholder;(2) a political committee; or(3) a person acting on behalf of a candidate, officeholder, or political committee.(b) A candidate, officeholder, or political committee or a person acting on behalf of a candidate, officeholder, or political committee may not knowingly accept a political contribution, and shall refuse a political contribution that is received, in the Capitol or a courthouse.(c) This section does not prohibit contributions made in the Capitol or a courthouse through the United States postal service or a common or contract carrier.(d) A person who violates this section commits an offense. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.(h) In this section, "courthouse" means any building owned by the state, a county, or a municipality, or an office or part of a building leased to the state, a county, or a municipality, in which a justice or judge sits to conduct court proceedings.

Anonymous said...

Sec. 253.039 only prohibits making or authorizing a political contribution in the courthouse. It doesn't prohibit the mailing or distribution of campaign literature in a courthouse. Further, it does not prohibit the receipt of contributions in a courthouse (or the Capitol) that are received by US Postal Service or common carriers. The law is designed to prohibit the exchange of cash or sight instruments within the Capitol building or a courthouse.

There is no doubt this was another stupid move by incompetents that Lykos has sneaked in the back door. In fact it highlights the problems created by doling out higher-paying jobs to sycophants who will feed Lykos the constant praise and worship that her narcissistic personality disorder craves.

This particular incident is not going to trigger a criminal inquiry. It certainly illustrates how poorly Lykos administers the office and why she needs to be defeated in the Primary election. It also clearly demonstrates the double-standard that is applied when one her chosen violates her own rules.

Anonymous said...

Anon. 7:23am:
Jared Woodfill will NOT vote for Jim Barr. Gary Polland may vote for Barr and may even endorse Barr. However, Jared will not.