Showing posts from December, 2012

The Swearing In Ceremony

By now, there should only be four lucky prosecutors working at intake from five o'clock to midnight.  The rest have officially had their last minutes on the clock under the Lykos Administration.  At exactly midnight, Mike Anderson will be at Intake to be sworn in as the District Attorney of Harris County, Texas. It has been a long time coming. The ceremonial swearing in will be tomorrow, January 1st at 10:30 a.m. at the South Texas College of Law, Joe Green Auditorium at 1303 San Jacinto, Houston, Texas 77002, and it will be followed by the swearing in of all the Assistant District Attorneys. I'm going to try to swing by if I wake up in time.  If I don't I'll be there in spirit. Congratulations and thank you to Mike Anderson for running and winning the job of elected District Attorney. To those of you who survived the past four years, you have my respect and my admiration for persevering. Have a great day tomorrow!

Lykos 2012: The Final Chapter?

NOTE:  When last we left our heroes of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office at the end of 2011, Darth Lykos was still battling with the rebellious 185 th Grand Jury.  To clarify, this was the 1 st Grand Jury that was investigating Lykos.  Not the second one.  That was about time sheets.  Not the 3 rd one, either.  That one is about them investigating the 1 st one.  Oh never mind.  Just read on. JANUARY January 1 – As the new year begins, Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight hope that a recent change in the laws will cause the 185 th Grand Jury to have their session mandatorily terminated, thus ending their pending investigation into the District Attorney’s Office.  When confronted that a lack of Grand Juries might also allow Capital Murderers to be released on bond, Lykos paraphrases the old adage that it is better for a thousand guilty men to go free than for one Pat Lykos to go to jail. January 6- Angry Republican political activist, Gary Po

Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to all my friends out there who are up and about on the Internet today. I hope that this message finds you all long after you've already had a fantastic Christmas with your families. In light of the tragedy yesterday involving Bellaire PD Corporal Jimmie Norman and civilian Terry Taylor -- as well as so many other heartbreaking things that have happened in the past month -- please don't fail to appreciate how blessed you are to be sitting down with all  of your family.  Whether your religious views run deep or shallow, Christmas time is a time for family. Hug yours and let them know how much you love them. Have a very Merry Christmas!

2012 Holiday Dress Code Violations

I think I skipped this award last year, but as you will see below, some things inspire me to remember. This year's Holiday Dress Code violations go to both a prosecutor and a defense attorney who were found in the 263rd District Court today. Pete Justin's attire is impressive, with his canvass lanyard creating the appearance that he is wearing a washboard under his blazer.   This is Pete's second win.  However, it pales in comparison to Stephen Driver's light green shirt and Grinch tie.  If you look closely, Stephen also has his button down collar unbuttoned to compensate for one missing button. Former dress code violation winner Brian Coyne was also in court today, as well.  However, he seems to have defeated his fashion problems with the help of Lafayette's Big and Small Suit Barn. To be fair, I wasn't exactly ready for the cover of GQ today, either.  However, my green pants, blue striped shirt, red tie, and sports jacket with a missing b

The Division Chiefs

The Incoming Anderson Administration made its decisions on Division Chiefs today.  There were several promotions of Felony District Court Chiefs to Division Chief, and many were lateral transfers to different divisions.  It is definitely a shake-up of how things have been previously done. There are a couple of new Divisions added to the Trial Bureau (5 rather than the previous 3), and I believe the Major Narcotics spot is new, as well. This is what I've heard so far: Felony Trial Division Chiefs (A,B,C,D & E) Natalie Tise (promotion) Marie Primm (promotion) Lance Long Craig Goodhart Kari Allen (promotion) Special Crimes Major Offenders Division Chief Tammy Thomas (promotion) Special Crimes Major Narcotics Marcy McCorvey (promotion) Grand Jury Division Chief John Brewer (promotion) Family Criminal Law Division Chief Lisa Porter (promotion) Child Abuse Division Chief Sunni Mitchell Major Fraud Division Chief Lynne Parsons Intake Division Chief Bill

Another Friend in Need -- Eileen Bogar

Unfortunately, our friend Jeff Hale isn't the only member of our courthouse community to recently suffer a devastating medical setback. Former Chief Prosecutor and defense attorney Eileen Guerinot Bogar had a sudden and unexpected stroke on Friday night.  She's only 38 years old. For those who don't know Eileen, she is one of the most outgoing and caring friends that a person can have.  She is always there with a kind word (and usually some great gossip) for a friend.  Additionally, she is the loving mother of her son, E.J., who is the absolute light of her life. In instances where other people have needed help, we could always count on Eileen to be the first to volunteer.  In fact, prior to last week, she was one of a handful of attorneys who were working diligently to help cover all of Jeff Hale's cases.  She doesn't just say she will help out.  She does it.  And she's never met a stranger. Eileen's road to recovery is going to be a long one, unfo

Jeff Hale

As many of you around the CJC already know, our friend and fellow defense attorney Jeff Hale suffered a stroke right around the Thanksgiving holidays.  Several attorneys have been helping take care of Jeff's cases as he recuperates from this unforeseen medical emergency.  We hear that he is coming along quite well, but that the road to complete recovery may still take some time. While many attorneys are doing all they can to help Jeff, attorney Rand Mintzer has gone an extra step in his efforts -- a marathon's worth of "extra steps" to be more exact. Rand will be running this Saturday in a marathon dubbed The Day After the End of the World Marathon , and he would like to dedicate his efforts to raise money for Jeff Hale.  This is a classic example of a great guy doing all he can to help out somebody who is also a great guy. Rand has asked me to help in raising money for Jeff and I couldn't be more happy to help out.  We will be accepting anything you can pos

The Federal Lawsuit

In case you missed it, former-HPD chemists Amanda Culbertson and Jorge Wong filed a Federal lawsuit this morning, targeting both Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos and Assistant District Attorney Rachel Palmer . I've briefly scanned over the petition and it is basically the allegation that Wong and Culbertson were punished and retaliated against for their roles as whistleblowers with the HPD B.A.T. Van scandals.  The petition lists numerous dates and meetings that specifically involve Rachel Palmer and it covers the cancellation of the County's contract with Lone Star College. I don't know much about Federal Civil Law, but I would imagine that things will move fairly slowly.  It will be interesting to watch it develop.

Tragedy Beyond Comprehension

In about an hour, my wife and I are going to leave our house and go watch my son in his school's holiday program.  My boy (whom many of you know personally), at 7 years old is already a lapsed Catholic, but for some reason H.I.S.D. has him singing a Kwanzaa song tonight.  I'm not entirely sure how that happened. At the end of the program, he'll come home with us to our house.  Our Christmas tree is up.  Lights are on the stair railings.  The stockings are hung by the chimney with care.  The holiday season brings palpable excitement at the Newman house.  It is usually a very close race between me and the Boy over who gets more giddy about Christmas.  He's in 1st grade.  I'm 40. I can't stop looking at the television and the news today. In Connecticut, there were at least 20 sets of parents eagerly anticipating the holiday season with their children.  Their five and six-year-olds probably had only one more week until their eagerly anticipated two week Christ

And the Leadership Team is . . .

Mike Anderson held a press conference today announcing who would be filling the positions in his Leadership Team starting on January 1st.  I know that most of you have already heard them, but in case you haven't, here they are. Judge Belinda Hill  -- First Assistant Bert Graham  -- Of Counsel Dick Bax  -- General Counsel Connie Spence  -- Chief of Special Crimes Bureau Roe Wilson  -- Chief of the Legal Services Bureau Karen Morris  -- Chief of the Public Service Bureau Maria McAnulty  -- Chief of the Trial Bureau Jane Waters  -- Chief of the Special Victims Bureau (NOTE:  This seems to be a new Bureau that will incorporate both Family Violence, Child Abuse, and Child Pornography) Richard Holland  -- Chief Investigator Julian Ramirez  -- Division Chief of the Civil Rights Division Terese Buess  -- Division Chief of the Public Integrity Division There are still some things that need to be ironed out, most notably who the individual Trial Bureau Division Chiefs

A Brief Recap of Mike Anderson on Reasonable Doubt

As requested by a commenter on my last post, here is a brief recap of District Attorney-Elect Mike Anderson's appearance on last night's Reasonable Doubt.  I'm going from memory here, so I may miss a few things.  I'm hoping we will have the actual episode put online by my assistant, Franklin, by the end of the weekend. 1.  When asked how he wanted to be referred to at the Office, he was emphatic that he wanted to be called "Mike," noting that he was no longer a judge and didn't think he should be addressed as so. 2.  He plans on announcing his leadership team today (December 14th) in a press conference at the CJC at 10:30am. 3.  He is very excited that Judge Belinda Hill agreed to be 1st Assistant.  She was the choice he continuously had in mind the entire time he was running for Office and he said there was "no Plan B."  His enthusiasm about Judge Hill was very obvious (and well deserved). 4.  Assistant District Attorneys under the new A

Mike Anderson on Reasonable Doubt (12/13/12)

Please join me and host Todd Dupont on Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. for Reasonable Doubt , where our guest will be Harris County District Attorney-elect Mike Anderson. On the heels of yesterday's announcement about Judge Belinda Hill, Judge Anderson has also been meeting with various people involved in the Criminal Justice System to let them know his plans for the future of the District Attorney's Office (which begins in t-minus 19 days).  He's answering all questions and he looks forward to answering any calls the viewers might have. So call in with your questions. As always, you can catch us live streaming by clicking here .

The New First Assistant

In a move that had been rumored about the CJC for several weeks, Judge Belinda Hill of the 230th District Court has officially agreed to be the 1st Assistant of the Harris County District Attorney's Office in the Mike Anderson Administration. I can't think of a better choice. Unlike her predecessor at First Assistant, Judge Hill is a highly respected District Court Judge who has served on the bench since 1997.  During her tenure as Judge, she had the reputation as a hard-working, yet fair judge who called balls and strikes based solely on the law.  She is most well-known for presiding over both capital murder trials of Andrea Yates , in which she handled an absolute media circus with class and respect for the law.  Prior to becoming a Judge, she was a highly respected Division Chief within the District Attorney's Office under Johnny Holmes. I first met Judge Hill (although I highly doubt she remembers it) when she was a prosecutor trying the Alex Gonzalez/Ida Lee Dela

Johnny Manziel!

This has nothing to do with the CJC, but I'm an Aggie, so excuse me. But, if you had told any Aggie, five minutes before kick off against Florida (their first game of the season), that they would end the season at 10-2, defeat the #1 team in the Nation (at their home), and have their freshman quarterback win the Heisman in the first year in the SEC . . . Discuss amongst yourselves.  However, unlike other posts, I'm only publishing comments that I agree with.  :-) Super huge congratulations to Johnny Manziel for making A&M proud.


As I posted in November , the Harris County Sheriff's Office had an item on the Commissioners' Court Agenda last month asking for $138,000 to pay for consulting services from Jim Leitner.  Setting aside the argument for the moment about whether or not Jim's legal consultation is worth that relatively large amount of money, it does bring up an interesting question about him continuing to do any other kind of criminal cases (appointed or retained). If Leitner is going to be representing the Harris County Sheriff's Office in a legal capacity wouldn't that tend to conflict him out of doing criminal defense representation in all cases that involve the Sheriff's Office? My understanding is that Leitner has explained that he would not be taking on cases where HCSO was the investigating agency, which should be obvious.  How can one defend an accused client when the accuser is also a client?  By turning down those Sheriff's Office cases, Jim will be foregoing a l