Although I still planned on supporting Devon Anderson for District Attorney, I didn't think there would be too much negative to say about Kim. I was actually looking forward to the debating of the issues the affected Harris County Criminal Justice.
There was a warning sign (at the time of Kim's announcement) that foreshadowed a dirty campaign, unfortunately. Photos published by Dave "Big Jolly" Jennings on his website here showed Ogg shaking hands with self-proclaimed "energy trader" (and husband of Rachel Palmer), Don Hooper -- as Palmer's attorney Clay Rawlings and former-Lykos 1st Assistant Jim Leitner smile in the background. Why exactly would a former Republican candidate for D.A. and a self-proclaimed "Republican Activist" be at a Democrat's campaign announcement?
Despite Kim's affiliation with Hooper and Leitner, I remained optimistic that a good, clean campaign would be run. Sadly, Kim's press conference yesterday illustrated again that politics bring out the worst in otherwise good people.
Yesterday, the Democratic candidate for D.A. decided to make intellectually dishonest attacks on the Harris County District Attorney's Office over the Office's handling of the investigation into former-HPD Homicide Sergeant Ryan Chandler.
In the interest of full disclosure, I'll tell you right now that Ryan Chandler is a good friend of mine. His wife, Inger (formerly Hampton) Chandler is someone that I consider to be one of my best friends. Ryan visited me in the hospital when I was recuperating from chemo, this time last year. I was invited to their wedding and I gladly attended. I know what has been written about Ryan ad nauseum. He is still my friend and he is a good friend.
So, if you want to take the following with a grain of salt, feel free.
When the news of the investigation into Ryan began, District Attorney Devon Anderson recused the Office from the investigation due to the fact that Inger was an Assistant District Attorney there. It was a no-brainer of a decision and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office was brought in to handle the investigation. No criminal charges were filed.
This was standard operating procedure and one that has been frequently done in other instances involving potential conflicts of interest with a prosecuting agency. The rules were followed and the Harris County District Attorney's Office never became involved with the handling of the case. The results were entirely out of that Office's hands.
And Kim Ogg knows that. Yet, she decided to attempt to make a disingenuous argument in order to jump on the wave of attention that the HPD scandal is currently attracting.
As most of you probably are aware, Houston Chronicle reporter James Pinkerton (who is apparently the head of the paper's Ryan Chandler Bureau) has been writing a series of articles about the HPD Homicide Scandal. In addition to covering the different cases involved and the people affected, Pinkerton has also covered everything from Ryan's grades in guitar class in Junior College to his high school classmates' belief that he would become a radio DJ. The Warren Commission didn't get this much detail when they looked into Oswald.
Kim knew that all she would have to do was mention Ryan Chandler's name in a press release and Pinkerton would come running with a pen and paper in hand. She knew that she could make the silly argument that the D.A.'s Office somehow did wrong by recusing itself and he would write the article as if it were gospel. Kim didn't disappoint him.
"The DA has cut another backroom deal, to the benefit of a political supporter [Chandler], the romantic partner and current husband of the DA's lawyer in charge of her conviction integrity unit.""Romantic partner and current husband"? Ooh. Sounds salacious. "Backroom deal"? Sounds dirty.
Devon Anderson removed her Office from all involvement in the case to specifically avoid any questions about the propriety of how it was being handled. She asked a neighboring county's District Attorney to investigate.
But, wait, Kim Ogg doesn't think that Montgomery County D.A. Brett Ligon should have been the investigating Chandler, either. Why? Because Brett Ligon formerly worked for the HPD Police Union. His ties to representing police officers in employment matters somehow made him an unfair investigator?
That's kind of a funny accusation coming from Kim Ogg, who also has a lengthy history of representing police officers in "employment matters" and brags of it ON HER OWN WEBSITE. Calling Brett Ligon's integrity into question was baseless and silly.
All of this press conference from Kim Ogg is baseless and silly, too. Kim has been practicing law since I was in junior high school. She knows that the recusal of the Office was handled appropriately, yet she deliberately misled the Press for political advantage.
And that's a move straight out of the Pat Lykos playbook.
Kim, you're better than that. At least, I thought you were.