Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Lessons in Leadership

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas Ryan Patrick was formally sworn in during his investiture ceremony yesterday.  The Houston Chronicle's Gabrielle Banks wrote this article describing the ceremony, which I noted was a little different from the original article she wrote about the event yesterday.  I tried to find the original article online because it had some interesting quotes from some of the Assistant U.S. Attorneys that work for Patrick, as well as some quotes from Federal judges and defense attorneys.  Unfortunately, the original version seems to be unavailable.

This quote from Chief U.S. District Court Judge Lee Rosenthal did make it into the final version of the article:
"He comes from a political family but his current focus is not on politics, it's on policy," Rosenthal said. "And that is how it should be as he faces intensely tactical problems of running this large and complicated office in our large and very complicated district . . . at a large and complicated time."
In the original article, Banks quoted a few others, including Mark Donnelly,  Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, who noted that Patrick's approach to leading is dictating the policies of the Office and then relying on his experienced AUSAs to do their jobs effectively.  Apparently, this is causing a high boost in morale within the U.S. Attorneys Office and, lo and behold, the Office seems to be running well.  The original article quoted defense attorney Charles Flood, who was also highly complimentary of the way the Office is being run by Patrick.

The original article was striking because it described an office of prosecutors that seemed to run on a philosophy that is the polar opposite of the Harris County District Attorney's Office under D.A. Kim Ogg.  In the earlier article on Patrick, it described his desire to stay away from micro-management, in favor of relying on professional prosecutors who were doing the job and doing it well before he took office.

By contrast, Kim Ogg has . . .  well, Kim Ogg has JoAnne Musick.

While Ryan Patrick is getting lauded for running an office where prosecutors are enjoying their jobs and their office's clearly stated principles, Musick continues to run through low level disposed cases with a microscope.  While Patrick treats the prosecutors who held their jobs long before he arrived with the respect they earned, Musick continues to talk to prosecutors (with far more prosecutorial experience than her) as if they were children.

Just a side note here, let's not forget that JoAnne originally left the D.A.'s Office as a relatively new Felony Two.  She never got close to earning the stripes of Felony Chief, but that still doesn't keep her from dressing down far more senior prosecutors.  I've mentioned this twice before.  The first time was back in February.  The second time was less than a month ago.

In the four weeks since I wrote that last post, two more senior Felony Chiefs have declared their intention to leave the Harris County District Attorney's Office and head to work for the U.S. Attorney's Office under the leadership of Ryan Patrick.

Who could blame them?  If one were given the choice of working for an Office with a clear vision statement that comes with being treated with respect versus an Office guided solely by public opinion where senior prosecutors are treated like dim-witted children, it really isn't much of a contest, is it?

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Texas is thriving while the Harris County District Attorney's Office is a sad shell of what it used to be.

Kim Ogg should learn a lesson in leadership from Ryan Patrick.


Anonymous said...

Murray, some people are unteachable

Anonymous said...

Even attempting to make a comparison between the two is just silly. Ryan recognized the wonderful people he had as a resource and would never fire anyone out of ego or insecurity. Kimbrogg is so insecure (i.e. doesn’t know the law or what she’s doing), that the only way she could exist was to bring in the ass sucking Ogglodytes. Sycophants to the core.

Anonymous said...

Musick is a despicable attorney who has spent the majority of her career intimidating children who have been molested so I was absolutely mortified when she was placed in charge of the sex crime division. To me this was akin to Lykos hiring Clint Greenwood to run the police integrity division.

The more things change the more they stay the same.