I’m always amazed at the way “professional media” goes after public figures, tearing them down and ruining their reputations as they chase a “story”. They trumpet their efforts with outrageous and misleading headlines and teasers, throwing caution to the wind in an effort to get more readers, listeners, or viewers. Or perhaps, like one beat writer in Houston, trashing politicians in the hopes of being on the “inside” if their guy wins.
And then when the truth comes out and their sensationalism is proven to be false, which is typically long after the public flogging, the silence is deafening. But silence or not, the truth matters. So I’ll tell you, even if the sharks in the media will not.
Recall that Chip B. Lewis made a big deal out of suing former Harris County DA Pat Lykos and Assistant DA Rachel Palmer for what he claimed was “unlawful retaliation”. This was on the heels various folks, including some in the media, using Judge Susan Brown’s Runaway 185th Grand Jury to help Mike Anderson defeat Lykos in the Republican primary.
Federal Judge Lynn Hughes dismissed this frivolous lawsuit with prejudice on August 30th.
What does “dismissed with prejudice” mean?
A dismissal with prejudice is dismissal of a case on merits after adjudication.The plaintiff is barred from bringing an action on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicata on the claims that were or could have been brought in it.
A court has inherent power to dismiss an action with prejudice if it is vexatious, brought in bad faith, or when there has been a failure to prosecute it within a reasonable time.
But there were few mentions in the Houston media about this. The bloggers that helped the 185th Runaway Grand Jury didn’t blog about it. Just silence.
On 9/11, Judge Hughes issued his opinion on the dismissal. In his conclusion, he states:
If the Port of Houston bans cruise ships because of your protests, the longshoreman who has no work as a consequence cannot sue you. Similarly, you are not immune from natural consequences of your free speaking, especially if it affects people’s impression of your abilities, including reliability. Lykos and Palmer were obliged as public servants to recommend a supervisor for the alcohol testing. Neither had the power to interfere with Culbertson’s and Wong’s employment at Lone Star College.
This tortification of politics and related public administration fails.
I waited. And waited. Those that attacked Lykos and Palmer remained silent.
Let me repeat what I said the day of the Chip B. Lewis press conference:
But the key point is thatADA Palmer CLEARLY wants to get to the truth. Let me repeat what she says on the record:
Respectfully, it’s more important than that. Let me make clear for the record, I am not unhappy with this witness. It’s important that the State knows the truth about what’s going on in the Houston Police Department crime lab.
Virtually the entire universe of press surrounding the BAT Vans, DA Lykos, and ADA Palmer has accused them of trying to hide something or cover something up – in reality, as documented in the official trial transcripts. they were trying to get to the truth about them. If nothing else comes from this lawsuit, perhaps that point will make it through the noise.
Unfortunately, I don’t think that point has made it through the noise. As a political figure, Pat Lykos had to endure the humiliation of the false attacks – it comes with the territory. But the people that did this to ADA Palmer, who wasn’t a political figure, should have had to pay a price by going to jail. Yet even today, she is still being attacked by those that refuse to see the truth or the error of their ways. The so-called “stain” on her reputation should be considered an attribute – she stood up to a bullying judge and grand jury and said I’m not going to go along with your farce of an investigation. Sometimes standing for what is right will have lesser people calling you names and mocking you – it is a weak person’s way of dealing with the fact that they would not be strong enough to do what you did.
Congratulations to Judge Pat Lykos and ADA Rachel Palmer for their victory. It should never have gotten this far in the first place but you held firm and showed your true character. I pray that your futures are blessed and bright.