That would be John B. Holmes, Jr. and he was a delight to chat with. We talked for about a half hour and the reports about him are true – you ask him a question, he gives you an answer. And I have to say this for the record: it was great talking to someone that actually supports Mike Anderson because most of the people I talk to about this race never mention him, they only mention that they hate Pat Lykos because she is mean.
The reason I talked to Mr. Holmes was because I published two of Chip Lewis’ emails. On the second one, I contacted Mr. Lewis to tell him that I was going to publish another one and did he want to make a statement. He didn’t but did encourage me to publish because “It was meant to illustrate just how much damage she has done to such an important institution.” Later he sent me an email asking me to contact Mr. Holmes and another person because “the public would be well served to hear their thoughts on the right choice for Harris County DA”. With that invitation, I was free to call Mr. Holmes. Hey, I’m not a reporter and I usually wouldn’t bug someone over the phone but with an invite from a friend….
The basic reason that Mr. Holmes is supporting Mike is that he has a lot of respect for his abilities and he thinks that Mike would do a better job at running the office because Mike was a prosecutor. It was the same argument that Mike made when I talked to him. He stressed several times that it wasn’t anything personal at all against DA Lykos. In the history of the office, he couldn’t recall anyone that had been elected to the job that hadn’t been a prosecutor. He gave me several examples:
- Someone told him that she had been a judge – his response was that you don’t let a guy that referees the Super Bowl quarterback your team. It is a different job.
- Have you ever seen a newspaper editor that wasn’t a reporter first?
- Have you seen a police chief that wasn’t a police officer first?
He stressed that he didn’t think it should be a legal requirement because it is an elected position but it certainly should be a consideration of the voters. And in his case, because it is his right to have an opinion, he thinks it is the primary factor in the race and trumps all others.
And again, he stressed, it is nothing personal, he has no animosity towards DA Lykos, and that he is not part of any conspiracy to get her hung. He just likes Mike.
Obviously we talked about the grand jury investigation, not the conspiracy part, just the way that the DA’s office handled it when the grand jury kicked their prosecutors out of the room. He used this as an example of what happens when you lack experience. He said he would have done nothing at all, not ask Judge Brown for a hearing, not appeal her ruling, nothing, period. And his argument is much the same as the DA’s is for why they kept trying – because there must be either an ADA or an Attorney Pro Tem in the grand jury room to give the grand jury legal advice. He would have ignored it because even if they came back with an indictment, it would be worthless – no legal advisor in the room. In Pasadena terms, let ‘em indict because it is meaningless.
We talked about some other stuff unrelated, particularly his love for being a prosecutor. He told me that his wife once said that he loved the office more than he did her and that, even though he assured her that wasn’t true, he had to admit that there was a lot of truth in her statement. He said it felt good to be on the right side of the law every day and he enjoyed working with the mostly young people in the office. The defense must put up their best effort even if they know or suspect that their client is lying to them. He told me about a time he was trying a case against Mike Ramsey and that during opening statements, while the judge was instructing the jury and had their attention, Mike Ramsey leaned over to the prosecutors table and asked them not to laugh when they hear him “tell the jury this shit”. Heh.
I guess the best way to end this is with his parting words. He noted that he was a 5 time Republican officeholder and as hard as it was to go against Republicans, he would vote for Democrat Zack Fertitta over DA Lykos for the sole reason that Zack had been a prosecutor. It means that much to him.