politics in Harris County and Texas

Harris County DA debate recap: Pat Lykos v Mike Anderson

Mike Anderson
Pat Lykos

Have you ever had an idea for something and then pulled it off exactly as planned? You know that feeling you get when that happens? That is how I feel about the Harris County District Attorney’s debate that was held at the King Street Patriots’ headquarters last night. If you missed it, well, you missed a heck of an opportunity to clearly see the differences between these two candidates and not just on personality but on substantive issues. This race isn’t a beauty contest, it truly is about the future policies of the HCDAO’s office and thus, justice in Harris County.

The Setup

First off, kudos once again to Catherine Engelbrecht and the King Street Patriots. What an awesome group they are and they put on a first class event. Their volunteers are second to none – a special thanks to Erin Anderson for being the timekeeper. That isn’t a fun job when you have two candidates with strong personalities. There were times when I thought she was going to have to duck to avoid the blows when she held up the ‘Time Expired’ card. Also a special thanks to Dave Welch of the Houston Area Pastor Council for opening the meeting with prayer and the pledges. He reminded us that it was the National Day of Prayer and that our country desperately needs prayer.

Second, the moderators were tough but fair, exactly as we envisioned it. Scott Braddock and Paul Bettencourt challenged the candidates answers’ on several occasions, they allowed lengthy answers when they thought it was necessary and cut the candidates off when they started drifting away from the subject at hand. I’ve been to hundreds of smaller debates like this and most of the time the questions are softballs and there is no followup from the moderators. In fact, moderator is usually an incorrect term, questioner would be better. But in this case, Scott and Paul turned in a professional performance and elicited clear information from the candidates.

Third, the crowd. Excellent, if not standing room only. I’d put the crowd at between 225 and 240. There were a fair number of supporters for each candidate and a good group of undecided. One of the goals of this debate was to expose new people to King Street Patriots in an effort to break the media stereotype of this fantastic group. It irks me to no end to see them characterized as a bunch of racists – as done by this supposed Republican blogger in the Houston Chronicle this week. I’ve asked him to attend a meeting or two but it turns out that he lives in…get this…Chicago. Go figure. I think that we met that goal as Catherine noted that she saw a lot of new faces, i.e., people that normally do not attend. I do hope that these new attendees will help knock down that idiotic portrayal of these hard working volunteers.

Great attendance for the debate!

Okay, on to the debate. As you know, I don’t pick winners and losers of debates, I grade the candidates on what they need to do to move their campaigns forward. And this one is really easy, both candidates get a A. I know, you were hoping for one A and one F but it just didn’t happen. There was a wide range of questions and the candidates disagreed on many of them. Here are some thoughts on each.

Pat Lykos

I thought that she started off a little hesitant but finished the night strong. The first question was directed to both candidates, giving each two minutes to tell the audience why they were running. She stated that she wanted to continue the progress that she has made in reforming the office and making it into a state of the art, leading district attorney’s office. She reminded people that when she took over the office, it was a laughingstock, racist emails, porn on computers, and alcohol was common.

She easily got off the best line of the night when she said that the “courthouse was no longer a frathouse”. She was able to repeat that line several times throughout the evening and Judge Anderson had no counter to it. On a question about morale, she chastised the “good ol’ days” by saying that they should not be celebrating ‘victories’ in the courtroom with coolers of alcohol but instead  should have a ‘quiet satisfaction with a job well done’.  She was passionate in her defense of the office, stating that she was tired of people attacking the hardworking ADA’s and should keep their attacks focused on her.

I thought that she handled her defense of the ‘trace’ policy about as well as she could. It is unusual for a Republican, especially in a primary, to be for anything other than lock ’em up and throw away the key when it comes to ANY type of crime, no matter how big or small. This issue, as with the DIVERT program, will be a turnoff for many Republicans, regardless of their effectiveness in reducing crime and saving taxpayer money because they are tailor made for the 5 second negative soundbite.

She deftly handled the accusation that she was “soft” on the death penalty and I thought her strongest moment of the entire debate was in her defense of the “cold case” initiative that she has instituted. To me, she is absolutely correct when she says that even if a court lets a murderer go because previous administrations did not pursue them diligently, the right thing to do for the victim’s family is to try.

So she gets an A. If you supported her walking into the building, you supported her when you left. And clearly, her job is to hold the lead that she has.

Mike Anderson

Mike treats these debates as if the crowd is a jury. He has an awful lot of experience in front of juries and if you are in the audience, you can see why he was an effective prosecutor. He is passionate and knowledgeable, rarely stands behind the podium, and is forceful with his arguments. I thought that he was the opposite of Judge Lykos, starting strong and ending a bit weak.

A challenger has to land a knockout blow to win a debate and he was unable to do that. He got in plenty of hard punches, which might have drawn undecided voters his way. As usual, his best argument is on the DIVERT program, where he states that someone on the program could finish it, have their record expunged, then go out and kill someone and their punishment would be less. He brought out some statistics that seemed to show DIVERT wasn’t working (I’ll post separately on that) and scored a very hard blow when Judge Lykos said that you can do anything with statistics. He responded that they might just be numbers to some people, but for the victims family there is real pain.

He struggled with a question about judicial bypass. If you don’t know, judicial bypass is a law that allows a minor to go to a judge seeking an abortion without parental knowledge or permission. Obviously this is controversial in Republican circles and Judge Anderson continues to say that the law says that he cannot mention anything at all about judicial bypass, including whether or not he has ever a judicial bypass request. He said that a Texas Supreme Court supported his interpretation about that – Judge Lykos said that there was no such decision. I don’t think this has anything to do with the duties of the DA but like I said, it is a potent issue in Republican circles.

In response to a question about the low morale of the office, he joked that if there was ever a time that an employee of that office needed a drink, it was now. He got a few laughs and chuckles from the audience. On the death penalty, he asked if Judge Lykos was tough on it, why she was allowing Mr. Buck to sit in jail without a date for death when all she had to do was walk over and give the 208th Court an execution date. I don’t think I heard an answer on that. I assume that he is talking about this case but for whatever reason, I didn’t hear if Judge Lykos responded or not. Maybe someone could help me out here.

So I’l give Judge Anderson an A as well. If you supported him walking in, you supported him walking out. If you were undecided and favor the long arm of the law, he possibly picked up your vote.

Odd occurrence

I hesitate to tell this story because the Anderson supporters will be upset. But, it happened, and it is very, very odd to me. You may or may not think so. It has to do with the “runaway grand jury” and the jury foreperson, Patricia Pollard. During the debate, this subject came up and Judge Anderson was very forceful in thanking the people on the grand jury for their public service and attacked Judge Lykos for investigating these good servants, as he pointed to someone in the front. I thought, does he have the members of the grand jury here supporting him? How odd. Wouldn’t that just reinforce the thought that the grand jury was biased and politically motivated? It would for me.

So after the debate, I’m waiting up front for people to fill out their ballot cards. This guy comes up to me and says, “you’re full of $#{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}$”. Now, I first met this guy at a forum in Pasadena when he was with a candidate from another race. He cornered me that night and talked to me for 20 minutes or so about how I was completely wrong about that grand jury being politically motivated and said that I was “full of $#{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}$”. I’ve seen him at several other functions since then and he always tells me that, I figure it is good natured and laugh about it, telling him back that he’s full of $#{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}$.

So last night, I’m standing there talking to Becky Bowyer and just as I finish talking, along comes my “friend” with his little saying. Right at that moment, this tall blonde woman standing next to me laughs and says, “yeah, you’re full of $#{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}$”. So I laugh back, not knowing who she is and say, yeah, a lot of people say that about me, that’s fine. So then she sticks out her hand to introduce herself and says, “I’m Trisha Pollard and you are full of $#{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}$”. It finally dawns on me who this woman is.

None other than the runaway, Wyatt Earp wannabe Patricia Pollard, 185th grand jury foreperson her grand self.

How’s about them apples, boy?

A kind reader sent this photo in of Trisha Pollard and Mike Anderson talking about ???

Mike Anderson whispers to Patricia Pollard

Ballot results

Everyone attending was offered a chance to fill out a ballot. There were a total of 102 ballots returned, with two of them blank on the DA race. I wish more ballots had been turned in but I suppose some people didn’t have time or haven’t made up their minds just yet. But, having 100 votes sure does make the math easy. Without further ado:

  • Mike Anderson – 56{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}
  • Pat Lykos – 44{997ab4c1e65fa660c64e6dfea23d436a73c89d6254ad3ae72f887cf583448986}

And that, my friends, is a wrap.

 

Harris County DA race, runaway grand jury, pioneer woman

A few links for the weekend about the Harris County DA race.

Mike Anderson

First, Charles Kuffner did post his interview with Republican primary challenger, Mike Anderson. Mike continued to make the charge that the DIVERT program and the DA’s “crack pipe trace evidence” policy are illegal. He even stated that the DIVERT program has been ruled illegal. He talked about his time as a drug court judge and how he had seen lives changed. Overall I thought he did a good job of promoting his campaign.

One of the things that I didn’t like about his interview, and of some of the comments that he has made elsewhere, is that the DA’s office is forcing investigators to put “laydown” cases against prominent people aside and not prosecute them. He stated that he had just today talked to several investigators about this and they were frustrated. If this is true, then he has an obligation to bring them to the public’s attention. I’m tired of all of the charges and innuendo in this race that are not backed up by evidence. It is easy to say that the DA’s office is corrupt – prove it. If the DA is protecting prominent individuals and Mike knows about it, he needs to put it forward with real names, not just innuendo. It reminds me of the anonymous blog comments saying that public safety is suffering but that the commenter can’t say anything because he or she will lose their job or be denied a promotion. Sad to think that people with such weak spines are “protecting” us.

The second link is from PBS’s Red, White, and Blue program last night. In it, ADA Rachel Palmer’s defense attorney David Mitcham destroys the runaway grand jury and criminal defense attorney/blogger Mark Bennett agrees that the grand jury was motivated by something other than the truth. Just watch (start at the 7m 24s mark for the fun):

Pat Lykos

The last link is a look at DA Pat Lykos as a “pioneer” woman. I’ve been meaning to do something similar and might still but for now, this piece in “Women & Guns” has a lot of the information about her that I’ve found out since I’ve tried to get a better perspective of who she is and why so many people do not like her.  The vast majority of the “charges” are coming from people that do not like Lykos personally. It is a shame when these types of attacks are used to oust someone from office.

Her actual record is very good and she has done a lot to reform that office. This makes for bitter employees. And the “law and order” types are not happy when someone seeks justice because they want revenge, as in shoot now, ask questions later.

I saw one local activist criticize her because he didn’t think she would look good on a swimsuit calendar. Another criticized her because she smokes. Another because she is “old”. Yet another because she prefers whiskey over wine and ladies do not do that. It is hard for women to make it to the top in any field but law enforcement is even harder. I can tell you that before I started deep research, I was not a fan. I now have a lot of respect for her and the journey her life has taken.

Anyway, back to the article. This is one of my favorite parts:

While holding her job as a Houston Police Officer, Pat worked her way through college at the University of Houston and law school at the South Texas College of Law. When she was assigned to night shifts, she took classes during the day; when she had day shifts, she went to night classes.

When she became eligible, she took the exam for sergeant, finishing No. 1 at a time when few women were even allowed to take the promotional test. But the (male) Chief of Police told her that he would not have a woman as a sergeant because a woman couldn’t do the physical things on the streets that a man could. He told Pat that if he was forced to promote her to sergeant, she would be working a different shift every month so that she would be 80 years old before she got out of law school. He told her to take the exam for detective. Pat took the detective exam and she was promoted to detective. The following day, she turned in her resignation. “It was my way of sending a message to them.”

She’s still that same feisty person today. As a father of two young women, I appreciate the path that she has blazed. That doesn’t mean that she should get a free pass as DA but it does let you know why so many people hate her for no good reason.

 

Harris County DA Pat Lykos to Rangers: Come on in and sit a spell!

Harris County DA Pat Lykos

As reported this past Friday, Harris County DA Pat Lykos has invited the Texas Rangers to come down and do a real investigation surrounding the activities of her office and the runaway grand jury from the 185th District Court. This morning, she notified her staff:

 

 

From: Salazar, Angela On Behalf Of Lykos, Patricia R.
Sent: Monday, February 13, 2012 8:46 AM
To: All DA Employees
Subject:
I have invited the Texas Rangers to conduct an investigation.

Subsequent to the “report” of the 185th Grand Jury foreman alleging an
“investigation” by this office, we have been the subject of
inflammatory attacks.  This has resulted in a frivolous motion being
filed in a capital murder case.  More can be anticipated.  This
disruption of the orderly administration of justice cannot be
tolerated.

I know you will continue to serve justice and protect the people of
Harris County, and not be distracted in carrying out our mission.

We will lend the Rangers every assistance.

Patricia R. Lykos
Harris County District Attorney

Lots of people are speculating as to why she would do this since the Rangers were already “investigating”. Well, for one, as I noted already, they weren’t “investigating”, they were following up on a complaint. Now they will be investigating and guess what? The investigation isn’t a limited one – I’d guess that they might want to step back, look at the big picture here, and then follow wherever the trail leads.

Remember all those leaks from the grand jury? Hmm? You know you do, especially those of you that received them. Or maybe someone might have filed a false complaint? Ya think?

Heh.

Harris County DA race: Jolly talks to Johnny

Johnny Holmes Photo: LARRY REESE, CHRONICLE / HC

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.

Harris County DA Investigator Don McWilliams goes on the record

Once again we return to the charges from the 185th Grand Jury and media reports that Harris County DA Pat Lykos initiated an “investigation” of said grand jury. The central figure in these allegations is the Harris County DA’s Chief Investigator Don McWilliams. I caught up with him this afternoon and he provided the following statement about the “investigation” and his role in it. I think that after you read his statement, you might surmise that the reports have been greatly exaggerated. But, you decide:


Pay particular attention to that last line:

What I have recounted in this document was provided to the Attorneys Pro Tem when I met with them, outside the presence of the Grand Jury, in November.

So the Attorneys Pro Tem knew that Chief Investigator McWilliams did a quick check on the 22nd for a legitimate law enforcement purpose and found nothing, so he stopped investigating. And they knew that on the 29th, his “investigation” consisted of nothing more than a “cursory internet search” as stated by DA Lykos. And still they tried to frame it as some sort of nefarious “investigation” of the grand jury members.

Not politically motivated?

My arse.

Harris County DA Pat Lykos and that cursory internet search

Politics. Sweet politics. Fun stuff when things are going your way, not so much when they aren’t. And this morning at 5 am as I viewed Ted Oberg’s latest missive against Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos, I wasn’t having fun. In fact, in that moment, I was pretty certain that I’d screwed up and had egg (or something much worse) on my face for daring to go against the conventional wisdom and trying to understand her side of the story. Fortunately days are made up of many moments and that moment has passed.  Not only do I not have egg (or something much worse) on my face, I’m more certain than ever that the entire 185th Grand Jury investigation was politically motivated and pushed by forces that want a new DA simply because they don’t like the current one.

Let’s state the obvious first: DA Lykos royally screwed up politically when she insisted at a press conference that (a) she didn’t know about any investigation of said grand jury and (b) if there was one, she certainly didn’t authorize it.

Both of her contentions are, on the face of it, false. Lies. Misstatements. Untruths. Use whatever word you wish because I assure you that the Mike Anderson campaign will use all of them and more. When DA Lykos made that statement, she handed political consultants and her enemies a golden egg.

Thing is, sometimes, on the face of it, things aren’t what they seem. And sometimes, things really are the way they are. You are going to have to decide what is what in this case. Most of you probably already have because in our fast paced society, when we see someone contradict themselves and we aren’t an interested party, we assume the worst and the worst in this case is that DA Lykos is lying and thus, most of us accept that. That’s just the way it is.

But I’m an interested party. Either because I like politics and politicians or because in this specific case, I said that the grand jury was headed up by a Wyatt Earp wannabe and thus want to defend that position. So, after that brief moment this morning, I started asking around, talking to people about it, and thinking about it. And what I have learned makes DA Lykos’ insistence that she did not order an investigation entirely plausible, even likely. I’ll try to keep it short because blog posts generally should be short and you’ve probably made up your mind anyway.

First, you have to decide whether or not to believe that DA Lykos has a different definition of “investigate” than the general public does. I admit that what I think she did when she asked Jim Leitner to ask Don McWilliams to look into Trisha Pollard, is that she started an investigation. And I bet most people not in her position would think the same. That said, she insists, and I’ve come to believe her, that her definition of what “investigate” means is entirely different than mine. Hers is a formal, working definition that would include the full weight of the HCDA’s office, including the use of investigators, law enforcement databases, background interviews with neighbors, employers, etc. After a long career as a police officer, a judge, and now as a district attorney, that is what the term means to her.

According to a high placed source in the DA’s office, no LEO databases were accessed and McWilliams did nothing more than search public domain internet sites on his own time. Everyone that I talked to on both sides of this political race agree that Mr. McWilliams is a man of integrity and when he says that is all he did, they believe it. In fact, he was the source mentioned in the grand jury report. Ask yourself why he would tell Jim Mount that he was asked to look into the grand jury if he had been asked to perform an investigation? Investigation as in the way DA Lykos thinks of an investigation? He wouldn’t.

What happened is that on 10/18, Ms. Pollard kicked the prosecutors out of the grand jury room. Both sides tell me this is not typical, that routinely prosecutors are given notice that the grand jury will be hearing from someone that might be a conflict of interest and know not to come that day or to be late, the judge routinely appoints a pro tem because grand juries need legal guidance when questioning witnesses, and all is well. None of that happened in this case, causing confusion in the HCDAO. When it hadn’t been resolved by the weekend, they decided to find out who the grand jury foreperson was and why they were being attacked.

On 10/24, Mr. Leitner was told by Judge Susan Brown that she was going to appoint a pro tem for the grand jury, who had been without one since the 18th. She assured him that she would not appoint someone political or from the previous administration. On 10/26, she appointed two men that fit both of those descriptions. Frustrated, the team at the HCDAO used the same public information databases to determine if any political links existed between the wider group of people involved.

So back to the original question, do you believe that DA Lykos ordered an “investigation” (remember her definition) or do you believe that the team at the HCDAO felt that they were under a political attack and did a Google search to find out who was attacking them? Using her definition, it is easy to see why she would have answered that question at the news conference the way she did. In other words, I believe her. As they say, your mileage may vary but before you quickly jump to a conclusion, at least do yourself a favor and consider what you would have said in her shoes with her background. Also consider that if they had performed a full investigation, public information requests would prove that. Alas, there are none.

And that last one is critical. Notice that near the end of Mr. Oberg’s report, he states  that “county paid for, password protected internet databases” would have to be used to find out this information. Nonsense. Lots of people did the same searches on the same people because that grand jury leaked like a sieve. I assure you that I don’t have access to “county paid for, password protected internet databases”  and I found everything they did and more. As did Mark Bennett, whom Mr. McWilliams references in his statement about the issue. Once Ms. Pollard put her name in the press, it was easy. If Mr. Oberg has something that proves his assertion, he needs to show us.

So believe what you want but also consider this. Check out Doug Miller’s report on KHOU.com from the day that the 185th Grand Jury released this “report” (letter). First, notice that Chip Lewis, the attorney for the Amanda Culberson is there to give reporters a nice little anti-DA soundbite. Interesting how that guy keeps getting a heads up on this grand jury’s activities – remember his phone call warning Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack that he was being subpoenaed?

Next, notice that DA Lykos’ opponent Mike Anderson is filmed ambling up the sidewalk (at the 1:46 mark), just minding his own business. Right? Well, that’s certainly the way it looks, doesn’t it? Minding his own business, then he’s yanked out of his little walk by the press and asked to comment on the “scolding” that the grand jury gave DA Lykos. Another soundbite for the press. But was he really just walking by, minding his own business at the courthouse?

Turns out that, no, he wasn’t. In fact, and I confirmed this with three different people, his political consultant had invited reporters to be at the “impromptu” press conference. So now we are right back to the start of this entire sham: was it all politically motivated in order to elect a new DA?

You decide.

Harris County DA Lykos stands up to runaway grand jury

Finally, an elected official shows some backbone and stands up to a juvenile attempt to muck rake. As a former not so much fan of Harris County DA Lykos, I can say that she’s growing on me. If you’ve paid any attention to the news, you know she’s taken on some tough issues, issues that heretofore have gone unaddressed, and come up with some good solutions to them. In spite of that, or perhaps because of it, her critics launched an all out assault on not just DA Lykos but the entire Harris County District Attorney’s office by using a runaway grand jury headed up by a Wyatt Earp wanna be named Trisha Pollard. Despite the plain fact that the runaway grand jury couldn’t find diddly squat wrong with the actions of the HCDAO, Ms. Pollard issued a weak attempt designed to embarrass the office and in particular ADA Rachel Palmer. It didn’t work, and in fact only serves to remind us that not all grand juries are created equal. Here is the attempt to embarrass the office and ADA Palmer:

185th Grand Jury Statement 1-31-2012

The Wyatt Earp wannbe comes across as bat guano crazy. Seriously, some members were walking back from lunch and were photographed by an “unknown person”? In what “appeared to be a government issued vehicle”? Whoa, did they see black helicopters too? Nothing about this grand jury was secret primarily because Ms. Earp desired so much publicity. Why on earth would “the government” need to send black ops helicopters and cars on a secret mission to photograph the members of the grand jury when IN THE SAME FREAKING LETTER Ms. Earp says that an “investigator” was stationed outside the door of the grand jury? And people take this woman seriously? Goodness. If you weren’t convinced of the bat guano political craziness of this bunch of hooligans this statement should remove all doubt. What in Sam Hill was Judge Susan Brown thinking when she appointed this woman to head up a grand jury?

Now, to the statement from DA Lykos:

Harris County District Attorney Responds to Runaway Grand Jury Statement

I especially like this line

The entanglements of certain participants are well known and documented, as are their relationships with the Old Regime and with my previous and current opponents.

because it is so true. The people leading this bogus witch hunt are blinded by their hatred of DA Lykos, so much so that they didn’t care that they were impugning the entire office. Even Ms. Earp had to finally say that “There was no evidence of a crime,”. None, nada, zip, zilch. Just as I said at the beginning of this witch hunt. No, don’t start with your “but, but, ADA Palmer took the Fifth”. Yes, she did, and she was absolutely right to do so. After this farce of a “report” there is no question that the DA’s office handled this affair properly, that the “whistleblower” and her attorney tried to obfuscate her own culpability, and that, after reading thousands of pages of emails and other evidence, it is abundantly clear that the only reason Ms. Earp wanted to ask ADA Palmer questions was in the hope that she would make a mistake and that they could charge her with something, anything, to make this witch hunt seem legitimate.

It didn’t work. Fools.

Perhaps now that this is over, we can get on with the DA’s race. DA Lykos does have some things to answer for. I don’t know if it means anything to voters or not, but it is clear to me, after talking to a couple dozen ADA’s, that she is not well liked by the rank and file. That is an issue for Judge Anderson only if he can make it one. As well, I’ve talked to two union reps that insist that she did in fact ask them for their endorsement, a claim that DA Lykos is on record as having denied. I’ve talked to the Lykos campaign spokesperson and asked for a response but haven’t received one. Who is telling the truth? Yet another potential issue.

But honestly, after this fiasco by the anti-Lykos crowd, those potential issues seem like small potatoes. Judge Anderson has his work cut out for him. He could still win this race but not with shenanigans like this runaway grand jury.

You know what I want to see come out of this farce of a grand jury investigation? That no judge ever again appoint Trisha “Wyatt Earp” Pollard to a grand jury. Ever again. Never, never ever. Use the jury pool – you know, like the other grand jury investigating the HCDAO. No complaints, no leaks, exactly as it should be.

I’ll quote myself (is that sorta like talking in third person?) and give some advice to the anti-Lykos crowd:

Smearing the office and the good prosecutors that remain, many of whom you worked with, is juvenile. Maybe it is time to grow up and move on.