Sheesh, watching all the whining and crying about incoming Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s decision not to retain 37 prosecutors in her administration is like reliving the snowflakes crying about Donald Trump’s win. The Earth didn’t stop revolving then and it isn’t going to stop revolving now. Take a breather already.
Don’t believe me? Have you ever looked at an org chart for the HCDAO? After reviewing the chart and the people that are not moving forward with Ogg, it is clear that the office is going to be just fine. Your friend might not be there and there might be a time when the loss of experience results in having to make an extra phone call or two but the important work of the office will continue. I’ve taken an org chart from November 14, 2016 and highlighted the names of those prosecutors that were on the ‘list’.
Click here to view the highlighted Harris County District Attorney’s Office Organization Chart
See what I’m talking about? There is no need for panic from the general public. Of course, the general public isn’t panicking – this is the start of four years of political attacks on Kim Ogg. Hey, it’s politics, what’d you expect? Remember what these same people did to Pat Lykos?
Straight Ticket Voting is not why Kim Ogg won the election
One of the misconceptions about the election is that the large advantage for Democrats from straight ticket voting is why Kim Ogg won and Devon Anderson lost. That misconception is being spread by people that should know better. I was disappointed to see Judge Bill Burke write this on Facebook:
Okay, let’s be factual. Here are the facts about the DA’s race and a couple of others.
As you can see, Democrat Kim Ogg won easily among voters that did not vote straight ticket. As did Republican Mike Sullivan and Republican Kristin Guiney and about 17 other local Republican judges, all of whom lost their races. So, while straight ticket voting did affect many of the races on the ballot, it is clear that voters of ALL persuasions rejected the status quo at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. In fact, these results highlight that fact. Those of us that voted for Kim Ogg expect, indeed demand, radical changes at the office.
It is time to face the truth. Devon Anderson’s record at the helm of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office and her failure to recognize and correct the problems are the reasons she lost the election. Hopefully Kim Ogg will learn from Anderson’s mistakes and make the Harris County District Attorney’s Office great again. #MHCDAOGA
Nancy Schnell says
Thank goodness someone finally set the record straight. This will not stop the belly-aching and whining from the Anderson camp, however it is a great display of facts.
I personally would like to see straight ticket voting disallowed, as it makes it far too convenient for ill-informed voters to make poor decisions.
In closing, DA elect Ogg stated in a press conference on Friday (paraphrasing) that employees in the DA’s office wanted to be notified ASAP of their employment status. There was no caveat about Christmas.
Greg Degeyter says
The highlighted chart is telling. This wasn’t a mass purge of all or a significant amount of the chiefs. A casual scanning shows a targeted purge with some point in mind.
The only question the public should be asking is will criminals walk because of this action. With the narrow scope involved the answer would appear to be no.
Don Hooper says
I do want to point out that Republicans will not know any of the names of those not asked to return. These folks were not involved in Republican politics, some were involved in Democratic politics and a few were active in LBGT community and politics. A prosecutor’s job is to seek the truth and apply justice. My bet is that if Kim felt you could not do that you were not asked back. If you demonstrated through past actions you were unable to do the job you were not asked back. All of these folks have public personnel files. Anyone can look at them.
Don Sumners says
David, your analysis was right on point. There was a Devon Anderson misstep to justify any Republican voter interested in JUSTICE to vote against her.
Personnel is policy. That’s why not only cabinet secretaries but a lot of deputy secretaries, assistant secretaries and such like will be out of work either on Jan. 20 or shortly thereafter. And, most would have been out of jobs even if Clinton had been elected.
The same holds true of the Harris County DA’s office.
When you look at the names on Kim Ogg’s firing list, you see a lot of people who have serious ethical and/or legal problems. For example, two have been found by district judges to have engaged in unethical conduct by forcing a mistrial to get a second chance at a defendant or knowingly using perjured testimony in a capital case.
A bureau chief being let go heads a large bureau that has a long history of hiding exculpatory information including written statements to the DA’s office by the complainant that the crime never happened. If that bureau chief did not know about and sanction the unethical and illegal conduct, she is too stupid to hold her job.
One division chief heads a division with a long history of going to judges to get orders signed without notice to the defense, so the first the defense lawyer knows something is happening is when he finds out he lost without a chance to file a response. That’s unethical as hell.
Three of the division chiefs who were let go are called by some Republicans “the mean girls” who keep power to themselves. Theyseverely restrict the authority of court chief prosecutors to deal with their cases.
One long-time assistant, a bureau chief, had been promoted by DA Pat Lykos. In 2012, when Mike Anderson beat Lykos in the primary, that person was on TV dancing and celebrating Andeson’s victory over her boss.. Somehow I think Ogg wants and needs a bit more loyalty from her senior staff.
Kim Ogg ran on a platform of reform of the DA’s office. Many of the reforms she is proposing are supported nationwide by both the far left and very conservative think tanks likeTexas Public Policy. Ogg has promised to change the way the DA’s office is run so it won’t engage in the unethical conduct I outlined. If she’s going to do it, she has to have her people in the key management roles.
Some of the people let go were fine people. But they had to go. The best example is Belinda Hill, the first assistant. Judge HIll resigned as a district judge to become Mike Anderson’s first assistant four years ago. She was an outstanding judge and an outstanding first assistant DA. But Ogg needs her own person as her number two..
I don’t know who she’s going to hire. She hasn’t asked me. What I do know is that many of the people she did not retain wouldn’t fit in to the new DA’s office the citizens of Harris County voted in. She has to have people from the top that say, “Do the right thing, do the ethical thing.” She has to have leadership in her office that praises and promotes ethical lawyers, not just lawyers who win.. She has to create a culture of doing the right thing for the victim, the defendant and the citizens of Harris County.
Personnel is policy. Looking at those let go gives us some idea of what Ogg plans to do at the DA’s office. The next look will come probably next week when she announces who was hired or promoted to fill those vacant slots.