Thursday, February 16, 2012

Of Crime and Contempt

As the old saying goes, there is no rest for the wicked . . .

The Houston Chronicle is reporting tonight that Pat Lykos is about to be the recipient of the Office's fourth special prosecutor since October.  The Texas Rangers have asked Judge Belinda Hill to appoint a Special Prosecutor to assist them in their investigation of the Harris County District Attorney's Office.

Now, as we all know from events of the past two weeks, the Rangers had been investigating Lykos' Office for several days before Lykos sent them a letter asking them to investigate her and tell the public that it was her idea.  Given Lykos' penchant for "recycling" (taking an already existing good idea and claiming it for her own), this should not have been a shock to anyone.  In the three years that we have all come to know and love Pat Lykos as District Attorney, she has now claimed to have initiated the Victim Witness Division, the Cold Case Division (twice) and now, an investigation into herself.

Nevertheless, poor Pat was still caught off guard and had to storm out of her own press conference when asked about the Rangers' investigation.  I mean, come on, Pat!  If you are going to launch an investigation into yourself you really should anticipate questions about it during a press conference about yourself.

The question now is, what exactly are the Rangers investigating and what was on the computers that they took out of Special Crimes on Tuesday?

Here are some interesting points to consider:

1)  Special Crimes has its own little world on the 5th Floor.  They are the Navy SEALS of the District Attorney's Office, right down to the special technology.  When the Rangers started hauling stuff out of Special Crimes, they weren't taking information from the entire Office's computer servers (like an e-mail search akin to the one that brought down Chuck Rosenthal).  They were taking Special Crimes equipment -- the type of equipment generally used for surveillance.

2)  From Patricia Pollard's letter condemning the District Attorney's Office, we know that there are allegations the District Attorney's Office performed some sort of surveillance in an effort to either stonewall or intimidate the Grand Jurors.  These allegations are what led Lykos to make her statement stating there had not been an "investigation" into the jurors.

3)  There have been rumors running rampant that the Grand Jury room was bugged.  As much as I dislike Pat Lykos and think that she and her upper-echelons are about as sleazy and underhanded as they come, I cannot imagine that she would be stupid enough to actually place illegal wiretaps within the Grand Jury room.  I mean, she's dumb, but she's not that dumb.

4)  The latest rumors that I am hearing, however, do sound a little more plausible to me as something that Pat Lykos and the Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight would do.  The rumors are that Lykos and the upper echelon witnesses who were called into the 185th District Court Grand Jury miked themselves up before testifying.

Now, before Dave Jennings can jump in the Jollymobile and rush to Lykos' defense with his usual "this is no big deal," let me point you to Article 20.02 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure which states [in part]:

     (a) The proceedings of the grand jury shall be secret.
     (b)  A grand juror, bailiff, interpreter, stenographer or person operating an electronic recording device, or person preparing a typewritten transcription of a stenographic or electronic recording who discloses anything transpiring before the grand jury, regardless of whether the thing transpiring is recorded, in the course of the official duties of the grand jury shall be liable to a fine as for contempt of the court, not exceeding five hundred dollars, imprisonment not exceeding thirty days , or both such fine and imprisonment.


So, if Lykos is proclaiming that she didn't commit a crime, I suppose she's right --  as long as you don't consider contempt of court a crime.  If you are a student of Lykos' "B.S. Your Way through a Crisis" Game, it should be pretty easy to see where she and her Crew will be going with this.

Expect a statement very similar to this one in the near future from Pat Lykos:

"Neither I nor any member of my office have committed any crimes.  Given the nature of this politically motivated Grand Jury committing an improper and illegal investigation into this office, we sought to protect ourselves by taping the proceedings for our own records."

And if Judge Susan Brown holds them in contempt (as mandated by the Code of Criminal Procedure), guess what Lykos and Crew will do then?

Claim that is politically motivated as well, of course.

Oh, and as a side note, if you are already reading along at home from your copy of the Code of Criminal Procedure, hop over to article 19.42 which reads [in part]:

      . . . information collected by the court, court personnel, or prosecuting attorney during the grand jury selection process about a person who serves as a grand juror, including the person's home addres, home telephone number, social security number, driver's license number, and other personal information, is confidential and may not be disclosed by the court, court personnel, or prosecuting attorney.


So, even if Chief Investigator Don McWilliams didn't consider what he was doing to be an "investigation," he certainly was looking into information that his Office was prohibited from having since they had been recused from the 185th's investigation.

Just saying.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, my first piece of advice to all the folks who work for Pat Lykos is, don't rob a bank or commit any other crimes with her because she might call the cops before you can make your get-away.

Patsy is proving (for the umpteenth time) that she REALLY has no clue what she is doing and is still breaking shovels in the bottom of that deep, deep hole.

The crimes and violations are becoming more focused:

1. disclosing the names and personal information of the 185th Grand Jurors after they were sealed, in violation of Judge Susan Brown's Court Order. Guilty.

2. Ordering the Chief Investigator to perform a political inquisition against said Grand Jurors, Judges Susan and Mark Brown, political opponent Mike Anderson and all their family, relatives, AND neighbors. Guilty.

3. Using Harris County personnel, equipment (automobile, computer, office facility)to conduct said inquisition. Using Accurint Database paid for by Harris County to query said individuals for political purposes. Guilty.

4. Lying to the news media and the public about said unlawful acts in furtherance of the conspiracy between her, Leitner, and the Chief Investigtor. Guilty.

5.Violating her Oath of Office to uphold the laws of Texas and of the United States. Guilty.

Pat Lykos is a disgrace to the office of District Attorney and needs to resign forthwith.

Anonymous said...

Many of us heard Vollman say " If I were testifying before the 185th I'd wear a wire". None of us thought anybody would be stupid enough to do it. His cannot be true can it?

Anonymous said...

She is a pathetic example for the people she leads. Lykos teaches to lie, cheat and ignore the law in order to get your way.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:55

Come on now, you really have to ask that question?

I think Pat and her favored few will do anything at all when cornered. That group is simply put, a bunch of bullies with power.

It will be a blessing for the office to be done with that faction.

Hurry up justice you are moving so slow.

Anonymous said...

The DAs office looks like the Italian cruise ship barely afloat.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully they will appoint a out of town special prosecutor with no ties or prior association with the HCDA's office. At least pick an honest and respected defense attorney if you're going to stay local.

Tritico would be a good choice. Gerald Goldstein of San Antonio. Joe James Sawyer, Roy Minton or Joe Turner of Austin.

Jigmeister said...

You would hope that Belinda would appoint someone who has some experience working with Rangers and who has handled grand jury investigations. But that might not be so easy. Most have already developed a bias, decided to support other candidates or are thoroughly discusted by now. Anyone have any ideas?

A Harris County Lawyer said...

Hell, it doesn't matter, Jigmeister. Whoever it is, Lykos supporters will get on Ancestry.com and trace their heritage back to Mike Anderson somehow.

B. Todd Dillon said...

(See my comment under the previous post)

Yep, right back to a legal thriller.

Anonymous said...

I heard the rumor that the grand juries were wired years ago. I even heard grand juries would write things down sometimes in case they were being taped.

I thought it was just paranoia; I never thought anyone would be that brazen and stupid. Then again, I never thought anyone would be stupid enough to investigate them either.

Anonymous said...

Is Pat Lykos going to order a "not an investigation" into herself for writing the Texas Rangers and asking them to investigate her for doing a "not an investigation" on the the members of the Grand Jury?

Anonymous said...

I came up with KHOU's headline:

"Award-Winning, Tough DA Seeks Special Prosecutor"

Hope that helps, guys.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:10, if it is any consolation, no one has been looking up to her. We have roundly rejected her for years. The vast majority of the office has been quietly whispering and cheering her demise. To know her is to despise her and no one knows her better than the "rank and file." The biggest travesty is that she is bringing down the name of the Office so many care about, not just her name, with each of her moves.

Anonymous said...

Lets see here! Guilty until proven innocent?

Anonymous said...

Johnny Sutton Interview - gives advice "don't be cute."

http://www.scottbraddock.com/2012/02/lykos/

Thomas Hobbes said...

Not for nothing, Murray, but I couldn't help noticing that your excerpt from 20.02 CCP, while identifying a number of actors specifically, clearly does not reference a burden on witnesses. So, if a witness wired him/herself, would he/she really run afoul of anything more than a local rule?

Anonymous said...

Everything leads to something else. Then back again.

Ok, here goes: Based just on comments made on this Blog - and the poll taken - it's fair to say at least 51% of her employees - all of them do not respect her; Think she is incompetent and wears "Prada" - ahem (sorry).

Now the shit hole has gotten deeper and the human fecal matter is filling it up fast.

Rightly so, there has been a lot of complaining here and this Blog HAS been an excellent outlet for those affected to - at a minimum - "vent".

Now what? I know, I know, you think I'm going to start the whole "get your 25 names together, etc., etc., - hopefully the whole voting thing is a no brainer.

Go back to the press conference with Lykos trying to read some prepared statement about welfare fraud and Oberg became the fly in the ointment. Did you see who was standing prominently standing front and center before Lykos spoke? It was Ms. Cabanas, the Head of Crime Stoppers.

Cattle call to all in the know: NOW is the time to make some coin, keep your job, and have a real tangible effect in helping Ms. Lykos out of the door. Yep! Call crime Stoppers and tell what you know. Bunker Reporter, Molle, Molle - mole, or investigator, secretary, prosecutor, whomever, cash in. God knows you need the money.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't all that long ago that the DA in Ft. Bend co. got his tit in a wringer for publicly disclosing Grand Jury testimony. Look what that got him. This is worse!

Anonymous said...

A witness wearing a wire in the Grand Jury is probably not in violation of the law UNTIL and UNLESS they disclose the information to a separate party. All witnesses swear an oath to keep secret the matters under discussion.

Anonymous said...

From the REPUBLICAN Front:

I attended Downtown Pachyderm Club yesterday where Mike Anderson was the only speaker. Pat was originally supposed to speak also, but she bailed out a while back. Leitner was there, but only as an observer. It was very possibly a record crowd.

Anderson gave a fabulous speech, and the crowd loved him. He received great applause. Many times he had the crowd roaring with laughter at all his off-the-cuff humor. I had no idea he could be so funny!

What a great candidate!

Republican Activist

Anonymous said...

Johnny Sutton. Bring him in from Austin as the special prosecutor.

Anonymous said...

Actually this wil make the "Fif" special prosecutor:
Mount and St.Martin for 185th gj
Downey for 232nd gj
Chris Tritico for contempt matter for Hobbs and Morris fingering the transcripts
And now the to be named player for Rangers

1,2,3,4,5!

Anonymous said...

Doug Perry for Special Prosecutor!

Anonymous said...

Kelly Siegler would make a fine Special Prosecutor

Anonymous said...

I had to swear secrecy when I testified in front of a grand jury (not in this hot mess!).

Anonymous said...

I don't consider contempt a crime as in a criminal act. I have handled a number of contempt proceedings both in civil and criminal court and it seems a contempt action is quasi criminal in nature. It is essentially a civil proceeding with some criminal protections afforded the respondent (notice not the defendant) since jail time is a potential consiquence. But consider this, if Don McWilliams was, in good faith, doing a "criminal investigation" of grand jury leaks for Lykos , then I want the various police, constable and sheriffs departments to accept complaints from divorced parents when they are seeking a contempt action to enforce provisions of the divorce decree or other litigants seeking to enforce a court's orders. Following Lykos' theory of what is a criminal act, Don McWilliams or the Rangers investigating grand jury leaks opens a new door in the responsibilities of law enforcement. If that door is now open, I would urge every person who needs an investigation done for a contempt action to see their local law enforcement agency, Don McWilliams or Pat Lykos.

BLACK INK said...

Anon 8:45,

Kelly Siegler would be the perfect Special Prosecutor from an academic standpoint.

Siegler has a great working relationship with the Texas Rangers, knows the HCDAO well and is a brilliant prosecutor.

Notwithstanding, from a practical standpoint Siegler's appointment would be political suicide playing into the conspiratorialists mantra as did the earlier selection of Steven St. Martin.

I do agree with you that whoever is appointed needs to be of Siegler's caliber.

Rusty Hardin or Mac Secrest would be immune from Lykos spin and well up to task.

Anonymous said...

Make John B Holmes, Jr.the special prosecutor. He is not political. He is what we all consider honest, with intergrity, and will do the right thing.

Anonymous said...

+ 1 for JBH, Rusty or Secrest.

day 16 said...

"We are eager to show the public all the evidence in this case." - Patricia R. Lykos (2/1/12)

"The Harris County District Attorney’s Office has long been eager to share what we know with the public. Now that the grand jury’s proceedings have ended, we will be responding—vigorously.

In the days to come, our website—HarrisCountyDA.com—will feature a new section devoted to setting the record straight." (source: www.harriscountyda.com).

Ms. Lykos:

Hi. Wow - TGIF, right? It is getting crazy out here. We are tirelessly working trying to calm this storm, but ... wow! If only we had something to show the folks...

Radical concept: Let's release all that evidence. It's perfect timing - a little late, but still perfect.

Okay, good chat. Oh, don't forget - eye concealer is a girl's best friend. TTFN.

Sincerely,

- the public

Anonymous said...

The "Trials to Watch" Section of the DAs page is still blank a week after my comment -- I mean, I am sure Patsy is reading this blog. I would like to know what business my tax dollars are paying to actually get done at the DA's office these days... besides non-investigations, into non-investigations...

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Newaz appoint as Special Prosecutor, just so if Lykos is convicted he can turn to her and say "Who's incompetent now, Bitch?"

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, Newaz, good one! And his amazing wife wasn't directly involved in that nonsense. She would do nicely.

I can't think of anyone who has actually talked to Lykos, has no problem with her, and isn't on the 6th floor. They'll have to go with someone who has never met her and/or lives under a rock.

Anonymous said...

To the Harris County Lawyer: I've made this observation before, and hate to do so again - but. I'm sure Lykos would like the appointment of a "special prosecutor", as opposed to an attorney pro tem. A "special prosecutor" is an attorney, not part of the DA's staff, who is enlisted to assist the DA in a particular case. [see, State v. Rosenbaum, 852 S.W.2d 525, 529 (Tex. Crim. App. 1993). The position is also referenced in TEX.CODE CRIM.PROC., art. 2.01. What the Texas Rangers presumably have requested is the appointment of an attorney pro tem - see Judge Hill's "comments" to Rogers in Comical. (see, TEX.CODE CRIM.PROC., art. 2.07 for statutory authority). I only remake this point since it appears everyone contributing to the blog has used the term "special prosecutor."
Calvin A. Hartmann

Anonymous said...

The following drivel comes from Gary Polland's Website:

"It has come to our attention that several notable supporters of District Attorney candidate Mike Anderson have stated that they will not support District Attorney Pat Lykos if she wins her re-nomination bid in the upcoming Republican Primary Election. TCR is disgusted by this "I'm taking my marbles and going home" attitude. We believe that there is nothing wrong with a robust primary process, provided that Republicans unite behind our Republican nominees against the Democrats. TCR calls on Mike Anderson to ask his supporters to do the right thing and pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, not the Democrat. If the Anderson supporters still refuse, then Mike Anderson should demonstrate his commitment to our Republican candidates and publicly reject the support of this politically disloyal minority--surely he doesn't need their "marbles" that badly."

This is hysterical for a number of reasons. Not only is Polland a Lykos supporter who gave her a hit list upon her coronation in 2008, but he also took forty thousand dollars from democrat Mayor Parker to endorse her in the city election in November. Really Gary, why didn't you support the Republican in that race? Maybe because they didn't have $41k for you. Oh I know, city elections are non partisan right?

Stick to making your millions at tax payer expense in the juvie courts. I suspect that the most notable supporter you speak of is former Republican District Attorney John B. Holmes Jr. While I would not presume to speak for him, I imagine that he does not give a rat's ass what you think!

Anonymous said...

Other items the Rangers and the FBI need to look at:

1. Lykos administration's use of federal grant money. The way Lykos shuffles that money around. Is it legal?

2. Lykos administration's use of asset forfieture and bond forfieture money. Any of that go for her personal office expansion (aka--the main bunker) or the hard wood flooring in the bunker? Or for the pastel paint on Roger's walls?

3. Roger's timesheets. What time do we arrive? What time do we go home? Do we even come into work? What do the timesheets from inside the pastel bunker say?

4. Same for Hanah.

5. Where's the money coming from for 3 media consultants? Federal grant money shuffled around for that? Are media consultants used for campaign purposes? If not, then what do they do exactly. Never had such hires before Lykos.

6. Where did the money come from for Pat to send her friend to Austin to lobby the Leg despite the fact that the Office sent--as it always has--a highly qualified felony chief prosecutor to monitor and lobby the Leg along with TDCAA?

7. How Pat forced her way onto TDCAA board of directors?

8. Lana Shadwick's timesheet. Were we campaining? Or were we working? Or were we campainging from work? What do our timesheets say? What does our computer say (somebody needs to do an open records act request here for sure!!)? Why did Pat bring Shadwick aboard at a high rate of pay despite Shadwick having NO criminal law experience? Smacks of political favor! Isn't that against the law?

9. The 6 or maybe even 7 figure reimbursment requests that Pat has made for traveling around the country--even outside the continental 48? And by the way, what expertise does somebody who has only tried one criminal case (as a criminal defense lawyer--not as a prosecutor) over 30 years ago say or do on such junkits?

10. Do an open records act request for the computer records of all Lykos Lap Dogs. People like Lance can't help himself. Where there has been smoke, his computer has certainly been on fire!! He can't help himself. And by the way, Jim, Pat...if you want to find the mole......

Just sayin'

Anonymous said...

Very sad pathetic political gamesmanship going on here by a true political hack. First GARY, no strawman illogical crap. Before you "Call", place your "bet" and name names. Second, for the love of God have you no shame? To talk of such potentially very serious criminal investigatory matters at any stage in the manner in which you do - especially when it is no secret which candidate you sre NOT supporting - Mike - is shameless and exactly what THIS TEXAS RANGER investigation does not need...more politics!

How's the juvenile appointment business going btw?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that Murray gets double digit hits for each post. Jolly is averaging about 4, if you count Hooper twice.

#Powertothepeople

Anonymous said...

IS Bob Bennet still with us?

Best criminal lawyer in Houston, probably Texas, maybe the nation.

If not ask his son Todd. You cannot find a better, more credible, impartial special prosecutor/attorney pro tem.

No disrespect Murray, just to stay away from the fray.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:38 2-16-12 again:

I suggested some Austin lawyers who have outstanding reputations just because folks like Hardin, Mac and Sutton all have strong connections to Holmes and others in the office.

To me, and Calvin is right, what is needed is a pro tem, by bringing in an outsider like Joe James Sawyer, Joe Turner, Roy Minton or Gerald Goldstein, some transparency would be provided and if some wrongdoing is found, they could be counted on to be as hardcore as Kelly would be.

There are tons of great, ethical defense lawyers with the ability to lead this probe for the Rangers. And Bob Bennett would be an excellent man for the job as well. He has integrity, ethics and back in the sixties when he was a prosecutor, he was the shizazz. His son might be great, but Bob would be better.

Anonymous said...

Bob was the "shizazz". He kicked my butt around the court room and I am better lawyer for it.

Fred Wilson

Anonymous said...

By the way, Gary Polland is in survival mode. He needs Pat Lykos more than she needs him. Any other DA would investigate the justice being served in the Juvenile Courts.

#breadbuttered

Anonymous said...

PBS was running an ad about being the most trusted name in TV. They featured spots from some of their best shows like the News Hour.

I do not know if upper management at PBS knows that a person doling out political endorsements is airing a show on Houston PBS.

PBS is a wonderful network. People like Polland have no business being on the channel.

Anonymous said...

So I dvr'd that black and blue show with Polland and Jones. No agenda by Polland on that one! Jeez what a massive load of crap. Mitcham looked crazed rambling about Palmer being arrested. Somehow I missed the cuffs on the perp walk. He also bitched about her subpoena being public. What a joke. I saw on 13 Palmer handing out copies of the motion to quash on the third floor of the courthouse. It was all about the Lunar Rendezvous Queen sayin God is good so she could get her 15 minutes. We all saw it.

Ray Hunt was great. Bennett actually seemed sane.

Maybe next week Polland can have his favorite check writing republican, Mayor Parker on the show.

Anonymous said...

So what did Judge Belinda Hill do about the Rangers' request for a prosecutor pro tem? Did she make a decision?