Chuck to be Investigated?


Harris County Judge Ed Emmett (not a real judge, but the county’s chief officer) has called for the Texas Attorney General to investigate Harris County D.A. Chuck Rosenthal. Chuck can, of course, rest assured that the investigation will be wholly apolitical and that his prosecution (if there is one — here at Defending People we presume Chuck innocent of using government equipment and time to work on his reelection campaign; we’re certain that there’s an innocent explanation for the appearance that he used his government email account to kick off his reelection campaign) will be handled with the tact, fairness, compassion and ethics that his office brings to its prosecutions.

If When Chuck resigns, the governor, Republican Rick Perry, will get to appoint someone to replace him. The Harris County Republican Party, which has promised not to endorse a particular Republican candidate before the primary, will break that promise and put a bug in his ear about its preferred candidate so that that candidate can run as an incumbent. The choices are Kelly Siegler (a prosecutor close to Chuck), Pat Lykos (a former cop and former district court judge who has never, as far as I can tell, tried a criminal case as a lawyer), some cop who has so small a chance that I haven’t bothered to learn his name, and Jim Leitner (a former prosecutor and defense lawyer). That’s a pretty broad spread; if the party thinks the voters want more of the same, it’ll push for Kelly. In a primary race among those four I think there would be a runoff between Kelly and Lykos, which Kelly would win (unless the voters found some of the skeletons in her closet too distasteful).

Meanwhile, nobody has bothered to file suit to straighten out the Republican primary ballot mess. Jim Leitner is the most likely plaintiff; he stands to gain the most from getting Chuck back on the ballot and clearing Kelly, Lykos, and the cop off. Time to file a suit is running out.


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