If Chuck Rosenthal resigns, who is in charge of the DA’s office?
Answer: First Assistant Bert Graham.
For how long?
Until governor Rick Perry appoints a new DA.
Well, who does he appoint?
Maybe Pat Lykos.
So whoever Perry appoints goes into the primary with an advantage.
So the general feeling among prosecutors is that Lykos would be a disaster as a DA.
Well, first, they’re concerned that she’ll come in looking to prove that she’ll change the office, and will gut it. Second, Lykos has a bad reputation for dishonesty from when she was a felony court judge.
Here’s an anecdote: Judge Lykos took long lunches. After at least one such lunch during a jury trial she came back late, keeping the jury waiting. Judge Lykos told the jury that she had admonished the lawyers for coming back from lunch late and keeping the jury waiting.
Is that anecdote true?
I couldn’t swear that it is fact, but I’ve heard it from two independent and reliable sources, one of whom is a criminal district court judge.
She is reported to have referred to a lawyer’s father as an “asshole” and then, when the lawyer filed a motion to recuse her, claimed under oath that she never used such language. A prosecutor in her court swore that she used such language all the time.
Why is a DA’s honesty important?
That’s a stupid question.
How does the defense bar feel about Lykos?
Mostly, they seem to feel about the same about Judge Lykos as the prosecutorial bar.
Same reason, I guess.
What about you?
I don’t know Judge Lykos personally, but I’m reconsidering my former ordering of candidates to raise Kelly Siegler above last place.
Because things could always get worse. A DA who lies to juries and lies under oath would set the wrong example for the office, and might well be worse than another four years of the Rosenthal-Siegler regime.
So what does that have to do with the title of this post?
Ah. If Chuck still cares about the Office, he might see himself as a better caretaker for the next two months than Judge Lykos would be.
The next two months?
After the primary, the governor is likely to appoint the primary winner to the DA’s office if given the opportunity.
And what if Judge Lykos is the Republican candidate?
Let’s cross that bridge when we come to it.
Is there an alternative to Chuck staying in office till after the primary?
Sure. He could negotiate the governor’s promise to appoint a caretaker interim DA.
There are several viable candidates who know how to run a DA’s office and don’t aspire to do so. Former DA Carol Vance and former DA Johnny Holmes come immediately to mind.
Any chance of such a negotiated resolution?
Sorry, that’s way above my pay grade.