Also, Firings Will Continue Till Morale Improves

Following the politically-motivated firing of several prosecutors perceived as dangerous to her regime, Harris County’s soon-to-be District Attorney Pat Lykos has taken further steps to improve morale in the Office.

The bold steps taken were, to be honest, a surprise to me. I expected the measures to include the announcement of a barbecue, or maybe a cocktail party using forfeited assets in the style of our near northern neighbors — something that I could make fun of here. Cut-rate cigarette machines in the hallways wouldn’t have surprised me. Any of these might have served to soothe the shaky nerves of prosecutors who don’t know what missteps might lead to unemployment.

But no! Not big enough! Not enough change! It’s all about change! Change in the Harris County DA’s Office! Pat Lykos takes change seriously! Henceforth, in the Harris County District Attorney’s office . . . wait for it . . . wait for it . . . female prosecutors will still be allowed to wear pants!!! (Meet the new boss . . . .)

Never mind that recent history proves that the new boss will lie to the troops, and never mind that prosecutors, male and female, don’t know what they can or can’t say at the risk of losing their jobs and their health insurance; what the Harris County DA’s Office needs to know is that the women will still be able to wear pant suits. That makes everything alright! Can you feel the tension dissipating already?

The Reassurance Of The Pants was delivered by Pat Lykos’s soon-to-be First Assistant, Jim Leitner, recently a criminal-defense lawyer. Jim is, in a large way, responsible for Pat Lykos’s election: he ran against Pat and Kelly Siegler in the Republican primary; Pat and Kelly joined the ballot after the deadline. As the only person with standing to sue, Jim could have removed both Pat and Kelly from the ballot, and been the Republican candidate himself.

I believed at the time that it was his high sense of honor that restrained him from doing so. But now Jim is also the one who wields the hatchet for Pat Lykos.

So that’s got to help put the troops at ease.

0 responses to “Also, Firings Will Continue Till Morale Improves”

  1. I’m sure I got the accent wrong, and I don’t know enough for local color, but maybe . . .

    “I want you to go out and stir up the troops. Reassure them. Tell them everything is going to be fine.”

    “Yes, Ma’am. Can I tell them that the firings and demotions of the prosecutors who opposed you during the primary were a mistake and that you’ve reconsidered?”

    “No. Politics 101, Jim. You have to reward your friends and punish your enemies. There’s going to be carrots, but there have to be sticks, too.”

    “Yes’m. And my suggestion? I know it’s kind of thinking outside the — ”

    “No. I like the idea, really I do, but I can’t go trying misdemeanors with the babies, just to get some experience.”

    “I think it would show some humility, and — ”

    “You’ve lived in Texas your whole life, Jim. In what fucking corner of this fucking state is there some fucking premium on humility?”

    “Well, I’ll give ya that, Ma’am. So I can’t tell them that they can speak their minds freely, and I can’t tell them that you’re going to get some courtroom experience with misdemeanors before you grab a high-profile to try yourself, so what can I tell them.*”

    “You can tell them who’s wearing the fucking pants around here.”

    * Yes, I know there should be a question mark there, but Robert B. Parker always uses a period in this sort of situation, and he knows what he’s doing.

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