Toxic Blog of the Day

The fun and games at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office continues, with demotions following on the heels of firings. Quoth soon-to-be criminal-defense lawyer Murray Newman:

[D.A.-elect Pat Lykos] will fire or demote anyone who dared to even look at another candidate during the D.A.’s race. She proved that
over the past few days with her administrative decisions that, amongst
other things, had her demoting prosecutors from specialty positions
such as White Collar Crime, Appellate, and Consumer Fraud in favor of
some of her political cronies.

Wait: if you’re an employee of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, you shouldn’t be reading that. Why not? Because, according to assistant district attorney Donna Goode, Murray’s blog is “toxic.”

A comment on Murray’s blog, reproduced in its entirety:

Murray, I am a misdemeanor prosecutor who received Donna Goode’s email
calling your blog toxic. I was very disheartened with what she said.
First of all, she indicated that she is going to have to be careful
with what she puts in email because it could end up on the “toxic”
blog. Like my 10 year old nephew says, “NO DUH, DONNA.”

whatever reason, Donna has found herself in good standing with the new
administration (she IS a hard working prosecutor from what I have
heard). But, the fact that she sends us an email calling you toxic is
disturbing. I guess that is sort of the shot accross the bow. Does that
mean we aren’t supposed to be seen with you. With Lykos’ clear
insecurity (demonstrated by demotions and firings), if I am seen with
you does Kate Dolan refuse to promote me, or even worse fire me.

also find it ironic that when I was trying to get a job with this
office, all the turmoil started over what, EMAILS, DONNA. Sheez.

I have no business as a prosecutor telling Donna what to do, let me
give her a professional suggestion from someone who is a part of the
email generation:

Don’t send an email that you wouldn’t want to see on the cover of the Chronicle. Just ask your old buddy Chuck.

Also, please don’t dictate who we can associate with, judge us by our perfromance. Sorry for ranting.

The best way to ensure that something is spread far and wide on the internet is to try to suppress it (see, e.g., the Streisand Effect); welcome to the 21st Century.

Murray’s blog is a conduit for the unpleasant truth. It’s “toxic” only in the way that sunshine is toxic to mold.

A District Attorney could drive herself mad trying for the next 47 months to root out the sources of all of the leaks in the Office that will inevitably find their way to Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center, and thence to Defending People, Grits for Breakfast, and the rest of the world.

A leader, however, wouldn’t have to.

0 responses to “Toxic Blog of the Day”

  1. Mark,

    As one of your adversaries, I have not always agreed with you, but lately I have gained even more respect for you and your thoughtful posts. And, I hate to say it, but you are going to be right when it comes to Lykos.

    I can only hope when we face off again I won’t be the rage of one of your posts. However, I think we will probably have a cold one once we are done yelling at each other; yet knowing we did our jobs to the best of our abilities and maybe balancing freedom versus safety.

    Keep up the good work.


  2. That’s kind. I’ll buy the drinks; maybe eventually I can convince you that freedom is a greater good than safety, and more worthy of your talents.

    I keep violating Napoleon’s Third Rule of Infantry Combat, by the way, but the adversary of my adversary is my ally.

  3. I am not saying that I disagree with you on the FACT that freedom is more important than safety.

    But, you also have to remember that some ADA’s do their job for other reasons than the safety of the community. For example, if an ADA had a child that required continuous medical treatment, and, as you know medical insurance is insanely expensive; working for the county and getting county insurance may just help save that child’s life. So then we enter the realm of safety vs. freedom vs. child vs. fucking insurance companies (sorry for the f bomb but it pisses me off).

    County insurance and the constant paycheck offer some reassurances; so I will never say you are completely wrong in your safety v. freedom argument, because I will normally edge toward the freedom side. But I also have to look at everything, big little blues eyes included.

    I just wish it were possible to find the right balance of safety v. freedom and then work from there; but I think you will need to buy more than one drink for that to happen.

    • ADA, I’m sorry for the slow response. I’ve been thinking about this. The choice between selling one’s soul and losing one’s child isn’t even close. As Edintally says, it’s too bad it’s even an issue.

  4. Universal healthcare would decommodify your labor and allow you to move more freely between jobs. It’s a tragedy of the soul to have to work a job you don’t enjoy because of restrictions on basic needs.

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