The Rosenthal-Siegler DA's Office (?)

 Posted on January 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

I've referred here a time or two (okay, at every opportunity) to the Chuck Rosenthal-Kelly Siegler DA's Office. An anonymous commenter on Defending People (a prosecutor whose identity is known only to her and me) says that's not fair - that Kelly doesn't share responsibility for the missteps of the Chuck Rosenthal administration. I told her that I was willing to be convinced, but that it sure appears that Kelly has been a member of Chuck's inner circle, and in a managerial position in the office (including a stint in charge of "professional development" - training younger prosecutors), for seven years.

Everyone in that office in a managerial position shares responsibility for the wrongs perpetrated by the office and by its prosecutors unless proven otherwise The presumption of innocence has nothing to do with it: when the captain runs the ship aground, the other officers had better be able to explain where they were and what they did to prevent the allision, if they want to keep their jobs.

It appears that in recent days Harris County prosecutors have become a large part of my readership. This morning in the courthouse no fewer than four prosecutors commented on it (nice blog, or I read your blog, to which I cannot but reply, "well, thank you!").

On her campaign website (look! a judge!) Kelly doesn't mention Chuck Rosenthal once. I'm not sure that will be enough to dissociate her, in the voters' minds, from Chuck.

So, to my new prosecutorial fan base, here's the question: is it fair for voters to hold Kelly Siegler's close professional relationship with Chuck Rosenthal, as well as her positions of rank, respect, and power in the Office, against her when considering her qualifications as a candidate for District Attorney? Or does the buck somehow bypass Kelly on its way to stopping at Chuck?

Why or why not?




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