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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.” For 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. I 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. While 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.


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