I've thought Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal was pretty darn awful for years, but the revelations about emails recovered from his county computer seem unfathomably stupid and juvenile, even bigoted, basically confirming every nasty assumption his enemies ever made about him.
For example, in a city with a large African American population, whom the criminal justice system disproportionately prosecutes, imagine finding on the DA's computer, according to KHOU:
an e-mailed photo ... of an African-American man lying on his back on a sidewalk and seemingly unconscious. He is surrounded on one side by watermelon, that has clearly been eaten, and an empty fried chicken bucket on the other. The photo’s sender is unknown, but it does have a title with it: “Fatal Overdose.”That doesn't sound like any spam I've ever received. Another email, this one borderline misogynist, came to Rosenthal from the husband of one of the current DA candidates:
It’s from a Web site showing unsuspecting women getting their clothes ripped off on public streets. The sender was Dr. Sam Siegler, Rosenthal's personal physician, friend and the husband of Assistant District Attorney Kelly Siegler. She is now a Republican candidate for district attorney.
“I didn't intend for it to be offensive. I didn't e-mail anybody that I thought would be offended by it,” Dr. Siegler told 11 News.
I wonder if that was the same thinking of the person who sent the picture of the black fellow overdosed on watermelon? Perhaps the sender didn't email anybody they thought would be offended?
What may get Rosenthal in the most hot water, though, is evidence that he routinely, cavalierly used county employees to perform campaign work. I've heard that accusation in the past, but these revelations put a hard edge on them that may wind the DA up in court.
The Chuckster has already announced he won't run for re-election, but that may not be enough. He might not be able to functionally run the agency with these kind of revelations coming out in dribs and drabs over the next year before he leaves office. Maybe it's time Chuck Rosenthal retire now, and put him entirely out of his (our?) misery. What do you think?