Over the strenuous objections of District Attorney Craig Watkins, Dallas County commissioners voted Tuesday to hire an outside lawyer to advise them about an investigation they ordered into the activities of two constables.While Watkins deserves credit for his office's continuing work on innocence cases, his ham-handed catfight with the Commissioners Court has devolved into dysfunctional disaster. He seems not to understand which decisions in the local political system are his to make and which are theirs. So a majority on the court decided to teach the rookie DA the political version of the Golden Rule: He who has the gold, makes the rules.
By a 3-1 vote, commissioners selected Dallas lawyer Sidney H. Davis Jr. A contract was expected to be signed by the end of the day Tuesday, officials said.
Watkins, who clashed with commissioners for months over budget cuts, said they acted outside their authority Tuesday and that his office will file an injunction against them before Friday in an attempt to block the move.
"They're usurping the power of this office," he said. "It's never been done before."
The contract will pay Davis $300 an hour and $200 an hour for his associates.
This is not worth fighting over. Let them hire whoever they want, Mr. Watkins, that's their business - yours should be running the District Attorney's office, and you can't focus on that while you're spending your days in a media pissing match with the Commissioners Court. You've got an important election next year and you won't help your cause being shrill and reactive every time your critics bait you.