Reyna said he helped define goals for his office by visiting district attorneys’ offices in Williamson and Collin counties. He said those counties’ prosecutors have tough, take-no-prisoners reputations around the state. He wanted to know why.The part that strikes me most about that quote is the sentence, "When I got elected, I started digging around to find out what made a great district attorney’s office." Really? You mean you ran for, and were elected, DA without a clue what it would take to do the job? That's something you started thinking about AFTER election? Yikes!
“When I got elected, I started digging around to find out what made a great district attorney’s office. Williamson County came up throughout the state as one of the top counties for being tough on crime. I want to surpass that. That became my goal,” Reyna said.
Reyna wasn't the only one doing some hard thinking after his election. A third of felony prosecutors in the office (8 of 24) resigned immediately, making Murray Newman's complaints of the talent drain at the Harris DA's office seem meager. Then Reyna announced his first new hires, including a first assistant from Williamson County and senior prosecutor Greg Davis from Collin County, only to have Davis indicted by a Collin County grand jury almost immediately thereafter for tampering with government records, a state jail felony. The Dallas News reported that Davis admitted in court documents to [the DA's Office] altering employee time records to make it appear employees were working when they were not - a charge the DA's office itself had made in gaining indictments against Collin County District Clerk employees. Reyna backed off the decision to hire Davis in light of the criminal proceedings. (Ed. note: The original version made it sound as though Davis himself changed the time records when in fact the News only reported that he filed a motion to recuse the DA's office. I apologize for the misstatement.)
The whole Collin County brouhaha is a complete zoo, with the outgoing DA, the District Clerk, and a district judge in a pissing match that at times has threatened to engulf their whole legal system. Bill Baumbach's Collin County Observer blog is a good place to go to analyze the debacle, since it's one of those instances where you can't tell the players without a program (see here, here, here, here, and here). Given the politicized nature of all of these criminal proceedings - both the ones initiated by Davis and the ones against him - I suspect the charges could be overblown. The incident strikes me as the kind of inevitable, petty infighting that occurs in an environment where Republicans have vanquished all Democrats and begin to turn on one another (witness the Speakers race in the Texas House). Still, Texas' latest John-Bradley wannabe is getting off to a rocky start in Waco.
MORE: See additional coverage of the Collin County indictments from the Dallas News.