Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Every Rose has its thorns

I'm of two minds regarding Judge David Peeple's decision to allow Rosemary Lehmberg to remain in office as Travis County District Attorney following her DWI arrest earlier this year:

On one hand, I agree she shouldn't be removed because other public officials don't routinely get removed from office because of a Class B misdemeanor.

OTOH, I cannot fathom why she would want to remain in office and endure the public humiliation that this trial has put her through. I suppose it was to keep Gov. Rick Perry from appointing a Republican as her successor (Terry Keel and John Bradley were names I heard floated), but given that after 30+ years her retirement must be vested, I can't fathom the thinking behind her cost-benefit analysis. Regardless, congratulations Rose, I guess. Enjoy the rest of your tenure as a running punch-line in Austin and throughout the state. There's no way voters will re-elect you in 2016. That ship has sailed.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

She's already said she's not running for reelection.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

If she said the sun rises in the east it couldn't be any more obvious.

Anonymous said...

I have no doubt she can continue to do her job.
The problem I have is the driving w/a .239 BAC.
That fact is inexcusable, and mandates firing.
The BAC would have been higher if she would have submitted to a breathalyzer, and didn't require a judge signing a warrant.
And where was MADD? Haven't heard much from them.
Did the DA lose her drivers license for a year for refusing to blow in the machine?
Grits you are the best, keep up the good work.
Fred Michaelis

Anonymous said...

Let the bottles of Rosé consumption commmence.

Frank N Stein said...

"A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rose' instead..."Billy Joel.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Instead? In this case, probably "also." And a few vodka tonics to wash them down.

"Scenes from an Italian restaurant" is a great song, but if I were picking Billy Joel lyrics to illustrate this episode, they would be "You told me not to drive. But I made it home alive. So you said that only proves that I'm insane." :)

Anonymous said...

Keen analysis, Grits. She already said she isn't running again.

Anonymous said...

I'd rather retire at the end of my term than resign under a cloud of misconduct. But the idea of Perry appointing another one of his cronies to the office is probably her main motive. I'm sure the democrats in Austin want her to remain in office until the next election. I'm equally sure that Perry would like to have a crony there to run the Public Integrity Unit so they could fleece every agency in the state without worry of prosecution. For now anyway, she remains the only check and balance between Perry and his legion of thief's.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"I'd rather retire at the end of my term than resign under a cloud of misconduct."

Would you rather have your voluminous alcohol purchases (75 bottles of vodka in 15 months) made public or have your friggin therapist on the stand taking about your daddy issues? I can't imagine a more humiliating spectacle. Resignation would have been FAR more dignified.

@8:29, of course she's not. Can you imagine the TV commercials with the jail footage, etc.? Her saying she's not running again only shows she's not completely delusional. It's a choice imposed upon her by reality, not one she made for herself.

Anonymous said...

Nope, I ain't falling for it. Elected, Appointed & those that Inherit governmental positions including everyone charged with any form of law enforcement are to be held to a higher standard.

When we fail to demand the automatic removal from office of those found to have disgraced it, by utilizing a political excuse tied in a neat lil bow, it's still considered bullshit.

This means - that if you put yourself (or allow yourself) in the paying or volunteered position having any form of power over other citizens in which covers the right to arrest, tase, shoot, indict, temporarily remove from society, dispense life and or death sentences, including over seeing misdemeanor & felony judicial proceedings, you don't qualify for leniency.

If we condone one, we must condone all or, risk some SOB coming back a Post or two down the road and reminding us that we had no problem allowing a judge stay on the bench but bitched and moaned when a preacher, teacher, 16 year old, or, police chief committed the exact same crime.

BULLSHIT! It's time to trim the Rose bush down to the roots. She has to go now. Or, anyone charged with a DWI and later found guilty by her will be able to appeal & win on grounds of her ineligibility to judge DWI cases.

Anonymous said...

oopps, meant (... found guilty via her or any of her ADAs' information provided to a jury or judge will be able to appeal and win on grounds of ineligibility to properly prosecute crimes in which the DA her self is guilty of.)

dfisher said...

The Lehmberg saga may not be over yet. On Oct. 21, 2013 I filed a complaint against Judge Peeples for dismissing Lehmberg's jury and stating he along would preside over her removal.

Art. V, Sec 24 of the state constitution states a district judge can remove an elected county officer only after a jury finding. Chapter 87.018 of the TX Gov. Code also requires a jury finding.

Since the constitution requires a jury trial, the defendant cannot waive that requirement.(regardless of what Gerald Treece says.)

Should the Commission on Judicial Conduct find Judge Peeples lack the authority to conduct his dog and pony show, then the Writ of Petition will have to be retried.

Additionally, if David Escamilla doesn't appeal Judge Peeples' trial and ruling, then next week I will file a state bar complaint against him.

I believe the TX Constitution & Statutes are meant to stand for something, regardless of what our leader believe.

Kenneth D. Franks said...

To keep Perry from appointing someone she is going through a lot.
She should have stayed where she was, had someone take her home or even gotten a cab.

Skifool said...

In response to 7:27 pm anonymous' Q on whether DA Lehmberg lost her DL because she didn't "blow into the machine," -- very good Q. I think the blood draw supersedes the intoxilyzer test (breathalyzer is old school & seldom used anymore). Therefore, she does not lose her license? Does it make a difference in the DL suspension whether a person agrees to the blood draw or whether one refuses & it becomes a mandatory blood draw?

Dwight Brown said...

"Would you rather have your voluminous alcohol purchases (75 bottles of vodka in 15 months)"

Have you run the numbers on that, Grits? It works out to about 6 ounces a day, or two to three stiff drinks.

I don't know if that's a "problem" level, but I also don't know if she was drinking all that herself, either. She could have a partner who was drinking some of it, she could be having parties, etc...

(I do think driving around with that high a BAC and an open bottle in the car with you points to a problem. And my personal opinion is that she should resign. But let's be fair.)

Anonymous said...

Two Dallas police officers face firing over off-duty incidents... what is fair?? DMN

Anonymous said...

Actually if you are a juvenile probation officer or detention officer in the state of Texas and you are found guilty of a class B misdemeanor...you WILL LOSE your job. Im not certain of adult officers.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Dwight, let's run the numbers. One shot of vodka is 25 ml, says this source. Converting ml to ounces, we find that six ounces would be about seven shots of vodka per day.

If you drink seven shots of vodka every day, you're a drunk. Is that fair?

I said in the post I don't think she should be fired because, to be "fair," we don't fire other public officials for DWI or their private drinking habits. But's that's a lot of booze to drink every day by any standard.

Dwight Brown said...

Grits:

According to Google, 25 ml works out to 0.845351 ounces. I'm not a heavy drinker, but I'd suggest that a shot of under an ounce seems like a pretty light pour to me.

Wikipedia says "There is no standard size for a single shot, except in Utah, where a shot is defined at 1.5 fl. oz.[14] Elsewhere in the U.S., the standard size is generally considered to be 1.25–1.5 fl. oz.[15][16]". So we're at more like four shots than seven.

I usually use about 2 to 3 ounces of gin when I make a martini, depending, so that would be two to three martinis. (Assuming you use equivalent amounts of vodka to gin. Honestly, I only grudgingly admit the existence of vodka martinis, so I don't have a lot of experience mixing them.)

I'm almost willing to concede the point that four shots a night every night, by one person, is kind of problematic. But as I pointed out earlier, much of this argument is predicated on the idea that Ms. Lehmberg was the only one pounding drinks, as opposed to other people in her household sharing the vodka.

Anonymous said...

I believe that Lehmberg's refusal to resign is motivated by her desire to prevent John Bradley's appointment to the Travis DA position. Her willingness to endure continued public humiliation to avoid a Bradley regime is something to admire.

Anonymous said...

She drives drunk, is sentenced to 45 days in jail and loses her drivers license for 6 months. I drove once with an expired drivers license and mine was suspended for a year. What a crooked state Texas is.