Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Every nasty thing you thought about Chuck Rosenthal is probably true


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?


Anonymous said...

I would never defend Chuck Rosenthal's professional behavior as DA. In this instance, isn't he just guilty of not having a personal e-mail account separate from his work e-mail. My friends send me--and whole list of other people--dubious e-mails with racist, sexist, and quite frankly otherwise disgusting (like 2 girls 1 cup stuff) material. I didn't request it, but it got sent to me. I do however keep business conversations limited to my work e-mail and informal and frienly conversations (the sometimes nasty e-mails) to my personal account.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

For me, the distinction would be:

1. He allegedly forwarded some of the offensive material as well as viewed it, according to the Houston Chronicle,

2. He used the email for inappropriate and flirtatious interactions with his secretary while married, and

3. The emails show he allegedly, improperly used county resources for his political campaign.

Those elements are what make it a story, IMO. If nothing else, it shows awfully poor judgment.

As for the emails your friends send you, the world sometimes judges all of us based on the company we keep. IMO such friends should at least be encouraged by public officials to use a private email account, if they insist on keeping such company.

Anonymous said...

... EVERY nasty thing?!?

Anonymous said...

Were you thinking something worse than that he's a hypocrite, a racist, a misogynist, and a philanderer?

Anonymous said...

Chuck can't plead ignorant, he's charged and convicted many a county employee for miss-use of gov't equipment via e-mail (ie the former head of Harris Co probation). Even if you erase all your e-mail, it is still kept by the IT dept.
he has a date with a ffederal judge over erasing his e-mails after they were looking into this; isn't that evidence tampering?

Anonymous said...

You can get in trouble for just sending e-mail??!!


Anonymous said...

Isn't his wife a federal judge in Houston?

Anonymous said...

People, he's a PUBLIC official and it's misuse of his PUBLIC email. It's just that simple. You all can go ahead and send all the crazily inappropriate email you want to at work, as far as I'm concerned, if you work for a PRIVATE company or organization, or on your PERSONAL email. Just please don't waste my tax dollar, or any minute of your tax-paid time, receiving your buddy's latest racist, sexist, disgusting, unfunny email.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous, you suck bringing up the 2 girls thing. I googled it to see what you were talking about, and managed to close the browser b/f I puked.

Anonymous said...

Kelly Seigler? Oh no! Isn't she the one who uses Jailhouse Snitch Testimony to win convictions?

Mark Bennett said...

The answer to your question is "no, he shouldn't retire now." The next 11 months won't be nearly as much fun; jury selections won't be nearly as entertaining (for the defense) without him.

Anonymous said...

I would never defend Chuck Rosenthal's professional behavior as DA myself, because he has NEVER acted in a manor that I would consider professional...

He will go down in history just a half notch down from that horrid political whore Nifong (who should be in jai)!

Rosenthal in my view has always been a lapdog for local political whoredom and a disgraceful politically correct media groveler.

A shlub who cannot be honest enough with his wife to keep his bull-parts in his pants or ask for a divorce is scum and cannot be considered a MAN!

Then to find out that he was giving excessive money to his trollop - where are the feathers and hot tar! OH!. and a rail!