Friday, February 07, 2014

Bully Bexar DA strikes back against lawyer who alleged sexual dalliance

In seeming retaliation for airing her own dirty laundry, Bexar County DA Susan Reed's office is seeking a contempt finding against prominent attorney Michael McCrum, a former federal prosecutor and prominent Democrat, alleging he told a witness under subpoena to "get lost for a while" to avoid testifying against one of his clients last fall.

Among the courthouse crowd, however, it's widely believed that Reed's latest salvo against McCrum smacks of retaliation. Last summer, McCrum alleged bias on the part of the Bexar DA in a successful motion for a new trial on behalf of dermatologist Dr. Calvin Day, who was accused of sexually assaulting a patient. McCrum alleged in court documents that Susan Reed engaged in a one-night stand in Las Vegas with Dr. Day and that prosecutors withheld Brady material about a key witness. Reed denied the liaison to the press, which dutifully downplayed the specifics, but Day testified to the matter under oath and passed a polygraph. The court granted him a new trial.

Here's a copy of McCrum's motion on behalf of Dr. Day that some think sparked this latest counterattack. Check it out, it's quite a read. Grits would like to obtain a copy of the transcript from the hearing on that motion to get the whole story, but it's a tad expensive and, as it turns out, it's been a while since I've asked readers for donations so blog funds are running low. If you'd like to contribute to Grits following up on this, donate via the Paypal button in the right-hand column or email me at and I'll give you an address to send a check.

Also last year, McCrum accused the DA's office of witness tampering in a case involving alleged misconduct by two fired Sheriff's deputies after county employees were told they couldn't speak to defense counsel unless prosecutors were present. And he represented DA Reed's former personal driver, Mark Gudanowski, when he was accused - and ultimately acquitted - of illegally selling Southwest Airlines vouchers, some of which were used by Reed and her First Assistant Cliff Herberg. McCrum has a reputation of someone not afraid to stand up to the Bexar DA, a distinction not many local defense lawyers care to cultivate.

Courthouse wags might not be as quick to suggest a tit for tat except that Reed has developed a reputation for persecuting those who stand up to her. Just this week, her office had to dismiss charges in an embezzlement case where prosecutors famously subpoenaed papers off the defense counsel's desk during trial and alleged an attorney had conspired with his client to steal them - charges that never came to fruition. The local defense bar called out the DA's office for prosecutorial misconduct and the judge ordered a mistrial. The heavy-handed tactics badly backfired and now the defendant won't be prosecuted.

Another example: when the Legislature authorized a pilot needle exchange program in Bexar County, Reed nixed it by threatening to prosecute anyone who participated.

So close observers are used to this sort of domineering behavior from the Bexar DA. Whether or not Reed's office succeeds in securing a contempt order against Mr. McCrum, they've already sent their desired message to the local defense bar: Either kiss butt when you're told or face retaliation if you try to stand up to bullies in the prosecutor's office.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And, not one damn thing will happen, which fully explains the in-your-face occurrence(s) in all 254 counties (but, rarely reported about). The children being taught Not to bully and bully anyway, will use the Reed Defense. Sad shit isn't it

If one was to gather up all of the Articles published in Texas regarding District Attorneys & their Assistants relating to: any & all forms of - Prosecutorial Misconduct (i.e., but not limited to: bullying, intimidating, manipulation, tampering with witnesses, tampering with evidence, falsifying evidence, fabricating evidence, strong-arm, etc....

They'ed have enough material for a: book, reality show and made for TV documentary airing right after the hot steaming pile of bullshit - Cold Justice.