Friday, October 19, 2012. Jim Leitner’s last day as First Assistant District Attorney at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Jim is board certified in criminal law with three decades of experience as a prosecutor, defense lawyer, and appellate attorney. After serving as a Harris County Assistant District Attorney, Jim served as the First Assistant District Attorney in Bell and Lampasas counties. Additionally, Jim retired as a Commander with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves after 26 years of service. He was activated during Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
This is the resume of the man who has led the Harris County District Attorney’s Office over the last four years. What this resume does not say is the fact that Jim Leitner is an honorable, genuine, and good human being and lawyer.
During the demise of Chuck Rosenthal in 2007 – 2008, multiple prosecutors and “leaders” at the Harris County District Attorney’s Office begged Jim to run for District Attorney. “Please run – you are our only chance,” said many of them. After prayer and consideration, Leitner made the decision to seek the office of Harris County District Attorney. Quickly afterwards, the majority of the prosecutors abandoned Leitner’s campaign and placed their support behind their gal, Kelly Siegler. After Pat Lykos defeated Siegler, the prosecutors began begging Leitner to serve as First Assistant in a Lykos administration because they saw that as their “only way.”
Again, after prayer and consideration, Leitner abandoned a very successful criminal defense practice and took the position of First Assistant. Within days, the same prosecutors who begged him to run for District Attorney and serve as First Assistant turned on him. Of course, the leader of that group was Louis Murat “Murray” Newman IV, an individual who was twice fired from the office. After Lykos was elected, Leitner told Newman and approximately fifteen other staff members that they would not be retained in a Lykos administration. Newman responded by posting this [as posted – no grammatical corrections made]:
On the 12 Days of Christmas, Pat Lykos gave to the Harris County Assistant DAs:
12 jurors chosen witout a preemptive strike used by the state;
11 free “crooked cop passes” from Mr. Police Integrity himself……Clint Greenwood;
10 internal memos re: unprofessionalism of reading toxic, antiregime blogs at work;
9 new ashtrays for the 6th floor smoking lounge;
8 days of Lykos Hell every single week;
7 insulted yarmulka-wearing witnesses;
6 emails from my family wanting an explanation for why I won’t be visiting as planned for New Years;
5 new pantsuits;
4 free tickets for a reception on January 1, 2009 that I’m forced to attend;
3 washed out judges;
2 Leitner balls; and
A little troll from a spider hole….
Following this post, Ken Magidson, the interim District Attorney, fired Newman. So, from that moment forward, Newman began posting grotesque untruths about Lykos, Leitner, and anyone perceived to be affiliated with the Lykos administration. This included multiple posts about Leitner’s genitals and even cruel posts about his wonderful wife and family.
It is now clear that, from the beginning, the same prosecutors who begged Leitner to run and serve as First Assistant worked against him and every “friend” of the Lykos administration. Even individuals working as “leaders” within the office have steadily worked against Leitner simply to prove the point that they run the courthouse. Within minutes of a meeting inside the office, the certain specific details would be published on Newman’s blog. This occurred time and time again – even with sensitive data.
At this point, a reader with no link to the courthouse may think that this is simply a “he said, she said” and choose to not “take sides.” Let me offer this piece of evidence that, I believe, will make you change your mind.
On Sunday, July 26, 2009, at 11:00 a.m., someone from inside of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office accessed Leitner’s computer and served him with a warning.
So, someone who is tasked with providing justice to our community accessed Leitner’s computer and told him that the “war” over the courthouse was not over. If this sounds too ridiculous to be true, I agree with you that it is ridiculous; but, unfortunately, this political war over the courthouse is real. Now, maybe you can understand that the use of the 185th Grand Jury as a political weapon was true as well.
It is important to me that the public has access to the truth about Leitner and the other honest leaders within the Lykos administration. Newman and many bad actors within the office have worked to bring dishonor based upon lies to many good people and, unfortunately, Jim is just one example.
The people of Harris County lose with his exit from the office. The people who have systematically spread lies and undermined his leadership, including Mike Anderson and Murray Newman, owe Harris County citizens and Jim Leitner an apology. Certain members of the media, including Ted Oberg, owe Jim Leitner and our citizens an apology for serving as surrogates of these individuals.
I wish Jim the very best.