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#1 2012-02-02 22:41:12

From: Tanglewilde
Registered: 2004-09-08
Posts: 6,929

KTRK: DA's not-investigation "could now pose problems"

DA Pat Lykos launched examination of grand jury after ABC13 report - Ted Oberg, KTRK-13 News

This all started the day after we broke the news a grand jury was investigating DA Pat Lykos' office. According to people involved in the search, Lykos wanted details on the grand jurors because she thought they had become hostile to her. She wanted her chief investigator to find evidence of their political bias and plug the leaks to the news media -- especially Eyewitness News.


Using the confidential list of grand jurors' names, the DA's chief investigator looked at Facebook, Google, the state bar and then accessed a county paid for, password-protected database called Accurint -- which gave him a list of grand jurors' addresses, jobs, relatives, bankruptcies, all sorts of information and connections.

"It's more than just collecting information on people," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.

Our legal analyst says using those confidential names for a political purpose could now pose problems.

The fact that KTRK's headline uses the term "examination" rather than "investigation" is a nice touch!

But it doesn't really matter if DA Lykos insists we all call what happened a "cursory review," "internet search," or even a lullaby! The facts, at least as reported by Oberg, suggest that DA Lykos deployed resources of the District Attorney's Office (taxpayer resources) to snoop on perceived political opponents. Quite a Nixonian lullaby, hmm?

In my view, that's an abuse of power. It's not clear that it rises to the level of an illegal abuse of power, although the DA's political opponents will probably make that case (yes, she has political opponents, in her own party and outside her party -- that's sometimes how elected offices work). But it certainly doesn't reflect well on the DA.

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