February 04, 2008
Siegler to Rosenthal: Please quit

This is not a surprise.

Prosecutor Kelly Siegler, Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal's best-known assistant, called on him to resign today as she campaigned for election to his job.

Rosenthal "has made a lot of serious mistakes. Everybody here knows that, everybody in my office knows that," Siegler said at a Republican candidate forum. "It's sad, it's tragic. It is time for Chuck to resign.

"He's also my friend. He's not a bad man. He needs to go."

Two out of three. Not too bad there.

Siegler, known nationally for her trial techniques, made the comment when asked what weaknesses she might have as a candidate. She indicated that she is grappling with the perception that she shares responsibility for his errors.

"But do you really think Chuck is me?" she said. "And if you could only know how many conversations I have had with him to try to get him to do things differently or to listen. The problem is Chuck quit listening to all of us a long time ago."

Well, yeah, I think people think Chuck is you. You're one of his top lieutenants. His actions do reflect on you, and to the extent that you could have done something about some of his more egregious mistakes, you should have. If he really hasn't been listening to anyone in his office for a long time, maybe someone in that office should have blown a whistle on him. That's not an easy thing to do by any stretch, but it is easy to say now that this is a longstanding problem and it's not really your responsibility. I'm not trying to be harsh, and I'm certainly not saying I'd have done better had I been in Kelly Siegler's position, but I am saying that she can't just absolve herself here. She was a part of this problem, and she needs to own that. Mark Bennett has more, while he and Tom have an interesting discussion about whether or not criminal contempt applies to Chuck Rosenthal here. Check it out.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on February 04, 2008 to Election 2008

to put it frankly, they both know where the bathrooms are

Posted by: Charles Hixon on February 5, 2008 12:05 AM

She was a part of this problem, and she needs to own that.

What problem are you referring to specifically?

Rosenthal's email problem, or some other problem?

The email problem certainly is a problem, but I don't see why Kelly Siegler owns it.

Do you have something more specific in mind?

Posted by: Kevin Whited on February 5, 2008 12:49 AM

The problem isn't just the email, it's the questionable nature of Rosenthal's judgment and actions. Siegler, who in a slightly different universe would be running as the natural successor to maintain the course Rosenthal set, is essentially saying that she has no responsibility for any of that. I don't think that's going to fly.

Basically, at this point, pretty much everyone agrees that there needs to be a change in direction at the DA's office. Kelly Siegler represents continuity, not change. That's her problem.

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on February 5, 2008 6:29 AM