March 21, 2008
Magidson makes his mark

Our new DA is settling into the job.

Comparing the Harris County District Attorney's office to a ship at sea in need of a course correction, the newly sworn in DA said he will make small changes during his expected 9-month tenure.

"The changes I make today can have long term effects years from now," Ken Magidson said today. Magidson was sworn in Wednesday to replace Chuck Rosenthal, who resigned last month.

Magidson said the changes he expects to make may not immediately be obvious. But, like the task forces he headed as an assistant U.S. attorney, the small changes can pull an organization together for the long run.

"I created a system, a culture of understanding what the purpose of the mission was, of what we're trying to accomplish," Magidson said.


Of the two changes made on the second day, Magidson promoted Charlene Mrazek to his executive secretary and said Rosenthal's executive secretary, Kerry Stevens, took a job in the grand jury division of the district attorney's office.

I figure as long as everyone keeps their hands and their right ears to themselves, we're off to a good start.

Magidson also changed the policy for telephone conversations and computer use from a stated prohibition to allow employees incidental use.

"This is consistent with most governmental entities and the corporate world and the county policy," Magidson said. He said additional language in the new rules state that offensive or inappropriate use of computers should be reported to supervisors.

Magidson said he plans to look at other issues in the office as they crop up.

Seems reasonable. It's not realistic in a modern office to forbid the use of equipment like the phone and the computer for any personal use. It's also pretty apparent that this policy was completely ignored by Chuck Rosenthal, so why not get more in line with reality? So far so good for our interim DA.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 21, 2008 to Crime and Punishment