After being rebuffed by interim DA Ken Magidson on the existence and/or status of an investigation into Chuck Rosenthal's email activities while he was in office, Rick Casey turns to the
feds Attorney General's office and finds them much more loose-lipped.
I asked Magidson because Bert Graham, who served as acting district attorney for a month before Gov. Rick Perry appointed Magidson to replace Rosenthal, had told me that the attorney general's office had offered assistance in a criminal investigation of the disgraced DA.
The attorney general's office had dropped an earlier investigation when Rosenthal had resigned, but that investigation was to determine whether he should be removed, not indicted.
"We are not going to comment on whether there is an investigation," Magidson declared forcefully. "It would be unethical and improper."
I suggested to Magidson that the Rosenthal controversy was a matter of public concern. The evidence that he had used his staff computer for his political campaign had emerged from court records made public in a federal lawsuit.
Some citizens might believe Rosenthal had paid enough of a price by losing his job and his reputation. But others might take the position that a district attorney, of all people, should be prosecuted if he committed a crime. Either way, the public has an interest in the decision and the reasons behind it.
"I don't care what the public thinks," Magidson retorted. "I will do what is right."
A few minutes after our conversation, a spokesman for Attorney General Greg Abbott returned the call I had placed to him asking for information on any Rosenthal investigation.
"What's your fax number?" he asked.
A few minutes later I had copies of an exchange of letters between Magidson and Eric J.R. Nichols, deputy AG for criminal justice.
So it appears Magidson is, indeed, conducting an investigation. His use of the assistance offered by the attorney general will spare his staff from the awkwardness (and possible conflicts) of assisting in the investigation of their former boss.