Ellis v. Radack

From the inbox:

Sen. Rodney Ellis

Sen. Rodney Ellis

On Tuesday, Commissioner Steve Radack said during a public session of the Harris County Commissioner’s Court that Senator Rodney Ellis should “shut up” about criminal justice reform. Click here and scroll to the 30 second mark of the Executive Session.

Today, Senator Ellis offers the following response:

“In an outburst more in the style of Donald Trump rather than the more staid Commissioner’s Court, Commissioner Radack called me out by name and told me to ‘shut up’ about criminal justice reforms in our community,” said Senator Ellis. “As long as I have the privilege of public service, I’m not going to shut up.”

Ellis continued: “I’m not going to shut up about our broken criminal justice system and people dying in jail. I’m not going to shut up about a bail system that keeps people in a cage just because they’re poor. And I’m not going to shut up about the fact that the attorney you can afford too often determines the quality of justice you receive.”

“This isn’t an argument about statistics – it’s an argument about whether or not Harris County continues to needlessly destroy lives, jeopardize our communities, and waste taxpayer dollars with its broken justice system. I’m going to speak up for all people and especially the most vulnerable in our society, just as I’ve always done. And I will not be bullied by any Commissioner, regardless of where my public service takes me.”

“I challenge Commissioner Radack to sit down for a public debate about the criminal justice reforms needed in our community.”

All righty then. The video link above is to Tuesday’s Commissioners Court meeting. Note that what comes up is the Call To Order – you need to then click on the Executive Session link to see the bit in question. That clip is only 2:28 in length, so you may as well just watch the whole thing. Radack is referring to the lawsuit filed against Harris County by the non-profit Equal Justice Under Law over the county’s bail practices. That lawsuit has since been updated to add another plaintiff. See Grits for more details about that, and for a long-overdue move on the county’s part to actually use Pretrial Services in a meaningful way. Along the way, it would appear that some nerves have been touched and things may get a bit contentious. Bring it on, I say. Oh, and by the way, Commissioner Gene Locke sided with Sen. Ellis on this one. The Court is one of the chummier political institutions we have around here. This little bit of disharmony was welcome and refreshing.

UPDATE: Here’s the Chron story.

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5 Responses to Ellis v. Radack

  1. Steve Radack has spent 30 years on the commissioners court.

    In that time other cities, states and countries have passed Paid FMLA
    Yet county employees don’t have Paid FMLA.

    What happens when sheriff’s get shot or stabbed on the job? They have to take vacation and sick time.
    That’s absurd.

    It’s time for term limits.

    No one spends 30 years at the same job making $170k.
    Why should harris county commissioners?

  2. Steve Houston says:

    “What happens when sheriff’s get shot or stabbed on the job?”

    They get worker’s compensation coverage that doesn’t involve their vacation or sick time.

    And if you think Radack only makes $170k a year, you’re not looking very hard at his publicly available financial statements.

  3. Steve,

    I’m referring to the county commissioner paycheck.

    Paid FMLA and workers compensation are two completely different things.

    But you already knew that.

  4. Steve Houston says:

    Joe, you can’t get both if you are injured on the job; the point being that you suggested they were left to use their own time or suffer without any coverage while they, like their city counterparts, do have some protection (I think the city cops also have additional coverage through their contract and union) without “paid FMLA”.

    But if you think Radack’s yearly income is not tied to his position on commissioner’s court, you are mistaken, his county check only a portion of what he makes and all of it the result of his years on the job.

  5. Let me know when Radack, Turner, Emmett and Blanchard figure out Paid FMLA.

    Telling baby boomers how to do their job gets old.

    God forbid they google ideas or hire qualified staff with critical thinking skills.

    DC is great this time of year.

Comments are closed.