August 28, 2004
Kitzman to resign

Oliver Kitzman, the Waller County DA who tried to keep Prairie View A&M students from voting in that county, will resign his post in September.

Oliver Kitzman announced his plans to resign during a monthly Republican party meeting Thursday night, said Ann Davis, chairwoman of the Waller County Republican party.

"He said he would be sending a letter to the governor and would be resigning on Sept. 16. He said it was for personal reasons," Davis said.

Kitzman could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Last November, Kitzman sent a letter to the Waller County election administrator saying students at Prairie View, a historically black university, were not automatically eligible to vote locally.

His comments ignited a flury of debate that led to protest marches, complaints to state and federal officials and a civil rights investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kitzman later apologized for his "threatening" behavior toward students seeking to register to vote in Waller County.

Waller County Justice of the Peace Dewayne Charleston said Friday he was pleased that Kitzman planned on resigning. He said Kitzman's actions went beyond the students at Prairie View.

Charleston accused Kitzman of operating a "reign of terror" that targeted black ministers, municipal officials, judges and election officials.

Charleston and other community members filed a federal lawsuit against Kitzman earlier this month.

Charleston said members of the black community were rejoicing in his plans to resign.

"It's like an emancipation proclamation on a much smaller scale," he said. "Everyone is upbeat and cautiously optimistic."

Good riddance. There's only one small fly in the ointment:

Because Kitzman plans on resigning close to the coming election, the governor will appoint a new district attorney, said Charleston. He said he wished Kitzman's plans to resign would have come earlier, allowing residents to choose a new district attorney in a special election.

I nominate Cliff Vacek. It's not like he'll have anything else to do between now and November, after all.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 28, 2004 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack