They’re all in for incumbent Devon Anderson.
The already intense race for Harris County district attorney became more heated Wednesday with the Houston Police Officer’s Union attacking Democratic candidate Kim Ogg, saying that during her time at Crime Stoppers she violated the privacy of victims she was supposed to help support.
The 5,300-member group is endorsing GOP incumbent Devon Anderson, who declined to comment about the attack, which included a radio ad that was released earlier in the day.
At her news conference later Wednesday, Ogg called the attack a “desperate act,” then accused Anderson of making backroom deals involving a former judge and at least one former police officer, allowing them to avoid prosecution.
“The union’s support of Ms. Anderson, launching an ad 13 days before the election is a desperate act by this incumbent,” Ogg told reporters. She denied any wrongdoing and said the ad was not true.
At the union news conference, Anderson touted her record and thanked area law enforcement agencies for their endorsements.
“Since I’ve been in office, we’ve tried almost 700 jury trials,” Anderson said. “And of those, over 70 percent are violent criminals, the rest are property crimes and a very small percentage are drug cases.”
During the union’s news conference, Hunt said Ogg’s style was similar to former district attorney Pat Lykos, who was ousted in the 2012 GOP primary by Mike Anderson.
“It’s going to be very much like it was under Pat Lykos,” Hunt said of an Ogg administration. “It would make our job a lot more difficult.”
The union has long protested the so-called “trace case policy” instituted by Lykos, then repealed by Anderson. The police unions want crack cocaine users caught with powder-covered crack pipes to be arrested on felony charges. Citing clogged courts, overcrowded jails and the inability for the defense to re-test the scant amount of evidence, Lykos directed police to ticket those offenders for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. The policy was applauded by criminal justice system reformers and derided by law enforcement agencies.
“There’s a direct correlation between the trace case people and the amount of burglaries we have,” Hunt said.
Ogg denied the claims made by Hunt and the HPOU and pressed her own charges against Anderson, but that last bit above is what all this really comes down to. Anderson, even with her willingness to make incremental changes in how pot prosecutions are handled, represents the way things have always been done in the Harris County DA’s office. Ogg, like Lykos, represents change. As is always the case with change, not everyone likes the idea. As you know, I agreed with Lykos’ trace case policy, and I do think the DA’s office could stand to do things a little differently. I look forward to seeing what Kim Ogg can do in that position. Ray Hunt would disagree, and that’s fine. That’s why we have elections. Hair Balls has more.