The grand jury investigation of the District Attorney’s office over DWI evidence and policies continues to be the most compelling local story right now.
A prosecutor who last week refused to answer questions from a grand jury said Monday she is the target of political forces aligned against her and her boss, Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos.
“The fix is in,” Rachel Palmer said from the witness stand. “It’s really clear to anyone who is not already affected by bias.”
Palmer asserted in a hastily called recusal hearing that state District Judge Susan Brown, her husband state District Judge Marc Brown and a special prosecutor appointed by the former were working together to unseat Lykos in a plot that has ensnared Palmer.
Palmer, a deputy chief who oversees dozens of prosecutors in Houston’s 15 misdemeanor courts, invoked her constitutional right to not incriminate herself last week after being asked questions, presumably, about evidence used in DWI prosecutions that was gathered by the Houston Police Department’s troubled breath alcohol testing vehicles.
See here, here, and here for some background; in the end, Judge Brown ruled that Palmer did not have to testify. I have no dog in this fight, and frankly am not all that clear on who all the players are; PDiddie connects a few dots, for those of you keeping score at home. I do love a good political fight, though, and this one is threatening to spiral out of control, right as we head into an election year. There are some meaty legal issues at play as well – how often outside of Hollywood do you encounter someone invoking the Fifth Amendment – and for a thorough discussion of same you should read what Mark Bennett and Murray Newman have to say. It’s too bad that “Law and Order” finally went off the air, because this all has the makings of a great two-parter with a shocking revelation on the witness stand at the end. Alas.