Lykos Fires Back At Disgruntled Union Leaders

Harris County District Attorney Pat Lykos responds to charges by leaders of six Harris County law enforcement unions who issued a vote of "no confidence" in her performance.

The groups that represent 10,000 officers in Harris County, say that DA Pat Lykos, who earlier this week announced she is seeking another term, has shirked her duties.

"Mrs. Lykos' press release yesterday initiated that she had the support of law enforcement for re-election. We respectfully disagree."

Union That's Eric Batton, president of the Harris County Deputies Organization.

"The vote of no confidence was not considered lightly. It was done after careful consideration, and discussion with all area law enforcement and members of the public, the bar, prosecutors and the judiciary."

Ray Hunt, vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union, said that Lykos' office has ignored prosecuting a number of different cases, including people found in possession of a crack pipe with residue.

"When Pat Lykos was a police officer in Houston, we didn't have crack cocaine. Crack is the most addictive drug that there is, and when you arrest someone on a crack case, if it's 20 miles north of here it's a felony. If it's 20 miles south of here it's a felony. But if it's in Harris County, it's not a felony. It's a paraphernalia case, a Class-C misdemeanor, which means most people spend the night in the city of Houston's jail, get out the next morning."

Pat Lykos: "I will not take a case, where the drug cannot be tested twice."

DA Pat Lykos says there's a good reason she doesn't seek tougher charges in those cases.

"We are not ignoring state law. What I want, is to have the drug dealer arrested, and to have the person who supplied the drugs to the dealer arrested, and then go all the way up that vicious snake, until we get to the top."

She says  they're working  to go after cartels, not crack pipes. As far as getting support from the unions:

"I met with Mr. Hunt on Sunday, and I explained to him that I was not seeking the union's endorsement, that I didn't think it was appropriate for the district attorney to seek the endorsement of any police union, because then that would give the perception that I would be biased in their favor. But I did want to articulate to them, what my vision was. And, that meeting never occurred. I never received a response."

Lykos adds that her office is vigorous in pursuing justice, and are both sword and shield in protecting the citizens of Harris County.

"And I am really deeply aggrieved that our integrity has been impugned with generalities. But again, it's a political season. You know, in the old days they used to cut our heads off. Now they just do it metaphorically."

The unions assembled for the no confidence vote said they would not endorse any candidate.

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Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...