Anderson wants to bring integrity back to DA's office

May 30, 2012 3:54:41 PM PDT
Harris County will soon have a new District Attorney running the show after an election night stunner. Voters wanted change in the DA's office and decided to replace Pat Lykos. The vote turned out to be a landslide win for Republican challenger Mike Anderson.

Anderson does have another election to win in November and is not overlooking that. But he can't help but think ahead at least a little bit.

It was a quiet Tuesday night at Pat Lykos' election watch party.

"I just wasn't aggressive," she said.

Lykos, running for re-election, maintains she simply didn't work hard enough on politics to win the race.

"I was being a DA, not a politician," she said.

For Anderson, it was just the opposite.

"It's an honor to be standing in front of you," he said Tuesday night.

And on Wednesday we asked him to speak about the now defeated DA. We asked him what should the voters of Harris County thank Pat Lykos for?

"I think she came in at a time when the office was in real trouble and she did the best she could.I just don't think it worked out," said Anderson.

He will face a Democratic challenger in November, but if he wins he already has plans for immediate changes.

"First, I think it's important to get back integrity," Anderson said.

He wants to free up prosecutors to stop worrying about wins and losses and focus on justice, he will end the DWI divert program that pushes first-time offenders into treatment before trial, and stop the Lykos policy that prevented prosecutions of minor drug cases, even if it means an increased jail population.

"You don't make decisions based on jail population," he said.

The office is still under a special prosecutor's investigation over the now months-old grand jury probe and Anderson does not want to get in the way of it. However, he told us Wednesday he wants the probe to finish and if there was wrongdoing, for it to be punished.

It's not just philosophy he wants to change, he's already identified at least one member of the Lykos team not likely to be part of his office.

He does not see how Rachel Palmer, a prosecutor who took the Fifth during a grand jury probe, can continue if he takes over.

"I don't know how you can gain the public trust or regain the image you want to have in the public if you have someone in the office that the public believes committed a crime and just won't testify about it," Anderson said.

During the campaign, Anderson was accused of wanting to bring back a "win at all costs" DA's office. He doesn't agree and sees his brand of justice as a way to restore the integrity he wants crime victims and the accused to both see from the office.

"Take that oath for what it means and do justice. Justice sometimes means you dismiss a case, sometimes it means a guy gets the death penalty. It doesn't always mean either one. Everything is different and you have to have the freedom to use your experience to make the right call," he said.

We invited Pat Lykos to join us for an interview. She was at the office, but we were told she was too busy with work to conduct one.


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