Today is National Barbie Day. I don’t have one.
Pappas lost their Hobby Airport concessions gig on an 11-6 vote. Oh, well.
Commentary never wants anyone to get hurt or injured. I hope Sen. Mitch McConnell gets well after his fall last night. I hope his fellow GOPers don’t poke fun at him like they would have poked fun at President Joe Biden if President Biden had fallen down. Just saying.
Now that my Dad is no longer around, at least Medicare and his insurance won’t be paying all that dough to Walgreens for his meds.
This is what you call a racket that needs to be addressed by Harris County. See this from the Chron:
A Houston Chronicle investigation into how some private attorneys earn enormous sums to represent thousands of indigent people accused of crimes in Harris County – at a cost of $60 million to taxpayers last year – is prompting widespread calls for reform, as well as a county audit of the program.
The 10 highest-paid private attorneys each pocketed more than $450,000 last year, with one pulling in $1 million. Dozens of attorneys – not all among the highest-paid – took on far more cases than county-employed public defenders are allowed. Their caseloads also exceeded state-recommended limits.
“Obviously, these numbers are huge,” said Jed Silverman, president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association. “It’s wrong, it’s offensive to your average person off the street, and it calls into question whether or not these accused people are getting effective assistance of counsel.”
Here’s a look at what officials are doing to address the issue, and other proposed solutions.
Late last month, the Harris County Auditor told county leaders that his office “started a review of court-appointed attorneys’ fees.” Errika Perkins, who also works in the office, told the Chronicle that officials hope to examine everything from the attorneys’ billing practices to whether they’re visiting clients in jail.
“Our goal is to be able to analyze the different hours attorneys spent on different aspects of the case,” Perkins said, adding that she expects the audit will take at least a couple of months before results can be publicly released.
Two of the county’s Democratic commissioners, Rodney Ellis and Leslie Briones, separately are pushing for an expansion of the public defender’s office, which employed about 130 lawyers to represent indigent clients last year.
But Silverman and others say those changes won’t be enough.
“Everybody involved has to double down” to fix the problem, said State Sen. John Whitmire, who also is running for mayor of Houston. “There’s no justice for victims, defendants, or society … the whole damn thing’s broken.”
Here is the entire read: Houston leaders demand defense attorney salary, caseload reforms (houstonchronicle.com).
Commentary said last week I wasn’t into the World Baseball Classic. I did catch a glimpse of Jose Venezuela last night getting a base hit on the first pitch against the team he will be playing for on Opening Day which is three weeks from this evening.