Texas prosecutor fired for dismissing juror over NAACP activism
A senior prosecutor in Travis Country (Austin) Texas has been fired for dismissing a juror in a trial and is likely to sue, which could lead to a fascinating court battle over the nature of the NAACP. Findlaw reports:
A top Travis County prosecutor was fired Wednesday following comments he made in court about his dismissal of a prospective juror, including comparing her NAACP membership with that of a white supremacist group.
District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg told the Austin American-Statesman and KVUE-TV that Assistant District Attorney Steve Brand had made racially insensitive statements that she found offensive and had caused a judge to release an entire jury panel.
"I reviewed the transcript," she said. "I told Steve Brand that his statements did not reflect my opinions or my values or those of our organization, and that he could no longer work at the Travis County district attorney's office."
Brand, who as a court chief oversaw felony cases and supervised a team of prosecutors, has since retained counsel and said he plans to fight the decision.
Brand's lawyer, Tom Nesbitt, said his client is "a dedicated, highly regarded, veteran prosecutor with a stellar record at the courthouse."
"Not once has he been accused of racially insensitive or intolerant conduct other than by Ms. Lehmberg's recent accusation," said Nesbitt of the Austin law firm of DeShazo & Nesbitt. "His termination was an unjust and frankly bizarre act by the district attorney. Our preliminary investigation reveals that the more likely cause of his termination was retaliation against Steve by Ms. Lehmberg."
In my opinion, the NAACP has rapidly deteriorated from a legitimate civil rights organization fighting the good fight into a politicized progressive attack machine. Its officials have a history of making racially inflammatory statements.
It is long past time for the NAACP to be confronted with its decline and fall, and perhaps the lawsuit in Texas will be the venue for this. And the Travis Country District Attorney's office has a checkered past, including the ridiculous indctment of Tom Delay, removibg from national politics an effective Republican leader on carges that were bogus.
Hat tip: David Paulin