San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

San Marcos-based attorney Ronnie Dickens says candidate Lynn Peach has a more realistic perspective on criminal prosecution after five years in private practice as a defense attorney after resigning from the Hays County District Attorney’s office 

February 23rd, 2014
Letter: Peach will ‘stand strongly for justice’

EDITOR:

I have been studying the Hays County District Attorney candidates and I waited to make up my mind.

Hays County has got to stop being a “political stepping stone” for those tired of being assistant attorney general lawyers. We did get a good district judge from there, but assistant attorney generals have been running in Hays County with little success for over 30 years. I support Gregg Abbott for governor, but you have to remember that each of these candidates is only one of more than 700 lawyers employed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

I would rather have a district attorney who has represented the public in private practice — one of us, who has lived and worked through life’s problems without a “taxpayer safety net.” That is the person I want weighing cases fairly against the accused.

I like the other candidate, too, but my 32 years of statewide law practice tells me to vote for Lynn Peach. She has proven that she will fight for what is right and she will stand strongly for justice.

RONNIE DICKENS
San Marcos


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17 thoughts on “Letter: Peach will ‘stand strongly for justice’

  1. Mau is the status quo candidate. He told people he has the backing of the DA’s office and the cops. Prosecutors are putting his signs up. He has been attacking Ms. Peach over her resignation, despite the fact that the Judge refused to sign an order clearing the DA’s office in that case. The Special Prosecutor had the audacity to write an opinion letter saying everything was on the up-and-up, without mentioning the part about the Judge refusing to clear the State.

    The DA’s Office has been found by two courts to have failed to disclose evidence that denied the defendant a fair trial:

    http://www.search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=0fe3a9cf-064a-400d-af7e-13a082f64a72&coa=coa11&DT=Opinion&MediaID=aa6f3378-0f12-447f-91d7-0fb319268739

    A man originally convicted of Sexual Abuse of a Child is getting a new trial because the Prosecutor (a close friend of Mr. Mau) played fast and loose with the rules:

    http://www.search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=73049d94-3258-4b22-8250-c98f921af203&coa=coa03&DT=Opinion&MediaID=1c4f3c0c-3200-4db3-b726-597a6b4ba59b

    If you want more of the same, vote Mau.

    Ms. Peach is the one candidate who has pledged all along to clean up the DA’s Office and has shown the guts to stand up to them before. She deserves to be the next Hays County District Attorney.

  2. Clarification: When I wrote that Judge refused to clear the State in the case that led to Ms. Peach’s resignation, I was referring to his refusal to sign (and physical crossing out of) point 7 in the propsed order the Special Prosecutor submitted in the case, which, paraphrased, read: The Assistant District Attorney in this case committed no misconduct.

  3. I suppose what Mr. Dickens failed to mention is that he was, in fact, defeated by an Assistant Attorney General in his own race for a tri-county District Judgeship 2 years ago, and that Hays County voted almost 2-to-1 in favor of that AAG in the runoff, against a candidate from Comal County, who won due only to Comal County’s substantially higher voter-turnout.

    And of course, I’d like to think that I appreciate the “you ain’t from around here” attitude as much as the next citizen of Hays County. But when we’re talking about “AAGs” like Wes Mau, or about Mr. Dickens’ primary opponent in 2012, we aren’t talking about candidates who recently moved here like Lynn Peach, or who, like Peach, refrained from even registering to vote until April 2013, a few months before declaring her candidacy for DA. No, the folks Dickens indicts in his fair and balanced write-off have lived or worked here in Hays County for over two decades, raised children and schooled them here in Hays County.

    While making an exception for his personal friend, Judge Bill Henry, and paying lipservice to Attorney General Abbott himself, Mr. Dickens attempts to paint all AG attorneys with a broad brush, conveniently ignoring the qualifications these candidates have, such as board certifications, dozens of successful, high-profile prosecutions, awards and honors from entities like the FBI, HUD-OIG and the Comal County Commissioner’s Court. He ignores the work AAGs have already done in Hays County, like convicting a former Chairman of a Hays County ESD who pilfered tens of thousands of Hays County taxpayer dollars.

    As a private practice attorney, Dickens may find a DA candidate with a flaky resume, who has a beef with law enforcement and makes her living defending criminals preferable to a 20-yr elite prosecutor who could have forgotten more about the criminal law than Peach has ever learned through bouncing in and out of DA’s offices. But I don’t. I want a chief prosecutor in Hays County that is focused on protecting the CITIZENS from crime and building a safe, prosperous Hays County – and who CAN do it, because he has the experience.

    I, for one, will be cancelling out Dickens’ low-information vote.

  4. I do not like or condone the levels to which this race has sunk. I support everyone’s right to have an opinion and their right to support who they choose and to speak about the issues. I am asking that everyone stop the name calling, mud-slinging nastiness. It demeans the office, the candidates, and the party.

  5. “Hays Conservative” you hide and are afraid to identify yourself, kind of like the assistant attorney general (AAG) you brag about does, but I will answer you. The judge race you refer to was postponed and reset by the federal courts for months, a fourth candidate got in the race and the assistant attorney general you refer to, who makes $100,000 from taxpayers, was apparently able to campaign in any county at any time he wanted to. The other candidates had to work! He also enjoyed an “us against them, Hays v. Comal” failed effort in the runoff, but a 2-1 margin against the Comal voters is not much. You have to wonder if all of these fine Hays County voters would have supported this AAG, had they also known he was “hiding” his background and criminal conviction. Voters need to know that a candidate for a court that deals with DWI’s has been arrested himself for that offense, while an assistiant attorney general. We have a saying here “Keep on and you will get what you have coming”. Your hiding days are over “Hays Conservative”.

  6. “Hays Conservative” stop hiding and say who you are. I will debate you or meet you anywhere, anytime. I am sure that when the voters discover the background and record of this AAG judge candidate, the results will be predictable.

  7. The only thing worse than this DA race is the side-commentary by people that aren’t the story. Forrest wants to talk P&Z, Dickens and his mortal, unnamed enemy wrestle about who was first and second loser in a past election, etc. When is this primary over? This may be the first time I have ever wished there was a Democrat candidate, but they can’t even make the ballot.

  8. Dear “Skeptical Witty Comedian”. That was pretty funny- If were that comical, I would not use a pseudonym. I agree with some of what you said. Since I used my real name, spent thousands of dollars in that race and a LOT of time, I just felt the need to set the record straight. I was obviously not talking about Wes Mau, but you knew that. Maybe the voters will make the right decision. Comments by those who are afraid to say who they are don’t matter much. November should be fun!

  9. Ronnie, Lynn Peach has had a bankruptcy, a foreclosure, and only registered to vote in Hays County when she decided to run for District Attorney last year. If she can’t even manage her personal finances, how can we expect her to manage the finances of the entire Hays County DA’s office?

  10. Dear “The Boss”, I know the “talking points” of the election. Lynn Peach explained the financial incident, regarding helping her ill parents and resigning her job for the reasons that have been discussed at length by the likes of you. You do not identify yourself, you do not say that you have ANY information regarding her personal life and you want us to trust your insight? Not hardly! What is your motivation to trash a candidate while you hide. Lynn Peach dang sure would not be a rubber stamp for any group’s views. We need someone without all of these frantic endorsements, a lot of them from friends of mine, someone who does not owe for support and will serve all of the people fairly.

  11. First of all, I did not and could not vote for either Lynn or Wes. I vote in the Democratic primary and there was no candidate there. I know both Lynn and Wes and think that both are very good people and both very capable prosecutors. With that said, I think that there are substantial differences in styles and their core beliefs and how they would run the office, if elected. The Office of the Hays County District Attorney belongs to every one of us and let’s get that straight. It does not belong to the police officers association, it belongs to us.

    Second, I agree with Ronnie Dickens that if you are going to “trash talk”someone (like my friend Terry Nichols did) you ought to use your real name. To send a Letter to the Editor you have to use your name, not so for the nameless faceless people who surf the net. Who knows, the “Boss on” guy could be Wes, or someone that Wes has promised a job to. Same goes for Lynn.

    My take is pretty simple. I practice some in the criminal courts, not nearly as much as some and far more than others. I have practiced in Hays County and around the state having tried as many if not more cases than most criminal lawyers. In doing so I have come to know the styles of many DA’s. Our office is not that atypical. There are some talented prosecutors in San Marcos and there are some that are plain hard headed and obstinate. BTW, most everyone knows who they are. I have been called the same so it’s OK. Regarding relationships with police officers, Lynn,has indicated that, like Sherri Tibbe, that there are doesn’t believe are trustworthy. That is their prerogative and their duty. BTW, most any officer will tell you that there are officers that they don’t trust either. Some will agree and disagree on who they are but generally everyone at the courthouse knows who they are and why they are not trusted. It is usually for good reason. The fact that Lynn did not trust the police officer in question was her right and duty. The particular assistant DA that she had issues with has always acted fairly in every case in which I have dealt with him. While on that subject, several people have talked about the lawyer that Lynn used to date. Did he go through a tough spell, yes but he was well past it when they dated. Today, he is a successful attorney with a wife and child and is, in very sense of the word, a good man. I find it disturbing that some felt it necessary to bring up a nonissue. In trial work we call it “throwing a skunk in the jury box”. It has nothing to do with the issue but you hope to distract someone with a nonissue. One thing is certain and that is that I have known the young man longer than anyone in the legal community and he turned the corner on some difficult times years ago and this should never have been an issue and it is clear that those that raised the issue have no sense of decency and are unworthy to be involved in this discussion. Think about it. Most of us know something about someone else but have the decency to keep it to yourselves or within context.
    Wes is a congenial fellow who has been given the endorsements of the police organizations and I don’t think that is necessarily a good deal. We have relatively smooth functioning police agencies which is usually attributed to management styles not police organizations. In fact, a lot of the friction that Lynn has experienced is because she believed that something had occurred. BTW, the Court striking the finding of “No Wrongdoing” by the police officer is significant. I am firmly of the opinion that Lynn will keep a tighter rein on police conduct than Wes. I think that we need prosecutors who are not afraid to tell an officer when his or her case is deficient. A good police officer is not going to mind hearing that because it will be a positive learning experience. I have nothing against police organizations but I strongly feel that the San Marcos PD has some issues.
    I think both Wes or Lynn would bring a different management style to the office that has had to deal with the phenomenal growth in our county in the last 8 years. To be sure, we have some very capable prosecutors and I do not believe for a minute some of the gossip that people have said that Lynn will fire everyone. That kind of conversation is absurd, nonsensical but when promoted by public servants (like police officers) it is given belief when it ought not to be. I think it is time for police officer organizations to keep their opinions to themselves. As for me, I like them both but if I had it my way, I would opt for a District Attorney that I thought would put everything on the line to insure that every trial, every defendant and every victim got the full measure of what the law requires—-Justice. In that regard, I recommend Lynn Peach as someone that I could be sure from day one would be strong enough to stand up to anyone.

  12. I am not surprised that a strong democrat like Charles is supporting Lynn Peach. According to Brad Rollins, Lynn Peach “just a few years ago listed her political affiliation on Facebook as ‘very liberal'”.

  13. I am a citizen first and a Democrat. Come up with something better than this please. Liberal in respect for the law is no vice, quite the opposite. How long have been with SMPD.

  14. According to Mr. Mau’s recent mailer, we in Hays County may soon employ a District Attorney whose belief is that any person alleged to have committed a crime is “a criminal” prior to trial.

    Even more enlightening–no effort should be made by anyone to defend these “criminals”. I am not a lawyer, and previously mistakenly believed a person wasn’t declared a “criminal” until a judge or jury made that determination.

    All this time I’ve been under the mistaken impression that an arrested person is a suspect until proven guilty. In fact, I believed a person within the United States even had the God-given right to legal counsel!

    Imagine my surprise to find that anyone who wished to defend a person charged with a crime was “a wolf in sheeps clothing” who put our children “….at risk”.

    I had thought higher of our nation’s Founders. Imagine–John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Edmund Pendleton–all “wolves in sheeps clothing” who put children “at risk” for defending susp…I mean “criminals”.. Boy was I confused. I am so glad that is cleared up.

  15. Good commentary Charles, even with the jabs. I agree with some of your points and completely disagree with others…as you do with mine. Fair enough….

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