DeLay Prosecutor: Partisan Zealot Or Just Doing His Job?


In the 1980s, up and coming politician Jim Mattox, Texas Attorney General, was indicted by Austin, Tx., district attorney Ronnie Earle on bribery charges, says the Los Angeles Times. He was acquitted, but his political career was over. Now Earle has indicted U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, who called Earle an “unabashed partisan zealot.” The Times points out that although Earle is a Democrat, so were 12 of the 15 politicians he has indicted over the years. Said Fred Lewis of an Austin organization called Campaigns for People: “Every single person he has indicted, Democrat or Republican, has claimed politics, That’s what people don’t understand. I think Ronnie Earle has just done his job.”

Earle has taken pains to project a clean image, once accusing himself of a misdemeanor when he discovered that his campaign finance reports had been filed late. Within a year of taking office as Travis County District Attorney in 1977, Earle indicted former Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Yarbrough on perjury charges; Yarbrough served prison time. Earle also went after a state treasurer, state House speaker, and several Democratic legislators, winning convictions or plea bargains. “Ronnie is a maverick,” said political operataive George Shipley. “The argument that he is a hard-charging partisan with a hidden agenda is not supported by the facts.”


Comments are closed.