Houston’s chief prosecutor, Chuck Rosenthal, could have been fired for lighting firecrackers in a stairwell as a prank after the Oklahoma City bombing, or disbarred for violating a gag order to discuss the Andrea Yates case on “60 Minutes.” or run out of office for only reluctantly returning a $2,500 campaign donation from the owner of a company he was prosecuting, says the Associated Press. Now, with the release of dozens of pornographic, racist, and political e-mails on his office computer – along with love notes between the married prosecutor and his secretary – his career has taken a remarkable nosedive.
He’s been forced off the Republican ballot for re-election, endures almost daily calls for his resignation and is under state investigation into whether his campaign-related e-mails violated the law. Today, he goes before a federal judge on an opposing lawyer’s motion to have him held in contempt of court. “Chuck Rosenthal is an arrogant individual who believes that he’s doing God’s work so he can do anything and get away with it,” said Katherine Scardino, a Houston defense attorney. The scandal has brought Republican leaders into a rare alliance with the black activists, who have begun to question publicly whether race played a role in several incidents in Rosenthal’s career.