New DA takes over office faced with turmoil, controversy


by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

Posted on January 1, 2013 at 7:53 PM

HOUSTON - He spent 17 years as a prosecutor and 12 years as a state district judge, but now Mike Anderson’s faces one of his biggest challenges yet - taking over a Harris County District Attorney’s Office which has faced turmoil, controversy and criticism.

On Tuesday, as he officially took his oath of office, he said it’s a new time and the slate is once again clean.

“We’ll bring back the honor that this office absolutely must have,” Anderson said.

He replaces Pat Lykos, a Republican, who served four years. Many of his supporters, including former District Attorney Johnny Holmes, are expecting him to be tough.

He has already promised to personally try the man accused of killing a Bellaire police officer on Christmas Eve. During her tenure, Lykos did not personally try anyone.

“I’ve committed to personally prosecute cases in which a police officer is killed in the line of duty and as far as any way that time will permit me to do that, I will,” Anderson said.

He has not ruled out making it a death penalty case either.

“Based on what I’ve been told from investigators and so forth, it would take a heck of a lot of mitigating evidence for it not to be,” he said.

Anderson vows to be tougher than his predecessor on DWI cases as well as the prosecution of smaller drug cases, even if that means more people in jail.

He also wants to work on restoring morale.

A number of assistant district attorneys moved on while Lykos was in charge. Anderson could not say whether any of them will be coming back but said his office is combing through applications.