Houston DA quits, cites drug impairment amid AG probe

Legal News Line Feb. 20, 2008, 4:36am

Charles Rosenthal

AUSTIN -- The embattled Houston-area DA at the center of a recent controversy involving Supreme Court Justice David C. Medina has resigned over various other charges. Harris County District Attorney Charles Rosenthal stepped down last week amid an investigation by Attorney General Greg Abbott that he illegally used government computers to distribute campaign material. He's also accused of distributing racist, sexist and pornographic e-mails and with being intoxicated on the job. The recent release of dozens of Rosenthal's more offensive e-mails amid Abbott's probe created a scandal that eventually led to his departure. The DA quit in response to an offer by the AG to drop the investigation in return for stepping down. Rosenthal last month sparked another controversy by dismissing a Harris County grand jury indictment of Justice Medina and his wife, Francesca, on arson-related charges, LNL reported. Grand jury members later accused Republican Rosenthal of letting political loyalty to GOP-endorsed Medina influence his decision. In his resignation letter Rosenthal admitted that "the particular combination of drugs prescribed for me in the past has caused some impairment in my judgment." The DA also faced a lawsuit, filed by attorney Lloyd Kelley, seeking his removal for misconduct, incompetence and intoxication.

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