A federal hearing to determine whether Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal will be fined or sentenced to jail time for contempt of court is expected to resume Friday morning.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt spent Thursday deliberating whether Rosenthal should be punished for deleting more than 2,500 messages subpoenaed for a lawsuit filed against the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Scott Durfee, the general counsel for Rosenthal, admitted in court that Rosenthal told him he deleted thousands of e-mails because the he believed his staff had them backed up. Durfee, who serves as Rosenthal’s attorney in the District Attorney’s Office, also admitted he did not tell his boss to preserve the e-mails that were ordered to be turned over by Hoyt.
Harris County Assistant District Attorney Kelly Siegler also took the stand in the contempt hearing, saying she didn’t attend many management meetings during the time in question.
Some of the remaining e-mails found on Rosenthal’s computer included dozens of love notes to his secretary, pornographic, racist and political messages.
The released of the e-mails have pressured Rosenthal to remove his district-attorney candidacy for re-election in the March primary!