A Big Deal
While it is true that throughout James DeAtley's reign as U.S. attorney, his office has tended to make a federal case out of often petty offenses, he has applied a common-sense approach to dealing with larger matters, which is something we have not seen around here for a long time ["The Wrong Enemies," by Richard Connelly, October 15].

Mr. DeAtley sent in a group of the most experienced and rational career prosecutors in his office to settle the huge 79-defendant Moreno-Riojas case and minimize the drain on all concerned. Nobody who was guilty walked away, and the cost to taxpayers was minimized substantially.

Since I have practiced law for 17 years, I can remember complaints about every U.S. attorney. Henry Oncken was criticized for filing too many small cases, Ron Woods was criticized for being inflexible, Larry Finder was criticized for poor morale and Gaynelle Jones was criticized for everything. I guess it goes to show that nobody can please everybody all of the time.

Kent A. Schaffer

Lose the Loophole
The situation the Crimmins family finds itself in is unacceptable ["Abatement by Any Other Name," by Brad Tyer, October 15]. The fact that a loophole such as the one regarding abatement still exists is unethical by any standard of moral conscience. It is also inexcusable that in 1995 an amendment to the law slipped through despite efforts to change it. Someone should've been held accountable for that. What is also disturbing is that no one will go on record saying they will try to be involved in revising the law in the next legislative session. It's too late for the Crimmins family; who will be the next victim? Shame on you, Dale Johnson, for your inexcusable behavior. You know you slid through on a technicality. You had the chance to do the right thing, but chose instead to be a disgrace to the human race.

Nicole Goldman
via Internet

Rash to Judgement
It's an utter shame what is happening to the Crimmins family. I have a four-year-old son, and you can be damn sure I "would do something rash." That house would mysteriously burn down.

I don't know how Dale Johnson can sleep at night knowing that his activities can potentially kill innocent children.

Maybe Belinda and Ken should try "endangerment of a child."
Melissa Turpin

Burrito-Stained Ballots
Does Ninfa's have no shame? How do they explain getting the "best" in 11 [readers' choice] categories while other restaurants are the best in only one category [Best of Houston edition, September 24]? I detect ballot-stuffing going on here.

Ninfa's may possibly be the best in one of these categories, but it is not the best in all of them.

I've been to Ninfa's and enjoyed Ninfa's, but I don't recall any dessert that they have that stands out in my mind as memorable. Them as best new restaurant is particularly ludicrous. They may have a "new" location, but they are not a "new" restaurant. Does Ninfa's think your readers are stupid?

Mary Bell
via Internet


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