A little over halfway through the new play Enron, the character based on Jeff Skilling declares, “I hate government because I know these guys … and let me tell you, the weakest, most ignorant, most drunken f—ing incompetents went to work for the U.S. government. Because they weren’t smart enough for the private sector.” The government hacks who make the rules for the energy market are not deserving of his respect.

The Great Pretender

Before the local district attorney dubbed him “the biggest con man in the history of Nueces County,” Mauricio Celis led the life of a high-powered plaintiff’s lawyer. At the time of his arrest, in November 2007, at the age of 36, he owned a Rolls-Royce, a Bentley, and a BMW; he traveled by private jet; and he owned a stake in the Havana Club, the go-to spot for Corpus Christi’s bank, oil, and gas executives.

Court Attack

What is America’s greatest contribution to civilization? I believe it to be the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It is magnificent in its simplicity: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Perversion of Justice

When Cathy McBroom stepped into the judge’s chambers in the summer of 2002, she thought her heart was going to stop. She had been told the judge was a big man, but she’d had no idea just how big until he started rising from behind his desk. He was six feet four and at least 260 pounds—“literally larger than life,” she’d later tell her best friend, shaking her head in wonder.

The Reluctant Prosecutor

There are some men in this world,” Harper Lee wrote in To Kill a Mockingbird, “who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us.” And there are some who were not. Among this latter group is Randy Reynolds, who for the past dozen years has held the unpleasant job of district attorney for the hardscrabble 143rd Judicial District, which covers the rural West Texas counties of Ward, Reeves, and Loving.


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