E-Mail Scandal Puts Houston DA Under Fire

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HOUSTON -- Religious leaders have called on Harris County District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal to resign because of a scandal over e-mails detailing his affection for his secretary.

The Houston Area Pastor Council is an interracial and interdenominational group of about 150 ministers. The group said Rosenthal's failure to exercise good moral judgment shows someone who has serious flaws in private and public character.

The Harris County Republican Party has requested Rosenthal withdraw from the March 4 GOP primary, giving up his 2008 re-election campaign.

Rosenthal's current term lasts until the end of the year. He has remained defiant, saying he plans to run for district attorney and win.

E-mails from Rosenthal to his secretary, Kerry Stevens, surfaced last month as part of a federal civil rights lawsuit against the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

None of the e-mails are explicit, but they contain the phrase "I love you" more than a dozen times, and Rosenthal asks Stevens to let him hold her.

Rosenthal has said he is not having an affair with Stevens.