Former Dallas Cop Goes Down Again

Got word of this last night from a great Dallas police officer, and now it’s up at FrontBurner.

As boss man Tim puts it:

If you’ve been following along at home, you know that four Dallas cops sued D Magazine for libel in 2008. For those who need to catch up, you can read about how the whole deal started right here. Needless to say, we and our fine lawyers and Haynes and Boone believe the suit is without merit. Nonetheless, it drags on. We won a judgment against them. They’ve appealed. It’ll be another six months probably before we get a ruling from the appellate court.

One of the plaintiffs in the suit against us is Jeffrey Nelson, who is now known to the fine folks of Seven Points, Texas, as Police Chief Jack Nelson. Or he was until recently. Seven points is east of Ennis, out by Gun Barrel City. After a political shakeup in Seven Points, Nelson was installed as the top cop there in July 2010. But just five months later, in November, Nelson had to resign “amidst allegations that he had made a sexual and racial slur to a female officer in the department.”

Here’s my 2007 investigative story that got Nelson, et al, up in D’s grill.

I give Tim the last word since he put it so perfectly:

Our magazine has spent quite a lot of time and money dealing with the groundless lawsuit that Nelson filed against us. Reading that story from the Athens Review about the allegations against Nelson, the word “schadenfreude” comes to mind.

Silly Illustrated: Hate Crimes

From this story:

“It was clear that white males, driving expensive cars, were being targeted,” a Dallas officer wrote in police documents.

I’ll put down $10 fiat money that whatever charges are filed against suspect Robert Carlos Cerrillo, they won’t include state or federal hate crimes.

In Print This Month — C’est Moi

My column on the hunt for a new top cop for Dallas is up on the web now.

Read it here.Picture 1

Also, I get some kind words from Rudy Bush at City Hall.

‘Mom Seeks Law…’ Is Your Warning That Stupidity Follows

Nine times out of 10. Why? Because, God and Darwin love ‘em, moms are irrational and fierce protectors of their children who will do anything for their kids.

Which on one hand is good, but on the other is exactly why when you see “Mom Seeks Law…” in a headline, it’s going to be a bad idea and go way too far.

Which brings me to today’s little venture into Big Mother politics.

Dallas-area mother challenges Texas law allowing parents to show children pornography

Texas’ devotion to protecting parental rights allows moms and dads to provide pornography to their children.

Now a Dallas-area mother is trying to change that, saying that her ex-husband faces no punishment for showing their young daughters online images of three-way adult encounters.

She’s getting support from a variety of sources, including a Panhandle prosecutor who wanted to charge the man but concluded he had no way to win a case.

No, I don’t support showing porn to kids, but yes, how I teach my kid about sex education is not your business or the state’s business and blah blah blah. But this isn’t a political argument.

For starters, the sloppy writing suggests it’s an established fact that the dad in question did what the sentence says. It is not. It’s an allegation. And when we read further into the story, we learn it’s an allegation from a mother who did not have custody of her own kids.

This is big red flag No. 1. Divorces are nasty, and child custody fights even more so. Otherwise honest mothers will tell you they will do anything to keep their kids, and that includes lying. Especially if they’re lying about ex-husbands.

Red flag No. 2 — she didn’t have custody. When a mother doesn’t get primary custody or joint custody of kids, almost invariably there’s something really ugly going on with her.

Red flag No. 3 — the scenario described further down in the story doesn’t pass the smell test:

The Dallas-area woman said her three grade-school-age daughters were living with their father earlier this year when he started drinking, woke two of them late at night and showed them porn on his computer. They later told a counselor, who alerted authorities. Amarillo police investigated, found the girls believable and sought advice from Farren’s office before proceeding.

This doesn’t add up. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s improbable. As described in this admittedly poorly reported and badly written story, it doesn’t fit the profile.

It does, however, fit the script of someone trying to get back custody of their kids.

As for “Amarillo police investigated, found the girls believable and sought advice from Farren’s office before proceeding” need I remind you that Fort Collins police thought the Balloon Boy’s family was credible until the kid admitted on morning television it was a hoax?

So given all that we’ve been presented by the paper, I call BS on this woman.

Do kids need to be protected? Of course.

But regardless of whether this lady is lying, do we need the kind of laws that result from crusading moms? Absolutely not.

My Piece on Dallas Constables Online or in Your Mailboxes

Pulse_cityI have a news-ish column in this month’s D Magazine questioning whether the anachronism known as constables in Dallas go way too far.

Short version: Constables, who have a necessary role, are doing too much, becoming too militarized, and don’t have enough oversight as they increasingly become — of course — revenue agents.

It’s online now.

Friday Roundup: Good Lord, I’m 40

  • Want another reason to legalize gambling, including poker houses. Here you go. Bring them out of the dark and you won’t have predators like James McDaniel poisoning the atmosphere and OD’ing coeds.
  • Why on earth wouldn’t you want to entrust your child’s future to DISD, given moves like this one?

Thursday Roundup: Wait, I Have a Blog?

Sorry for the absence. Shockingly, this blog doesn’t quite generate the revenue yet that would allow me to make it my sole daily endeavor. Blog FAIL.

  • Public school delinquents with hearts of gold. A damsel in distress. This has the makings of a Morgan Freeman vehicle.
  • On the one hand, it’s a stupid move by the homeowner association and a silly rule. On the other hand, if you buy where there’s an HOA, don’t be surprised if they get ticked if you violate HOA rules. Solution: don’t buy where there’s an HOA.

Thursday Roundup: Does This Look Infected?

  • Dallas is going to be losing one of its better watchdogs when city hall reporter Dave Levinthal decamps for Washington, DC this summer. The worn cliche in our business is that if all sides are mad at you, you’re doing your job right. (Though I don’t think anyone in our business ever stops to think, “Maybe I’m just an a-hole.”) Well, Dave did his job right, and kept an eye on the horseshoe for everyone. So it’s our loss. Oh, and Dave? The Bills suck.
  • “To do nothing is to turn our back on the problem,” Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway said. Every time there’s a really bad piece of legislation, someone says this or a variation, “To do nothing is not an option.” Yes, doing nothing IS an option, if the “something” you want to do is stupid, unneeded, or downright oppressive. This kind of statement is a blank check that draws on your wallet and your rights. A pol needs a metaphoric kick in the teeth when he says this.
  • Robert Guest has a gem of a find: Even cops are told to get an attorney when they talk to cops. If you’re the subject of an investigation, the person asking the questions does not have your interests in mind. Even police know this. So follow their example — don’t ever, ever, ever speak to the police without an attorney.
  • So Texas is the second youngest state, with a median age of 33.2 (thank you for the decimal, Mr. Spock), which should be justification enough to RIF Steve Blow.
  • And it doesn’t explain the Six Flags mascot, which SWAIM rightly notes is like being kicked in the eyes with AIDS. Seriously — could this look any more like a child molester?


Monday Roundup: Do They Have Jokes in Your Country?

  • “If they ban smoking what’s next? Fatty foods?”
    “Oh, don’t be ridiculous. That’s a stupid slippery slope argument.”
    Guess what.
  • Good God. Almost three months for skipping jury duty? Which banana republic is this? Oh, it’s Collin County. That’s some fine police work, Lou.
  • picture-2And of course, a congratulations to the Mayor Tom Leppert, James Taggart, Phillip Jones, and Wesley Mouch on a sweeping win Saturday.

Tuesday Roundup: Star Trek is Back

  • …And my review will be up tomorrow.
  • New anti-hotel ad is good but there’s overreach where they quote Councilman Jerry Allen who said, “That’s an element of risk that’s out there. … Of course, by that time, I’ll be off council. So I cannot be held accountable.”
  • William McKenzie raises a lot of good points about the state of public schools in Texas, but the bottom line for me seems to be we should just return full control of schools to local school boards and let what happens, happen.