Entries in Dallas (18)

Wednesday
Mar232011

City of Dallas is the "ICE" of North Texas

Dallas city officials said they plan to make public today, an embarrassing audiotape made by police when they spoke to Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway after a domestic disturbance at his home.

State District Judge Teresa Guerra Snelson rejected Caraways request yesterday to extend a temporary court order she issued in March to suppress the tape. City Attorney Tom Perkins said the city would release the tape and other material requested by the news media by midmorning today.

Caraway gave NFL player and convicted federal felon, Michael Vick the Key to the City of Dallas during Super Bowl Week.  Change your locks!

I will post a link as soon as it becomes available.  Full disclosure: I have lived in north Texas for over 30 years.  I lived in the City of Dallas for one year and my daughter was born there.  I worked in both Dallas and Tarrant County over my federal career.  Both my wife and daugher currently work in Dallas County.  My daughter moved back to Dallas three years ago.  Ive lived in Tarrant County for over 29 years now.

In my opinion, Dallas is the most dysfunctional city in north Texas. Dallas County is the most dysfunctional county in the metroplex.  The Dallas Independent School District is surly one of the most incompetent and corrupt school systems on the earth.

I worked with the current Sheriff of Dallas County for over a decade when she was a U.S. Customs special agent.  I personally liked Sheriff Lupe Valdez, but I cannot recall a single day of her federal career, where she even acted as a supervisor.  Once when working together on a surveillance, Sheriff Valdez told me she was working working on a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Texas, Arlington.  When I commented how difficult that must be, Sheriff Valdez, casually responded, not really, they will give you a B just for showing up at class. To the best of my recollection , Agent Valdez wrecked EVERY single government vehicle that she was assigned to drive, at least one time The drivers side window on her government assigned vehicle was shot out one sunny afternoon in Oak Cliff, the Dallas neighborhood where she still lives. That mystery is remains unsolved to this day!

Hearing the news that Lupe Valdez had been elected Sheriff of Dallas County is the biggest surprise that I have ever experienced in my life. Her election to a second term is my second biggest surprise!

But Sheriff Lupe, has managed to avoid most of the embarrassing publicity about Dallas city, county and school district officials, that appears almost daily in the local news.

So back to Caraway, who was mayor pro tem when the disturbance occurred in January. This clown filed suit against the city and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott seeking to block the release of the tape after Abbott ruled it couldnt be withheld under the Texas Public Information Act. Caraway sought to stop the tapes release by saying it was a private matter that didnt warrant public disclosure.

Im a little disappointed, but Im glad this is behind us, Caraway said after a 5 1/2-hour hearing in which he testified for two hours.

He added that, while he felt obligated to his job, he also felt obligated to protect his personal privacy.

I have a responsibility to this city, but I also have a right as a private citizen to have my privacy respected, Caraway said. My privacy has been disrespected.

Caraway was elevated to the mayors post when Tom Leppert resigned last month to run for the U.S. Senate. Caraway is not among the candidates seeking the job permanently in a May 14 election, but he is running to retain his seat on the City Council.

The tape was made by members of the Dallas Police Departments Special Investigations Unit when it was dispatched to Caraways home by Chief David Brown on Jan. 2.

Deputy Chief Craig Miller, who heads the unit, testified that officers spoke to Caraway in an unmarked police vehicle with a recording device.

No charges were filed, although an incident report was generated.

Caraway initially told The Dallas Morning News that the matter involved two individuals named Arthur and Archie who were at his home arguing over a football game they were watching. However, he later acknowledged at a City Council meeting that the dispute was in fact between him and his wife, state Rep. Barbara Caraway.

During two hours of testimony, Dwaine Caraway stressed that releasing the tape would damage his 16-year marriage. He also said that he never intended to summon police to his home. He said he called Brown as a friend and that the chief sent the Special Investigations Unit to his house without his knowledge.

Caraway testified that he agreed to speak with the officers in their vehicle never realizing that he was being recorded. He said he didnt learn that hed been recorded until he was informed by city officials eight days later.

Paul Watler, an attorney for The Dallas Morning News, which intervened in the suit, said Caraways status as a city official and a candidate running for office made his claims of privacy moot.

The courts agree and Ill get a link up to the tapes as soon as they become available, hopefully later this morning.

Wednesday
Feb022011

Oncor Rolls out Blackouts for the First Time Ever in North Texas

Oncor is initiating rolling blackouts throughout Dallas-Fort Worth and the rest of Texas this morning.  This is because of heavy load caused by icy conditions and extreme cold . WBAP is reporting that this is the first time north Texas has ever experienced a rolling blackout in winter or summer.  This reporter has lived in the metroplex for over thirty years and this is the first rolling power blackout that I have experienced.

Oncor said the blackouts would be temporary, lasting about 15 minutes at a time and it advised customers to only report outages that exceed that time frame.  WOLF headquarters, located 12 miles south of Cowboys Stadium experienced a 30 minute blackout from 8:00-8:30 a.m. this morning.

Television New outlets in the metroplex have received reports from viewers of outages lasting well over an hour. Thousands of home owners in north Texas have swimming pools with exposed above ground pipes leading to the filtration system.  With current temperatures of 15 degrees, water can freeze in about 30 minutes, when the pump stops running, due to the power blackouts.

As of about 7:30 a.m. Oncor was reporting nearly 43,000 problem outages, not related to the rolling blackouts, in the Dallas metro area and about 1,000 in the Fort Worth metro area.

Cowboys Stadium is reportedly receiving enough electricity to power a medium sized city, which is not helping the situation.  The stadium is being kept at 68 degrees and the lights are being kept on for tours, NFL workers and security personnel who are working around the clock inside the stadium.  Overnight temperatures dropped to single digits in Arlington.

Critical need customers such as hospitals and nursing homes will generally not be included, according to Oncor.  It is not clear how long the rotating outages will last.

Most schools and Federal offices are shut down today, as they were yesterday. 

Oncor urges customers to reduce electricity use to the lowest level possible.

  • Limit electricity usage to only what is absolutely necessary. Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances and electronics.
  • Businesses should minimize the use of electric lighting and electricity-consuming equipment as much as possible.
  • Large consumers of electricity should consider shutting down or reducing non-essential production processes.
Friday
Jan282011

Crime Stopper Cop Indicted for Crimes Against Self

A 26-year police veteran who headed the Dallas Crime Stoppers has been indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the tipster-based crime fighting program, U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas said Thursday. 

Dallas Police Department Senior Cpl. Theadora Ross, 50, of Rowlett, Texas, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeff Kaplan on Wednesday, and she was released on bond, Jacks said in a statement.

A co-defendant, Malva R. Delley, 36, of Dallas also was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Jacks said.

Between February 2005 and May 2010, the conspirators allegedly collected at least $250,000 in cash rewards for bogus tips, the prosecutor said in a statement. No arrests, which would have been false, were ever made, Jacks said.

Dallas police say Ross has been on administrative leave since the investigation began. An attorney for Ross says the 26-year veteran was looking forward to our day in court.

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