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Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

News: Dallas Corruption Edition

I apologize for the sporadic posting lately. Between crazy Christmas-time death work, plowing through Lost, and searching desperately for a job, I just don't have much free time. I'm sorry about that. To make it up to you, today is going to be a busy posting day. Winter weather (1-3 in. of "wintry mix") comin' to town, and I may just be stranded here at work all night.

I am so not looking forward to delivering pizzas tonight.

Anyway, I have been noticing a bunch of stories involving local governmental corruption in Dallas and Fort Worth lately. Every day I seem to hear about some new scandal involving some new guy who was arrested for this that or the other. I'm now going to attempt a comprehensive list. The criteria I'm using are:
1) It must be a scandal involving a public figure, "public" meaning employed by the local government.
2) It must have been discovered or been in the news in 2005.

Let's start with this one, where Manny Vasquez, the top police officer in the DISD (and no, I don't know why the schools have their own police force -- is this a common practice?) started a security side business and awarded a $100,000 DISD contract to another business that he was partners with. He did this while he was acting as a liason to the FBI in their DISD corruption investigation. The FBI is investigating the DISD because of the Micro Systems scandal, where the recently ousted DISD technology chief traded the right to wire all the schools in Dallas with computers for a bunch of stuff, most notably the use of a $750,000 yacht. In fact, Officer Vasquez started his security business with one of the Micro Systems salespeople who was bribing the technology chief. I know it's a convoluted story, but they're all fired because of it, even though Vasquez was all, "I was gonna retire anyway..."

Dallas Deputy Fire/Rescue Chief Michael Price got real drunk at a conference, did a bunch of bad stuff, wasn't punished for it, and is now suing the female firefighter who blew the whistle on him. It's good to be the Deputy Fire/Rescue Chief.

This month's D Magazine cover story is about how DISD (back to them, the scum) is covering up the fact that replacing windows in some older schools is putting asbestos into the air when children are in there, working. And when somebody discovered this, the whole thing was ignored and then covered up. And they'll probably end up getting away with it.

There are 2 airports in Dallas, one that profitable Southwest flies out of, and one for everybody else. The Southwest one charges about 1/10th of the "landing fees" the other one does, allowing Southwest to make more money. The airport runs at a deficit. Not scandalous? Try telling that to the citizens of Dallas who've been unknowingly subsidizing the airport (and the airline) for years.

Back to DISD. They've (the state, that is) been using an illegal and unconstitutional "Robin Hood" scheme to fund poorer school districts, thereby turning school funding into an "unconstitutional property tax." Again, this is convoluted, but scandalous. White people got mad, and successfully sued to stop the scheme.

Several Dallas City Council members are under investigation/imminent firing because of secret deals involving kickbacks they pulled off using their influence over City policy. Seriously, it's a bunch of them. And they run the city. Oh, the humanity.

Yes, this was in 2001, but new charges of perjury have been filed against a Dallas Police officer convicted of using fake drugs to convict a bunch of innocent mexicans and send them to jail. Scummy, scum, scum. Oh, and he also probably skimmed money from informants. It's all like some bad movie.

Hey, there's a lot more, so I'll update you soon. I just thought you should know even after you move away from Illinois, corruption can still find you.


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