The Longer Mayor Dwaine Delays the Inevitable, The More Stuff We Get to Keep Making Up

Categories: Get Off My Lawn
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Two things. The first is serious business. The second, not so much.

As you know by now, a Dallas judge today granted lawyers for Mayor Dwaine Caraway their request for a temporary restraining order forbidding the Dallas City Attorney from releasing an embarrassing police investigative tape of the mayor.

The Texas Attorney General already had told the City Attorney to release the tape, which was made by police the night in early January when Caraway called the police chief to help him settle a dispute with his wife, state Rep. Barbara Mallory Caraway. Dallas City Attorney Tom Perkins said in court today he intended to release the tape under the requirements of state law.

But state law also provides Caraway a chance to go to court and argue against the release. Caraway's attorney, Michael Payma, persuaded Judge Teresa Guerra Snelson to halt release of the tape for 14 days while Payma perfects his argument for a permanent ban.

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Michael Payma, the mayor's attorney
The problem with the court hearing was that there was no one there to argue for the public. Judge Snelson solved that problem by calling Dallas Morning News reporter Steve Thompson up to the rail. Speaking off the cuff, Thompson made a strong argument to the effect that the tape will have to come out eventually anyway.

Thompson ticked off the many ways in which Caraway already has acted to put this issue in the public domain -- a fact that's going to outweigh any issues of embarrassment when all is said and done, he said. I was especially impressed that Thompson was able to bring up Arthur and Archie without smiling or in any way behaving disrespectfully to the court. Usually only trained lawyers can do tricks like that. I was staring down at my notepad pretending to sneeze in order not to get kicked out of court.

Snelson wound up giving Caraway's team what they wanted -- a 14-day temporary restraining order -- after Payma made a carefully argued case: Basically, he said that without the order, the tape would go out to the press and the damage would be done. The only way Caraway could have his day in court -- for the judge to decide whether or not to overrule the AG and order the release -- was for the judge to keep tape under wraps while that case was being brought to court.

But when it was over the judge complimented Thompson and told him he should go to law school if he ever gets tired of being a journalist.

Now. Not so serious.

I am worried that when the tape does come out, people will be disappointed, not because there won't be good stuff on it, but because the cops will make the quality of the tape so bad that nobody will be able to understand it. Believe me, I have been around this block before.

Just for example, and I'm just making this up, but imagine that the cops also made a tape of the mayor's imaginary friends, Arthur and Archie, discussing the Caraway incident with each other. Based on my experience with these matters in the past, it would probably sound something like the dialogue below. And remember, I made this up, and I offer it only as a public service, so people won't be too disappointed if and when the real tape comes out:

Archie: Inaudible.

Arthur: Inaudible.

Archie: (Redacted) ... like in a pirate movie ... inaudible ... chopped ... inaudible ... everywhere.

Arthur:
Barbara?

Archie: Inaudible ... Dwaine was (deleted) ... inaudible ... and I was running around after him ... inaudible ... escape ... inaudible (deleted) ... so scared ... right off the end of the porch, and Dwaine ... (redacted) ... underneath me like a surfboard.

Arthur: I thought it was Barbara who was ... inaudible (deleted).. the neighbor's house.

Archie: Well, yeah, but that was after Dwaine ... inaudible ... down the street ... (deleted) pants .. inaudible.

Arthur: No, Dwaine didn't do that.

Archie: Yes, he did!

Arthur: No, he didn't!

Archie: Yes, he did!

Arthur: No, he didn't!

Archie: That's not even the half of it. Dwaine ... inaudible ... butcher knife ... inaudible ... (deleted) ... pants ... (redacted) ... inaudible ... cops ... inaudible ... inside the church ... inaudible ... out the back door ... (redacted) ... like a stuck pig.

Long silence.

Arthur: Archie?

Archie: Yes, Arthur.

Arthur: That's terrible.

Archie: You're tellin' me.

Arthur: What's Dwaine gonna do if the tape of it ever comes out?

Archie: I told him he should ... inaudible (redacted) ... change his name ... inaudible .. (deleted) Ohio ... inaudible ... at midnight with all his stuff ... (redacted) ... fresh start.

Arthur: Oh, man. No wonder Dwaine didn't want that tape to come out. Now the mayor of Dallas looks like he's a (deleted) (deleted) (deleted) (deleted).

Archie: Inaudible.

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25 comments
us175guy
us175guy

Payma, what a name for a lawyer! Cause one way or another, he'll get paid....

Syd_Nancy
Syd_Nancy

Cara-sheen paid for his legal expenses with the money he made from the liquor stores paying him to keep beer out of Beerbreaths' reach.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

Caraway has a right to ,fight private information about he and his wife,give at a time of distress to ,a Police Officer ,charged with the protection of the people of Dallas.The report was taken at his home,not City Hall or in any Council official duties.If he does not want it released its his right to follow the process available to all Americans.Service on City Council does require a person to give up all his rights as an American.He and his wife had argument,he called police,police came,no charges filed, no crime reported.End of story,I don't need to hear any more,I don't own a news paper or make my living on gossip or other people misery,that's the reason Lynn Shaw was killed by her husband ,the Media was so mean and he was so proud ,he could not live with everyone knowing how broke they were.Lynn Shaw could not have been getting paid by anyone at DART, they were broke,now they are Dead, killed by local Media.

Pete
Pete

It is going to be Broke Back City Hall. That's why his is fighting it

Guest
Guest

Must be nice to have a judge to back up the lack of an argument.

Regular citizen wants a TRO, I doubt they could get by without even mentioning pertinent parts of the prevailing law and precedent that covers the request.

(And, you know, the city of Dallas releases stuff that's potentially embarrassing to private citizens all the time. How frequently do they seek an AG's opinion before releasing such information to the public? Is the number close to or exactly zero? It seems like the only time the delaying tactic of asking for an AG's ruling is used is when it's a public official or police officer or other government employee accused of potential wrongdoing. So, effectively, the city of Dallas only acts when they want to cover their own asses).

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

What does it take to get rid of some of these people? Seriously, is there a trade deadline on movin' these people for someone to be named later? Could we cut a deal with Sachse or Gun Barrel or White Settlement? Jesus H Christ, we could throw darts at random pages in the telephone book and wind up with a better mayor (or county commish, county judge, etc...)

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

How much is it costing the City of Dallas to defend itself in this matter? What is the total "all-in" cost (police responders, filing of documents with attorney general, defense in Dallas County District Court, etc.)?

Enrique De La Fuente
Enrique De La Fuente

How can Caraway afford an attorney? Does he or his wife have a real job? Anybody who calls his or herself a consultant is more often than not unemployed.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Thompson appears to have done a good job of raising the "sword and shield" argument. What Caraway is doing is talking about the matter quite publicly in a matter that is most flattering to him (the "sword") while simultaneously using the judicial system to block the release of information that could contradict his version of events (the "shield").

I can't imagine he will end up prevailing--- but I've been wrong before.

Alan
Alan

BTW, is it still Jim's gun when it's under Big Bob's byline?

Alan
Alan

It's hard to imagine the tape shows anything other than that (1) Dwaine and Barbara had a domestic dispute and (2) Arthur and Archie are fictitious. Does anyone doubt either of those matters now? How much more damage can release do?

Mr. Sulu
Mr. Sulu

BettyThis is why I quit reading your blog. Nobody outside of the community should be allowed to criticize. After a knowing look, and a nod, we know the real reason why they are going after one of us.Keep using the forcefield, its working.Hell, you even have Jim writing in differential tones.

DoubleOJoe
DoubleOJoe

Betty, I can't say I agree with you on this at all. My usual snarkiness aside, Caraway is not a private citizen. He's an elected and appointed official, who is suspected (rightly or not) of using public resources inappropriately. His apparent desire to withhold the truth in this matter makes it doubly important that the real facts are revealed to the voting public, regardless of how embarrassing it is for him personally.

JimS
JimS

Betty: I hear you on the privacy thing. I go back to Monica Lewinsky. The idea that people's private lives are public property is fundamentally bad. It's what Adolf Hitler thought. The agony here is that Dwaine made this public, on multiple occasions. The law says he has to prove two things to keep it from being released: 1) It's really really embarrassing and 2) It's not public. Even if he wins on count one, he's going to lose on count two. The tape is coming out. Kunkle is quoted in the paper today saying you should release something right away if you know it has to come out anyway. He's right. Otherwise the city just looks like a collaborator, which is what Tom Perkins looks like now. I respect Perkins, and I know he sat on this because he felt sorry for Dwaine. But these guys are supposed to feel sorry for the public. We need to know if Dwaine has his own private police force for dealing with his wife. Anyway, I hear you, but dragging this out is just making itr worse and worse.

Former Mayor Tommy L.
Former Mayor Tommy L.

Sorry Betty. Did the current mayor call a private cop to his private residence? No, he called the chief of police at home (hey, Betty do the rest of us get his number too?). Then publicly paid cops used publicly paid equipment to take care of the matter. Joe Average-Citizen would have a similar altercation part of the public record. But not you and your ruling elites.

And sorry the DMN news, the Statlegram, TV, or JimS' did not kill Lynn Shaw. Believe it or not, there are public crimes reports on that case. Unlike the current mayor's little escapade. It is funny how the mayor can demand the cops stay away from his poker game but calls then when his wife confronts him.

J. Erik Jonsson
J. Erik Jonsson

If its exclusively relying on the City Attorney's office, then it's all sunk cost. The cost can only be valued in terms of the work those people would be doing if not for this case.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

All black people are not broke.God-dam do you people think he cannot hire an Attorney? People have businesses and Trust funds just like white folk.Would you ask Linda Koop or Sheffie Kadane how they buy food,Ms.Koop does not appear to have a job neither does Mr.Kadane? Give Dwain a break,taxpayers are not paying,so its none of your f------ business.

Rico
Rico

Payma is getting enough free publicity to forego a fee. While he may not be the sharpest tack in the box, he's not stupid. He knew his name and photo would be carried in every print medium and on every local channel.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Yup -- I gots my own gun. Bylines got switcheroo'd. But it's all better now. Thanks. I blame Arthur. Because Archie's a delight.

Jay
Jay

Its a little early in the debate to pull out the Hitler card, isn't it?

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

We need to know if the mayor is being abused by his wife! Who does she think she is, John Wylie Price??

Rooster
Rooster

Well....sort of....if you can get past the fact he got special treatment from the Dallas cops, and the city legal staff has to spend time on it, etc.

With all due respect, the taxpayers are spending plenty of our hard earned money on this clown. I can't believe you actually spend your time being an apologist for him.

What I really can't believe.....is this clown is actually our mayor...

CrackerDaddy
CrackerDaddy

But......did you get that gun from Ray's?

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