Clay Jenkins Sends a Message to Craig Watkins: Yeah, Hold Up on Hiring That Outside Firm

Jenkins_Price_02211.jpg
Photo by Sam Merten
Last night, my wife and I were discussing JWP, millions in uncollected bail bonds spanning centuries, Dallas County politics, Kathy Nealy's IRS woes as noted on WFAA's 10 p.m. broadcast, Craig Watkins and so forth. She said something I didn't quite understand. I corrected her: "No, it's county management, not city." She corrected me: "I didn't say city management. I said shitty management." Oh. Well, sure.

This is what prompted the talk: At 10 last night, Dallas County spokesperson Maria Arita sent an email on behalf of Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins in response to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins's earlier missive. Watkins, of course, says he'll go ahead and hire an outside law firm to collect the $35 million Dallas County's owed in uncollected bond forfeitures. Jenkins ain't having it. Let's go to the statement from one Clay Lewis Jenkins:
"Our first priority, with respect to bond forfeiture judgments, is to determine the actual amount that there is any legal possibility of collecting. Then, we must determine the most effective and efficient means of collection. There is a lot of conflicting information out there. I wish there was a $35 million dollar pot of gold for the taxpayer but the truth is that the actual amount of legally collectible bond money will be a fraction of that.

If outside counsel is hired, that entity will be selected by the District Attorney's Office (D.A.) and that contract will come before the Dallas County Commissioners Court for approval. This Commissioners Court is committed to working with the D.A., all elected officials and county staff to insure all monies owed are collected for the taxpayers."
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26 comments
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Balch Springs Citizen
Balch Springs Citizen

Sounds like Linebarger has a new contract with the county, no wait they have an evergreen contract anyway.  G-Men please check them out thoroughly that are very deep in this mess.

Admonkey
Admonkey

Does anyone still have any confidence left in the Commissioner's Court?

Will the last one to leave the building please turn off the lights?

cp
cp

Maybe our DA wants to hire an outside firm to have the appearance of being objective? Doesn't he own a bail bond place?

Thelisma Partridge
Thelisma Partridge

More than likely he wants to hire an inside firm owned by a relative....

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Jenkins needs to back off and let Watkins do his job.  Hiring outside counsel on a contingent basis that has experience and a track record in collecting bond forfeitures is the best way to go.  The lawyers can answer these questions much faster than Jenkins and the Bond Board.  Statements from members of the Commissioner's Court in previous Dallas Morning News stories, including Jenkins and Cantrell, make it obvious the county does not have the staff, systems, desire or time to do this itself.  The Court and the Bond Board have failed to do their job thusfar.  No reason to think they will do their job now.  Jenkins demand for Watkins to back off is suspect.  He needs to learn how to play well with others (besides you know who).

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

We bumped into Jenkins a few nights ago after dinner. He did not look good. Perhaps the leg is still bothering him, or maybe it's job related stress, but the 1st thing that came to mind when I saw him was that he appeared to be lost.

Downtown Resident
Downtown Resident

Just how much botox has Jenkins pumped into his face? The guy looks like a B List escapee from Madame Tussauds.

Cheap old geezer
Cheap old geezer

How about publishing the list of overdue bail bonds, the guilty bondsmen, and who the bail covered. Canceling the licenses of bail bondsmen owing the county taxpayers money is certainly a good plan to get the money collected.  Using constables to collect the money will give them something to do besides writing traffic tickets and confiscated people autos. 

Rooster
Rooster

If what I've read through this and other articles is correct, I think what Jenkins is trying to say is that a good portion of the money has may have actually been paid, but remains on the books because of bad Dallas County bookeeping.

In other words, they either don't have the slightest idea what is actually owed, or bonding companies are greasing someones palm to erect a roadblock.

Either scenario is unacceptable.

Rooster
Rooster

Clowns on parade....

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Haha, Jenkins doesn't want Watkins to be able to collect all the political contributions (kickbacks) from firms vying for the collection contract all to himself.  Jenkins gotta' get paid too!!!

pak152
pak152

would make for a great reality show

Inquiring Mind
Inquiring Mind

WFAA implies that Rawlings won South Dallas by buying religious leaders. What exactly was the deal he cut with Captain Comeback on the north side of town?

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

First thing to do is determine the actual amount that can be legally collected? Is there a statue of limitations on collection forfeited bonds? If not then the answer is "all of it", isn't it?

Rico
Rico

If my understanding is correct, the bond forfeitures result in a default judgment against the bonding company. Judgments have an initial 10 year life span, unless renewed by virtue of having a Writ of Execution issued within that 10 year period (tack on another 10 years, and repeat as often as needed). Absent a timely Writ of Execution,  the judgment lapses and becomes unenforceable.

Publicintegrity
Publicintegrity

Robert, Is there a list you could publish of the judgments?  Is the county still approving of these entities writing bonds currently?  I think a little more of the 'light of day' on this story will yield some interesting alliances/connections, etc.

Rick
Rick

Doesn't the county have constables that can collect the money?And in the mean time, deny bails from those bondsmen that owe money...see how fast they pay.

El Rey
El Rey

Easy fix. You have to be licensed by the county to operate a bail-bond business. No license renewal until they are paid up. Easy as pie. If they cry foul, let them take it up with the good ole boy master himself...

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

This is the kind of great, common-sense idea our city needs.We could sure use a person like you on the DISD school board.

cp
cp

And a few more on the city council.

Ed D.
Ed D.

Dallas: our profound mismanagement at every level of government is world-cl... no, wait.

Actually, it's just deeply and profoundly sad. (World-class sad? Maybe.)

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

The puppet master strikes again.

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