Monday, June 27, 2005

La mordida in Fort Bend County

Sam Jimmy Mann, formerly police chief of a small hamlet called Kendleton in Fort Bend County, Texas, was convicted last week of extorting more than $390,000 from motorists from 1997 - 2001 in illegal on-the-spot fines. He was sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay restitution. Kudos to the Fort Bend DA for pursuing the case.

In Mexico this practice is called "la mordida," which translates as a small bribe but literally means "a little bite." There, the unofficially tolerated practice often supplements ridiculously low police salaries. Looks like the concept migrated north of the border.

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