Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Demagoguing Amarillo Sheriff joins ranks of "clowns" "scumbags" and "maggots" he railed against

Potter County Sheriff Mike Shumate has been convicted of bribery and yesterday was sentenced to six months jail time and eight years on probation. Reported the Amarillo Globe News:
He called them clowns, scumbags, maggots and idiots. He said he'd load criminals on a bus to jail where they would meet "Bubba," a fictional cellmate.

Former Potter County Sheriff Mike Shumate gained attention when he headed up Amarillo Crime Stoppers and castigated criminals on weekly radio spots.

He's now part of the gang.

Shumate was sentenced Tuesday to eight years of probation and 180 days in jail for accepting bribes while he was the top law enforcement officer in the county. He chose to accept a plea deal rather than have a jury decide his fate.

Shumate faced up to life in prison after he was found guilty Thursday of engaging in organized criminal activity. Shumate accepted bribes from Mid-America Services Inc. and its president, Robert Wayne Austin Jr., in exchange for ensuring the company received the county jail's food service and commissary contracts. Mid-America and Austin are both charged with bribery and trials are expected to begin in Collin County in September.

Globe News columnist Greg Sagan said he was:
baffled by some of what has come out about the Shumate affair. Two of Shumate's statements at trial, which were quoted in this paper, were ripe for all manner of pungent comment.

One was his reply to a question about why he had not accepted money that was offered to him from a contractor. Shumate's reply, "I didn't need the money," was an egregious blunder. Had I been in the jury box and heard such a comment, I would wonder long and hard what the outcome might have been if, indeed, he had needed the money. Was that all that kept him from accepting it, or was there, you know, like, some principle involved?

Such contemplation would have led me to believe that someone else had given him money first.

The second comment was Shumate's response when asked what he would have done had the cash been placed in his hand. He testified that the money would have fallen to the ground because of a wound he suffered to his right arm in Vietnam. No attorney should have ever allowed his client to say such a thing in court. My immediate reaction when I read this was, "Gee, what if they put it in his left hand?"

Right after that I thought to myself, "So why didn't he arrest the guy on the spot for attempting to bribe a public official?"
Meanwhile, over at the Fort Worth Star Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy realized that:
the same company, Mid-America Services, has $4.5 million in contracts with Tarrant and Wise counties.

Jurors in Amarillo convicted Potter County Sheriff Mike Shumate of bribery for taking money, computers and free meals, and then hiring or recommending Mid-America to run both the jail snacks-and-sundries cart and the jail kitchen. ...

Defense witnesses countered that the executive, the late Jack Madera of Kaufman County, was simply a gambler who needed cash to pay his bookie.

Nothing on either side of this story makes me feel good about our county contracts.

Officials in both Tarrant and Wise counties said they will review the contracts this summer and have not decided whether Mid-America should be eligible to bid.

The company and its current president, Bob Austin of Ellis County, are scheduled for trial Sept. 5 in the same case. That trial has been moved to McKinney.

The Wise County Sheriff told Kennedy he "lets vendors buy an occasional lunch," which is more of an admission than I'd be making after what happened to Sheriff Shumate! I'd bet even money we haven't seen the last allegations yet of bribery and jail commissary corruption.


Anonymous said...

This sentence absolutely disgusts me. The clowns, scumbags, maggots and good old "Bubba" aren't going to found in the county jail he lounges in with all his former buddies making sure he has a comfortable stay.

Rest assured, if it was me or any of you none political or law enforcement persons, we would be seeing the inside of TDCJ on a hot, miserable unit for many, many years.

This pitiful sentence only goes to prove that law enforcement personnel can get away with almost anything and not pay the same price an ordinary citizen would pay.

There is also a good chance that this clown~scumbag~maggot will eventually be working law enforcement again, no doubt in this state that doesn't bring their own to task.

Anonymous said...

Police and law enforcement nation wide are throwing away their reputations as fast as they can.

Their bet is that the power of their office-( backed by the courts, city, state and federal bureacracy, prosecutors, judges and jails) is worth more than legitimacy in they eyes of the citizens.

So far, I would say they are correct.

Anonymous said...

Law enforcement truly believe they're above the law because they enjoy so many protectons in their official capacity. It is good to see some the teeth in enforcement of this case.

I especially like the part about 8 years on probation. It would truly be "justice" if his probation is revoked on a technical violation!

Let him sweat it out for 8 years.

Don said...

This wasn't a straight plea deal. It was a snitch arrangement. Shumate agreed to testify against Mid-America in exchange for the light sentence. Whatever you think of snitch deals, it will apply here. I don't like them, but if you're going to do it for a drug dealer, I guess you can do it for a sheriff.

Anonymous said...

I guess we can add snitch to the list of protections available to law enforcement officials.


Anonymous said...

What DISGUSTS me is that YOU would JUDGE all Law Enforcement officers on what this POS did! Don't you know most Sheriffs are just another politician hiding behind a badge. Kind of like Judges who give their BUDDIES client a "SPECIAL" deal!
I could give you a list of several hundred Bexar County DEFENSE ATTORNEYS who collectively don't possess two gonads when it comes to fighting for what is TRULY right. Yet, I know there are many more who do what is right.
MORAL: Don't Judge all because of the few....

Anonymous said...

Just six months of marital bliss in the sneezer with "Bubba."

How disappointing. :-(

Anonymous said...

Just more justice Texas style!

Funny that we are opposed to the Ten Commandments being allowed near the entrance to our courthouses. Yet... we have no problem with the horse that has And... "Justice for All" posted on it's flanks in front several state offices. Nothing could be further from the truth! Shame on Shumate and shame on us!

Anonymous said...

Charles Kiker here:

This is almost in my back yard, so I feel I should comment. I do not think the sentence is inappropriate. He is serving 180 days in the Armstrong County jail. He will not be overseen by his former employees, and he is not to be in protective custody. He will never be able to be in law enforcement again. His sentence does serve as a warning to any government officer tempted to take a little favor from prospective contractors.

Shumate's sentence is similar to Tom Coleman's, except that Coleman got no jail time, and was not offered the opportunity to snitch on anybody.

I only wish that courts would use this same discretion in sentencing other convicted criminals. What sentence best serves the community interest?

Anonymous said...

"Absolute Power corrupts absolutely." We've seen it happen time and time again. We put people into positions of little or no accountability and offer them a tremendous amount of power and then we wonder "what happened?"

We had a D. A. in Pampa with a methamphetamine addiction prosecuting meth addicts. In Custer County, Oklahoma (Clinton) the sheriff stands accused of trading sexual favors with female inmates for lighter sentencing (he also served on the Drug Courts for that judicial district). Some people just don't seem to have much of a "moral compass".

Naughty little boys in positions they can't seem to handle. Kind of reminds me of a line from Mel Brooks "History of the World Part 1". King Louis is groping women, making a general ass of himself, when the picture cuts to King Louis who looks directly into the camera and says, "It's good to be the King!" I guess it was until the storming of the Bastille. that's an idea!