Sunday, March 30, 2014

Odds and ends: Rules are there for a reason

Here are a few items that deserve Grits readers' attention but haven't made it into their own individual posts:

TDCJ staff breaking bad
A couple of items from The Back Gate website detail disciplinary problems at TDCJ units:
Film this: Fort Worth PD adds body cams
Fort Worth PD has decided to buy 400 additional body cameras for its officers on top of 200 already in the field, reported the Star-Telegram. Though the police association has expressed concern about its members privacy and overreach by management, thus far that hasn't been an issue: "although the videos have led to some additional training for officers, so far none have resulted in formal discipline."

Dallas PD pays $1.1 million for roadside beating
The City of Dallas settled a lawsuit for $1.1 million after dashcam video contradicted officers' account of the arrest of a 62 year old man who was beaten and spent 15 months in the county jail, apparently on trumped up charges. See accounts from WFAA-TV, the Dallas Morning News, and the Dallas Observer.

Read more here:"

Texas sues feds over guidelines re: hiring felons
The Houston Chronicle published an item about the state of Texas' lawsuit, filed late last year, contesting the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's "new guidelines designed to give ex-offenders a chance to be considered for a job," arguing that "The EEOC urges employers to determine in each case whether the disqualification is job-related and a business necessity, and to consider such factors as the nature and gravity of the offense, how much time has passed since the conviction and the time served and the type of job that is being sought." The state of Texas argues:
that it doesn't need to perform the "individualized assessments" the EEOC "purports to require."

It also is asking the court to set aside the EEOC's enforcement guidance and prohibit the agency from giving any job applicants the right to sue the state of Texas over its rules regarding arrest and conviction records.
It also is asking the court to set aside the EEOC's enforcement guidance and prohibit the agency from giving any job applicants the right to sue the state of Texas over its rules regarding arrest and conviction records.

The EEOC didn't return requests for comment for this column. But in its response to the lawsuit, the federal agency noted that its guidance was simply guidance. It wasn't a rule employers had to follow, nor does it have the force of law.

The federal agency also noted that Texas, with its sweeping anti-felon policies, is failing to distinguish between risky job candidates and ones who likely pose little risk.
Former Willacy DA won't snitch
Reported the Valley Morning Star:
Former Willacy County district attorney Juan Angel Guerra was arrested in court on Wednesday and taken directly into custody after refusing to testify before 404th state District Court Judge Elia Cornejo-Lopez.

The arrest stems from Guerra’s continuing refusal to provide an accounting of money he, or an organization called Buena Suerte Social Services Inc., to which he has ties, received from Samuel Longoria. Longoria owned properties at the Cameron County and Hidalgo County line known as the “blue buildings,” the sites of lucrative gaming operations. ...
Assistant DA Matthew Kendall has maintained that Guerra is Buena Suerte and that the organization was nothing more than a shell corporation.
Former state rep faces forfeiture in bribery scandal
From the Valley Morning Star: "The U.S. Attorney’s Office has given notice that it intends to dispose of a quarter-million dollars forfeited by ex-state representative Jim Solis, for his role in the racketeering and bribery schemes." Solis is currently serving a 3 years 11 month federal prison term.

Money laundering blame game
In this New York Times story, US officials blame Mexico for failing to prosecute money laundering, but the truth is banks and businesses on the American side are also culpable.


"Red" Merriweather Coast said...

I thought the EEOC's guidelines were based on existing law. I agree with the lawyer quoted in the story who called it a "head-scratcher."

And that cop beating case is a good example of "walking while black."

Anonymous said...

Grits, thanks for the cornucopia of stinky things to pick through. A few might be worthy of follow ups and posts of their own.

Stinkiest first.
*Note to: TDCJ employees - Turn to Chapter 2, Pg. 21 in your HandBook and let's go over "Refraining from sticking things in inmates buts". Always remember, verbal threats are to be anticipated when you (Admin) places females in prison with males & visa versa. Sometimes they'll lie on inmates and coworkers. Next week we'll discuss - "How to avoid participating in Guard Gang Rape".

Yes, of course accidents happen on purpose when you go in ungloved & start poking around just to put someone in their place. Doesn't matter if it's on the side of the road or in a cell, it's a crime. To see if you are related to or hang out down by the river with a Guard with Insertion Issues click on the link in the posting.

Anonymous said...

Per EEOC... I thought TDCJ would consider hiring ex inmates after they served 15 years from ending parole. Anything other than that would open the door for ex inmates being convicted for carrying contraband into a facility. I dont think the EEOC is something that TDCJ should take too kind to. GTR.