Letters

Where's the Proof? Just a Bad Judge

Where's the Proof?

Witch hunt: I read Jim Schutze's article about Dallas police Chief Terrell Bolton ("Dump Bolton," April 12), and Jim seems to actually believe the chief is silently orchestrating the protests outside Ms. Laura Miller's home and is therefore responsible for the emotional pain experienced by her husband and children. Where's the proof? I don't agree with the protests outside Ms. Miller's home, because they serve only to help cast her as a victim when the real victim is Chief Bolton. His alleged wrongdoings have been investigated by the city manager's office and the FBI, and he has been cleared of the allegations, yet Ms. Miller and Ms. [Donna] Blumer continue to press these issues.

Then others have the unmitigated gall to take issue with Chief Bolton for accepting comp time pay, which is clearly a benefit offered for the position of chief of police for the city of Dallas. No other city official has been criticized for his or her acceptance of salary and benefits, and there are others who make substantially more money than Chief Bolton.

It seems there is some type of witch hunt to get rid of the chief. The nightclub and pay scandals are dead horses that Ms. Miller and Ms. Blumer continue to beat. If they really believe the chief is crooked, then at some point he will trip up. When and if that time comes, they need to be ready with proof of wrongdoing, not cloak-and-dagger innuendo. Those tactics work well in the arena of reporting, but in public service, credibility should be paramount.

If Ms. Miller has higher political aspirations, she needs to find a more substantive issue with which to distinguish herself. Meanwhile, John Wiley Price and the other protesters would better serve Chief Bolton by stopping the protests. Laura Miller and Donna Blumer don't even deserve that kind of attention.

It will take more than this mess to get rid of Dallas' first African-American police chief.

Gregory Kissentaner
Dallas

Lowlifes: I concur wholeheartedly with Jim Schutze: Chief Terrell Bolton must go. It is simply unacceptable that he should send police to prevent protests against Mayor Ron Kirk but then permit them against Councilwoman Laura Miller.

But I find the names John Wiley Price and his Warriors are calling Ms. Miller to be funny as well as ugly. Funny because only genuine lowlifes would stoop to that level of sexism.

Phyllis Guest
Dallas

Hatemongers: I was truly horrified after reading Mr. Schutze's article about the harassment of Laura Miller. I agree that this is about the children. How could any person, no matter how self-righteous, behave that way in front of children? It just makes the investigation of Bolton seem that much more valid. If he had nothing to hide, then why are his supporters behaving like hatemongers? Where is the logic? If they thought Ms. Miller was anti-Bolton before, how is she going to feel now? If they think she'll back down or run away, they haven't been paying attention. Running scared isn't her style.

As a lifelong Dallasite, I am ashamed of our city and its police force. If there's a petition to get Bolton out of Dallas, I'll joyfully sign. This sort of behavior cannot be tolerated by anyone for any reason. Maybe once Bolton is gone, we could lock up John Wiley Price for child abuse. I bet none of those loonies sees a day in jail. It's just not fair, but hey, that's Dallas, right? It just makes me ill.

Marie Eland-Thill
Dallas

Just a Bad Judge

No martyrs here: As a lawyer who makes frequent appearances in the Dallas courthouse, I won't quarrel with the facts in Thomas Korosec's article "Homefryin' with Fred Baron" (March 29). I do take issue, however, with any suggestion that former state District Judge John Marshall is in any way a hero or a martyr in the cause of justice. No doubt that Baron helped boot Marshall off the bench, but Marshall's re-election bid was defeated, in the final analysis, not because he ruled against Baron, but because he was a bad judge. His poor performance was what finally brought home a sufficient number of voters to remove him.

John Mortimer, in his short stories about British barrister Rumpole of the Bailey, describes the malady of "judgeitis," which is one of the hazards of judicial service "along with piles and the sleeping sickness." Its symptoms are "pomposity and self-regard, unnecessary interruptions during the proceedings or giving utterance to private thoughts far, far better left unspoken." In addition to this classic "judgeitis," Marshall's conduct as a judge over the years led more than one lawyer to comment that it would be more useful to know the former judge's blood sugar level than to have the law firmly on your side when appearing in his court. Once the facts of a situation or controversy are sorted out, the applicable law should be fairly predictable. The law, after all, is a set of rules along which we order our conduct and relations. Many times, however, Marshall was as unpredictable as Texas weather. Another article in this publication pointed out that Marshall would often decide, based on his snap evaluation of the morality or justice of the situation, or for obscure or unfathomable reasons, which side he thought should win a case, and then conduct himself accordingly. If a lawyer or the lawyer's firm curried sufficient favor with him, or in some cases, even if he just liked a lawyer for whatever reason, Marshall would sign practically any orders or judgments put in front of him.

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