A woman scorned
It's a proud moment for a reporter to learn that his or her work has driven some crooked bureaucrat to Nixonesque levels of paranoia.
So Buzz was touched to read the deposition of Freda Jinks, the Dallas schools administrative assistant turned cheese-eater whose ratting led former superintendent Yvonne Gonzalez to plead guilty to felonious furniture shopping. According to Jinks, Gonzalez at one point asked her to check phone system records to sniff out which DISD bureaucrats were calling the Dallas Observer.
We're honored, of course, but why us?
Did press advisor Robert Hinkle tell Gonzalez that was how they handled nettlesome reporters when he worked as a consultant for Kuwait? Did she get angry when Buzz derided The Dallas Morning News description of the meaty superintendent as "petite"? Did Buzz fail to pick on former DISD board president Bill Keever enough? Or was it just that her mascara was smudged when we ran her photo on the cover?
We'll ask her next time she calls us back.
Objection! He's rolling his eyes!
Dallas criminal defense attorney Tom Mills is not in the habit of sitting around while his clients do all the talking. But that will, in all likelihood, be the case when he attempts to represent Rick McLaren, the bad-will Ambassador of the Republic of Texas. Mills learned the other day that he's been appointed to represent McLaren, whether McLaren wants him to or not.
In his forthcoming Dallas case, McLaren is on the hook for 25 counts of federal bank fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy charges related to a bogus-check scheme he allegedly cooked up with a couple of Dallas guys. If he gets the max, he could be sentenced to 725 years in a federal pen.
The voluble McLaren, who would rather harangue judges with his novel theories of Texas history than save his own skin, doesn't believe in lawyers. He has steadfastly refused court-appointed counsel. So Mills isn't certain if any actual lawyering will be required, or whether he will just be required to sit there.
"I don't know whether I have a speaking part," he says. "I might have to do most of my advocacy to the jury with eye movements."
Insult to injury
Last week's Buzz item about the prospects for peace on Swiss Avenue had an embarrassing error--we misspelled DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander's first name.
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This is particularly embarrassing because the last time Dahlander--a pianist and composer who recently recorded a CD--appeared in Buzz, we compared his music to that of John Tesh. Apparently, this is some sort of insult to pianists. Go figure.
Buzz apologizes to Mr. Dahlander and assures him that we hold him in the same high regard as other fine Dallas school administrators.
Feed the Buzz. Write us at Patrick_Williams@dallasobserver.com
--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams