Investigating the Investigation

A Buzz reader wrote in to suggest that we make some comment on a Dallas Morning News report last week that the Sheriff's Department somehow lost 50 keys that could be used to start about 180 cop cars.

"Surely this deserves some commentary, preferably of a more flippant variety," the reader suggested.

Surely it does, but not this week, seeing how Buzz spent Friday night bumming rides because we misplaced our car keys, something we do on average roughly three times a week. Nope, the folks at the sheriff's office get a pass--preferably a DART pass. Any fool, e.g. Buzz, can lose keys, but it takes a truly gargantuan boob to mislay an entire criminal investigation. For that, you call on the Dallas Police Department. Those guys, namely Chief Terrell Bolton, can't quite seem to decide whether they ever even started an investigation into that pesky fake-drug scandal.

According to a column last week by Morning News editorialist Ruben Navarrette, Bolton told the News' editorial board recently that there was never an internal investigation into the scandal. This appears to contradict Bolton's repeated statements elsewhere that his department began investigating the issue not long after learning about the fake drugs in fall 2001.

Maybe Navarrette got it wrong. Or maybe Bolton is talking out of both sides of his mouth. Buzz wasn't at the meeting, so it would be entirely unfair of us to pass judgment. Yep, it would be wrong, wrong, wrong if Buzz were to say, for instance: OF COURSE BOLTON'S TALKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH!

Besides, the chief's personal spokesflak reaffirmed that DPD began an investigation in late November 2001 and turned it over to the department's public integrity section soon after. The investigation was later passed on to the FBI, which is still looking into the case. She called the column "confused" on this matter and "inaccurate."

Oddly enough, others at the editorial meeting heard the same thing as Navarrette. Still, we understand how they all might have been confused. A police source tells the Dallas Observer that when the feds took over in late January, the DPD narcotics squad had not even rounded up the paperwork from the questionable cases. "It was all over the office," the source says.

So maybe it's just a simple confusion of terms. What Navarrette meant by "investigation" was collect paperwork, interview witnesses, things like that. What Bolton meant was something that only sounds like "investigation" and is palatable enough if you don't really care about results. Sort of like that phony "krab" stuff served in cheap seafood joints.

Fake drugs. Fake investigation. Sounds fair.

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