Thursday, January 18, 2007 at 2:56 p.m.
Dallas County Commissioner Ken Mayfield tells us that he has asked new District Attorney Craig Watkins to investigate Dupree after the Oak Cliff-area constable admitted to the Observer that he arranged to have his purported ex-lover arrested and deported to Honduras. A spokesperson for Watkins says that the office's public integrity section will look into the matter. Sources say that Mayfield and Commissioner John Wiley Price are furious at Dupree over what they see as a clear abuse of power. But forget about the commissioners court. Dupree should be worried about his purported lover's girlfriend, the engaging Connie Jonez. She tells us that despite what Dupree says, her boyfriend does not want to be deported to Honduras. He wants to stay in the United States and marry her. She doubts that her boyfriend and Dupree were ever lovers and says that the constable's interest in her man was simply not reciprocated. So Dupree tried to break up her and Martinez, going so far as to smear make-up on Martinez's shirt, she says, to make her think that her man was with another woman. "He said, 'That white man is full of lies, lies, lies, lies,'" Jonez says Martinez told her. "He just tells me that Dupree is crazy and he's jealous." Martinez told us the same thing when we spoke with him earlier in the week. And another friend of Martinez, Gracie Briones, also says that her friend does not want to be deported to Honduras and that he believes he was "framed." Meanwhile, Dupree himself is all lawyered up, choosing to have attorney John Barr speak on his behalf. Barr disputes only one aspect of the Observer's original story: that Dupree put an immigration hold on Martinez after one of his deputies arrested him. Barr, who does a much better job of explaining the constable's actions than the constable himself, says that as a county law enforcement officer, Dupree does not have the power to restrict anyone with an immigration hold, which can prevent an inmate from being released until his immigration status has been reviewed. The only problem with Barr's defense is that it was Dupree himself who told us he put an immigration hold on Martinez when he said--and this is a direct quote--"He had some arrests and tickets, and I put an immigration hold on him. Frankly, I'm glad I did, because at least he's still alive." To that, Barr says that his client is simply mistaken about his own actions, reiterating that he simply does not have that authority. Interestingly however, Barr would not comment on whether Dupree alerted either the sheriff's office or immigration authorities regarding Martinez's illegal status. --Matt Pulle