Father of the year
Upon returning to the team he abandoned for money at the end of the 1996 season, once-and-future Dallas Cowboys cornerback Larry Brown told local scribes that God brought him and his loving family back to Texas Stadium. Brown was contemplating retirement and seeking a little guidance from above, when the Lord (Jerry Jones, actually, but what's the dif?) offered him his old job--at the pro-rated salary of $76,000.

Which is just enough to cover the child-support payments Brown owes Los Angeles County.

It seems Brown--who left Dallas for Oakland after winning the Super Bowl XXX MVP award--has been a little remiss on making payments to L.A. County, which is handling the trust for Brown's 12-year-old daughter Trenesa. In May, the district attorney's office in Los Angeles brought criminal charges against Brown, alleging he was more than $75,000 overdue in payments. Brown has a court date on January 5 in L.A. to discuss the issue.

The criminal case alleges Brown did not pay child support to Trenesa on April 30, 1998, "and prior thereto." According to deputy district attorney Joseph Rosen, Brown has been under a court order to make child-support payments since at least 1996. Brown, who owns Boxies Cafe in Grapevine, is supposed to pay the court $3,787 each month.

Brown's L.A. attorney, Robert Clayton, wouldn't comment, but according to court documents, in August 1998--three months after the criminal charges were filed--Brown entered into an agreement with the district attorney's office to make good on his payments without going to trial. But Brown failed to pay the initial sum due at the time the order was signed ($25,000), so in October, the D.A.'s office voided the agreement.

Deputy DA Rosen says that Brown paid the court $65,782 last month, but that he still owes more than $13,000. And even if he pays off the rest of the tab, the charges won't necessarily be dropped. Like Rosen says, you don't rob a bank, give the money back, and then go free.

Meet the new boss...
Dwaine Caraway, who on Saturday lost his bid to become president of the Dallas NAACP chapter, called the election the beginning of a "new day" as he vowed to support the winner, controversial incumbent Lee Alcorn.

Apparently, he meant that quite literally, as the good feeling generated by Saturday's high turnout lasted just about that--one day.

Jordan Blair, assistant publisher of the Elite News, who also lost to Alcorn, says he believes significant irregularities took place in the voting last Saturday. "We're trying to gather information about what we know happened,'' Blair says. He believes some 1,300 votes were cast, even though only roughly 1,200 individuals signed in at the NAACP office in Dallas where the polling took place. Meanwhile, a source close to Caraway says that the advertising agency owner might pursue some kind of action against the NAACP national office for allegedly inappropriately supervising the election.

How does the victor, Alcorn, view all this post-election scuffling? The phones weren't working properly at the branch office, so we couldn't reach him.

Welcome to the new day.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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Patrick Williams is editor-in-chief of the Dallas Observer.
Contact: Patrick Williams