Dallas Morning News reporter Kent Fischer has a story on the Metro front today revealing that the Dallas Independent School District (has been lying about fired credit card manager Sherri Brokaw. I wrote about her case in the paper version of Unfair Park in September, and I said she was being used as a scapegoat by the school system to cover up their own remarkably stupid mismanagement of a credit card purchasing system.
Recall, if you please, that The News scapegoated the shit out of Brokaw too, in order to hype its own stories about the credit card mess, which it stole from blogger Allen Gwinn anyway.
First the noble school system set out to fire Brokaw, who had overseen the botched credit card system. They withdrew the firing after an internal district panel came to the same conclusion I did in my story: The district had set up the program in such a stupid way that nobody could have kept it on the straight and narrow.
But the schools didn’t want to admit that the panel had largely cleared Brokaw, and neither did The News, which was treating her firing as a scalp on the newsroom wall. So as we now see from filings in a lawsuit, the school system suppressed the panel’s finding. They didn’t fire her: they opted not to rehire her. School spokesman John Dahlander publicly denied the panel had made a finding.
That allowed The News to slime Browkaw with a headline: "DISD fires workers after credit card problems: Chief of corrupted credit card program not rehired; scores let go."
Makes her look dirty, right? Right.
Thanks to the tenaciousness of Brokaw’s lawyer, the panel’s finding has now been unearthed, as Fischer reports in his story today. Of course, nowhere in the story does he say, “Oops, guess we slimed the wrong person in our earlier coverage.”
Well, we didn’t expect that, did we? It’s the flip-side of The News’ character. They will suppress stories to help their big-dog betters, as they did with the toll-road funding story. But woe betide you if you are the little person or enemy whom The News takes for fair game. Then you can’t catch a break.
Tell you what: If you are ever up against an implacable wall of insider bullying bastard bullshit in this town, hire James Murphy. He can read these people like he has super-power X-ray vision. He ain’t afraid. And he does not go away.
Good on you, Murphy. Cost ‘em hell! --Jim Schutze
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.