Murphy's Law

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

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