Jim and I've spilled a lot of virtual ink in recent months writing about Robert Groden's legal battles with the city of Dallas over his selling JFK assassination-conspiracy wares in Dealey Plaza -- specifically, beneath one of the pergolas beneath which the Oliver Stone adviser has long set up shop. Long story short: Dallas PD arrested Groden for not having a vendor's permit, tossed him in jail, seized his stuff and took him to court, only to have a judge twice say: Well, no. The city insisted Dealey Plaza was Park and Rec-controlled property; again, a judge disagreed.
While browsing through the council's final agenda before summer break, I espied what can only be considered The Robert Groden Ordinance, which rewrites the section of the Dallas City Code the City Attorney's Office has used to go after Groden -- the one prohibiting the sale of goods and services on city-owned property. Per the summary of the ordinance rewrite:
The proposed ordinance amends Section 32-10 to clarify the offense and to provide defenses to prosecution that are similar to defenses provided for other city regulations governing vending on public property. The proposed ordinance would also authorize a person who witnesses a violation to file a complaint with the city attorney.
The new ordinance follows, but as Schutze said after I showed it to him: The rewrite shows, if nothing else, that the law being used to persecute ... pardon, prosecute ... Groden "doesn't work."
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