"Please Hold For Mrs. Kunkle."

Who do you think Lupe Valdez called back last night: Sarah Dodd or Sarah Kunkle? Because Schutze thinks he too needs a new last name.

Sarah Dodd had a good piece last night on KTVT-Channel 11 about "runaway" overtime pay for Dallas County jailers. County Commisiosner John Wiley Price weighed in with some sober-minded concerns about huge cost overrruns at the jail -- a tad surprising, since he and Sheriff Lupe Valdez are both prominent local Democrats.

But here was the big surprise: At the tail end of her story, Dodd said, "And Sheriff Valdez just returned my calls about 10 minutes ago, and she says the overtime is valid and that her staff is looking at ways to reduce it. But she also says the biggest issue is going to be bringing down the population of the jail."

Pardon, but Sheriff Valdez did what??!! She returned Sarah Dodd's calls? The Ghost Sheriff? The sheriff who is rumored to move about the land only when the moon is full?

There are reporters in this city who will swear there is no Sheriff Valdez, that she blew town right after her election and now a select handful of sheriff's deputies have learned how to do her voice on the phone. Only they don't even have to do that, because everybody knows the sheriff never returns her calls anyway.

But she does return calls, apparently, to Sarah Dodd, who recently married Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle.

Got me thinkin'. I know it's probably against the law or something for me to leave phone messages saying my name is Dallas Police Chief David Kunkle. That would be impersonating a law enforcement officer. But what about impersonating a law enforecemnt oifficer's wife?

Could anybody nail me if next time I called the sheriff I spoke in falsetto and said my name was Mrs. David Kunkle? Hmm? Worth a try maybe? --Jim Schutze

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky