Three-peat! Following Up With Tom Hicks, Jaime Cortes and the Oak Cliff Christian Church.

Just returned to the office from an interview to find three press releases in the Unfair Park in-box worth noting. As always, let's start with the unusually chatty Tom Hicks, who spoke today with, among other media outlets, Business Week and the UK Guardian. To the former he reiterates what has become a familiar refrain in recent days: "Sports has never been my primary business." To the latter, he addresses the pending sale of Liverpool FC and insists, "There's been so much misinformation put out by people who have their own agendas and it's unfortunate, but the truth is the club is much better off than it was three years ago."

Which is where the Spirit of Shankly comes in: The Reds' supporters union sends word that it has fact-checked Hicks's comments and found them wanting, a la the U.S. Trustee in the Texas Rangers' bankruptcy filing Monday. James McKenna, SoS's media relations officer, directs our attention to this freshly posted entry on its Web site: "Tom Hicks - You Couldn't Make It Up (Well Actually, Tom Can)."

And whilst we're on the subjects of truths stranger than friction ...

... I just received a press release from Dallas County Constable Jaime Cortes, who's not out the door just yet. Perhaps you recall that on February 15, Dallas County Judge Jim Foster handed out copies of Danny Defenbaugh's report containing allegations that Cortes, among other things, violated the federal Hatch Act. Defenbaugh, a former FBI special agent, even wrote in his report that he asked the U.S. Office of Special Counsel to investigate charges that he forced deputies to work on his re-election campaign.

Below, you'll find a letter Cortes received a few days ago from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which says, long story short: He didn't violate the Hatch Act because, well, he ain't covered by the Hatch Act. To which Cortes responds in a statement:

"We knew that all the complaints and allegations were frivolous and without merit. The letter shows that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel did not have jurisdiction and that the complaints were filed as part of a smear campaign for political purposes. It appears that County Judge Jim Foster, Commissioner [Ken] Mayfield and Danny Defenbaugh have been and continue to engage in a smear campaign with no proof but only allegations from confidential informants or unnamed sources."

And, one last follow-up: As you probably recall, the Dallas Independent School District has given the Old Oak Cliff Conservation League till August 15 to find a buyer for the 94-year-old Oak Cliff Christian Church on 10th Street, which DISD wants to raze to make way for the Adamson expansion. When last we looked, some lookers but no takers for the $1.2 million property. But attorney John McCall wrote, via e-mail, to DISD's attorneys on Tuesday that it has in fact found "two qualified serious entities seeking to place an offer on the church."

Problem is, neither of them are churches, which means, according to McCall, "they would not be grandfathered for parking as was Revival Tabernacle." Wrote McCall, also a former OOCCL president:

Each of these entities would be housing a great deal of employees and visitors. As a result, they need a great deal of parking to accommodate 300 E. 10th. That being the case, I have been consulted to issue the following inquiries:

1. Would DISD entertain an offer that includes many other properties along the 300 block of 10th to be purchased at one time?

2. If purchase is not an option, would DISD be interested in a shared lot to accommodate the new Adamson campus?

3. Does DISD intend to purchase property along the 300 block of Jefferson for the future expansion?
He received DISD's not terribly enthusiastic or helpful response this afternoon and has shared it with the media.

Cortes Press Release
DISD Letter to John McCall

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky