A Friend of Unfair Park forwards along this Austin American-Statesman story from yesterday, in which two former Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission agents -- one of them a former Dallas captain -- warn that TABC Administrator Alan Steen ain't much good when it comes to following through with apologies and investigations. Add to that docs uncovered from an '04 Texas Sunset Advisory Commission report and an '07 wrongful arrest lawsuit, and what you get is a glass full of warm, flat Shiner -- mmmm, mmmm. So, what say you, 31-year TABC vet Sam Smelser?
Both Smelser and Capt. David Alexander, a retired TABC officer who supervised all agents in the 48-county Dallas region, cited several occasions in which they said Steen directed the outcome of agency investigations, including:
An incident in which Steen ordered a case against a Dallas club owner charged with a license violation dropped. "The club owner was a relative of State Sen. Royce West, who called me about the incident," Alexander wrote.
Steen didn't dispute the account but described the case as an extremely minor one that didn't merit action against the licensee.
In the words of Mr. Sulu, "Oh, my."
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.