After six consecutive posts dealing with the Richardson Police Department's "Quota-gate" scandal, I felt like I needed a change. "Space Jam" was the wrong change.
Much has been made of the plain meaning of the words "predetermined and specified number" of citations in determining whether the Richardson Police Department has a ticket quota system. Those words are from the state statute prohibiting cities from imposing ticket quotas on its police officers.
The City's investigator stated that the City does not have a ticket quota. He conducted only two interviews with patrol officers and reviewed an unspecified number of performance evaluations. A suspicious mind might wonder if he was afraid to turn over too many rocks for fear of what he might find. And he included no evidence from any of this. No interview transcripts. Not even a list of questions he asked. No evaluation reports.
Let's turn over just one of those rocks.
As noted above, the Texas Transportation Code generally prohibits a political subdivision from evaluating an officer based on a predetermined or specified number of any type or combination of types of traffic citations. The words "predetermined" and "specified number" are not defined in the Transportation Code.
When possible, Courts determine legislative intent from the plain meaning of the words chosen.
Interpreting the statute according to the plain meaning of the words chosen, there is no indication that the City has violated the Transportation Code because there is no evidence that the City in any way directed its patrol officers to issue a predetermined or specified number of traffic citations.Source: Report of Investigation.
First course, something light to whet your appetite...
In my ramble yesterday about last Thursday's Richardson City Council meeting, I made a lot of trial analogies. This despite my firm intention of hammering home the point that the council meeting was in no way a legal proceeding. But one reader said I missed one analogy by not noting the symbolism of the name of one person in our little drama, the most effective questioner, Councilmember "Justice." He was right. But I defer to John Barth, who included some advice in his novel, "The Floating Opera," that I've always thought was worth following.
If you're looking for the five Ws of journalism (Who, What, When, Where, and Why), this is not the post for you. But if you don't mind going for a ride through my disorganized mind, you're in the right place. I'll inevitably go off on a few tangents on our journey, but I promise to always get back on track.
For three days, I've been promising to write about Thursday night's special called session of the Richardson City Council, and I've kept putting it off. Oh, I wrote about Wayne Olson's verbal report and his written report of his investigation into Office Kayla Walker's complaint that the City operates an Illegal ticket quota system. But I didn't write about the City Council. Why was that even the venue? Why not a court of law? The councilmembers didn't take a vote at the end. They didn't take any action regarding the complaint at all. When I pondered why it all happened the way it did, I found my mind becoming a jumble of different thoughts. It's taken me three days to even begin an inventory of them. I'm thinking if I just start writing, maybe some semblance of order will come.