Leading Off (12/23/13)

Ethan Couch, Charlie Cato, Mineral Owners Suing Drillers, and a New Trolley on McKinney.

Judge Jean Boyd Sentenced Previous Teen Drunk Driver to 20 Years. Plus, More Angry Op-Eds in the New York Times. Twenty years is quite a bit different than the 10 years of probation that Ethan Couch received. In 2004, Eric Bradlee Miller, then 16, stole a truck and crashed it into a car, killing a 19-year-old man. His BAC was .11. He was sentenced to 20 years. Couch, also 16, with a BAC of .24, crashed his pickup into an accident scene, killing four people. He received 10 years probation. Of course, there are differences between the stories of Miller and Couch, mainly the felony charge for stealing the pickup. But it’s an interesting, and devastating, comparison nonetheless. Also, James McAuley, who brought us that lovely JFK op-ed in the New York Times back in November, is back with some more venom for DFW on the Couch matter, specifically the “affluenza” diagnosis.

This Is a Story About an Apology. Dallas Police Department second-in-command Charlie Cato is sorry. He messed up (and by messed up he means never investigated) a shady account about a drug bust. The officers have since been fired, two others were disciplined, and Cato was put into the role of interim assistant city manager. Yes, that makes sense. But, according to the Morning News, he’s returning to his previous post next year.

Fort Worth Battling Drillers for Royalties. And it’s not alone. Arlington, Arlington ISD, and Fort Worth investor Ed Bass are all suing as well.  They claim that drillers, including Chesapeake Energy, have been using the money to cover post-drilling costs. Fort Worth alone alleges it’s been short-changed millions.

A “New” Trolley Car Will Hit the Streets This Week. The McKinney Avenue trolley system is adding Betty, an 80-year-old car that hasn’t been used since the 1950s, to its ranks. Betty will be out for tests this week and, hopefully, fully operational by February.


  • Dubious Brother

    Most of us have no idea about the qualifications of the candidates running for judge and yet they have a lot of power and their decisions affect all of us. If a judge is corrupt on just one case out of thousands, they are a corrupt judge. Often times they can’t make a living practicing law and the parties get them to run usually unopposed. Once they are on the bench it is too late. Here is a website that allows people to post complaints against sitting judges. It is a way to see if a judge is doing a good and fair job by the number of complaints and the nature of the complaints. Voters need to be informed.

  • CSP

    James McAuley . . . just wow. You know, seeing that this privileged little snot seems to have openly declared war on his home town/region with his collection of lies and deliberate mischaracterizations about the region in an attempt to please his East Coast betters, it would be just AWFUL if DFW-centric media decided to dig really, really deeply into his background and publish anything it could find out about him in order to better enlighten us as to why he hates us so.

    Especially any particularly embarrassing details about his background. Those would be truly awful for DFW media to share.

    So please tell me, D Magazine, that you don’t already have someone on top of this…

  • David Burrows

    Let’s not forget underage Couch & team also stole alcohol just hours before the accident.

  • CSP

    Can I be as loose with the facts about McAuley as McAuley is about the facts about the Dallas region?