UPDATE In May 1990, D Magazine published “Cops Betrayed,” probing allegations that high-ranking Dallas police officials used information taken from an illegal wiretap, endangering the lives of two undercover officers. JAN FORSYTHand RICHARD
KIRKS, and their confidential informants. Recently, the case collided with the Dallas Citizens Police Review Board.
Though the board can do little more than slap hands if it finds wrongdoing, in November, now-ousted City Attorney ANALESLIE MUNCY decided to castrate the toothless tiger. The board had agreed to review the complaint of SUSAN BRUTON, one of the police informants who, along with Forsyth and Kirks, had filed suit against the city. But after a closed-door briefing, the City Council voted to prohibit the board from reviewing cases in which civil litigation is pending. The action meant, in effect, that anyone could stop a review board investigation by paying the filing fee for a lawsuit.
“Disillusioned and dismayed,” board Chairman victor Toledo, a 29-year-old real estate attorney, announced that he would not seek re-appointment in June, when Mayor Steve bartlett is scheduled to appoint a new chairman. But though four members of the board resigned in disgust, Toledo decided not to quit, vowing to try to restore the board’s powers by working within the system.
“I think I was premature in being disillusioned by the process,” Toledo says. The board will survive, but the Kirks-Forsyth matter may be academic. In November, the judge in the wiretap case ruled in favor of the city and police officials, ending at least part of the civil litigation. A “whistle-blower suit” by the officers is still pending.