Cops Betrayed-and Paid

After more than two years of acrimonious litigation, a portion of a lawsuit involving two Dallas police officers, their confidential informants, a self-described “police groupie” and an alleged wiretap has been settled. The bizarre events that spawned the lawsuit were detailed in D Magazine’s May 1990 cover story, “Cops Betrayed.”

Follow closely, now: Undercover narcotics officers Jan Forsyth and Richard Kirks were using informants Susan and Charlie Bruton to make drug cases in Southeast Dallas. But the Buttons’ phone was being monitored by their neighbors, Joyce and Homer Dulworth. Forsyth and Kirks believe there was an illegal wiretap on the phone, a claim supported by wiretapping experts. What’s certain is that the Dul worths called former City Plan Commission member George Grogan, who allegedly had a grudge against the Brutons, Grogan, in turn, notified John Barr, an attorney and fervent police booster who had a grudge against Jan Forsyth. Through a tangled series of leaks, the identities of the two officers and their informants were revealed to the drug dealers they were trying to bust, thus endangering their lives.

According to court documents, Barr. Grogan and the Dulworths have agreed to settle the lawsuit with Forsyth, Kirks and the Brutons. The parties are forbidden to discuss terms of the settlement, but it’s rumored to be in excess of $200,000.

Last July, a federal judge removed the city of Dallas and former police chief Mack Vines from the lawsuit. A whistle-blower lawsuit filed by Kirks and Forsyth against the city of Dallas still is pending. Kirks has resigned from the Dallas police force.

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