Friday, January 11, 2013

Politics as usual, a fight for free speech in search of deep pockets, deeper throats - and a trophy for everyone

Waco – Remember the little kid in the Randy Plemons for Sheriff spot, the one with the stick horse and the cap pistols? He had a tin badge, and he is someone's grandson.

His grandfather, Sgt. J.C. Riggs, canned after 17 years with the McLennan County Sheriff's Office riding herd at the County Jail, volunteered the kid's services as a stand-in for a young Parnell McNamara, and it hurt Sheriff McNamara's feelings. He took it personally, he told The Legendary one day, as he sat in his office musing about various personal attacks by other cops on his background and honor.

Underneath the wit and charm of a country gentleman, he's the real deal, as old Dan Rather might have said - a true cowboy – tough as whip leather and ready to ride at the drop of a hat. Depend on it.

He pointed to the stick horse he brandished over his head the night the election returns broadcast over the big screen televisions told the cheering crowd at The Hog Creek Ice House that he was the runaway winner in the Republican Primary. He kind of looked like one of those guys in that movie, "Gangs of New York," displaying the rallying point about which their shillelagh-bearing clansmen were to gather at a Five Points rumble.

It was just like the stick horse the little kid in the ad rode around the broadcasting set.

Then he pointed to a picture of himself sitting on a pony, the kind photographers used to take house to house with cowboy regalia and other props.

They would snap the pictures, something they called “the kidnapping,” and leave it to a “closer,” who came by the homes of adoring grandparents and parents, to “collect the ransom” once the proofs were ready.

“That's all I ever wanted to be,” he said. 

He meant it. You could see it in his eyes, hear it in the timbre of his voice. This guy wasn't kidding.

He also said that certain people who were attacking his credibility and his resumé were either old acquaintances, or the parents of certain old acquaintances – people he went through school with, grew up with – and that if anyone made fun of them, “I will beat that ass.”

He meant it. You could see it in his eyes, hear it in the timbre of his voice. That's the kind of cowboy he is. He's at home. Knows his people, and he loves them.

He's determined to make it on the merits of his experience as a law man, the kind of guy who gets out there and finds the bad actors, rousts them out of the sorry old motels and beer joints and dope houses, lays for them when they come out of some ho's boudoir, or get themselves busted in some far-flung jurisdiction, when all along they're wanted back in Six Shooter Junction.

It's the family business, and it's a family that did its policing in its early days from horse back, either as Deputy U.S. Marshals, Deputy Sheriffs, Constables, or just plain members of the local posse.

True story.

Sgt. J.C. Riggs, and five other veterans of the McLennan County Sheriff's Office, got themselves fired for their efforts to defeat McNamara in his bid for the nomination as the Republican candidate for Sheriff.

They are Lt. Jimmie Channon, W. Derick Johnson, William L. McKamey, Anthony W. McRae, and Norman Wade – and they all have something else in common other than their present unemployment, now that Sheriff McNamara cleaned house.

If you don't believe it, just read the complaint their mouthpiece wrote for them and filed in the Waco Division of the Western District of U.S. District Court down on the corner of 8th and Franklin, The Honorable Walter Smith, presiding.

It says so here, so it must be true, Clancy. Wrote out entirely by typewriting, it is.

The Plaintiffs are all members or founding members of an organization called Sheriff's Law Enforcement Association of McLennan County – SLEA-MAC, as it's popularly known – and they all actively campaigned as ranking members of either the Patrol or Jail Division for Plemons once their union - for that's what it truly is - endorsed the former Chief Deputy to succeed then Sheriff Larry Lynch.

They are also all former “at-will” employees of a Constitutional Office of the State of Texas.

They have sued the new Sheriff-in-Town, but he's not alone as the target for money damages, punitive damages, a jury trial in U.S. District Court, reasonable attorneys' fees, and the full nine yards of legal hell unleashed when a U.S. District Judge rules that a lawsuit is not really frivolous, lets it go forward in that unenviable and fearsome venue where the Eagle screams, dive bombs the sheeple, rips into the meat and guts of anything that gets in its way.

Thunderbolts and lightning, very, very frightening me – oh, Galileo, Galileo, Figaro – Oh, Mama mia, Mama mia, let me go...etc.

The County of McLennan is a co-defendant with deep pockets, according to the complaint filed by a Dallas lawyer named Don Tittle, a veteran hand who offices in an east Dallas neighborhood on Gaston Avenue defending DWI, drug offenders, and other folks in need of a friend at court when they answer for their alleged crimes.

At least, the God-fearing, tax-paying, hard-working people of the County of McLennan know their errors and omissions insurance carrier is equipped with deep pockets. That's the nature of the business, and the company lawyers for errors and omissions carriers are also known to want to settle quickly, privately - and beyond public scrutiny.

Just ask executives of the media outlets who answered the wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of ATF agents killed at the raid on the Branch Davidian compound. They will be glad to tell you. In the next breath, they will also tell you they are under a gag order – goes with the territory – that says they can't be discussing anything about the settlement.

What isMcNamara's crime, this alleged civil wrong aided and abetted by McLennan County Commissioners Court, which is the body that approved his reorganization and house cleaning of his new office?

According to the complaint filed by Mr. Tittle, Sheriff McNamara, “Through the guise of reorganization” carried out a “...carefully orchestrated plan of demoting and discharging numerous employees.”

True story. He did. That also goes with the territory when you wear out a couple pairs of perfectly good triple and quadruple-stitched boots getting yourself elected Lord High Sheriff of a Texas County.

But, as the other shoe drops, “The plaintiffs were protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and their political speech and expression was a matter of public concern.”

It was also a matter of public concern when the grand high poo-bahs of Slee-Mac paraded somebody's grand baby in front of the television cameras wearing a vest way too big for him, a toy badge, cap pistols, and a cowboy hat – whilst riding upon stick horse.

Let me be the first to assure you, he was not portraying any diplomat, that kid. It was a public shaming of a man's entire lifestyle, an image known coast to coast to television audiences, that of cowboy, trail boss, ramrod, Texas law dawg.

He wears it well. Just ask the women of an age. They all agree on that. The women say he just looks like a Sheriff, and they're right, for that's what he is.

The public was so underwhelmed that they turned out in record numbers to vote McNamara the Republican nominee for Sheriff of McLennan County.

If Walter Cronkite were here, like Dan Rather, another Houston boy, he might say, “And that's the way it is...”

Not yet, it isn't. Not by a country mile.


  1. Good grief..., just find another place to work for.

    I still support McNamara!!!

  2. A very pragmatic solution - very. But then who would bleed, who would experience a lot of psychic pain? Who would get hurt? No one, that's who. No, man, these people are in the game to see that no good deed goes unpunished and what's more, they just love to see people suffer. No doubt. - The Legendary

  3. And here I thought the good old boy system was supposedly going to disappear under the new regime (and boy is it EVER in full force).... just one of the many fibs deputy do right has thrown out there....

    Kiss parnells ass, get a job in his "posse", vote against him or even campaign against him or hell even think other than him, there's the door

    1. You obviously do not know Parnell McNamara personally. After fighting to keep his job FROM "good ol' boys" more than once, he is the LAST lawman to participate in or even allow merit-less favoritism in his office.

      McNamara has always shown great respect and gratitude for fellow lawmen deserving of such. His staff can trust that he will do as he says, value each and every staff member, and personally have their back all the way to the front line, AND he expects the same integrity & attitude from his law enforcement team -- something the Cowards of the County couldn't hold a candle to for even one day of thier career.

      Perhaps you should consider the exposure of ethical indiscretions & scandals they and their families have been spared by by a neutral at-will termination. For some, McNamara has offered an easy way out, to go quietly with some dignity... A lawsuit is an invitation to dig...and there's plenty of skeletons in that SO closet. But some egos are bigger!

  4. There is absolutely no proof that McNamara fired them for who they supported. He only fired 8 out of almost 400 employees. There were A LOT of Plemons supporters that he did not fire. Garrett trashed McNamara for months, and he got a promotion!
    I think the shiny Dallas lawyer representing these egotistical cry babies is going to get a real McLennan county eye opening.

  5. I agree with the above. These losers have no case. If for some odd reason it actually makes it to trial, these guys will be exposed for the idiots that they are. Every little thing that they have ever done will be shared. I know for a fact, that they are not the exemplary deputies that they claim to be. If they were, they wouldn't have gotten fired.
    I hope for their families sake, that it doesnt go to trial. How embarrassing for them.

  6. These guys are an embarrassment to law enforcement. What a bunch of crybabies. They will never work in law enforcement again after this. They can't be trusted. They will just free load off of unemployment like the low lifes that they are, and then maybe finally get a job at Walmart.

  7. McNamara simply reorganized and did away with these guys positions. It doesn't look like anything personal. It happens everyday in the real, private work force.
    If these plaintiffs were as wonderful as they think they are, then they would have kept their positions.
    News flash guys.......Everyone is disposable, even egotistical fools like you.

  8. I know one of them was the night lietenant only on weeknights. They did away with that postion because it was a joke. He didn't do anything. It saved us taxpayers some money.

  9. This lawsuit is ridiculous. They need to go find a job.

  10. I live in rural McLennan County, and I have noticed a higher degree of law enforcement in the county under Parnell McNamara's supervision. He is capable at his new job. I once had an attorney who said, "Anyone can sue anyone for anything." They can if they have the money or if their attorney will take the case pro bono. What matters in this case is not our opinions, but the evidence. This lawsuit will be over soon. If Sheriff McNamara is wrong, he will be held to account. Yet if he is found to be innocent of such malicious intent - the gossips, having lost their decision, will go on forever. But the Sheriff will continue to perform in office in an exemplary fashion.

  11. You can laugh now. its over

  12. T'ain't funny, McGee. - The Legendary, reporting from Wistful Vista