The Conversation

A Coup in Dallas?

It seems drama isn't only found on the TV show.  From AFP's WatchdogWire:

[A] troubling development in Dallas bears watching as one man is trying to take over the entire city government, orchestrating a coup the likes of which we’ve rarely seen before. And what makes it really problematic is who he is – Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins.

As with our police commissioners and other top law enforcement officials, we look to district attorneys to operate as apolitical public servants tasked with metering out justice. We give them power – in many ways more than mayors and city council members – and expect their use of that power to be based solely on the pursuit of justice.

Watkins, however, appears to be putting his finger on those scales. Along with recruiting his top deputy to run against the county’s sitting Democratic Party chair, he has recruited six prosecutors from his office to run in Democratic primaries for state judge, either against Democratic incumbents or for open seats.

There's even more drama surrounding Watkins -- an FBI investigation, allegations that he indicted an oil heir for mortgage fraud as a political favor to a Dallas attorney, contempt charge against Watkins for improperly influencing staff in the fraud case after it was dismissed. Amazingly, Watkins then tried to open a criminal investigation of the judge who dismissed the case!

All this could make for an entertaining "ripped from the headlines" episode of Law & Order. Let's just hope it has a good ending for Dallas taxpayers.


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