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Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Could this be the end for the Texas Railroad Commission?

AUSTIN — The Texas Railroad Commission’s days could be numbered.

The commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, appeared late Friday to be in danger of shutting down unless its supporters are able to stage a last-minute maneuver to save the 122-year-old agency in the remaining three days of the legislative session.

As lawmakers entered their last 72 hours before adjournment, the Senate on Friday sent Gov Rick Perry legislation by Sen. Jane Nelson that would overhaul the state’s scandal-plagued cancer-fighting agency.

New problems also dogged a budget agreement still awaiting approval as Perry’s office revealed the governor’s concerns about a supplemental spending bill that calls for a drawdown of nearly $4 billion from the state’s rainy day fund. But an apparent budget deal was struck late Friday night.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/05/24/4883193/could-this-be-the-end-for-the.html#storylink=cpy

Insurance commissioner on her way out

Texas Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman announced to her staff Thursday that she would not continue in her role as head of the state’s insurance regulatory agency.

She cannot serve beyond Monday, the final day of the legislative session, because her appointment has not been confirmed by the Senate.

Kitzman, who has been in charge of the Texas Department of Insurance since the summer of 2011, informed workers at the department during a briefing about the fertilizer plant explosion in West, the agency confirmed.

Kitzman was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry in the interim between legislative sessions and never received the necessary confirmation of two-thirds of the state Senate.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/insurance-commissioner-announces-resignation/nX3JP/ .

[font color=green]Kitzman had a base salary of $163,800. In addition, for the twelve month period from November 2011 through October 2012 she billed the state $12,000 in travel expenses and also billed the National Association of insurance Commissioners $34,000 in various expenses. She was literally a global traveler with trips to London, Bermuda, Singapore, and the Grand Cayman Islands, although her travel expenses were limited to Texas towards the end of that time period.

http://www.caller.com/news/2012/dec/08/state-insurance-commissioner-eleanor-kitzmans-in/ [font]

Galveston judge suspended by state after arrest


A state judicial ethics commission has suspended a Galveston judge without pay following his arrest on eight charges related to his actions from the bench.

Galveston County Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy showed up for work Thursday to hear a divorce case, a day after his arrest, and said he intended to remain on the job unless he was convicted or removed. He also said he was confident about an outcome.

Later in the day, he was suspended by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct.

A lawsuit filed through the Texas attorney general's office also is seeking his removal until the case is resolved.

More at http://www.statesman.com/ap/ap/crime/galveston-judge-suspended-by-state-after-arrest/nX2yg/ .

Earlier related threads:

84-year-old Albuquerque woman charged with dealing drugs

An 84-year-old woman, tethered to an oxygen tank, was recently arrested on drug-dealing charges after a grand jury accused her and her son of selling drugs from her apartment.

A medical condition prevented Lillie Smith from being arrested in 2011 after sheriff’s deputies spotted her pulling out marijuana and cocaine, likely from her sock, and trying to stash the drugs as deputies served a warrant aimed at her son, Nathan Jones.

Jones and Smith shared a lease on their Albuquerque apartment.

However, a grand jury reviewed the case and indicted Smith in February. A bench warrant was issued, and Smith was arrested in early April on possession, drug dealing and tampering with evidence charges.

More at http://www.abqjournal.com/main/2013/05/24/news/84yearold-charged-with-dealing-drugs.html .

Perry 'greatly disappointed' after Scouts ease gay ban

AUSTIN — Gov. Rick Perry says he's disappointed with the Boy Scouts of America allowing openly gay boys to be accepted as Scouts.


Perry is an Eagle Scout and wrote a 2008 book praising the organization and saying it should continue to exclude openly gay members. In February, he dismissed bending the group to the whims of "popular culture."

The governor released a statement Thursday night saying BSA "has been built upon the values of faith and family for more than 100 years, and today's decision contradicts generations of tradition in the name of political correctness."

Perry added: "While I will always cherish my time as a scout and the life lessons I learned, I am greatly disappointed with this decision."

More at http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Perry-greatly-disappointed-after-Scouts-ease-4544372.php?cmpid=hpfsln .

[font color=green]Get over it![/font]

Public calamity: San Antonio River Authority acts to stop dumping of trash from hospital demolition

KARNES COUNTY – County officials are struggling to find a way to clean up a mess that they are now calling a “public calamity” – the possibly illegal dumping of demolition materials from an abandoned hospital into and near the San Antonio River underneath the Wofford’s Crossing bridge.

According to Karnes County Road and Bridge Administrator Jeff Wiatrek, the plan to place the materials around the support structures of the bridge, was his and his alone.

Wiatrek said he talked TEC Construction, the contractor hired for the hospital demolition project, and he and the contractor reached an agreement to have the contractor deliver materials to sites along County Road 326 near the bridge for later use by county workers.

“The first few loads that were hauled out there looked good,” Wiatrek said. “And then all of a sudden – I wasn’t paying attention and all of a sudden, when we started getting into the river, we saw all this black paper and everything... a little roofing here, and a little insulation here and there, and some boards, here and there.”

More at http://mysoutex.com/view/full_story_landing/22673890/article-%E2%80%98Public-calamity--San-Antonio-River-Authority-steps-in-to-stop-dumping-of-trash-from-hospital-demolition-site-into-river-and-under-Wofford%E2%80%99s-Crossing-Bridge?instance=landing_2nd_news_lead_story .

Galveston judge indicted on 8 criminal counts

Source: Houston Chronicle

GALVESTON - A Galveston County judge has been indicted on eight criminal counts charging him with abuse of office, including retaliation against the attorney representing the judge's wife in a divorce case.

The indictments, presented to state District Judge Kerry Neves by attorneys from the Texas Attorney General's Office on Wednesday, accuse County-Court-at-Law Judge Christopher Dupuy of two felony counts of obstruction or retaliation, two misdemeanor counts of official oppression and four misdemeanor counts of abuse of official capacity. If convicted on any count, Dupuy would be automatically removed from office.

He was arrested about 3 p.m. and posted bail of $19,000 about two hours later, Galveston County sheriff's spokesman Major Ray Tuttoilmondo said.

Dupuy could not be reached for comment and a spokesman for the attorney general declined to discuss the case.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Galveston-judge-indicted-on-8-criminal-counts-4539547.php?cmpid=hpfsln

Thread about Judge Dupuy from February 19.

Galveston judge may 'hurt or kill someone,' fellow judge says


Rep. Craig Eiland (D) will not seek re-election

In an emotional speech on the House floor, Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston, announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election.

“I’m not saying I’m not going to try and come back,” Eiland said, wiping away tears and choking up during his personal privilege speech. “But I’m not running for re-election.”

Eiland, a lawyer in Galveston, has served in the Texas House since 1994 and is currently chairman of the House Insurance Committee. His term ends in 2014.

Source: http://blog.chron.com/texaspolitics/2013/05/rep-eiland-will-not-seek-re-election/?cmpid=hpfsln

[font color=green]Thank you for your service.[/font]

Beaumont's Dr. Danger to be on a new TNT reality show

David Parkus likes rappelling down 60-story buildings and tackling armed men in international airports.

That addiction to danger helped the Beaumont doctor land a spot on the new reality TV show, "The Hero."

Hosted by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, "The Hero" is a reality show that combines the cramped living quarters of "The Real World" with the outrageous, gut-wrenching tasks of "Fear Factor," Parkus said.

His first episode airs on the TNT Network on June 6.

More at http://www.beaumontenterprise.com/news/article/Beaumont-s-Dr-Danger-to-be-on-a-new-TNT-reality-4523288.php .

Senate sponsor: Campus-carry gun bill blocked

The Senate sponsor of a controversial guns-on-campus legislation declared it all-but-dead on Wednesday morning, blaming the measure’s demise on Senate Democrats who have blocked it from coming to a final vote.

State Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, said he lacked two votes to bring up House Bill 972 on Tuesday — and lacks six votes Wednesday because 25 votes are now needed instead of 21 because a Senate rule effective on Wednesday raises the number needed.

“It’s still held, still blocked,” Birdwell said. And while other senators are attaching their bills to others being passed to keep them alive, he said he had promised other senators he would not do that.

“I’m going to keep my word,” Birdwell said.

More at http://www.statesman.com/news/news/sponsor-campus-carry-gun-bill-dead/nXzJf/ .
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