09/24/04 Emily Ramshaw gets more info
The DMN really has a jewel in their new reporter,
Emily Ramshaw. She has taken an interest in JL's scam to shakedown
developers: a contract for security guard service from his company in
exchange for his support for their project.
Her story takes a different spin than I see this matter, but the last thing she
gets Beat that Indictment Fantroy to say is proof positive of how blatantly he
has been violating the restrictions for council members and city officials where
they have a "conflict of interest".
Ramshaw's story puts this matter back into the Miller vs. Fantroy saga, but it's
not about Laura Miller. It's about James Fantroy using his office to
secure business for his company (which he claims his son runs, but from which he
It is the Mayor's responsibility to call out any council member violating city
ordinances. Actually, it is the City Attorney's responsibility to keep
council members on the straight and narrow, but she has no spine and has
abdicated her duties in this area. Nothing worse than a cowardly lawyer!
Laura Miller did nothing wrong. Councilwomen. Elba Garcia and Sandy
Greyson did nothing wrong. These three women did the right thing and voted
against a very bad zoning case.
Miller accuses Fantroy of ethics lapse on
defends asking colleague to carry item after he cited conflict
September 23, 2004
Mayor Laura Miller accused City Council member James Fantroy on Thursday of
violating the city's ethics policy at Wednesday's council meeting.
... "Yesterday, it was very clear that he was
calling the shots in a deal he has a financial interest in," Ms. Miller
said. "It's unethical, if not illegal."
Mr. Fantroy said he asked Dr.
Thornton-Reese to make a motion for him because his constituents supported
it. And he said if that's a violation of code, his colleagues should be in
the same boat.
... Under city code, council members may not take
action on items in which they have a conflict of interest,
nor may they discuss them with their voting colleagues.
... During discussion of the item, Dr.
Thornton-Reese announced that since Mr. Fantroy had a conflict and couldn't
vote, she would be making the motion for him.
"He said he wanted to pass it," Dr.
Thornton-Reese said at the meeting.
... Mr. Fantroy agreed he is a strong proponent of bringing
single-family homes to his district. And while he didn't go to any of the
community meetings on the zoning change? a result, he said, of his conflict
of interest ? his planning commissioner told him there
was widespread support for the project on Simpson Stuart Road.
Not only did Fantroy tell
Brain-Dead how to vote and that "he wanted to pass it", but he discussed the
case with his planning commissioner. A planning commissioner is a public
official. He apparently influenced his planning commissioner's vote, as
well as the council's. The Plan Commission now operates along ward
politics, just as the City Council does.
If a district commissioner says a case should be approved, it gets done.
Fantroy illegally discussed this zoning case with his plan commissioner.
Fantroy illegally discussed the case with Brain-Dead Thornton-Reese.
Fantroy would be allowed to ask another council member to make the motion on a
case where he has a conflict of interest, but he is not allowed to tell that
council member whether he wants the case approved or denied. He knows this
because he was on the Plan Commission before he won his meal ticket on the
Since Bill Blaydes, Leo Chaney, James Fantroy, Gary Griffith, Ed Oakley and
Mitch Rasansky all spent time on the Plan Commission (together), it may be in
the future when you decide who to support for council that you eliminate those
with P&Z on their resum? This clicque of good old boys (white and black)
apparently learned some bad habits together and none of them is strong enough as
a man to step back and admit they are doing anything wrong.
I'm most disappointed in Blaydes and Rasansky because I thought they were
honorable men. I know both of them know better.
Gary Griffith is behaving just as anyone who knows him would have expected from
the smarmy little wannabe. I would rather have MPossible back on the
council. She at least had moments of integrity. You will be waiting
a long time for that from Griffith. He's just like Duh Walne -- talks a
good game, makes all the right arguments -- then votes exactly opposite to what
he has just said should be done.
This is a slimy situation with council members communicating with each other
when one has a conflict of interest. I don't care if they had direct
conversations. They voted according to what Braid Dead said she had just
been told by Beat that Indictment Fantroy -- absolutely unethical and probably illegal.
Fantroy says all council members do what he did. If that's the case, they
all should be impeached and prosecuted. Whether any of them actually use
their office for personal gain as Fantroy does, this week they assisted him.
All who voted yes are part of his crime.
We have got to get the Texas Rangers and the FBI into this quagmire or this city
Don't think because this council is turning the Southern Sector into another
Vickery Meadows that it does not impact you. What they are doing reduces
the possibility for upscale and middle income single family homes in the
Southern Sector which will generate more property tax revenue. What they
are doing with these "tax credit" projects (whatever they are) actually reduces
the tax rate for these projects. When the crime rate in the area jumps
even higher and more of our too thin blue line is diverted to that area, all
Dallas neighborhoods will suffer and decline -- just like they are doing now --
There was no wrong doing in all this by Councilwomen Garcia and Greyson and
certainly not by the Mayor.
The wrong doing was on the part of James Fantroy, Maxine Thornton-Reese and
Fantroy's plan commissioner and the dishonorable council members who voted
according to Fantroy's directive.
Laura Miller would have done wrong to ignore this mess. However, it was
not the Mayor who alerted the press about what was said at the council meeting.
I, Sharon Boyd, contacted several reporters to be sure someone listened to the
tapes of the hearing. I broke the story on DallasArena.com. Emily
Ramshaw was the first reporter who stopped what she was doing and jumped on
this. Some other reporters were locked into other stories and will likely
get to this one in a few days.
To her credit, Emily Ramshaw gets the importance of what went wrong at this
week's council meeting. To the Mayor's credit, when Ramshaw interviewed
her, she did not pussy foot around about what happened and what she thought of it
Looks like Laura Miller is being Laura Miller again. Good to have her
Emily Ramshaw, I hope your bosses allow you to do another story on this mess
with a little more filler, but you nailed Fantroy's rear to the wall with the
quotes you got from him.
You go, Girls!