By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Gee, she would have fit right in
City Council candidate Karen Kay Christopher, a nonlawyer who represented herself on charges of refusing to return a rental car, was repeatedly held in contempt of court for making improper statements before being convicted, ordered to jail for six months, slapped with another 380 days for contempt, fined $250 for filing frivolous lawsuits against prosecutors and police, then hit with another 30 days for contempt at a sanctions hearing.
Well, at least he got his adjectives right
City Council members complained that John P. Trotter, creator of an Internet site opposing the city's new restrictions on sexually oriented businesses, had misrepresented their voting records while posting their home phone numbers and describing them variously as "silly Gracie Saenz," "wicked Martha Wong," "ridiculous Judson Robinson" and "catatonic John Kelley."
You can take the boy out of the Washburn Tunnel, but....
Robert Lee Nichols, the former small-town mayor who was nominated by Governor Bush to the Texas Transportation Commission, defended his knowledge of urban traffic issues by citing the first ten years of his life spent living near the Washburn Tunnel in Pasadena, plus the semesters he once spent in Texas City and South Houston for an engineering program.
When bribery and conspiracy indictments in last year's City Hall sting finally came down, secret FBI tapes showed pivotal figure Ben Reyes, the former councilman and state representative, bragging to two cash-flashing undercover feds, "We're going to go and purchase us some leaders, 'cause that's what it takes, I mean, I never did it for nothing."
Is this what they mean by "the banality of evil"?
Those indictments asserted that Reyes passed $1,500 in sting cash to Councilman Michael Yarbrough in the men's room at Carrabba's, and $2,500 to former councilman John Peavy in the urinal of the restaurant at the Wyndham Warwick.
He was all out of toilet paper
After City Councilman Rob Todd sneaked into the Council chamber and wrapped Mayor Lanier's chair with yellow "Free Kingwood" banners left over from an anti-annexation rally, Lanier staffers canceled Todd's electronic access card to City Hall.
It takes a hot dog to know one
The ever-verbose and obstreperous Rob Todd, during one Council meeting, displayed on the rail in front of his seat a tiny replica of the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile.
City Council members, two of whom are under indictment and who, as a body, gave city workers a 3 percent pay raise this year, said they would accept an automatically calculated 8.4 percent pay raise for themselves.
Somewhere, Lurleen Wallace and Ma Ferguson are smiling
At the very last minute, Olympics-obsessed Councilman John Kelley withdrew as a candidate, leaving a clear field for his totally inexperienced wife, Jean, an art teacher, to run for his seat.
Somewhere, Machiavelli is smiling
After John Kelley's son Shaun failed a drug test while imprisoned on cocaine charges -- having violated his deferred adjudication by accumulating misdemeanor charges of failure to stop and render aid, marijuana possession and fleeing the scene of an accident -- the following occurred: His dad hired Racehorse Haynes as his attorney; his dad had an aide fetch the campaign-finance report of the presiding judge; the judge sent him to a lock-down drug treatment facility instead of prison; his dad queried a Fort Bend County judge about the misdemeanor charges; that judge spoke to the judge who was supposed to hear the case; and -- that judge took himself off the case.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the thinnest-skinned of all?
When conservative activist Steve Hotze threatened to sue a Republican women's club if they mocked him in a musical skit, the women jettisoned the lyrics they had written to be sung to "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)," instead just humming along while a trio of dancers hid their faces behind signs bearing question marks.
Judges Behaving Badly
Get along, little jurors
Justice of the Peace Mark Fury, short of jurors to try a minor speeding case one evening, sent constables to a nearby Kroger parking lot to rope 19 unsuspecting grocery shoppers into service.
He's a close friend of Wicked Martha Wong and Catatonic John Kelley
Judge Mark Davidson, ticked over an appellate court decision, fired off an e-mail to several fellow judges in which he referred to Appeals Judge Maurice Amidei as "Alzeimer's [sic] Amidei."
A little Darwin is a dangerous thing
Presiding over the lawsuit in which a group of black Kennedy Heights homeowners claim Chevron is responsible for pollution-related health problems, Judge Kenneth Hoyt, who is black, pooh-poohed a medical pamphlet "because white people wrote it," and opined thusly on race and ethnicity: "Why do you think Chinese people are short? Because there's so much damn wind over there, they need to be short. Why are they so tall in Africa? Because they need to be tall. It's environmental. I mean, you don't jump up and get a banana off the tree if you're only four feet. If you're seven foot tall and you're standing in China, then you're going to get blown away when that Siberian wind comes through."