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More Turmoil in Port Arthur, Texas

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KFDM 6 News has released a breaking news story relating to allegations against several Port Arthur Police Department officers and officials.  The report was prepared and produced by Angel San Juan, Scott Lawrence, Brandon Scott and Peter Eliopoulos.  Contained in the affidavit, a copy of which has been obtained by KFDM 6 News, are allegations of “a systemic pattern of discrediting officers and civilians“.  This alleged pattern was apparently invoked against those “who complained of wrongdoing within the department“.

Affidavit:  Port Arthur officers retaliated against witnesses, misused information

Also stated in the report is that another Port Arthur Police Department officer has requested in the affidavit an investigation into alleged “… policy violations and possible criminal violations“.  KFDM 6 News continues that the Texas Rangers are investigating.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not going to make any statements regarding whether the allegations stated in the affidavit are true or false, or even what the Texas Rangers may uncover.  But I can say that this news has kicked the local rumor factories into full gear and almost everyone I’ve spoken to has something to say about it all; much of it not complimentary.   As one officer with another law enforcement agency said, “Hey, man.  You’re talking about Port Arthur.  What more needs to be said?”  People, that tells you something!

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The funny part in all this is although certain members of the Port Arthur Police Department’s Administration are named, how come there doesn’t seem to be any reference to now ex-Chief of Police Mark Blanton?  Surely the “Head Honcho” in the PAPD would be aware what those under him were or weren’t doing.  Now I know that Mr. Blanton was a busy man.  After all, I can recall several times I tried to make an appointment to meet with him, but never managed to get any further than speaking to his secretary; and, even though I requested appointments, not a single one of my calls were ever answered, nor was an appointment to meet with the Chief ever granted.  Strange as this may sound, I had equally as much fun trying to meet with the then City Manager, and an equal amount of luck trying to get on the City Council meeting agenda.  I have a pretty good idea why this is so, but I think that a personal matter between myself and those involved, and something that shouldn’t be fodder for the social media crowd.

Now, I’m unsure just who was supposedly involved in the “double dipping” allegations, but if it pertains to the higher ranking officials, including ex-Chief of Police Mark Blanton, then I can attest to having seen many of those individuals working extra jobs at locations around town.  And, for the most part, can even say where.  But, there again, I’m not a part of this incident, nor do I expect to have anything a Texas Ranger investigating the allegations would be interested in.  I just think it odd that administrative personnel, those most likely paid by salary as opposed to by-the-hour, would be earning extra bucks doing traffic control for special interests, or even allegedly off-duty security work.  I thought salaried positions were considered to be always on-duty, or at least most of the time.  Maybe I’m wrong about this.

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On another note, news has been circulating that ex-Chief of Police Mark Blanton is going to seek election as a member of City Council.  At first I thought this a good idea (because he knows this community far better than most, even those who have lived here all their lives), but started wondering when rumors began surfacing from a number of qualified sources that the reason Mr. Blanton was seeking a position on City Council isn’t as much about working on behalf of the community as it is about trying to get enough Council votes together to force the City Manager and present Chief of Police out of their jobs.  According to the rumors, Mr. Blanton wasn’t pleased with having to retire and wanted to remain in control of the PAPD a bit longer.    And although I haven’t any clear information as to why Mr. Blanton was supposedly forced to retire in the first place, I just have to wonder out-loud whether it was because of the efforts of the City Manager, Brian McDougal?  Gee, do I smell “revenge” and “retribution” here?

I have to admit here that although Mark Blanton and I haven’t always gotten along as best of friends, I continue to support him and the job he has done for Port Arthur.  However, if it comes to pass that he’s going to start getting involved in political games as a means to “get even” with those who have supposedly wronged him, then that’s another matter altogether.  I think Port Arthur has enough problems on its pallet, and adding more to them isn’t going to make Port Arthur a better, more productive, place to be under any circumstances.  It’s stuff like that which brought about my previous statements that the best thing that could happen to Port Arthur is for it to completely collapse.  Maybe then that “good ol’ boy” way of doing things around here could be formally and finally done away with.

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Mayor Derrick Freeman

Mayor Derrick Freeman

And, one more thing.  I saw in the news where our illustrious Mayor, Derrick Freeman, has declared he doesn’t want the Port Arthur Police Department cooperating with ICE into the investigations of illegal immigrants.  That’s great, except I doubt Mr. Freeman realizes just how serious a mistake this would be for the community he supposedly governs.  President Trump has already announced plans to discontinue providing any federal monetary assistance to any political sub-division that inhibits the capture and arrest of people in our nation in violation of our immigration laws, and Texas Governor Greg Abbot has also said almost the same thing.  Now if Port Arthur becomes one of the “sanctuary cities”, then it risks losing a ton of state and federal dollars.  Just how long does Freeman think Port Arthur would last on its own without any state or federal funding?   How long do YOU think it would?

Now, with all the stuff supposedly going on in Port Arthur, and the stuff that is going on in Port Arthur, does anyone still not understand why the Jefferson County Beer Party quit making reference to Port Arthur in the first place?  Let’s face it, folks.  Nothing is going to change around Port Arthur until the people of the city have had enough and start voting these self-serving representatives out of city government.

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