While an adage of old, the concept that unethical and corrupt people, particularly among themselves, live by a relative moral code of conduct is real and true even today. Hollywood is a perfect example of men and women, not all but many, who justify unethical behaviors by agreeing that it is on some level acceptable. Could be because of the vast number of people living in such a way or that they’ve gotten away with it for so long or that they’ve done good enough things in life to offset the bad they now exhibit. Whatever the reason, the honor they bestow on one another is to the rest of the world dishonorable and insidious, not to mention dangerous.
These kinds of folks exist in nearly every dark crevice of nearly every place on earth … including Waxahachie. Some we know of, some we don’t. Most notable locally is the continuing saga of Mike Jones, the temporarily suspended constable of precinct four in Ellis County. Frankly, I’m tired of the dude and those who constantly refer to the man as upstanding, outstanding, honorable, blah, blah, blah. That includes the former sheriff of Ellis County, Johnny Brown, who I’ll get to in a minute. Among Jones and Brown are a couple of defense attorneys who use God and Facebook to convince unassuming people that unethical, disreputable, corrupt behaviors are justified because, in the case of Jones, he’s a ‘good’ guy and that the District Attorney is picking on him. Not only are such claims a bit pitiful, they are lies … and you should know it. A constable who does what Jones has done is neither good or to be pitied.
When I tell you these guys run in a pack and are all connected, don’t doubt me. Brown, by example, sat in my office in 2016 ostensibly seeking the Daily Light’s endorsement for another term as Sheriff — a term cut short by his arrest and subsequent resignation — while, at the same time, trying to convince me he wasn’t friends with Jones and had nothing to do with the constable. He’s the same Johnny Brown who had been pals with Jones before, who drank it up with Jones on election night and who now comes to the defense of his little friend. Brown also thinks his dopey Facebook shots at the Daily Light somehow enhance his stature when, in fact, they make him smaller than he already is. Another connection of these bosom buddies is that they all hate Carol Bush and Patrick Wilson. Included in the pack is Rodney Ramsey, a local attorney running against Carol Bush for County Judge; Mark Griffith, Jones’ criminal attorney; TJ Fabby, local tree trimmer and activist who hasn’t recovered from failing in his pursuit of the seat held by John Wray; and of course, Jones himself. There are others but these are main characters.
Sounds hokey I know, but if one or all of them want to mix it up with a local newspaper by continuing their dog and pony show, I’m happy to oblige. We have plenty of space and ink, but are low on tolerance for the malice, disrepute and rancor coming from men who play these kinds of games. That some of them use God and righteous postings as a tool for self-serving purposes is an entirely different matter that God will handle His own way, I’m sure.
That said and as you now know, a Dallas judge this past week temporarily suspended Jones from his position as constable. Judge Jim Jordan heard the evidence a jury will hear in March and decided that Jones has no business being a constable. The judge was abundantly deliberative and, as a result, did the right thing. So did the DA’s office. The claim of Jones being picked on by the DA, Patrick Wilson, is the ‘ol perp playing the victim strategy that, if not so sad, would be laughable. The judge wasn’t fooled by it, the prosecution stayed its course and both are to be commended. As for the DA and his staff, this country needs more like them, frankly and all that whining you hear about the DA from defense attorneys and their clients simply confirms it.
With respect to the incessant ad-hominem attacks on Carol Bush, these guys just can’t help themselves. Putting aside how weak and silly they look, it’s a losing strategy. Ms. Bush will be hard to beat, no doubt, and Ramsey will learn that soon enough. Bashing his way to the ballot box is the type of strategy candidates who don’t have much to offer usually deploy. It hasn’t worked for Ramsey in the past and it won’t now, either. Being egged on by the likes of Fabby, Griffith and others obsessed with defeating Carol Bush might be entertaining for some, but it’s a far cry from anything in which class, integrity and character can be found.
I’ve learned over two-plus decades of running newspapers that when it comes to local politics, people can be nasty and that bitterness can often trump the goodness and commitment required of those seeking office. There are packs of folks like those I’ve described here in every town and there is usually a newspaper editor or publisher ready to tell you all about them. Consider me among such publishers. There is no honor in being dishonorable nor is there is any reason to vote for someone who thinks bashing his or her way to elected office is worthy of holding that office. Jones and Brown are examples of what happens when we let our guard down and fall for the scheme. We need not do it again.
Stay tuned. I’ve got plenty more to tell you.