Fort Worth, Texas Leadership Morals - NOT (Part II)

 

Yesterday I wrote about a decrepit old man that went broke and will now probably go to jail because he has no money to fix up his rent house. The city of Fort Worth wants to make an example of this person and what happens to people that have no money to fix up a property. As always there is more to the story. And today I will give you the story behind the story.

The question that’s begging to be asked is “Why this particular person?”. Why not some rich corporation with deep pockets? Why not some slum lord that is knocking down a million dollars a month? Furthermore why this particular neighborhood where over 90 percent of the homes do not meet city property code for habitable buildings? Therein lies the story behind the story.

A few days ago I went to this man’s home in southwest Fort Worth. There he showed me paper after paper of why code enforcement wants to bring him to “JUSTICE”.

This man used to work for a company building homes. This was during the fast growth of the home building boom. A few years ago he conspired with a city code enforcement officer to increase his business. The deal was the code enforcement officer would ticket homes and he would pressure the homeowner to use that company to fix up the home. In return, the company would build the officer a $200,000.00 home for $130,000.00.

As happens with most immoral pacts, the partnership soon fell apart. According to this man the code enforcement officer wanted more and more. The demands of the officer became so ridicules that the old man soon decided to cut his losses and end the deal. The home remained at 85 to 90 percent complete.

Because the old man refused to finish the home the code enforcement officer decided to punish the old man. In this effort it is believed that the code enforcement officer enlisted the help of his coworkers.

A coworker of the officer even went so far as to open an investigation into a rental property of this old man in another town. Using City of Fort Worth resources she investigated why a tenant had been evicted from this old man’s property in another town. She even tried to file a criminal complaint with the police department of this small town using her position as a code enforcement officer. According to the old man the police of this small town were less than pleased that she was trying to use her position with the City of Fort Worth to investigate something that was not in her jurisdiction. The police of this small town refused to follow up on her allegations.

Soon after that the officer discovered that the old man owned property in the area he was working. It is believed that he enlisted the help of yet another coworker and that coworker is the one that will take this old decrepit infirm fragile man to jail.

And that is the story behind the story. The story that is yet to come brings with it numerous questions. If laws are enforced selectively, does that not open the door for abuse from those charged with enforcing the laws? As in this case what can be done with those that have no money? Is it morally correct to imprison someone that financially cannot meet city property code standards? How does spending thousands of taxpayers dollars in keeping a bankrupt homeowner in jail benefit the city? When laws are selectively enforced does that not make a mockery of the law? If a law cannot be uniformly enforced is it morally correct to enforce it just against those that cannot defend themselves?

These are questions that our city fathers should be asking themselves. It is through their leadership or lack thereof that the city is governed. The citizens of Fort Worth look to their elected leaders for direction. What happens Monday the 20th of April will speak volumes about our city leaders and their moral values.

If you wish to make your opinion known you may contact the mayor’s office at 817 392-6118 or fax your comment to 817 392-6187 or send an email to: mike.moncrief@fortworthgov.org

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