Thursday, June 23, 2011

Odds and ends

Perry signs bill compensating Anthony Graves

Gov. Rick Perry signed a bill on Tuesday authorizing the state to pay Anthony Graves $1.4 million in compensation for spending 18 years in prison for a murder he did not commit. In 2006, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Mr. Graves' conviction. As there was no finding of actual innocence, the State Comptroller refused to compensate Mr. Graves for his years behind bars.

I guess, Ms. Combs, that it's somehow Mr. Graves' fault that he was arrested, charged and convicted despite the prosecutor's knowledge that the state's star witness recanted the night before trial.

God knows the state has more important things to spend money on -- such as the more than $10,000 a month the state is spending for the house the fair-haired one is renting while the Governor's Mansion is renovated.

Is ATS blackmailing the City of Houston?

ATS, the operator of the red light cameras in Houston, has issued a letter to the city saying that all will be forgiven if the city turns the cameras back on by August 1. If the city chooses to honor the will of the voters, the city may be on the hook for up to $20 million for breach of contract.

The city attorney, David Feldman, made the odd statement that statistics indicate an increase in accidents at intersections since the cameras were turned off after last November's referendum. Of course, Mr. Feldman has never let the facts get in the way of his pronouncements.

We're about to see where Mayor Annise Parker stands when she must decide between money and the will of the populace. I'm not holding my breath.

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