Saturday, January 2, 2010

Texas Lawmen

The Dallas Morning News website has this absolutely baroque tale of two small town lawmen who have been carrying on a feud over many years that has devolved, into charges of child porn, sex parties, and accusations that one of the lawmen was promoting prostitution with kids.  There have been arrests, and unexplained dismissals of criminal charges.  The two officers:   Michael Meissner and John Hoskins are characterized as "nomadic officers" since both have long careers with short stintss in multiple small towns and agencies. 

I am going to quote the well-written article by John Nielsen of the Dallas Morning News to give you a flavor of what's going on--but, I urge you to read the entire piece, it's puts me in mind of some Texas noir novels I've read in the past: 

"The lengthy arrest warrant for former small-town police chief Michael Meissner included a string of graphic text messages he was accused of sending to teenage boys, trying to lure them to sex parties. Television news crews flocked to the jailhouse to catch a glimpse of Meissner in handcuffs.

Yet a week after his September arrest, Meissner, 39, then the police chief of Little River-Academy, a small community south of Waco, walked out of the Dallas County Jail a free man.

The seven charges against him were erased, and his $1.5 million bail was dismissed.

Prosecutors in Dallas and Tarrant counties won't say why Meissner won't be tried on charges of promotion of prostitution, possession and promotion of child pornography and sexual performance of a child.

The dismissals baffled the investigating officer, John Hoskins, who said he uncovered the seedy texts during another investigation while working as an unpaid reserve officer for the city of Combine in Kaufman County, near the Dallas County line.

Meissner, who lives in Dallas, denies the charges and denies sending the text messages. He said the allegations are trumped up by Hoskins, an officer Meissner says has been out to get him for years. "I think ... [authorities] knew the charges were bogus; they knew about this guy and this vendetta," Meissner said.

While it remains unclear why prosecutors won't pursue a case against Meissner, documents reveal a bitterness between the two officers that began four years ago.

The rivalry is a convoluted tale of salacious allegations mixed with small-town politics. It pits Meissner, a peace officer who has worked for 18 agencies in 20 years, against Hoskins, an equally nomadic officer.

The two worked side by side in 2006 when Meissner was police chief and Hoskins was his officer in the East Texas town of Caney City. While there, Hoskins investigated a charge that his boss viewed pornography with a minor at the police station on a city-owned computer, according to a police report. The charge, like others against Meissner, was dropped.

Hoskins said his latest investigation isn't about settling a feud"

The article goes on to say, that another former police chief, Steve Allen of Combine, Texas supports Hoskins allegations against Meissner saying in the article that the charges aren't made up because they consist of text messages that actually came from Meissner and he, Chief Allen inspected the evidence. 

You might ask yourself why does the Bad Lawyer finds this story remarkable, apart from the fact that it is strange in and of itself? 

When I began to go after the Catholic church, I dealt with a tremendous amount of disbelief and an outright incredulity by friends, family, and colleagues.  The church, its attorneys, and judges with agendas preyed on this incredulity to do injustice to victims fo clergy sex abuse. This morning, in fact we talked about the notion and danger of "false allegations," (so rare as to be remarkable and noteworthy when false allegations are demonstrated) which I've explored at some length here at Bad Lawyer, but something is very wrong in East Texas.  Either a serial predator with a badge is walking around, or a harasser with a badge is running wild.  Which is it?  We will keep our Bad Lawyer eyes trained on developments.


  1. Like Cormac McCarthy? Is that who you're thinking of?

  2. anon like No Country for Old Men?

  3. This goes far and beyond. There's even a blogger/journalist/prospective politician involved as well as a former cop, now wannabe attorney general, that is pushing marijuana and creating reality tv of setting up cops. It's beyond bizarre!

  4. Anon 4:24

    Thanks for your contribution, I think I have some passing awareness of what you are alluding to, there's guy down there who sets up "stings" of police officers and sheriffs which he films? I saw some sort of situation--I may have blogged about a woman who alleges that law enforecement planted drugs in a search of her property--that this ex-cop got involved in?

    Are we talking about the same person?

  5. One in the same, although his role was smaller and more recent. This story has been playing out for years and each one has laid with the other from one time to another and now they each complain that they have fleas. This individual put the video up on his promotional website.

  6. Im sure you could request the cell phone records from the agency that sought the warrants. Text messages from one's cell phone doesnt lie.... The truth is in those records. I dont think the cops would lie about something like that-- otherwise, they;d be in prison instead of the guy that they arrested.