Shakeup at Ferris PD
By 10/09/2003 00:00:00
City to feel brunt of lawsuits if no action taken
The Ellis County Press
FERRIS - The City of Ferris could soon see a flurry of lawsuits if they don't do something about recent complaints about the police department, residents said.
C.J. Smith, a longtime Dallas Morning News carrier who was arrested several weeks ago for calling one Ferris officer 'boy' told Mayor Jimmie Birdwell something must be done if he and the city do not want a lawsuit.
'He told me something would be done by Wednesday,' Smith said. 'Because I told Jimmie, ‘If you don't do something about this guy, I'll go to the Attorney General's Office and District Attorney's office. I'll go all the way if I have to.''
Since the article about Smith's arrest surfaced, KTVT Channel 11 in Dallas has been investigating the case, and plans to put Smith on camera telling what happened.
'I told [CBS reporter Bud Gillett] I'll do whatever it takes to straighten up this department,' Smith said. 'And don't forget about [Acting Chief] Mike Zaidel. Something needs to be done about him, because he's involved in this cover-up, too. He's doing what [Chief Jeff Cottongame] and [Lt. Sherman] Swafford were doing. He [Zaidel] needs to be reprimanded or something.'
A decision about Officer Jose Alehandro, the officer who arrested Smith, was to be made Wednesday, after this paper goes to press.
And in a separate incident, recent Ferris High School graduate David Caudle, who was issued three tickets by Alehandro several weeks after he and three friends were involved in an automobile accident, said he has been given three additional tickets on top of the three he previously received.
His mother, Deborah Caudle, said the police department sits and waits for David outside his work at Italiano's Pizza, and then follows him.
'They've been dogging him,' she said. 'Since the article, he's had two attorneys calling him, and I've had one [call me]. They're [harassing him].'
In other news involving the police department, Skip Donahue, who had given his daughter over to his ex-wife in a custody dispute after saying Officer David Vaughn was threatening and intimidating him, planned to file a lawsuit against the city, because of Vaughn's conduct, and to this day, Donahue said he is unsure of the whereabouts of his daughter, who was a student at Ferris Junior High School.