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McKinney Charging Gawker $79,000 For Emails About Pool Party Cop

Brandon Brooks/YouTube
Gawker says it got a $79,000 bill to complete a public information request for various documents related to the viral video that shows a white McKinney police officer pointing his gun at black teenagers at a pool party.

Five stories that have North Texas talking: McKinney sends a massive bill to Gawker; Ted Cruz on same-sex marriage; the Texas Theatre needs some repairs; and more.

A popular website is getting quite a bill from the city of McKinney. Gawker says it got a $79,000 bill to complete a public information request for various documents related to the viral video that shows a white McKinney police officer pulling a black teenager to the ground and pointing his gun at black teenagers at a pool party. (Eric Casebolt resigned and apologized for his behavior.) Gawker says it asked for the officer’s records and emails “about his conduct sent or received by McKinney Police Department employees.” Gawker says: "The city arrived at that extraordinary figure after estimating that hiring a programmer to execute the grueling and complex task of searching through old emails would cost $28.50 per hour, and that the search for emails about Casebolt would take 2,231 hours of said programmer’s time. That only comes to about $63,000; the bill also includes $14,726 'to cover the actual time a computer resource takes to execute a particular program.'” Read the letter the city sent Gawker.

Update: On Wednesday night, a McKinney city spokeswoman apologized to Gawker. “The number quoted to you as a cost estimate for your records request is not accurate,” communications manager Anna Clark wrote in a note to Gawker. “We sincerely apologize for the misinformation and the ensuing confusion, and we agree that the cost of more than $79,000 is at best implausible.”

  • A co-defendant in the federal corruption case involving Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price is expected to plead guilty to bribery charges. The Dallas Morning News reports: “Christian Lloyd Campbell signed court papers filed Tuesday in which he will admit to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery concerning a local government receiving federal benefits, according to court records. In return, prosecutors have agreed not to seek a prison term of more than three years, records show. … Legal experts said Campbell’s decision is a significant development that gives prosecutors more ammunition in their case against the commissioner. A federal judge will have to approve the plea bargain before it is official. Campbell is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning.” [The Dallas Morning News]

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz says same-sex marriage will be “front and center” in his 2016 presidential campaign. NPR reports: “In an interview with Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep on Sunday in New York City, the GOP presidential hopeful doubled down on his belief that the court had overstepped its bounds in both the marriage decision and in upholding Obamacare. And as a result, Cruz said, the justices should be subject to elections and lose their lifetime appointments.” Cruz says he’s called for a constitutional amendment that would make Supreme Court members “subject to periodic judicial retention elections.”

  • A 75-year-old woman has been found alive after crashing her car into a North Texas ravine and surviving for two days on soda and oily water. Wanda Mobley was being treated Tuesday at a Wichita Falls hospital. A spokeswoman says she's in good condition. Her granddaughter, Amanda Russ, says Mobley told relatives she swerved to miss an animal and went off the highway. Mobley left her home in Brownwood on Friday, headed for McAlester, Oklahoma. Relatives filed a missing person report when she failed to arrive. Relatives located Mobley early Sunday near Seymour, about 140 miles north of her home, after investigators determined her cellphone last pinged in that area. Mobley, who says she survived on Sprite and oily water dripping from her car, suffered bruises and a fractured back. [Associated Press]
  • The Texas Theatre has a leaky roof – and it could use some donations. Advocate Oak Cliff reports: “The Texas Theatre took a hit with heavy spring rain, and it needs roof repairs as well as work to water-damaged walls and floors. The historic theater is operated by Aviation Cinemas, but it is owned by a nonprofit, the Oak Cliff Foundation. Each of the foundation’s board members currently is charged with raising $700 by July 2 because the repairs are urgent.” Learn more here. [Advocate Oak Cliff]
Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.