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  1. #1
    dla4079's Avatar
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    Dispatcher, jailer get probation

    Dispatcher, jailer get probation (Tuesday, February 06, 2007)

    Judge David Cleveland sentenced two ex-Young County sheriff’s employees to 10 years probation in a Fort Worth courtroom late Friday afternoon.
    “In our society and in our system of government, our law enforcement, our system of jurisprudence, if we can’t depend on people who are sworn to uphold and follow the law, who can we depend on?” declared the retired judge from Palo Pinto County. “If people sworn to uphold the law violate the law in the manner that we have seen here today, it leads to anarchy in this country.”
    The defendants, former Young County Sheriff’s Office Chief Dispatcher Beth Dodson and Jail Administrator Carolin Teague, supported by a gallery of friends and family from as far as Wyoming, said nothing during the deliberations during the last week of January.
    As rain turned to snow outside the Old Criminal Courts Building on Thursday afternoon, the nine man, three woman jury reached a verdict after eight hours of deliberation. Witnesses included a retired teacher, state, county and city peace officers, radio dispatchers and a forensic acoustics expert.

    “This is a lot of information to digest,” said one departing juror at the end of the first day after listening to the testimony of 10 witnesses.
    The conclusion of an episode of Young County history began four years earlier on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2002 when Graham Police Patrolman Tye Viehmann requested the Young County Sheriff’s Department dispatcher verify the license plate of vehicles he’d stopped in the east part of town.
    The first to testify Jan. 30, Viehmann recalled that sometime after 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 23, 2002, he radioed YCSO dispatch with the first of four vehicles he stopped for traffic violations over the course of an hour and was put on hold.
    As Viehmann was “working traffic,” Dodson received an emergency telephone call from a deer hunter in nearby Stephens County who was being shot at. Viehmann wasn’t aware of the situation as he made his first “28” request for license verification at 5:36 p.m.

    “She didn’t answer my first request and my second. She told me to stand by but never got back to me,” Viehmann said. “I had no idea of what was going on other than what was important to me.”
    “You requested one right after the other?” asked a prosecutor. “She made you look like a jerk.”
    He recalled being contacted by his partner, GPD Patrolman Terry Vanlandingham, to see if he needed assistance
    “Dispatch isn’t answering,” Viehmann said.
    After repeating that phrase, Viehmann and the 9-1-1 recordings recalled he was immediately ordered to “10-19,” or come, to the sheriff’s office where Dodson confronted Viehmann about his unprofessional demeanor over the police radio and to the dispatcher.
    “You’re not going to talk to me like that,” read assistant prosecutor Jason Cashon from the 9-1-1 transcript of Dodson’s radio and telephone conversation. “You won’t treat me like you do the other dispatchers.”
    “She said she didn’t have time for my piddly traffic stops,” Viehmann testified. “She said I was a smart a**.”
    Graham Police Chief Jim Nance and Assistant Chief Tony Widner explained during their testimony that radio communication with dispatch was the lifeline for officers working the streets and roads.
    All emergency personnel are aware that all radio and telephone calls to the sheriff’s office and police station are audio recorded. Thus, big brother was listening as Viehmann and Dodson exchanged quips. As a precaution prior to his arrival to YCSO, Viehmann activated the microphone transmitter located on his person to the video recorder located in his patrol car.
    Widner explained Viehmann had been reprimanded prior to the incident for rude and unprofessional behavior to dispatchers. The incidents were documented in his service jacket, Viehmann added, and could have cost him his job.
    Meanwhile, Graham Police Sgt. Richard Ferguson was in the field working a case. He heard the exchange between dispatch and the patrolman and telephoned Dodson.
    “I told her Tye can be hard-headed,” Ferguson said. “I told her to make sure she recorded everything they said. She said she’d do that and give him a piece of her mind.”
    Dodson, from her grand jury testimony, said that she was very upset by Viehmann and cursed Viehmann when he arrived. Viehmann told Dodson to call his supervisor, Widner. Dodson berated Viehmann to Widner.
    “She was very mad at Tye,” Widner said. “I hoped to talk to both parties and get things worked out.”
    Widner testified that he refused to make any command decisions at that time and asked Dodson to make a written report of the incident and a copy of the 9-1-1 tape. Still very upset, Dodson demanded that Widner come listen to the tape immediately, which Widner felt, with tempers hot and it being so late, was not the proper time to address the problem. However, he told Viehmann to clear out of the YCSO and steer clear of Dodson until the situation could be resolved.
    Later the same evening, Dodson, according to 9-1-1 telephone transcripts, contacted Young County Sheriff Carey Pettus and explained she had blown up at Viehmann and cursed him. Pettus said he would address the problem on Monday.
    On Monday, Widner called YCSO requesting a copy of the 9-1-1 tape from the previous evening for the hours between 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dispatcher Teresa McGeehee testified that she called Widner back 10 minutes later and said the tape had been made and was ready for him to pick up.
    When he went to YCSO and met with Pettus, Wider recalled the tape was lying on a table behind Pettus’ desk and the sheriff handed it to him. Previously, Widner had listened to the hour’s recording from Viehmann’s patrol car and was shocked that the YCSO tape that was less than two minutes long.
    “I was surprised,” Widner said. “I expected it to be longer, but it wasn’t what I asked for.”
    He reported his findings to Nance who asked Pettus to come to GPD. Again, they listened to the respective tapes and thereafter, Nance and Widner recalled, Pettus hung his head.
    “I guess I didn’t get the whole story,” Nance recalled Pettus saying. “It looks like I’ve been lied to.”
    Pettus asked if the police wanted a report on Dodson. They declined, and Nance placed the YCSO tape in Viehmann’s service jacket and locked it in a file drawer inside his desk.
    In February 2003, the Logger, installed in 1995, was replaced with an advanced digital recording system. The old machine, according to 9-1-1 Coordinator Marsha Sumpter, could handle 20 electronic inputs, simultaneously recording all phone calls and emergency radio traffic.

    Capt. D. Larimore
    NTISF Gang Unit

  2. #2
    Willowdared's Avatar
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    Is that the whole article? Because I can't make much sense of it - what were they charged with exactly?
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  3. #3
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    Okay....found this:

    Monday, January 29, 2007

    Jury selection got underway today for the trial of two former Young County Sheriff`s employees accused of altering a 911 recording. Former Jail Administrator Carolin Teague and former Chief Dispatcher Beth Dodson are on trial for aggravated perjury charges. Sources say in 2002, Dodson, with Teague`s help, erased part of a 911 recording, which contained a screaming match between Dodson and a Graham Police Officer. Sources say Dodson tried to use the altered recording to get the Graham officer fired. The trial is taking place in criminal court in Fort Worth. Former Sheriff Carey Pettus and former Chief Deputy Gary Barnett were also indicted for aggravated perjury. They will be tried separately.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
    or otherwise distort statements of fact.
    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley



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