McKinney, TX wants $79K to retreive emails of the cop who tackled bikini-clad teen

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Don’t worry guys, I got this. I’ll do it for free.

Edit: Oh, my goodness. I went trying to find contact information for the city’s IT department. The CIO doesn’t list his email, but his personal website misspells “experience”:

I think I’ll talk to human resources instead.


Apparently, grep is hard.


9 months of processor time after writing the program. That’s beleivable.

  • Thawing Neanderthal: 8 hours
  • Physical Therapy: 320 hours
  • Counseling: 400 hours
  • Remedial English Classes: 800 hours
  • Conditioning subject not to hurl spears at people making records requests: 8 hours
  • Overcoming fear of magical light-box device: 20 hours
  • Learning to execute a simple text search: 1 hour

Total: 1557 hours

Yeah, I think they may be padding those numbers a bit.


Apparently, I’m in the wrong business. Look at me over here charging for actual hours worked, like a chump. </eyeroll>


Holy Un-Retreivable Emails Batman!

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That old Commodore 64 they’re going to use to run the program isn’t the fastest machine out there.


But it’s probably the fastest one in their IT department.


Incorrect. It is a “pay my brother-in-law ‘programmer’ $79,000” response. Commonly referred to as a “shakedown”.


What people fail to understand, is that the entire McKinney Police IT Department is being run on a Timex Sinclair 1000.


Grep? Dude, you just click the little magnifying glass.


It’s funny in its audaciousness, but Jesus, I hope the public officials pulling this shit aren’t just reprimanded–this is intentional and knowing violation of open records laws and really should be grounds for dismissal at the very least.


Depends on the state law. Some are better than others.

Here’s the Texas statute:

However, regardless of the exact law, the most effective levers here are probably soft power (ie shame from the governor’s office) backed by a hint of “Real nice police force, we’d hate for the Federal DOJ to take it over for a while on account a violation of Constitutional rights.”


Putting on my Imaginary Lawyer Hat, a thing I made up that qualifies me to pretend to practice law on the Internet:

My first response would be a response letter stating that the figures are hilariously bogus, that Gawker demands they come back with a much, much lower cost estimate ($50 sounds reasonable), that I’m documenting their obstruction.

I’d state that further obstruction will be referred to the State Attorney General, and will also trigger a flurry of requests regarding the email system upgrade itself, so I’ll have more concrete grounds for disputing their figures.

Then I’d start firing off those requests (not even waiting for their reply) to suggest that business is meant. Information to look at:

  1. Records relating to the old system’s status back when it was working (hardware, software)
  2. Records related to the current status of the system. Where it’s boxed up, what format the old data is in, etc.
  3. The name of the IT personnel or contract company which performed the upgrade.
  4. Any contracts relating to the email upgrade. How much was paid for the work, what requirements were stipulated, communications regarding the progress of the upgrade as work was done.
  5. Any emails related to the upgrade (chicken, meet egg). It’d be hilarious if they just blithely fulfilled that request.

Presumably, Gawker already has lawyers handling this, so this is just me puzzling through hypotheticals. But it’s fun.

Actually, it could be more than fun. If journalists start digging in to see how much was paid for this supposedly botched upgrade, I suspect they’d find graft aplenty.


It’s Texas, they’ll get a medal for holding back the ‘liberal’ media.


I suspect they’d take re some story about some “big miscommunication” between the IT department and the law firm. Another great reason to outsource records requests to a third party who doesn’t understand the day-to-day workings of the department.


Perhaps a misplaced decimal or two?

Not related to the IT shakedown… I just realized why the name “Eric Casebolt” sounds so creepy to me, every time I hear it: it’s like a mash-up of “Eric Harris” and “Dylan Klebold”.

edit: fixed spelling

I figure it’s just putting the retrieval into process that buys time for the department to figure out how to soften the blow that will come after releasing them. “Time is of the essence” cuts both ways. It’s a strategy, and after all, they’re cops and bureaucrats, they can just play dumb through the whole thing and experience absolutely zero repercussions for it.

“These people are the glue that holds together the gears of our society.” --Homer Simpson