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Waterpark dentist gets his day of reckoning and other Dallas city news

Waterpark dentist gets his day of reckoning and other Dallas city news

Malouf waterpark slide
Waterslide in the back yard of the former estate of Dr. Richard Malouf. Candy's Dirt

The coronavirus may have ground some things in Dallas to a halt, but the wheels are still turning in the city of Dallas, including a report by the Dallas Police Department, a questionable plan to buy a grocery store, and a Dallas dentist found guilty of Medicaid fraud.

Here's what happened in Dallas last week:

Grocery store bailout
A grocery store in southern Dallas that has already received millions of taxpayer dollars is in trouble and the Dallas City Council is considering bailing it out again.

Five years ago, the Save A Lot store at 3540 Simpson Stuart Rd. in the Highland Hills area of Dallas got $2.8 million as an economic incentive to open, since there were no other options. Now the owner wants to get out, even though part of his arrangement was that he'd stay open until 2026.

Neighbors who live nearby say that the store is never fully stocked and that prices are higher than other supermarkets.

COVID-19 test scam
Dallas County canceled a contract with a COVID-19 testing lab over concerns regarding its accuracy and timeliness.

Honu Management Group started doing tests at Eastfield College in Mesquite. Dallas County Commissioners routed $14 million from the federal CARES Act because federally-run sites were taking too long, and Honu promised results within 72 hours. But one father and son waited more than a week to get their results from Honu.

Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said that Honu was taking three days just to get tests to a lab in Austin for processing. "You could have gotten them there faster in a backpack on a bicycle than they were getting them there," he said.

Honu also had unusually low positivity rate of 7 percent, versus 17 percent at test sites run by Parkland Hospital, who have now taken over the Eastfield College test site.

DPD report on protests
The Dallas Police Department presented a report to the Dallas City Council's Public Safety Committee on its response to May protests and riots. Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall acknowledged that the department made errors in communication and planning.

But council members found the report lacking in detail on the use of tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters, which has since been banned.

Malouf and Medicaid fraud
There's an ending to the saga of Dallas-area dentist Dr. Richard Malouf: He's been held responsible for 1,842 unlawful acts under the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, according to WFAA. The Travis County district court found Malouf billed Medicaid for services that he did not deliver, including more than 100 claims he filed while vacationing out of the country.

Malouf is liable for $16.5 million in penalties, interest, and attorney fees.

Former WFAA reporter Byron Harris won awards for the stories he did on Malouf beginning in 2011. Malouf sued Harris, along with Brett Shipp, Belo Corp. and WFAA, Candy's Dirt, CultureMap, his neighbor Laura Wilson, AOL Real Estate, and Curbed.com, who ran Candy's Dirt stories on Malouf's lavish 4.3-acre Strait Lane estate. Malouf built what Candy's Dirt says may be the only backyard waterpark in Dallas, one estate south of Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki, complete with a lazy river.