City News Roundup

Dallas district attorney faces questions and more Dallas city news

Dallas district attorney faces questions and more Dallas city news

Faith Johnson
District Attorney Faith Johnson. Courtesy photo

In local city news, this week was National Night Out, with neighbors around Dallas getting neighborly. There was another development in the tragic Botham Jean shooting. Dallas has a new website where residents can track bond spending. And there's positive news about city efforts to protect the environment.

Here's what happened in Dallas news this week:

Botham Jean shooting records
Dallas police have refused to release records that could shine light on the ongoing investigation into the death of Botham Jean, the St. Lucia man shot to death in his apartment by off-duty Dallas police office, Amber Guyer.

Requests made to the city and the district attorney have been put on hold pending a ruling from the Texas attorney general, who could opt in favor of keeping records private if he sides with the DA's claims that publicity could lead to a tainted jury pool or a change of venue.

Police reports, affidavits and 9-1-1 calls are often available to the public through an information request made on an online portal.

A few days before media coverage began circulating the department's refusal to release records, protestors attended a town hall meeting, hosted by District Attorney Faith Johnson, that was intended to honor the life of Jean.

The crowd argued against the DA's decision to charge Guyger with manslaughter, a charge some believe is insufficient for a shooting that left an innocent man dead at the hands of a uniformed police officer.

Raquel's plans
Raquel Favela, Dallas’ former chief of economic development and neighborhood services, will join the National Development Council and use the expertise she shared in Dallas to make affordable housing available to communities across the nation.

"Under her leadership, we have been able to strengthen our focus on fundamental neighborhood services, and identify short-term and long-term solutions to address revitalization efforts and economic development due diligence and strategies essential to the sustainability of our community," City Manager T.C. Broadnax said of her departure in a statement.

Favela is credited with creating the city’s first affordable housing policy.

Environmental protection action
The City of Dallas has reaffirmed its commitment to environmental protection with the reorganization of the Office of Environmental Quality and deciding to officially rename the department the Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.

Furthermore, the city council also recently approved funding for 2019 to launch a Comprehensive Environmental and Climate Action Plan that will aim to curtail pollution caused by transportation, solid waste, building codes, urban heat and energy use by removing old vehicles from roads, adding more electric vehicles to the city's fleet, and installing solar panels on buildings.

Peek on bonds
A new website offers residents a new way to track city spending on a $1.05 billion bond package passed in 2017. The website shows year-to-date progress on the plan, including a breakdown of the package's 10 propositions.

Users can see the results of spending, including project timelines from design to completion, across more than 1,300 projects.

The website also makes available project maps, election results, a Spanish informational guide, and agendas, notes and documents from bond meetings.