Civics: Dallas Has Now Lost 82 Cases Against Robert Groden. Someone Call Guinness.

Jim Schutze:

It’s sort of remarkable, is it not, almost as if they have a small research team somewhere in the city attorney’s office. Twice a year someone tells them, “Scour the books for something Groden isn’t doing wrong so we can charge him with it and get ourselves kicked out of court again.”

Kizzia is a major piece of the puzzle here, having stuck by Groden over many years. It was Kizzia’s cross-examination in the federal civil rights case that elicited damning testimony from a Dallas police officer. He confessed that he and his superiors knew Groden had broken no law when they jailed him six years ago.

When the arresting officer reported to his superior that Groden had been forced to go without prescribed medications in jail all night, the superior officer praised him for a job well done.

The battle between Dallas City Hall and Groden probably is not well known within our municipal borders, because the city’s only daily newspaper and other major media here have given it scant attention. But beyond our borders, the story grows. Last year Dutch documentarian Kasper Verkaik debuted his film about Groden and Dallas City Hall, Plaza Man, which has since been well received in international festivals. (Dallas City Hall is not the hero.) And in the online universe, the saga of Groden and Dallas City Hall has become Kennedy assassination equivalent of a Mexican corrido ballad.

Dallas did beat Kizzia in one round. In federal district court here, former federal District Judge Royal Ferguson ruled that Groden could not sue the city because he was unable to identify the top-most city official originally responsible for the campaign of persecution against him. But the appeals court tossed Ferguson’s ruling and sent the case back to Dallas for a fresh trial with the city as a defendant.