Police exam results voided over integrity questions
The Dallas Police Department has thrown out the results of a promotion exam after discovering late last year that a police major who had helped shape the test had a test-prep business on the side.
The Dallas Morning News reports that the city’s civil service board agreed Tuesday with a decision to void the tests taken in November because of the concerns raised by Maj. LaToya Porter’s involvement.
About a dozen officers paid for tutoring through the test-prep company, which investigators said used scenarios that were similar to ones that appeared on the test Porter had helped craft.
The exam results were to be used for the purpose of determining the order of promotions.
An internal affairs investigation into Porter’s actions remains open.
Brazilian couple face kidnapping charges
A couple accused of helping their grandson from Texas illegally remain in Brazil after his mother allegedly violated a custody order in a divorce case is facing federal kidnapping charges.
Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes were arrested Wednesday in Miami after arriving on a flight from Brazil.
The couple and their daughter, Marcelle Guimaraes, have been charged by authorities in Houston with international parental kidnapping and conspiracy.
Prosecutors say Marcelle Guimaraes traveled with her son to Brazil in 2013 but never returned. Guimaraes had joint custody of her son with her now ex-husband.
The mother and boy have not returned to the United States.
Carlos and Jemima Guimaraes will remain in custody in Miami until a detention hearing Monday. Court records didn’t list an attorney for the couple.
Study: Houston apartment safety measures ‘flawed’
A report by the University of Texas School of Law has found that Houston’s programs designed to ensure apartment safety are “flawed, fractured and improperly managed.”
The Houston Chronicle reports that the 16-month study released Tuesday is called “Out of Order: Houston’s Dangerous Apartment Epidemic.” The report looks at the city’s regulation of apartment complexes and enforcement procedures.
The study found that more than a quarter of the approximately 4,000 apartment complexes subject to inspection by Houston Public Works lack certificates of occupancy. Findings also show that responsibility for apartment safety programs is divided among several city departments that don’t share data.
The study comes nearly a decade after a law passed requiring Houston to “establish minimum habitability standards” for multifamily rental buildings.
Public Works spokeswoman Alanna Reed said the department is reviewing the findings.
“Houston is unique in Texas because it has the third-highest number of occupied apartments in the country. About half of all Houstonians are renters,” she said.
Man killed, father injured by lightning strike
Authorities say an East Texas man has died and his father was injured during an apparent lightning strike as the two were fixing a cattle fence.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office says the deadly incident happened Tuesday afternoon in the community of Honey Island, about 80 miles northeast of Houston.
Sheriff Mark Davis says emergency personnel found 22-year-old Sebastian Ramos of Honey Island was unresponsive. Davis says Ramos was pronounced dead at a Beaumont hospital.
The sheriff says the man’s 57-year-old father was transported via private vehicle to the hospital for treatment of burns.
Further details on the father’s injuries weren’t immediately available. A message left with CHRISTUS Southeast Texas-St. Elizabeth Hospital was not immediately returned Wednesday.