Rich Sheridan sent the above email to his media and government email list to blame the LGBT community and to protest his relatively harsh punishment for having committed 13 acts of graffiti around Oak Lawn and downtown.
Sheridan actually was charged with only two of those counts — the graffiti at Cathedral of Hope and on the Legacy of Love monument at Oak Lawn and Cedar Cedar Springs. Other locations included Dallas City Hall’s underground parking lot and sidewalks in front of D Magazine, the Dallas Morning News and the Dallas Observer.
(Notice someone missing from that list? Dallas Voice. Come on, Rich, you knew where our office was. But he did get some of our distribution boxes.)
At a press conference at Dallas Police Headquarters that took place before Sheridan was a suspect, police said this might be an anti-LGBT hate crime. I pointed out that we were a little insulted he missed the one LGBT print media outlet in town.
Charges were pressed in the church and monument cases only, because penalties are higher for defacing a house of worship or a public monument.
Neil Cazares-Thomas, senior pastor of Cathedral of Hope, said the cost of cleaning the graffiti was minimal, and the pastor was forgiving as long as the church wasn’t hit again. Yes, the church reported the graffiti to the police — long before they knew who did it and the church IS worried about some of the really violent protesters who’ve been on their property.
The monument was built by and is maintained by the Oak Lawn Committee. That group has always had a number of LGBT members, but is simply not a gay group. The group did have costs involved — power washing — to clean the monument, because attempts to clean it by hand did not remove the graffiti.
Sorry, Rich, but that really doesn’t sound like the LGBT community persecuting you.
Was the $2,000 restitution cost high? Sound like it might have been, but the money may have been used to clean not only the monument, but also City Hall and the public sidewalks in front of the not-LGBT media outlets.
The amount of community service? Sheridan has been an advocate for the homeless for years — such an advocate, he pisses lots of people off at Dallas City Council and Dallas County Commissioners Court. But I’m sure 120 hours of community service is nothing compared to the time he’s devoted to the issue.
Submit to random urine analysis? No alcohol? Avoid places or people of disrepute? Not leave Dallas County without permission? I’ve seen Sheridan around for years — at council and commissioners meetings, campaigning for public office. I don’t remember any accusations that he’s been drunk, on drugs or a physical threat to anyone. And I don’t think he’s been a problem when he’s left the county.
Do I want him attacking the poor folks at the Dallas Morning News? No. Do I agree more with his attorney on what the charges should have been? Yes. Will some others in the LGBT community have a different opinion? Sure.
The truth is Sheridan pisses a lot of people off. He does a much better job of it than I do.
So there, Rich. That’s the opinion of one member of the “rabid LGBT gay community.” And the Rev. Cazares-Thomas didn’t sound all that rabid in his response either.