Tibor Kovacs. Picture via Starr Telegram and the Arlington Police Department.
So over two years ago while I was running the State Sponsored Criminal Count I did a post about this incident out of Arlington Texas.
Update regarding Tibor Kovacs’s legal entanglement:
Now according to this following quote from one of his local papers a Judge ruled him to be rehired in June. While at the same time the city has stated its desire to continue to appeal.
A Tarrant County judge reinstated an Arlington police officer who was fired three years ago after being accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend and interfering with the investigation.
State District Judge David Evans ruled late Monday that the Police Department should immediately rehire Tibor Kovacs and awarded him $164,471 in back pay.
Assistant City Attorney Melinda Barlow said that Arlington plans to appeal the ruling and that Kovacs had not rejoined the force as of Tuesday and had not received the back pay.
The story does state that a grand jury failed to indict him on the charge however that is neither a guilty nor not guilty verdict. The priors of the case remain as a matter of public record and historical documentation. If I were a magic 8 ball my response regarding Tibor Kovacs and his place on the count would be something like this, “Reply hazy try again later”. I don’t know the details of what’s going on in this pissing match but obviously there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark and I don’t know who’s good or who’s bad.
Now I hadn’t been keeping up with this specific case, there’s a huge pile of them in the criminal count, though I am more than happy to give updates and corrections when things are taken care of in a civil manner. Seriously that update was an email from one of the involved parties and said, hey you might be interested in seeing this. It was two different news articles detailing the update which I then reported. It was polite, they understood the value of not being confrontational, providing information and letting people arrive at their own conclusions.
How not to become my friend.
When something like the following hits my inbox, I am less than pleased and even more specifically less than inclined to converse directly with said individual and instead promptly seek legal counsel.
From: Tibor Kovacs
Subject: information removal request
The link: http://www.the-minuteman.org/2012/09/12/sscc-409-arlington/
is incorrect and highly defamatory! I request the prompt removal from your website.
Thank you Barron for your cooperation in this matter.
This mail is sent via contact form on The Minuteman http://www.the-minuteman.org
Semi-polite but obvious legal threat. My father didn’t raise no fool, I was raised in a house filled with law books by a man with a Juris Doctorate. I know the basics and I know when to shut my mouth and not deal directly with someone.
So I contact a law-smith on the subject to get the extra ins and outs and find out that there are numerous reasons this is NOT defamation, that I should not be concerned, and am directed to ignore the email because any response should go through counsel given the obvious threat. Had things been more polite I probably would have been more receptive but using the phrases “incorrect” and “highly defamatory” to a set of quoted statements from a news paper makes me want to dig in my heels. Then a couple days later I get the following into the inbox associated with my domain registration:
Subject: information removal request
Date: 09/26/2014 07:41 PM
From: Tibor Prince <>
Reply-To: Tibor Prince <>
To: [email protected] <[email protected]>
The following link on your website: http://www.the-minuteman.org/2012/09/12/sscc-409-arlington/ is outdated, false and defamatory.
For legal reasons I request the prompt removal of that link from your site!
I write-up a post and am then directed by my preliminary law smith to just let it die. It will just rile him up and no good can come of it. The law smith states the same as before but that I might start preparing with full counsel for a response letter. Bam, prep the lineup and say I’ll give him one more chance to just let it die. Well you’re reading this and a bunch of my friends on Facebook were asking me WTF was going on and well here it is.
From: Tibor Kovacs <[email protected]>
Subject: legal request for information removal
In light of District court decision to obliterate all claimed arrest records, Tibor Kovacs was never
arrested in accordance with law and Texas Code of Criminal procedure 55.03. Therefore I respectfully
make the request to remove all such reference to my arrest. I was also reinstated by the District
court to my position in light of the false allegation made against me.
I ask you to stop disparaging my name and jumping on the bandwagon of trashing officers based on the
barrage of constant complaints we get after arresting thousands of offenders you wouldn't want around
your family. It is an ungreatful career and we don't make many friends by arresting people. Don't be
one that makes our job harder!
This mail is sent via contact form on The Minuteman http://www.the-minuteman.org
I just immediately shook my head and fired off the email to the full counsel. Now he did advise me I could just pull the article, make it all go away and it would cost me less money. I don’t care, at this point with the intimidation behavior I wasn’t budging and I’m more than happy to shell out cash to do the right thing, even if it hurts. Overall from my interactions thus far, Tibor Kovacs seems like a petty tyrant instead of a polite individual. I’m more than happy to stand up when others won’t. As I said on Facebook:
“Barron you can just make yourself feel better by just taking it down and doing what the guy asked.”
“How does me giving a petty tyrant what he wants when I’m in the right make me feel better?”
That seriously was a conversation I had yesterday. It reminded me that I am unique when it comes to principals when compared with many. I am willing to suffer discomfort, pain, and expense purely because of principal. While many would look at me like a fool, I feel more physically upset at doing the wrong thing to make my life easier than it is just doing the right thing.
Many people often wonder how they will react in a trying situation. There are many more who later on regret their decisions.
I do not have to wonder. I am glad to say I have yet to ever regret a decision or action I took that I believed to be the right thing to do. Even when doing the right thing worked against me.
That’s why I just dropped 6 bills with the potential to spend more on something I could just make go away by pushing a delete button.
#CharacterCounts, especially when the other guy doesn’t appear to have any.
I had done some searching and couldn’t find any record of the District court decision, however my lawyer was more than happy to fill me in on TCCP 55.03. It is an expungement of the arrest from the courts, nothing more. It is not a finding by a judge of not-guilty with prejudice, it is merely clearing someone’s arrest record who wasn’t convicted. Hey, good, that’s the way it should be. If asked in a legal setting if you were arrested you should be able to say no if you weren’t convicted. I know better than anyone, I have two felonies that follow my ass around I was never convicted for.
I however did not and do not run around like a 5 year old screaming at people who wrote news articles and commentary at the time.
Seriously this behavior spinned me into a world of pissed off and is the absolute wrong way to approach me correcting information in the count. Doubly so since he waited until email 3 to even present any of the information above and even then didn’t provide copies of the orders or documentation, I was merely supposed to take his word on the subject.
So my lawyer sent this in response:
So here’s my full summary of the above and interpretation.
Tibor Kovacs may or may not have committed the crimes he was accused of. While a grand jury failed to indict, that is neither an indicator of guilt or innocence. That does not change the actual history of the case and honestly wish him the best of luck.
That said the behavior of Tibor Kovacs as outlined above implies to me he is a petty tyrant of the exact type I ran the criminal count to highlight. While the original charge may have evaporated his behavior of intimidation and legal threats in an attempt to intimidate me to pull what is quite honestly a 2 year old news article highlights his character quite well. Doubly so since the statement of being willing to interview Tibor Kovacs was sincere and after proofing the letter I also told my lawyer to note I would even allow him to provide a written statement which I would include in its entirety unedited.
It has been one week since this all went down. I have heard nothing at which point I believe Tibor Kovacs does not wish to talk to me or make a statement. If he sees this he is free to say something in the comments on his own behalf and I will publish it unedited. Note the comments are automatically closed after 30 days due to spam.
Deep down I have a serious issue with scrubbing things or otherwise trying to erase them from history. This to me is the equivalent of asking a newspaper to delete all of the stories relating to the topic. While yes this is the internet and I can make it go away, is that correct with regards to the historical record? 25 years ago people would look up the history of a series of events using microfiche in a library. The internet is the modern day library.
Winning Quote Related to the Subject:
I had many friends text or message me asking what was going on. One friend had a conversation with me that was just epic:
Buddy: So what’s the deal? Someone try to come between you and the last Snickerdoodle?
Me: Basically cop emailed me and tried to intimidate me into pulling down a 2 year old post.
Buddy: WTF? But you’re white.
Buddy: Sorry… someone must have got a pic of us walking to lunch, and said, “That’s him… the “threatening guy” That’s Barron!”
Buddy: Maybe it’s your choice of donut providers…
Well more than just a single quote but frankly after the beginning context the statements were just hilarious. Again, I love my friends.
There is a much different attitude between Tibor Kovacs and myself; and it is actually kind of disturbing. I am more than happy to talk about my arrest and legal experience despite the fact I think it was complete bullshit. I lay it out in front of everyone and am more than happy to discuss it with anyone who asks. I have nothing to hide, I stand behind my actions that day and while I wish the outcome was different I do not feel I did anything wrong.
Tibor Kovacs is moving to sweep things under the rug, doesn’t want to discuss it, and is yelling at people to try and make it go away. I only have one question on that front, Why? My conscience is clean and I don’t give two shits about that case because there’s always two sides to every story and I’m more than happy to make sure people hear mine.
Lastly the woe is me, people hate me for doing my job, so on and so forth. Here’s the thing Mr. Kovacs, I don’t want you anywhere near my family just as I don’t want a violent felon around them. You have this badge which you seem to think grants you extra rights and immunities and while I can shoot a felon attempting to harm my family without fear of reprisal, the same can not be said for a thug with a badge. Your attitude and behavior in directly interacting with me doesn’t indicate that you’re an honest man with a badge but a thug. Like any brotherhood though, your brothers will circle the wagons even if you’re totally in the wrong. Taking all that into account I’d actually rather have the violent felon around them, at least then I could perforate them and be assured a equitable and fair investigation into what happened.
Stolen as a direct quote from a buddy:
well, here’s the deal: if he were 1) not a dick, 2) didn’t pull the “woe is the life of a cop” card, or 3) actually provided some evidence on his behalf, then it’d be reasonable to at least ask you to add some extra info to let people make their own grown up decisions.
It should also be noted that picking a fight like this is never a good idea if your objective is to suppress information. Your best bet is to just ignore it and let it fade into obscurity. That page in its entire existence has had a whole whopping 57 views as of the time I wrote this article. Now that number is likely to go up given another post referencing it, especially with the threat of legal consequences. Behavior like that attracts attention, just ask Barbra Streisand.