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(Tenured Radical)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

For Explanation,
Consult UD:

"Varieties of
Among Senior


'The case of an Ole Miss professor whose speeding ticket was returned to court decorated with X-rated comments has been referred to county prosecutors, Gallaway Police Chief Jason Collins said Wednesday.

Dr. Stephen D'Surney, 55, who has taught at the University of Mississippi for 15 years, could not be reached at home in Collierville or at the school Wednesday. He is an associate professor of biology.

Collins said it is not clear who wrote racial, ethnic, religious and sexist slurs on the citation, though he said the handwriting on the signed ticket was similar to D'Surney's signature on his check and in a letter he sent to the court.

Collins was too embarrassed to read the words to a reporter, so he spelled them out. [Spelled them out?]

The comments disparaged Gallaway, Baptists, Southerners, minorities and the female officer who wrote the ticket. There also was a reference to a nuclear bomb destroying the small Fayette County town. [Guy must have small handwriting. That's a lot to get on a ticket.]

Next to the comments was D'Surney's signature and driver's license number signifying he was pleading guilty to the speeding charge, Collins said.

Collins said D'Surney was stopped June 17 as he drove east on U.S. 70 through Gallaway, going 58 in a 45 mph zone. D'Surney was driving a Toyota Camry.

"When he returned the payment on July 7 from his Collierville home," the comments were written on the front and back of the citation, Collins said.

"The city returned his payment (by overnight mail) and sent him a summons to appear in City Court last night (Tuesday night)."

Collins said officials wanted an explanation of how the citation was defaced, and by whom. "We were looking for an answer because of the nature of the language. It was very, very surprising to us."

Meanwhile, D'Surney sent the payment back in, and said he could not be in court Tuesday, and was moving out of state.

He asked to plead guilty and said he'd not written the comments on the ticket.

Collins said Gallaway Municipal Judge Price Harris accepted the guilty plea and assessed a fine and court costs of $110, which is the amount of D'Surney's check.

"I will forward the rest of the paperwork to the District Attorney General's Office to see if there are any violations of law, or a basis for criminal prosecution," Collins said.

Collins said he doesn't know if prosecutors will consider the comments a threat, racial slurs or a hate crime, or "nothing more than public officials taking a bashing. That's what the legal question is going to be."

Ole Miss spokesman Jeff Alford said the school would not comment. "This is an individual personnel matter and the university is not involved in it at all."'