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Leading Off (1/8/14)

DISD’s Former Chief of Staff Will Plead Guilty. Remember Jerome Oberlton? He used to be DISD’s chief of staff. But then it was discovered that he was going to be indicted on federal charges. His trial was scheduled to take place next week, but Tuesday, his attorneys announced he’d plead guilty to taking $60,000 in kickbacks while he was working in Atlanta Public Schools.

Hunt County Judge Makes Comments, Then Recuses Himself. Judge Steve Tittle’s friend once worked for the Hunt County Adult Probation Department. The friend was fired. The judge then cut thousands of dollars in funds to the department. He vowed that the county commissioners would “pay one way or another.” Now, the county jail is falling apart and the Hunt County Commissioners Court is suing the jail’s contractors. On Monday, the county moved to have the judge recused. On Tuesday, he recused himself. Also, there’s some stuff about duct tape and a terminated court reporter (separate events). You should read the whole thing.

Dallas Zoo’s Cheetah Cub Dies. Photo Breaks Your Heart. Kamau, who was only 6 months old, died yesterday from a respiratory illness. Last week, both Kamau and his brother, Winspear, became ill. Kamau, who’s smaller than his brother, couldn’t shake the illness. Autopsy reports indicated pneumonia. The cubs, who were overseen by a black lab, have been inseparable. And now I’m sad.