When Dallas Mayor Dwaine Caraway went to court yesterday to block Dallas Police from releasing information to the press about their recent visit to his home on a domestic dispute call, it was prominent Dallas attorney Paul Watler questioning Caraway, representing the Dallas Morning News and fighting to win open access to the public records.  When he’s not shaking things up at City Hall, the longtime Lake Highlands resident can be found having dinner at Mi Cocina or pulling into the Braum’s drive-thru to pick up a gallon of milk for his wife, Julie.

Despite his “take no prisoners” style in the courtroom yesterday, Paul is known here in LH as an easy-going neighbor and supportive dad. Though his kids are now grown – Reid is a freshman Longhorn and UT-grad Blair was featured here on the blog for her selfless commitment to Teach for America – while they were Wildcats, Paul attended everything from spelling bees to sporting events with a cheer and a smile. In fact, he coached my own son’s coed soccer team, the Pink Flamingos, to a league championship.

Back at DPD, the tapes of Caraway’s visit with police on the night of January 2 have been released, and journalists from the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Observer and every local TV station are analyzing each syllable. If not for Paul Watler, the tapes would still be under lock and key, with a different standard for the Mayor of Dallas than for the average citizen.