Environmental Protection

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The only thing that's clear is that the man who pulled Ashley Owen White over and accused her of speeding wasn't a sheriff's deputy, a police officer, or a highway patrolman. No, Carlton Patton works for the federal Environmental Protection Agency. White says she was headed towards the Euless, Texas, library to vote, when Patton pulled up beside her and flashed a badge. Then he turned on his emergency lights and pulled her over. He also called for police backup at some point. Patton says White was doing 30-35 mph in a 25 mph school zone. Patton denies she was speeding. Each accuses the other of refusing to provide identification. A Tarrant County prosecutor says Patton had authority to stop White for speeding. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram cites 34 classes of officers authorized to stop people for traffic offenses, and EPA officials aren't among them. It says Texas law allows federal law enforcement officials to arrest or search only someone caught committing a felony, and speeding is a misdemeanor.

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