A photo op at a Texas music festival has landed a state Department of Public Safety trooper in counseling. DPS officer Billy Spears was moonlighting at the SXSW event in Austin two weeks ago, in uniform, when the keynote speaker asked for a picture with him, the Dallas Morning News reports. That keynoter was none other than Snoop Dogg, who proceeded to post the pic on Instagram with the caption "Me n my deputy dogg." DPS officials got wind of it ... and served Spears with orders to receive counseling for the incident. Under a heading entitled "Deficiencies Indicating Need for Counseling" on the order, the DPS notes, "While working a secondary ... job, Trooper Spears took a photo with a public figure who has a well-known criminal background, including numerous drug charges. The public figure posted the photo on social media and it reflects poorly on the Agency."
Spears' lawyer has come out with gloves on, noting his client had no clue about the rapper's prior trouble with the law—and that even if he had, it shouldn't matter. "Believe it or not, some folks don't watch TMZ or read People," Ty Clevenger writes on his LawFlog blog. "[And] DPS has no policy forbidding a photograph with someone who has a criminal conviction." Clevenger adds he thinks this is all payback for Spears turning in an officer from another agency last year for misconduct; he also notes that even though mandated counseling isn't considered "discipline," it can't be appealed and stays on Spears' record, which could prevent future promotions. Besides his retaliation theory, Clevenger wonders if a non-rapper photo opp would've put Spears in such hot water. "Martha Stewart, she's a convicted felon. What about Randy Travis? He's had run-ins with the law," he notes to the New York Daily News. (Snoop has been persona non grata in Norway and the UK, too.)