The Week in the Rearview Mirror

After enduring a week of scrutiny following the release of a lengthy report detailing doping charges against him, Lance Armstrong announced that he is stepping down as chairman of his cancer foundation, Livestrong. Armstrong will remain on Livestrong’s board but will turn over the chairmanship to Jeff Garvey, now the vice chairman, who’s been around since the creation of the foundation in 1997. Garvey will take over strategic planning and fill in for Armstrong in meetings and appearances. Armstrong said in a statement that he did not want to distract from the mission of Livestrong.

The Food and Drug Administration has given the biotechnology firm Celltex Therapeutics Corp. 15 days to correct deficiencies in its operations, with the threat of injunction or seizure. The Sugar Land company banks and grows stem cells harvested from prospective patients, and performed adult stem cell therapy on Gov. Rick Perry's back last year. After an inspection earlier this year, the FDA cited numerous infractions at the company and is now asking the firm for plans to fix those problems. Company president David Eller disputed the FDA’s authority to regulate the firm’s product as a biological drug rather than a chemically synthesized drug.

Drawing attention to the process in which their agency reviews and funds grants, the eight principal scientific reviewers of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas all resigned from the agency. Chief scientist Dr. Alfred Gilman resigned from the agency in May and has criticized the approval of an $18 million commercialization grant to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center after setting aside scientific grant proposals. The agency was formed in 2007 and was authorized to sell bonds over the course of 10 years to raise and allocate $3 billion on its mission to distribute research funds. Now it faces a possible restructuring of its rules in the upcoming legislative session.

A moderator of two controversial Reddit forums was revealed to be a married, 49-year-old Arlington computer programmer. Michael Brutsch was outed as the person posting to the site as Violentacrez, who created and moderated objectionable pages on the social news website. Two of the pages, Jailbait and Creepshots, which allegedly shared pictures of underage girls, have since been taken down, and Brutsch was fired from his job over the weekend. First Cash Financial Services, a publicly traded pawn and payday lawn chain, confirmed that it had severed ties with Brutsch due to his online activities.

TransCanada is finding unlikely opposition to the 1,179-mile pipeline it plans to use to transport Canadian tar sands to South Texas refineries: Texas landowners. The company has angered residents by having courts condemn parcels of land for which it couldn’t get easements. It has also refused to use local workers and won’t guarantee that its product will remain in the country. Landowners claim that TransCanada is not offering them a fair price for the use of their land and have even allowed outside activists to protest on their property. TransCanada points to the hundreds of agreements it has already reached with landowners in Texas, and says opposition to the pipeline is just a sign of the times.

Jasper’s first black chief of police has filed a discrimination lawsuit after he was fired in June. The town has been embroiled in turmoil since his appointment in early 2011. An opposition group successfully removed three black City Council members who supported his appointment, and they were replaced with white members. An effort to remove the white mayor was not successful. The police chief, Rodney Pearson, claims that the all-white City Council and mayor harassed him and leaked confidential information about him. He filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in April and was fired two months later. His civil lawsuit claims that city officials violated his civil rights and asks for damages.

A conference in El Paso is bringing border officials together with security equipment manufacturers whose technology may help prevent so-called friendly fire accidents in the future. Border patrol agents face challenges in communicating with one another in remote areas, where they can’t pick up a signal for cell phones or two-way radios. Vendors are hawking updated technology used by the U.S. military that would allow agents to distinguish between suspects and each other. Infrared cameras can give officers details on what they’re looking at and can see up to two miles, day or night. Body patches can be worn by officials and spotted by the cameras, signaling them that friendly forces are in the area.

The League of United Latin American Citizens has filed a lawsuit accusing Harris County of violating the Voting Rights Act, the National Voter Registration Act and voters’ constitutional rights. The charges against the county stem from the group’s assertion that the tax assessor-collector’s office deliberately rejected and purged minority voters disproportionately from its rolls from 2009 to 2012. It also claims that the county failed to right the wrongs from a previously settled lawsuit that the Democratic Party filed.