Kudos......After I complained last
week about the Missouri City Police leaving their motors
idling while eating lunch, I have to pass on a personal
situation that happened to our news editor, Jean Sandlin.
Jean’s 10 year old nephew was critically injured in a
bicycle-car accident late Friday afternoon and Jean says the
Missouri City Police were wonderful, including off duty
visit to the family at the hospital. I’ve heard from other
reporters that Missouri City has the best police department
in Fort Bend County.
Meanwhile, the Sugar Land police killed a
dog, and the sheriff’s department unfairly fired a young
single mother on a bogus charge.
Collateral Damage.....At the
top-rated (kidding) Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Department,
our story about the Sheriff’s refusal to send a convicted
woman to prison resulted in some collateral damage last
week. A deputy in the jail was accused of giving documents
to the media. She denied it and found herself the target of
an internal investigation. She was whisked off to Harris
County and given a polygraph test. Fort Bend could not
administer the test because BOTH of their ever-so-necessary
polygraphers are on a leave of absence in the Middle East
working for one of those government double 00 spy
operations. Got a mental picture of them polygraphing folks
in Afghanistan and Iraq?
Anyway, the female deputy was
unceremoniously hooked up to the machine and questioned
about what else? Talking to that Fort Bend paper, you know,
The Star. According to her, she honestly answered the
questions. According to the polygraph guy, she didn’t. You
see where this is going.... She got fired.
Upon her return to Fort Bend County, she
was called into the Sheriff’s office and told she was being
terminated for giving government documents to the media. She
was also told the District Attorney had already been
contacted and agreed to accept charges. And by the way, the
document she was accused of releasing was one that we had
asked for in an open records request that the sheriff’s
department claimed they didn’t have. I imagine any DA
charges should be issued for those refusing to release open
The fired deputy said she looked the
Sheriff right in the eye and told him that he knew this was
not true. And we at the Star know it’s not true. The Star
knows what records exist and what to ask for because our
reporter was a 16-year deputy herself before being fired by
Milton Wright his first day in office for having the
temerity to run for the same job he did.
The most interesting aspect of this whole
mess is this all happened on the same day that Sheriff
Wright contacted the local Rosenberg paper to announce that
Tarah Hamilton, the convict he refused to send to prison and
the root of all this consternation, had decided after a
prayer vigil with her family to remove herself from trustee
status and go to TDC.
This logic is so fraught with land mines
I don’t even know where to begin. ”She” decided to send
herself to prison? Do all inmates get a prayerful meeting
with loved ones in the administrative offices to determine
if they will accept a sentence to TDC? Do all inmates get
special dispensation to wear Victoria Secrets undergarment
while they are in the Fort Bend County Jail? Are all
trustees allowed to roam the halls of the jail chatting with
Chief Brady’s girlfriend? Oh, this could go on forever. But
most importantly, the underlying problem with this whole
issue is...... the Sheriff gets outed for what appears to be
special treatment of a large contributor’s 21-year-old
daughter, and instead of acknowledging that maybe he made a
poor decision that might smack of impropriety, he targets a
single mom working as a deputy in the jail and fires her.
How does she clear her name so she can work at another
Unbeknownst to them, The Star owes Milton
and his minions a debt of gratitude. After this latest
termination, the floodgates of information have burst open.
Those leaks he and his cronies are trying so hard to plug
have turned into a giant sieve. Stay tuned; the line to the
Harris County polygraph guys is going to look like a parade.
Let’s polygraph the sheriff....We
hear week after week that Fort Bend County’s jail is so
overcrowded that the county PAYS to have them housed in
other counties and facilities. I guess this is just a big PR
campaign designed to financially prove that a new jail is
necessary because the Star has discovered that each month
the current lockup has many empty beds.
Maybe if the sheriff would send some of
those prisoners to TDC instead of keeping their special
prisoners as trusties to shine their shoes, the jail would
have plenty of room.
This is not to say that an addition to
the jail is not needed in the future. But maybe we need
first to get a new jail administrator (sheriff) who knows
how to run a jail.
Heck, they can’t even get enough
employees to staff the current jail, and here the sheriff
goes and fires an employee who, he thinks, leaked the
information about the special treatment given large campaign
I personally think those commissioners
and county judge should earn those $17,000 a year salary
increases (making them now earn over $100,000) and
investigate the jail situation. Maybe the prisoner numbers
are added up by the same personnel as the person who
justifies new take home cars for sheriff employees (and not
So many rants, so little room.....Well,
I’ve ranted on so much about the sheriff’s department I
don’t have room to talk about Tom DeLay’s championing a
“Dancing with the Stars” competitor and asking people to
vote for her instead of that “ultra liberal talk show” host
Jerry Springer. I’m not making this up. He really sent out a
letter talking about his candidate’s “strong support for the
Republican party.... and good American values.”
Nor do I have room to thoroughly dissect that Shelley
Sukula Gibbs silly poll that shows her way ahead of Nick
Lampson. I don’t know in what alternate universe that poll
was taken but she’s claiming to beat Nick Lampson by more
that DeLay’s last Democratic opponent. I think it would be a
mistake to elect someone that divorced from reality.