Federal investigators are probing the Harris County Precinct 1 Constable’s Office after several current and former female employees accused superiors of sexually exploiting them during undercover anti-human trafficking operations, a lawyer for the women confirmed Thursday.
Attorney Cordt Akers, who is representing several of the women, confirmed Thursday that federal investigators had subpoenaed his clients to learn more about their allegations.
“Our clients have been in full cooperation with the federal authorities in their investigation into the horrible misconduct in the Precinct 1 Human Trafficking Unit,” he said, in response to questions from the Chronicle. “The serious nature of these crimes deserves serious attention, and we are happy that this conduct will no longer go unchecked.”
FBI Spokeswoman Christina Garza declined to comment on the case.
“Per Department of Justice policy, the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of any investigation,” she said.
In an emailed statement, County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she was “aware” of the allegations and “obviously concerned,” but said the lawsuit prevented her from saying anything more.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia — who has previously clashed with the constables over questions about efficiency or redundant or wasteful law enforcement operations — said the FBI “must have the opportunity to thoroughly investigate these allegations.”
“Without knowledge of specific facts, this is not a time to speculate on what may have transpired,” he said. “That being said the allegations that have been made public are extremely disturbing and these women deserve to have their allegations thoroughly investigated.”
See here, here, and here for the background. I did call for an outside investigation into this case. Not what I had in mind, but it counts. Unless something leaks, we’re not going to know any more about this until such time as the FBI finishes its business. So sit back and wait patiently, and be glad you’re not Alan Rosen right now. The Press has more.