Still cleaning up Tommy Thomas’ mess

Some stains take a long time to scrub out.

The U.S. Justice Department is proceeding with an investigation of Harris County sheriff’s operations, after county leaders refused to enter into a civil rights settlement with the government or hire an independent monitor.

The investigation was sparked by the discovery of emails from sheriff’s commanders – before Sheriff Adrian Garcia took office – that disparaged religious, racial and ethnic groups. The inquiry also was prompted by the treatment of members of a Sikh family detained in late 2008 after calling deputies to their home to investigate a burglary.

County Attorney Vince Ryan in July asked the Commissioners Court to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the Justice Department that would have ended the investigation.

The agreement required the department to hire an internal affairs expert to review use of force and internal affairs procedures, as well as developing “diversity and cross-cultural awareness” training for new cadets and existing deputies.

The agreement also called for a written report after an eight-month review, which will serve as an outline to improve the handling of complaints against deputies from the public, how internal investigations are conducted and the training of officers who do them.

Nancy Sims has a concise summary. County Judge Ed Emmett called the agreement “onerous”, and I’m sure it is. Steve Radack whined that county people should be the ones overseeing county people. All I can say is that if county people had done a better job of that while Tommy Thomas was in office, we wouldn’t be in this spot now.

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2 Responses to Still cleaning up Tommy Thomas’ mess

  1. joshua bullard says:

    what houston media wont tell about the harris county commisioners court-when you read about the harris county sherrifs office or the harris county attorneys office-your actually talking about politicians-politicians that were both elected becuase of the 2008 landslide and commisioners court doesnt feel that garcia and ryan were elected on there own merits therefore the court has blocked them at every turn except the bare minimum,which coming from harris county is not a surprise.Now then,what the reader needs to know is this-vince ryan and garcia continue to try to interject major twenty to 40 yr plans and commisioners court will not allow it because of the landslide victory of 2008,there opinion is this”win again,just one more time,and we will back off”.the commisioners court thinks that both ryan and garcia will be voted out-“heres my public suggestion to both county attorney and sherrif garcia-focus on your campaign-try to win,stop trying to infuse longterm plans for harris county when the commsioners court doesnt feel you stand on your own merits and will be voted out of office in 14 months-again “stop trying to infuse longterm plans for the county untill you win in 2012-plain and simple,i do not want anything to do with longterm plans from a sheriff and county attorney that are not around to keep me company after the 2012 election,respectfully submitted joshua ben bullard

  2. matx says:

    Sure, it took 3 terms for Thomas to set in place his vision for the sheriff’s department, so any changes made to his discriminatory policies or actions to rectify abuses shouldn’t be considered until at least a second term.

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