Last week I filed a public information request with the City of Hearne after receiving a pseudonymous email alleging that the police chief had destroyed evidence (and no, I’ve never used the word “pseudonymous” before today). Here’s an excerpt from the email:
Chief Thomas Williams is under investigation at this moment with The Texas Rangers and Hearne PD is trying to remain silent about it. Thomas Williams is under investigation in reference [to] destroying evidence, drug evidence. The evidence was located inside the desk of Sgt. Stephen Yohner [a.k.a. “Sgt. Tallywacker“], who is not currently working with this department. After Yohner left the department they removed drugs that were legally used for investigations in catching drug dealers through informants. The department never logged the information or placed the evidence in the evidence room. After it was discovered while removing a desk out of Yohner’s old office, Chief Thomas Williams decided to flush all of it down the toilet, failing to log or place the drugs in evidence. The Texas Rangers were aware and started investigating Thomas’s action.
I don’t print that kind of allegation unless I have some kind of corroboration, hence my request to the city for “documents, records or communications (e.g., emails or text messages) regarding any illegal drugs that were found in the desk of former Sgt. Stephen Yohner,” including “information about the source of the drugs, whether they were kept in a secured location, any inventory of such drugs (whether maintained by Sgt. Yohner or anyone else), and the disposition of such drugs (e.g., whether they were flushed down a toilet).”
Well, sometimes people answer your questions by refusing to answer your questions. In a letter dated August 18, 2017, City Attorney Floyd Akers admitted that responsive records exist, but he said the records are exempt from disclosure under Texas Government Code § 552.108 because their release “would interfere with the detection, investigation, or prosecution of a crime.” In other words, Mr. Akers confirmed that there is some sort of investigation into whether drugs were found in Sgt. Tallywacker’s desk. … Read more