Finally, in a February 28, 2019 letter, DPS refused to release records about surge patrols in major Texas cities. A source told me that DPS has been diverting funds that the legislature appropriated for the border to other activities, and I suspect the funds may be going to the inner city patrols. Just like the border program, troopers from other parts of the state are paid overtime and housed in local hotels while they patrol high-crime areas of major cities like Fort Worth and San Antonio. That represents a huge change in the mission of DPS, and you’d think legislators might want to know about it (particularly if border funds are being diverted).
In a letter to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton dated March 7, 2019, DPS argued that releasing any information at all might jeopardize the safety of troopers assigned to the urban patrols. It also argued that releasing the information might undermine its anti-terrorism efforts. Seriously? DPS can tell us exactly how many troopers it is sending to the border, and exactly how many millions it is spending to send them, and that doesn’t jeopardize officer safety or undermine anti-terrorism efforts. But if DPS tells us how many troopers are patrolling Fort Worth and San Antonio, well, that could put officers in danger and give terrorists the upper hand. What a joke.
On March 7, 2019, the San Antonio Express-News ran a story about Darren Lubbe’s lawsuit against DPS, and specifically about misconduct and corruption in the Texas Rangers. The Express-News independently corroborated much of what we alleged in Darren’s lawsuit (see November 27, 2018 post).
On February 28, 2019, KXAN (Austin) ran a story about Billy Spears’s lawsuit against DPS, and particularly about allegations that Senator John Whitmire may have interfered in an internal DPS investigation in order to protect a state trooper girlfriend.