Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

8 Cultural Gems on the North Side

City Guide 2014: “Outside the Loop” is used as a pejorative by Downtown-centric cool kids, but oases of culture can be found in the sprawling suburbs of the North Side.... By Dan R. Goddard 2/24/2014
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Things to Do: Kid-friendly

Free Guide: It’s almost summer, which means that your government-subsidized free daycare (aka public school) goes on hiatus thanks to an archaic allegiance to a rural agriculture economic system that hasn’t been in play for decades. What to do with the wee ones whining 5/21/2014
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

Civil rights group complains of exorbitant charging for records at the Bexar County jail

Photo: Michael Barajas, License: N/A

Michael Barajas

Inside the Bexar County Jail.


It's unfathomable that booking and staffing information wouldn't be readily accessible at the Bexar County jail just to perform core functions, McGiverin asserts (how else could authorities magistrate arrestees, release inmates on bond, or compile daily jail-activity lists?). Still, it's unclear if the office's large cost estimate for "programming" was a flat-out lie, as the TCRP and Claitor insist, or sign of a woefully antiquated records-keeping system at the jail.

"The way they keep records … It has not been great, I can tell you that," said Laura Jesse, Bexar County's public information officer. Jesse says that in the past she's had to play middleman between the sheriff's office and media outlets or families seeking records from the jail.

When the Current first began requesting records on inmates who died in custody in 2011, we faced months of silence waiting for the jail to respond to Attorney General rulings ordering the release of information.

Express-News reporter Nolan Hicks similarly waited months for staffing records from the department, Jesse says; Hicks' eventual story showed how Ortiz's failure to fill vacancies exacerbated the jail's staffing woes. Much of the staffing records Hicks requested were hand-written in spiral-bound notebooks, Jesse says.

"Seriously, spiral-bound notebooks," she said. "I'm not kidding."

Sheriff Susan Pamerleau continues to say she's been left to deal with the consequences of years of mismanagement under Ortiz, most notably financial and staffing problems. When asked about Claitor's public records spat, sheriff's spokesman Paul Berry echoed Pamerleau's statements at a press conference soon after her January 1 swearing-in. "She's the sheriff now," he said. "What happened is in the past."

By the end of January, with Claitor's records request still unresolved under the new administration, McGiverin with the TCRP sent a demand letter to Pamerleau and jail administrator Mark Thomas, again threatening litigation. Thomas responded the next day, saying he'd review Claitor's request.

Two days later, Claitor got a new cost estimate: $146.80, far below the $920 she was initially quoted. McGiverin says the lower estimate proves Bexar County tried to radically overcharge Claitor from the outset.

Last Friday, the TCRP filed a complaint with the Bexar County Commissioners Court, saying the incident "reveals a culture permissive of concealing information from the public."

"Withholding public information is unlawful; it is undemocratic; and it is bad policy," the letter states. "It cannot be tolerated."

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus