The QueQue: Adkisson blames 'Express' for open records skirmish; Case of Bexar County's missing cocaine
Published: April 11, 2012
Adkisson contends the way the AG interprets the state's open records law "brings up a host of Fourth Amendment privacy issues," and charges that "abusive and intrusive" records requests, which he feels he was subject to, may do more to push official communication underground. "I'm afraid people are going to say, 'Meet me at a restaurant, or whatever, cause I ain't putting a god-dang thing on the internet,'" he said. Said Elkins, "These expensive and lengthy, litigious challenges need to stop … I don't think this is an issue the courts should be addressing, I think it's a legislative issue."
Though Adkisson hit a bump in the road last week when an Austin state district judge sided with the AG's office and Hearst Newspapers, which intervened in the case, he says he plans to appeal to a higher Austin court and, if need be, take it all the way to the Texas Supreme Court for review, where he feels his odds are better.
Case of Bexar County's missing cocaine
Bexar County last week released a two-page portion of an audit detailing the disappearance of cash and cocaine from the office of Precinct 3 Constable Mark Vojvodich over the past three years. The report says auditors suspect criminal activity, negligence, and adds that some of the thefts "almost certainly" seem to have happened in-house.
The audit outlines a series of thefts that started just over a month after Vojvodich took office, with losses totaling over $13,000. Money first went missing in February 2009, followed by two more thefts reported that same year, according to the audit. There was another theft in 2010, and two last year.
The largest and most recent thefts happened in August and November of last year, when cocaine and about $10,000 in seized drug money disappeared from the office safe, according the report.
The precinct's Chief Deputy told auditors the first three thefts at the office "were almost certainly committed by an employee of the office," according to the report. In the first four thefts, Vojvodich's office conducted its own investigation and sent findings to the DA's office, the audit states. The audit says the Bexar County Sheriff's Office investigated an August 2011 theft "but could do nothing more."
In their recommendations, auditors wrote, "Criminal activity and negligence appear to have occurred in all four losses. To remove even the perception of impropriety, another law enforcement office such as the Sheriff, Texas Rangers or even the District Attorney's Office should have conducted the investigations."
The thefts have sparked an investigation by the Texas Rangers, though officials have yet to divulge any details. The DA's office had initially withheld the audit from curious local media, saying it was just a draft and not public, until the office changed course last week when WOAI reporter Brian Collister learned of the audit's details and planned to spill them.