In early December of 2015, Dolcefino Consulting and others received allegations that weapons that were bought by the Waller County Sheriff’s department had been lost or given away. Because the information came from a candidate in the upcoming race, we began to prepare a formal request to review the Sheriff’s gun inventory records. It was a Thursday. We scheduled to submit the request on the following Monday morning.
Guess what happened that weekend?
Sheriff Glenn Smith reported 8 weapons, including a machine gun, had been stolen from his marked patrol unit during dinner at a Salt Grass steakhouse in Harris County. Smith didn’t tell anyone there, or call Harris County Deputies to warn them their officers might be in danger if they stop a suspicious car. Instead the sheriff drove back to Hempstead to make the report in his home county.
That is just one of the reasons why a lot of people thought the timing was troubling, very troubling.
In early 2016, Dolcefino Consulting told the Waller County District Attorney and the Auditor we had found many discrepancies in the receipts and the Sheriff’s inventory. We offered to help Waller County figure it out, even made the offer in a news release.
So, when Waller County Auditor claims no one offered to provide him information, it’s just not true.
Why is Alan Younts mad at Commissioner Russell Klecka who is just frustrated with the delays in auditing the records, since he wanted an outside audit more than a year ago? Younts isn’t hired by Commissioners, but he did promise to finish the audit last June, and it’s eight months late. He told Dolcefino Consulting he got all the Sheriff’s records in March of 2016, but didn’t double check the gun inventory until December, nine months later. And three months later, he still hasn’t finalized the audit.
The auditor can whine, but he agreed to do the audit, and the delays have made the whole thing moot.
Younts says some Commissioners just wanted to use the audit to damage the Sheriff politically. County Judge Trey Duhon proclaims voters knew about the gun theft incident.
What we have here is politics all right, the politics of protecting the Sheriff for reelection, and that’s not right.
If the auditor had all the Sheriff’s records by March of 2016, he should have immediately reported discrepancies to the Waller County District Attorney. In fact, Waller County District Attorney should have done something too. He should have launched an investigation into the theft of all those weapons. The sworn report was filed in Waller County.
Voters had a right to a prompt and full investigation. The Sheriff has never publicly updated the voters once in fifteen months about the status of the missing guns. The Republican primary occurred 6 months after the gun theft, four months after the auditor knew there were discrepancies, ‘CUZ we told them. The Fall election happened 11 months later. Younts had promised to complete the audit in June of 2016. Maybe he’s so busy, and maybe the status of weapons and the frenzied buying and guns by the Sheriff wasn’t important to him, but taxpayers had a right to have the information before they voted. Regardless of politics.
Last week the auditor called County Commissioner Russell Klecka ignorant, and took pot shots at Commissioner John Amsler too.
That’s not the auditor’s job.
Alan Younts may be appointed by the District Judge to keep him “independent,” but his delays made it look like he was the one playing politics. Whining now is unprofessional. Suggesting Dolcefino Consulting is playing politics is an insult to voters who deserve a prompt review of this gun fiasco. It looks like voters have a lot more work to do in replacing politicians, who worry more about protecting their buddies than the public.
The Waller County District Attorney is asking the Texas Attorney General to keep secret the documents used to finalize the audit.
We can’t wait to see if receipts missing last February turned up for Younts report. If they did, that’s something else that should be reviewed, along with evidence the Sheriff used funds earmarked for fighting drugs to buy and trade guns.
Last week, one county official suggested the Sheriff needed machine guns because of all the threats that emerged in the Sandra Bland mess. One problem, the machine guns were on the inventory for more than a year before anyone in Waller County ever heard of Sandra Bland.
County Commissioner John Amsler says he will likely not be satisfied with the audit, calling the Sheriff’s actions the day of the big gun theft irrational and dangerous.
More shots will be fired.