If you haven’t read the “audit” of the Sheriff’s gun audit you should. It’s a joke.
Not just the part when the Auditor and Sheriff congratulate each other for what a good job they both did cooperating and how from now on everything will be kept better track of. That’s sweet.
It’s page 2 that is a real laugher. Check it out at They call this an audit?
The Waller County Sheriff uses Excel to keep track of their weapons and Major Joe Hester was responsible for updating the list any time there was a new transaction. After the Sheriff got a machine gun and 7 other weapons stolen from his marked pickup truck, we asked for the spread sheet and all the receipts for gun purchases for the last 4 years. That’s when we saw the problem.
Did the County Auditor look at those past receipts? Not according to his audit.
Did he use the spreadsheet he gave us to check the inventories? Not according to his audit.
Instead, Major Hester was allowed to conduct an internal review of the weapon inventory list and was allowed to update it, likely right before the joint inventory with the auditor. Comparing weapons against a brand new updated inventory is a giant waste of time.
Auditor Alan Younts should tell the public exactly when the cleanup happened.
We can’t say we are surprised, because Younts has said he thought the whole audit was a political stunt. The audit proves he’s the one playing politics.
Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis should have conducted this investigation, after he was told there were receipts for guns that were not in the inventory.
Mathis told us today he doesn’t have time for fishing expeditions, unless we have probable cause of a specific gun that was stolen or misappropriated by the Sheriff. We offered to show the DA the list of discrepancies a year ago. Even put out a press release with the offer.
When the Sheriff got all his guns stolen, and then went to Waller County to file the complaint, we argued Mathis had the jurisdiction, and in fact, the responsibility to track the investigation.
It sure is weird that a year and a half after the big gun theft, the Sheriff and the DA just don’t seem to think it is vital to find out what happened to them.
Why should that be surprising?
This is the same DA that broke his promise to investigate the landfill and failed to investigate complaints about the Hempstead Economic Development Corporation hiding records.
This isn’t a game of monopoly, with chances to go back to Go and start all over.
Waller County taxpayers need to listen and keep voting until they get real accountability.
Two weeks ago, members of the Waller County Commissioners Court sent a message to the embattled Sheriff Glenn Smith.
The Sheriff said no.
One of the reasons was the theft of a machine gun and 7 other weapons from the Sheriff’s car.
An investigation by Dolcefino Consulting found lots of discrepancies in the gun inventory. Two Commissioners demanded an audit, and then got fighting mad when the auditor waited almost a
year to even start it.
Now that audit is public.
In our view, it is shocking for the abject failure to track how many weapons are missing and why?
The Waller County Auditor’s spent three days counting the weapons that were presented to them. Finding where and when the weapons were bought were not even considered.
In other words, let’s just start over.
The Sheriff agreed to an inventory once a year, and the auditor will do an inventory too. The Auditor and Sheriff exchanged congratulations for how well they all got along.
“This is a joke, and I am glad I read it before I ate dinner”, says Wayne Dolcefino, President of the Investigative Communications Firm that exposed gun troubles 14 months ago.
“The public had a right to know whether the receipts for guns, and the trades for cooler more expensive guns all match up to the inventory. They should have tracked the weapons purchases
for years because they have the receipts. The public also deserves a full accounting of the status of the big Sheriff gun theft. How hard is he looking for that machine gun?”
The audit results come out as Waller County prepares for a possible lawsuit over the sex acts performed when a male inmate was allowed to wander among the female inmate cells. Up to
six jail employees have reportedly been fired or have resigned in the wake of jail scandals, including the Sandra Bland case.
Waller County taxpayers should read what they got for themselves.sheriff audit
Waller County Commissioners have formally asked the embattled Sheriff Glenn Smith to resign after the latest jail house scandal in Hempstead.
The Waller County District Attorney and the County Judge delivered the message during a lunch with the Sheriff this week.
The Sheriff said no.
The resignation request came after an executive session of the Waller County Commissioners Court last week, as the latest negative headlines hit the Sheriff’s Department after a male inmate was allowed to wander into the area with female inmates and at least 4 sex acts happened.
It is just the latest embarrassment for Sheriff Smith.
First, the Sandra Bland tragedy, then evidence of sloppy gun inventory after the 8 weapons were stolen from the Sheriff’s car, and now this. Waller County Commissioners had clearly seen enough.
“For the safety and well being of the citizens of Waller County the Sheriff must go,” says County Commissioner John Amsler. “I want my constituents to know that I have tried to remedy the situation. Some people should not be in public office.”
The Waller County Attorney could now try to remove Smith from office, but here is another place where the law is just plain stupid.
Under Texas law, the only incident that could be used as evidence of incompetence is stuff that happened since Smith started his newest terms in office. Even the jail mistakes in the Bland case could not be used against him.
Welcome to Texas.
When politicians want to keep stuff secret from the home folks, they often put required public notices in another town’s newspaper.
It’s sneaky. It’s also an old trick.
That’s why Hempstead Mayor Michael Wolfe has some explaining to do.
Why in the world is the City of Hempstead trying to change their landfill ordinance when they know Green Group will use that as an opening to finally get the 17-story tall tower of trash they want on Highway 6.
That’s right. The City of Hempstead has put a notice of their intent to change the ordinance they passed to fight the landfill. No press release. No word to the citizens of Hempstead. Just a public notice in the government section of the Brookshire paper.
Lawyers for the Citizens Against the Landfill and Waller County are reportedly scratching their heads too.
Right now, Green Group is fighting the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in an Austin courtroom, in part because they want to prove the Hempstead ordinance won’t stand up.
Mayor Michael Wolfe promised locals he would fight the landfill, but the town is in money trouble, and that is a recipe for trouble. Wolfe needs to explain this proposed landfill change today, and the community needs to send a clear message.
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.
The gunfight has been developing for a long time.
The inventory of Sheriff Glenn Smith’s weapons become a campaign issue during the last election.
Just days after the issue emerged, Sheriff Smith reported a bunch of weapons were stolen from his marked truck, including a machine gun. No one has talked about what happened to the weapons since.
Then a Dolcefino Consulting investigation of the Sheriff’s gun inventory and invoices raised lots of new questions. They didn’t match. The record keeping was sloppy at best.
In February of 2016, County Commissioner Russell Klecka called for an outside audit. Instead the County Auditor agreed to get it done in a few months.
It’s been more than a year, and Klecka has had enough.
Wednesday, Klecka will call for a new independent audit, done by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
If the auditor has finished the audit, then the county should let folks have a look. We’ve asked to see all the documents again.
It won’t be the OK Corral, but expect a fight.
Do you have a special anniversary this month?
Waller County did, and it is evidence they just don’t care about who’s keeping track of guns at the Sheriff’s Office.
Ah…how time flies.
It was Christmas 2015 when Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith claimed a bunch of weapons were stolen from his marked truck outside a restaurant, including a nasty machine gun.
The Sheriff must have been ready for a fight when he went to the Salt Grass Steakhouse.
Looks like those guns went poof, unless there is an update the Sheriff hasn’t shared.
But back to the anniversary.
It was February 2016 when Commissioner Russell Klecka demanded an audit of the Sheriff’s weapons, after Dolcefino Consulting found lots of discrepancies in the records. The commissioners wanted an outside investigation, but agreed to let County Auditor Alan Younts do it.
Just a reminder. It’s been a year guys! Still no report. Now that’s action.
Glad the public didn’t hold their breath.
You got to love Waller County.
The folks who want to put a giant tower of smelly out of town trash along Highway 6 are setting the stage for another legal battle.
The playbook is obvious.
Lawyers for the proposed Pintail landfill want the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to overrule their own executive director after he ruled he doesn’t have authority to challenge local landfill ordinances that keep the garbage guys out.
Pintail will lose… unless their lobbyists are more powerful than they have proven to be so far.
And then Pintail will go back to court. They have telegraphed their play.
In the motion, Pintail argues Waller County can’t fight the battle over the Hempstead landfill because it is in Hempstead’s ETJ. They even claim Waller County cut that deal as part of the legal settlement after secret illegal meetings were exposed. They claim neither the City of Hempstead or Waller County have done what they were supposed to do to protect the proposed site.
Even if that’s Pintail garbage, taxpayers deserve answers.
It is time for the Waller County Attorney Elton Mathis to tell taxpayers the whole truth. The politicians didn’t pay the bill for all the illegal acts, the taxpayers did.
What’s the fine print of the settlement?
Why did Mathis break his word about the investigation he promised to conduct?
The City of Hempstead should call a special meeting and tell the whole truth.
They should direct their Economic Development Fund be used to fight the growing image of Hempstead as a planned garbage dump.
It is also time for the Mayor of Hempstead to formally ask Waller County Commissioners for help. If Pintail is right, fix it.
It is time for the Waller County Commissioners to circle all their legal wagons too.
This landfill battle has cost the citizens of Hempstead over two million dollars.
That’s real garbage.
READ THE DOCUMENT
AND HE’S STILL THE SHERIFF?
Go to the website of the Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith (http://www.wallercountytexassheriff.org/) and you will see a proclamation that in Waller County, Second Amendment rights are protected.
They should be, but the Second Amendment doesn’t include the right to be “extremely careless” with your guns, especially when you are the Sheriff.
So, now I am going to bury the lead.
Remember Dolcefino Consulting told you last December that Sheriff Smith reported eight weapons assigned to him, including a machine gun, had been stolen from his marked truck, all while he was inside the Saltgrass Steakhouse on a Saturday.
Waller Counties top lawman didn’t call the cops in Harris County to warn them a machine gun was on the loose. Sheriff Smith didn’t walk a few feet back into the restaurant to warn patrons and county officials.
Instead, he drove all the way back to Hempstead to file the police report there in his own office.
The timing was suspicious. In the heat of the campaign, there had suddenly been allegations weapons in Smith’s inventory might be unaccounted for. We were going to ask to see the records the following Monday, then the big Saturday caper unfolded.
Maybe it was just a case of horrible timing.
A month later Dolcefino Consulting had audited the weapons inventory and found receipts for guns we couldn’t find. There were tons of questions. We told the County Auditor and the District Attorney there was a problem. They did nothing.
READY FOR THE PUNCHLINE?
More weapons are now missing. Really? Really.
This time they apparently disappeared from inside the Sheriff’s Office. An inside job. Two weapons are missing.
That makes at least ten weapons that Sheriff Smith has let slip through his fingers.
What’s worse is that the District Attorney says the County Auditor had finally started the audit. So, did the guns disappear right before the receipts were matched up?
If this keeps up, the Sheriff will get a new nickname in town.
Tonight, Waller County Commissioner John Amsler is the first to call for an outside investigation of the Sheriff’s guns.
Of course, they better hurry, cuz them guns keep turning up missing.