Thursday, September 19, 2019

Fascinating Police Whistleblower Case in Tarrant County

"Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin."
James 4:17

We never signed up for the Texas Municipal Police Associations mailing list, so we're not sure why we received this press release, but WOW:
Texas Municipal Police Association Stands with
Tarrant County Whistleblower Chief Randy Baker
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas Municipal Police Association stands in strong support of Chief Randy Baker who is currently fighting for his job, his livelihood, and his good name for blowing the whistle and exposing criminal activity and malfeasance by elected officials and government employees of the City of Blue Mound in Tarrant County.
Chief Baker was terminated July 2, 2019 after over a year of fighting against Mayor Alan Hooks and city staff over gross violations of state law and misappropriation of local tax payer funds and state grant money which culminated with his good faith effort to report this criminal conduct to the proper authorities. 
In a recent court filing against the City of Blue Mound under the Texas Whistleblower Act, Chief Baker makes the following statements of fact about the conduct of the City, its Mayor, and staff, which he reported to the proper authorities:
  • The City levied a property tax through the use of a Crime Control and Prevention District (CCPD) and while law requires it to be used specifically for police-related expenditures, these funds were instead added to the City's General Fund and spent accordingly. The City Secretary stated that this had been her practice since she started several years prior.
  • Additionally, the City Council, which serves as the board of CCPD is mandated to meet every two years to budget the tax dollars it levies with consultation from the Chief of Police for police-related expenditures. This had not been done for an unknown period of time.
  • Texas grants funds to departments called Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (LEOSE), which are to be used for the training and education of police officers. The City Secretary admitted that these funds had been used to fund the association membership dues of the previous chief. Additionally, no records exist documenting where the remaining funds received by the state were dispersed as required by law.
  • Mayor Hooks contracted for tree trimming services by an individual receiving benefits from Social Security Disability but paid the individual's spouse for the services so he would not have to claim the income and risk his benefits. Documents were falsified by City employees/officials to accomplish this.
  • This incident is under current criminal investigation by Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney's Office.
On July 2, 2019, by a vote of 4-1, the City Council terminated Chief Baker sighting a "lack of confidence", even as Chief Baker's legal counsel warned them that such an action was in direct violation of the Texas Whistleblower Act.
TMPA demands the immediate reinstatement of Randy Baker as Chief of Police of the City of Blue Mound and all due compensation and benefits lost restored. 
When good men and women fight against corruption, especially in City Hall, it is our duty to stand up for them, and TMPA stands strong with Chief Randy Baker.
We don't have any specific comment related to this case.   TMPA's press release is the first we'd heard of it.  The Texas Monitor has more here and here.

We can envision plausible scenarios where either side is telling the truth.

Nevertheless, that's quite the series of allegations.

Bottom Line: We're not sure who, but it looks like somebody needs to go to prison here.

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