6 JAIL STAFFERS FIRED IN EXTENSIVE INVESTIGATION OF MISCONDUCT
(HOUSTON TX) – The following are prepared remarks by Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia for a news conference today where he announced the results of a painstaking internal investigation of allegations against employees of sexual misconduct and related shortcomings by supervisors:
Four years ago, I inherited a law enforcement agency that is great in many ways.
Unfortunately, I also inherited elements of a culture that needs to be removed.
Prior to my administration taxpayers were forced to pay millions of dollars in court settlements because of a lack of accountability.
I knew I had work to restore the public’s trust in our employees who come to work to proudly and professionally serve the citizens of this great county.
That’s part of the work I have been doing ever since.
One of the toughest things I have to do is discipline those few employees who make it harder for their colleagues to be trusted and admired by the public.
So. Although I try to be as fair as possible, I will not hesitate to punish employees who break the law or egregiously violate the rules.
Also, we make sure to protect employees who have been falsely accused.
Today, the hard work continues.
I have taken action against employees who have been employed for than 10 years, and who were the subject of an extensive investigation by our Office of Inspector General into blatant misconduct in the county jail.
The investigation was long and complicated.
The ugly truth is that the misconduct involved the failure to take action as supervisors, and sexual misconduct between employees -- or with inmates.
1 deputy has been fired and indicted.
1 supervisor was fired.
4 civilian detentions officers have been fired.
1 deputy resigned while under investigation, and…
1 supervisor retired while under investigation.
Their actions are inexcusable because it was crystal clear to all of our employees that this kind of conduct is wrong.
The laws of Texas, the rules of the Sheriff’s Office, our training programs and common sense all say so.
But we are already taking additional measures to make the message even clearer and louder.
These actions, among others, will include adding more surveillance cameras inside the jail.
I wish all 4,000 employees of the sheriff’s office could be here today.
But they are working hard, they’re risking their lives as we speak, or they are resting until the next shift to do it all over again because they know that being a public servant was their calling in life!
I have a message for the 99 percent of them who follow the rules:
Thank you for coming to work because you WANT to be here to make a difference in the lives of many.
You deserve the public’s trust.
You have earned it.
The few employees I have mentioned today owe you an apology.
While you have been risking your lives, they have been risking your reputation.
I ask you to look past them and continue to do a great job, and continue to be the member of the community that others want follow!
Lastly, thank you. Thank you for exemplifying ethical conduct at all times, and remember you are the ones I count on to help protect the reputation of this great institution.