Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sheriff Seeks Indictment Against Jail Standards Chief

Austin - Even though an internal investigation cleared the
executive director of the Texas Commission on Jail
Standards, a Nueces County Grand Jury has indicted Adan
Muñoz, Jr., on two felony counts of misuse of official

The former Sheriff of Kleberg County, Mr. Muñoz gave a jail screening form to reporters for the Corpus Christi "Caller- Times" that identified an inmate as suicidal.

Samuel Salazar committed suicide in February.

Sheriff Jim Kaelin says the form was not the property of the jail standards chief to release to the media, that the
information is exempt from Texas Open Records requirments as
public information.

Officials of the Jail Standards Commission differed, as do
attorneys with the Freedom of Information Foundation of
Texas, according to its director, Keith Elkins. He said,
"Our lawyers can't find a clear legal violation that would
have resulted in these indictments."

The federal charge is usually reserved for cases in which a
person derived some personal benefit from the release of
privileged information to friends or supporters.

The felony charges could result in Mr. Muñoz's incarceration
for a maximum of 10 years and a fine of $10,000.

His attorney, Rene Rodriguez, told a district court that the
DA erred in two areas in seeking the indictment.

Sheriff's Kaelin's "actions and fase accusations leading to
an indictment in this matter border on mental instability
and irrational behavior."

Because the jails standards chief gave the sheriff as
failing grade on the Nueces County Jail, the attorney said,
of the Sheriff, "He's taking personal umbrage to,
essentially, someone giving him an F as a grade."

Furthermore, the claim that the screening form contained
sensitive medical information and pertained to an ongoing
criminal investigation is a case of the Sheriff acting both
as a victim and the investigator pursuing charges, according
to court pleadings filed by Mr. Muñoz's attorney.


  1. I can't remember who said, " A good prosecutor could get a ham sandwich indicted." I think we all know cases of politically motivated indictments and indictments that should occur but are not for the same reason. I'm checking on one now that might end up in the lap of the Legendary for him to shine some light on once I double check the facts as I understand them to be.

  2. I will take all I can get, Xenophon. You know how I love a good story.
    The Legendary