Tuesday, October 1, 2013

After four months, AG's 10-day clock reset to zero

Sheriff's clerks mislaid request

Meridian, TX – An opinion by the Attorney General's office that it's proper to release details of an investigation into the death of a female jail inmate who died in custody 5 months ago is on hold following a quick decision made Monday morning, September 30.

When an investigator arrived about 9:30 a.m. with the 8-page decision in hand, receptionist Kelly Olson at the Bosque County Sheriff's Office said she could find no record of a request having ever been made.

She contacted records custodian Sharon Wilson, who was absent, and learned that it's her opinion that the public information request has already been filled.

The investigator disagreed. “I have received no information from the June 10 request,” said Scott Gates. “I've been waiting for about four months.” April Troyn died on May 4, reportedly of strangulation due to hanging.

Ms. Olson said he would have to fill out another public information request form and allow the County Attorney 10 business days in which to review the request to determine if officials should seek an opinion of the Office of the Attorney General.

Mr. Gates pointed out the 8-page document he held in his hands. “You can read it, if you want to,” he said.

Ms. Olson declined, and then two inmate trusties from the jail arrived under the supervision of a corrections officer. They plugged in a vacuum cleaner. As she shut the receptionist's sliding glass window, Ms. Olson consulted with a man all referred to as “Judge.”

He did not introduce himself.

When he left, she repeated her earlier demand, and Mr. Gates said, “I'm not going to fill out another request.”

Ms. Olson promised she would forward the information to County Attorney Natalie Koehler.

For a recap of events, read this story, which appeared in these columns yesterday: http://watchdogwire.com/texas/2013/09/30/ag-rejects-sheriffs-refusal-of-info-on-bosque-county-jail-death/

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