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Suit against Sheriff’s office dismissed

From the Chron:

A lawsuit filed by the former technology director for the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, who had contended he was fired because he revealed its alleged plan to hack into the county government computer network, has been dismissed.

A district judge agreed with county attorneys that Wilfrido Mata, who was fired last May, did not report a violation of law by a public employee and that his suit thus did not qualify under “whistle-blower” statutes. The suit was dismissed on April 21.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia stated at the time the suit was filed last July that the allegations “have no merit and are unfounded,” adding that Mata “was terminated because his performance failed to meet the expectations for which he was hired.”

Here’s the Chron story from last year when the suit was filed. I must confess that I don’t remember the original incident. I’m just passing this on for those who do.

On a not-really-related note, I love seeing certain people admit they were wrong.

Harris County may hire as many as 60 deputy constables laid off after recent budget cuts to work in the short-staffed county jail, under a proposal tentatively approved by Commissioners Court Tuesday.

If all goes as planned, the move and other pending hires could cut overtime costs and keep the sheriff’s department within its $392.5 million budget, said Tom Mesa, the department’s chief financial officer, and First Assistant County Attorney Terry O’Rourke.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia repeatedly has asked for more detention officers to cut overtime, which reached $19 million in the jail alone during the last fiscal year. The sheriff’s office has exceeded its budget in 10 of the last 11 years, Sheriff’s spokesman Alan Bernstein said.

Commissioners Court tentatively approved the jailer plan Tuesday, and will decide whether to make the hires, and how many, at its next meeting later this month.

“It seems like a very good plan that will help us save money, cut overtime, and … it will help us help some of those folks and their families that have been laid off,” Garcia said.

Commissioner Steve Radack said the court knows overtime costs must be reduced and he acknowledged the proposal does not differ greatly from previous requests from Garcia that Radack and others had criticized. Radack said he did not trust the sheriff to implement those previous requests efficiently.

“We have an accountability issue,” Radack said. “Controls are being implemented to make sure that the sheriff’s department is held accountable for their expenditures and the positions that we create.”

You know how with some people you have to make everything you want to do seem like it’s their idea? A sheriff’s gotta do what a sheriff’s gotta do.

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