Waco Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna
DA SAYS NARC REPORTS COPS DENY REALLY DO EXIST
Six Shooter Junction – The ongoing controversy over a criminal rule of evidence that requires cops to reveal their sources of confidential information continues to rankle official Waco’s law enforcement community, proof positive of the truth in the old adage that there is danger in the darkness at the edge of town.
Waco cops are so uptight about Rule 508, they have on more than one occasion refused to comply. (click here to read the rule) In several cases, Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna has turned around and declined to prosecute defendants – effectively dropping indictments – when to do so could potentially cost he and his staff their licenses to practice law and possibly lead to jail time if they face criminal prosecution.
So far, according to knowledgeable sources, the ongoing hassle has cost the Chief of Police his job, resulted in the Fire Chief in effect demoting himself through his resignation and reassignment as an Assistant Chief at a local station, and led to the forced early retirement of an arson investgator.
Just last week, after months of grueling investigation by the Texas Rangers, a McLennan County Grand Jury returned no true bill of indictment against the city’s two top narcotics officers after Reyna forced their placement on administrative leave when he discovered that they had neglected to reveal they used a confidential informant to arrange for the purchase of two kilograms of cocaine at an area motel.
They, David Starr and Clair Cook, have been restored to their positions, pending a sit-down between Reyna and a newly appointed Chief of Police.
Here’s the rub, and it’s chili pepper hot.
The Waco cops are on record saying there are no official records of any such investigation, no affidavits, and are unable to furnish any evidence whatsoever of something they claim just does not exist.
The DA just released clear evidence otherwise in a request to the Attorney General’s Office for a ruling on just that.
Public Information activist Randall Scott Gates, a former police officer who worked narcotics cases during his time as a cop, had made an earlier request to the City of Waco, and they said it doesn’t exist.
IT AIN’T OVER UNTIL IT’S OVER
Said Reyna in his request to the AG’s office, “We have identified records that would be responsive to the request….” (click here to read the request)
He is seeking permission to withold the information for two reasons; it contains attorney work product that would reveal the state of mind of the official, and to reveal that would interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation.
That means that there is evidence of just such a violation, and secondly, the City of Waco lied when they said it’s just not there.
“Copies of investigative reports generated by law enforcement agencies are enclosed as “Exhibit B,” as representative samples of investigative and prosecutiv materials contained in the requested records…” he wrote.
Reyna is pitching hard ball. He concluded his request by writing, “As there have been no arrests made nor charges brought in connectin with this matter, the provisions of Government Code (Texas Public Information Act) §552.108(c) do not apply.”
That subsection states the law thusly: “(c) This section does not except from the requirements of Section 552.021 information that is basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime.”