Things to Know: Problems with RPD

  1. After several weeks of waiting for anyone from the City or the Rockport Police Department to take action, on August 15, 2017, the County District Attorney office had no choice but to invoke its prosecutorial discretion and not accept cases from the Rockport Police Department. (Click Here)
  2. All solutions offered by the County District Attorney are followed by the Aransas County Sheriff’s Office, DPS, and the Texas Rangers and are standard statewide policies. (Click Here)
  3. After the County District Attorney took office, problems with Rockport Police Department were apparent and they have not been fixed after many attempts by the County District Attorney to get Rockport Police Department to manage its officers and perform as a law enforcement agency. (Click Here)
  4. The Rockport Police Department refuses to discipline or manage its officers appropriately.  For instance, requiring a buddy system after publicly stating an officer’s conduct was unethical. (Click Here)
  5. The County District Attorney is taking Rockport Police Department cases.  During the period of August 2017 until now, Rockport Police Department has brought over 44 cases to the CDA office that have been held pending resolution. The remainder have been indicted, tried to a jury, pled out or send to the Feds. (Click Here) The County District Attorney’s office is committed to law enforcement and will accept cases in which the Rockport Police Department follows the law.
  6. C.J. Wax called an officer’s conduct “unethical” in the media and the officer remains on the force. (Click Here)
  7. As stated on August 15, 2017, until an improvement plan is in place that assures Rockport Police Department will provide  all information to the County District Attorney office, this cannot occur. (Click Here) The CDA’s office is committed to a resolution to the issues with the Rockport Police Department and their history of problems with the District Attorneys’ offices, both in the past with Micheal Welborn and under the current County District Attorney, Kristen Barnebey.

As a State of Texas prosecutor, our job is to provide justice to the people of Aransas County through the application of the laws of Texas. The law applies to everyone, including law enforcement and the Rockport Police Department.  As a representative of the State of Texas, the goal is not to win, but to seek justice by providing of honest and credible witnesses and information that prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime has been committed.  To bring a case to a judge or jury, law enforcement brings allegations of people breaking the law and information to establish the case to the prosecutor for review.  During a process called prosecutorial discretion, potential cases are reviewed and accepted, rejected or returned for more information.  This discretion includes many things including declining cases based upon a lack of credibility of witnesses, a disbelief of information and a law enforcement agency’s refusal to follow the law.  Until the Rockport Police Department accepts that there are problems within their department and can agree to a solution of any type, this prosecutorial discretion must be invoked.

Things to Know: City Misrepresentation

  1. The County District Attorney’s office has offered solutions to the problems with Rockport Police Department several times in writing including on February 13, 2018, on March 5, 2018 (Click Here) and the Rockport Police Department has refused every suggestion and offered no proposals or solutions in return. (Click Here)
  2. And, after the hurricane, another written attempt was made after repeated verbal attempts. (Click Here)
  3. When the County asked why the City would not agree to suggestions, they offered no response. (Click Here)
  4. The County District Attorney suggested mediation after the City refused to comply with all of the County’s verbal requests, in person meeting requests and emails. (Click Here)
  5. In response to the outgoing Mayor’s January 4, 2018 letter, the County District Attorney and County emailed the Mayor’s attorney and they finally agreed to mediate, but only if it was not held in Rockport.  The mediation occurred in Corpus Christi, Texas. (Click Here)
  6. All solutions offered by the County District Attorney are followed by the Aransas County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers and are statewide accepted policies. (Click Here)
  7. The City has heard from Tom Bridges who did not mediate this matter, but did advise Rockport Police Department to comply with the County District Attorney’s request of 10/5. (Click Here) The City, instead, required a privacy agreement (Click Here) and only provided documents when the County District Attorney office subpoenaed them.  These are standard documents routinely shared with a prosecutor’s office by law enforcement and the City ignored its own consultant’s advice.
  8. The problems with Rockport Police Department have been mediated one time, on February 9, 2018.  During that mediation, the Mayor and Council did not attend, but the Sheriff and County District Attorney did.  At the end of the day, the parties made significant headway and the County District Attorney provided written solutions, and the City declined to follow those.
  9. No grant money is at risk and the City knows this because it has lost its grant funding in the past under the prior District Attorney.  Currently the County has a 92% disposition rate and the rate is a 5 year average.  The current cases would not affect the disposition rate for several years.  Also, the City is citing a Federal (not State) grant and incorrectly states the County would lose money.  It would not and that has been verified by the Department of Public Safety. (Click Here)
  10. The County District Attorney’s office has worked through issues such as these with the Sheriff and been successful.
  11. The County District Attorney’s office is committed to a resolution to the issues with the Rockport Police Department and their history of problems with the District Attorneys’ offices, both past and current.  However, as stated on August 15, 2017,  until an improvement plan is in place that assures Rockport Police Department will follow the law and provide all information to the prosecutor and the Court, this cannot occur. (Click Here)