Museum of Human Achievement
"...The Travis County Sheriff’s Office is reeling this morning as it begins to investigate the events that led to the shooting death of one of its own deputies. Sergeant Craig Hutchinson was found dead in his Round Rock backyard Monday morning after requesting backup from his own colleagues...."
"...Jail and the Travis Co. Sheriff's Office's apparent willingness to oblige...."
"...Travis County Sheriff Sally Hernandez published her long-awaited policy concerning how her office will work with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Friday..."
"...A spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office said that 23 visitors stopped by the Del Valle complex on Tuesday...."
"...Greg Abbott unhappy. On Monday, Abbott issued a firmly worded letter to the new sheriff, telling Hernandez her policy will allow "dangerous criminal aliens convicted of felonies" to be "turned loose into Travis County" in what Abbott's calling "a dangerous game of political Russian roulette." On Wednesday, he threatened to support legislation that would throw noncomplying sheriffs out of office..."
"...11:47pm: Between conversations with Sally Hernandez supporters and foraging sessions at the snack table, District 4 Council Member Greg Casar named his reasons for supporting the Precinct 3 constable. Not only has she been insistent that she'll sever the relationship between the office and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), but she's also spent time on the ground engaging the community on the issue, he explained..."
"...It's been 143 years since Travis County elected a Republican into this office. Odds are, with or without our endorsement, history won't change in this election..."
"...Sheriff: Democratic nominee Sally Hernandez left her post as constable for Travis County's third precinct to run for county sheriff. She emerged from a four-person primary and now meets lone Republican candidate Joe Martinez, a former detective with the Travis County Sheriff's Office who retired in 2003 to start CM Investigations Inc., a private investigator firm, with his wife, who's now deceased...."
"...As expected, Democrats dominated Travis County elections Tuesday. In contested races, Margaret Moore bested Republican challenger Maura Phelan for district attorney, taking home 66% of the vote, and former Precinct 3 Constable Sally Hernandez earned a two-to-one edge against former Travis County Sheriff's Office detective Joe Martinez (as well as two third-party candidates, Libertarian Eric Guerra and Green Party candidate Debbie Russell) to succeed Greg Hamilton as sheriff..."
"...As a result, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office – which gained national attention for limiting its participation in federal immigration requests – will now honor all U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainers...."
"...The Travis County Sheriff's Office was among the early birds filing requests for a bigger budget in 2011, after trimming more than $2 million from its funding package for this year. Having to do more with less is taking a toll on officers and support staff, said spokesman Roger Wade..."
"...20 with a Q&A session featuring seven of the candidates running to replace Margo Frasier as the county's next sheriff. During the two-hour forum, the candidates (three Dems and four pachyderms) answered questions on a variety of topics from handling homeland security to improving union relations and then fielded a final zinger posed by audience member and perennial candidate for insert-office-here Jennifer Gale...."
"...5, the two unions representing 1,300-plus employees of the Travis Co. Sheriff's Office announced that they are throwing their combined clout behind political newcomer Sarah Eckhardt, who is seeking to oust incumbent County Commissioner Karen Sonleitner from her Precinct 2 seat in the March Democratic primary..."
"...About 20 sheriff's office volunteers underwent a voter registration training session on Monday in preparation to canvass the Del Valle complex and eventually lead regularly scheduled voter education classes. Hernandez said the initiative was a long time coming: She had been in talks with Elfant about the idea before she took office last January..."
"...So if the Dems and Republicans aren't doing it for you, here is one of the main alternatives. (To my knowledge, a Libertarian has never won office in Travis, although they always seem to do quite well in races where the only other choice is a Republican.) See press release after the jump...."
"...Travis County budget officers on Monday rolled out a bare-bones, yet balanced, preliminary budget for 2010, the first step toward preparing for bigger financial challenges in 2011 – thanks in large measure to a projected $1 billion tumble in new property value, a reflection of hard times in a construction industry that had spent the last several years turning dirt at a frenetic pace...."
"...Abbott's cuts came in retaliation to Sheriff Sally Hernandez's January announcement that her office has reduced cooperation with ICE detainer requests. Abbott pulled the county's remaining 2017 grant money, and the entire $1.8 million from the 2018 budget..."
"...In some ways, it's a rerun of the 2008 primary, when veteran peace officer Adan Ballesteros edged tech sector worker Paul Labuda 52%-48% before narrowly dislodging Republican incumbent Bob Vann. Four years later, Labuda returns with increased law enforcement credentials and wants another crack at Ballesteros, but has been joined in the race by a new face – Michael Cargill, a candidate with no policing experience but a bruising campaign style...."
"...As he readied the car, another vehicle pulled up right beside him. U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers asked him if he had documentation to be in the country legally..."
"...The Travis County Sheriff’s Office, Medical Examiner, and the Texas Rangers are investigating two deaths that occurred 12 hours apart this weekend in the Travis County Correctional Complex in Del Valle...."
"...Hutchinson, a sworn officer with the Travis County Sheriff’s Office for 32 years who was set to retire with the rank of sergeant in September, shot himself in his Round Rock backyard at 1:28 that Monday morning. Gravell confirmed at a Friday press conference at Round Rock Police Headquarters that Hutchinson fired a bullet from his TCSO-issued weapon; the bullet pierced his left hand before entering into the left side of his forehead, just above his eyebrow...."
"...An Austin attorney yesterday filed suit in Travis County civil district court seeking to have District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg removed from office in the wake of her arrest last weekend for drunken driving...."
"...Today at 3:20pm, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office will present its FY2015 budget requests to the Commissioners Court. Supporters of immigrants’ rights will be there as well, demanding that Commissioners withhold funding from the TCSO until Sheriff Greg Hamilton agrees to terminate the office’s involvement in Secure Communities, or S-Comm...."
"...“The state has stopped governing,” proclaimed the county head, positioning the role of her office and court as increasingly important in a time when divisive politics render the statehouse immobile on issues like property taxes and government ethics. Eckhardt slammed the state Legislature for showing more interest in appeasing wealthy individuals and business interests who have the power to bend the ear of lawmakers, instead of working to solve pressing problems facing the state..."
"...It won't be part of the budget, but it will be back in county: On Tuesday, commissioners voted to approve a measure that will re-implement in-person visitation at Travis County jails. The $707,000 approval, to be funded through savings from the Travis County Sheriff's Office, comes after a month of deliberations over whether or not Travis County was eligible for a grandfather clause allowing certain counties to not comply with House Bill 549..."
"...But internal emails between the Travis County Sheriff's Office and ICE officials reveal a much more collaborative relationship – a near-daily dialogue between the agencies tantamount to a continual implementation primer, including reliance on ICE for press advisories later tweaked by the TCSO for a locally generated feel...."
"...Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, ostensibly designed to identify undocumented immigrants with criminal backgrounds, and to target them for deportation. Under the program, the county sheriff’s office, headed by Sheriff Greg Hamilton, honors “ICE detainers” for 48 hours to allow immigration officials time to arrive at the jail to begin deportation proceedings..."
"...This is the most high-profile of the three JP races on the Democratic ballot – Williams and Bradford are two of the most charming and engaging candidates running for any office in this primary season – they are both quick-witted, good humored, and passionate about their work and connections to East Austin...."
"..."The city and state have no money to clean them," Flatt clarifies. "Bethany gets cleaned by the Travis County Sheriff's Office..."
"...Although the program won't become mandatory nationwide until next year, more than 2,000 law enforcement agencies across the country are already participating in "S-Comm," which requires that fingerprints of persons booked into local jails be submitted to the feds for comparison against a national FBI database; those fingerprints are also forwarded to ICE to be reviewed for immigration status. The Travis County Sheriff's Office, which runs the local jail system, joined the program in summer 2009; since then, more than 92,000 sets of fingerprints have been run through S-Comm's ID databases..."
"...As election day draws nearer, Travis Co. sheriff candidates Duane McNeill and Greg Hamilton have jail on the brain jail crowding, jail staffing, and new jail construction, that is issues that each candidate says top the list of concerns facing the sheriff's office as they campaign to be the county's top cop...."
"...Campaign finance reports filed Monday at the county clerk's office show Andy Brown again outpaced rival Sarah Eckhardt, raising $178,413 in the first six months of the year, to Eckhardt's $157,081. But both are on fairly equal footing going forward with roughly the same cash balance: Brown had $135,000 at the end of the reporting period, June 30, and Eckhardt had $132,000, thanks to a $10,000 loan she made to her campaign June 28..."
"...1. The Sheriff's Office has said it will automatically comply with ICE detainers for those charged with or convicted of capital murder, murder, aggravated sexual assault, or human trafficking, and also holds the discretion to honor other detainer requests on a "case-by-case basis."..."
"...The Secure Communities program – generally perceived as aimed primarily at Hispanic immigrants – is casting a much wider net. The federal initiative adopted by the Travis County Sheriff's Office, which effectively aids immigration officials with deportations, is also capturing an increasing number of Asian immigrants – more often than not, legal residents – in its dragnet..."
"...Several grassroots organizations have been working in opposition to S-Comm, which has led to deportation of some 5,000 undocumented immigrants in Travis County since its 2009 implementation. Under S-Comm, the sheriff's office detains arrestees suspected of being undocumented, holding them in county jail for a minimum 48-hour period until a U.S..."
"...An APD bulletin went out to patrolling officers: Smith had told investigators to look for a black male in a Chrysler 300 or Dodge Charger. Officer Todd Galbraith located a vehicle matching the description in the parking lot of a Super 8 hotel on the interstate, a mile-and-a-half north of the Drury Inn..."
"...According to the coalition, 4,280 Travis County residents have been deported since 2009, and the vast majority of them have no criminal history. [This paragraph was updated to clarify that the Sheriff's Office does not deport residents; that function is handled by federal authorities.]..."
"..."My understanding is, one of the reasons that happened was because the meetings that occurred with the field office director and the sheriff didn't go very well," Austin continued. The judge's revelation contradicts what ICE reported to local officials, including Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt, who was told by ICE Agent Dan Bible in February that the Austin arrests were not an act of retribution...."
"...The Travis County Sheriff's Office is reeling this week as it investigates the events that led to the shooting death of one of its own deputies. Sergeant Craig Hutchinson was found dead near a creek behind his Round Rock backyard Monday morning after requesting backup from his colleagues...."
"...Local law enforcement echoed that sentiment. Travis County Sheriff's Office policed the center, the Austin Police Department escorted the Friday night parade, and off-duty officers provided security at the street party..."
"...It was nearly 10pm on April 28, 2009, when the front door to the San Antonio home of Lindsey Bishop and Carolyn Clark exploded inward. On the other side of the door were seven plainclothes (and one uniformed) police officers there to execute a search warrant...."
"...Last December, toward the end of a daylong meeting of Travis County Commissioners, County Judge Sarah Eckhardt voiced concerns suggesting that the county-city animal control program might be on thin ice. The dais was discussing whether to move wildlife issues to be under Austin's Animal Services Office ("County Kills Coyote Contract," Dec..."
"...The summer's second fatal police shooting in East Austin played itself out during morning rush hour on July 24, after two Travis Co. sheriff's deputies stopped to help a woman in distress on Bolm Road -- initiating an incident that contrasts sharply with the fatal shooting of Jessie Lee Owens by an Austin police officer last month...."
"...Last Thursday, shortly following a new University of Texas policy change instigated in part by his actions, UT College of Pharmacy professor Richard Morrisett was found dead in his South Austin home. The cause of death has yet to be determined by the Travis County Medical Examiner, but no evidence of foul play is suspected, says Captain Jonathan Ede, a spokesperson for the Travis County Sheriff's Office, and a toxicology report could take weeks..."
"...Amelia Ruiz Fischer, an attorney for the Texas Civil Rights Project, has worked with Hines on a number of matters, including at Hutto. There is also ongoing work related to the federal Secure Communities program, under which the Travis County Sheriff's Office detains undocumented immigrants at the behest of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, suspending standard due-process safeguards..."
"...Thrust unexpectedly into the national spotlight, Hernandez could do without the extra fanfare. "National attention is not something I wake up and desire," she told me during an interview at her office on Airport Boulevard..."
"...But the list of those currently incarcerated doesn't in fact indicate they were ensnared by S-Comm efforts – only that they were subsequently identified as undocumented – with a "INS detainer" notation by each entry the only indication of a prisoner's immigration status. INS stands for the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service, supplanted in 2003 as part of a post-9/11 shakeup of agencies now under the Office of Homeland Security..."
"...(Since counties don't have ordinance power, the budget is not a law, as it is at city and state, requiring legislative action for adjustment. As a consequence, county spending can rather effortlessly climb beyond what the budget says, though it is far from being bloated.) The biggest chunk of that $1.88 million is being carved from Keel's domain, not surprising since the sheriff's office is the county's largest department..."
"...Immigrants' rights advocates applauded last week's action by City Council, repudiating Travis County Sheriff Greg Hamilton's participation in the federal "Secure Communities" initiative. And in the wake of Council's action, some Travis County Commissioners – the Commissioners Court oversees the sheriff's office – are readying their own resolution calling for an end to county compliance...."
"...Responding to public pressure for greater transparency, the Travis County Sheriff's Office recently began compiling and posting on the county website detailed daily "roll call" lists of who's being held in its jail facilities on immigration detainers pursuant to the federal "Secure Communities" initiative. The new lists – including some persons accused of minor offenses as well as of felony crimes, plus additional information such as countries of origin – yield daily snapshots of those caught in the S-Comm net..."