Lawmakers want probe in surveillance case

May 19, 2008 11:40:57 AM PDT
State lawmakers are calling for the Texas attorney general to investigate the Harris County sheriff's office. Officials want to know if any laws were broken when a sheriff's investigator launched a secret surveillance operation.Eyewitness News broke the story last week about the surveillance of Sean and Erik Ibarra. The Ibarra brothers are calling for the sheriff to step down.

State Senator Rodney Ellis wants to the state attorney general to investigate the sheriff's department to see if any laws were broken when that special surveillance of the brothers was done.

The Ibarras joined Senator Ellis and others Monday to voice their outrage that they were followed for three days by a special unit within the sheriff's department. Erick and Sean Ibarra were actually in the process of suing the county at the time when they say they were mistreated for the video taping of a raid at a neighbor's house.

They had always believed that the raid was at the wrong house. Today, the senator says the sheriff's intimidation tactics remind of times gone by.

"I can remember in the bad old days in Houston and in Harris County when they were people in the minority communities quite frankly, civil rights leaders who were put under surveillance for no other reason than simply wanting to challenge their government to be fair," said Ellis.

"From day one, we knew that what happened at my mother's house was wrong and since then, we've tried our best to stand up for what we believe is right," said Erik Ibarra. "That's why we are here today and that is the message we would like to deliver, is everything we are doing here is in the name of justice."

Senator Ellis says besides asking the state attorney general's office to investigate the sheriff's department, he plans to ask for all records of any surveillance of any person within Harris County and for those records to be provided to his office.

The Ibarra brothers are also in the process of filing another lawsuit against the county.

- Headlines at a glance


Load Comments