Harris County Precinct 6 investigation widens

October 29, 2011 6:39:15 AM PDT
Every Harris County constable has been officially warned not to destroy their records, that's just one the headlines. Victor Trevino's office is not the only one who may be in trouble. But our focus remains tonight on Pct. 6, the deputy diva we busted Thursday night and troubling evidence someone tried to hide.

There are new details about the criminal investigation at Victor Trevino's office as the constable begins to investigate the conduct of a commander we exposed Thursday night.

"Sgt. James, I have questions for you. Why don't you roll down the window and talk to us?" we asked Sgt. Takila James.

Sgt. Takila James doesn't want to talk to us, but her mouth may have already got her in plenty of trouble.

She hosts her own Internet radio show. She also supervises Pct. 6 security at Gulfgate Mall.

Her topic for Monday, April 25 -- lying.

"Some people tend to lie a lot," she said on the show.

Look what time her show started: 8pm and her studio is in her house north in Humble. Yet look at her time sheet; it says she was working until 8pm in southeast Houston.

"Sgt. James, why don't you roll down the window and talk to us?" we asked James.

And we've got plenty of times when Fab Diva says she's working when her Facebook posts suggests she's not.

"It sounds like you caught someone slipping up pretty bad," Trent Siebert said.

Trent Siebert is editor of the Houston-based Texas Watchdog.

"Public records are to us are the key to any good investigative report," Siebert said.

Time sheets for deputies are public records, so we wonder which Pct. 6 commander signed off on the diva's troubling time sheets? In many cases, no one.

But Pct. 6 apparently didn't want you to know that. So after we asked to see the records, a sergeant named BJ Yother just changed them.

"Official government records are sacrosanct. You can't alter a public record. That is a real problem," Siebert said.

Don't you feel better knowing that Sgt. Yother and Simply Fab Diva Sgt. James are part of that elite squad of investigators chosen by Constable Victor Trevino to probe possible wrongdoing in Pct. 6, that an internal review Trevino promised the public three months ago?

"This is the first that you asked specific questions," Trevino said.

"That's the whole idea of an interview," we replied.

The constable's not talking to 13 Undercover anymore. His criminal defense lawyer, Chip Lewis, is.

"I haven't seen any credible evidence that the constable was either through turning his head or through directing folks to shake down the deputies for political contributions," Lewis said.

The constable's lawyer suggests Trevino simply didn't know that his commanders were working on his campaign on duty, even if some of the troubling emails were copied to Trevino.

"In all candor, it was only a few years ago that Victor Trevino even learned how to open an email," Lewis said.

The DA's office is investigating CARE, the charity the constable founded. Lots of the charity checks were cashed at convenience stores -- large amounts, and we've learned the investigation now includes a review of Louisiana casino records.

"There were not lavish expenditures; the constable didn't wager a lot of money and I think the DA's office will see that," Lewis said.

But without receipts proving where the money went, it's going to be trouble for everyone and now there's allegations that Pct. 6 didn't give us some of the government records we asked for.

"Records requested by Channel 13 were not turned over as they should have been," we asked Harris County Assistant County Attorney Terry O'Rourke.

"It looks that way," he said.

We found something else in Takila James' county email box. She's got all the emails from former Pct. 6 Clerk Anna Nunez, who helped blow the whistle at the constable's office in the first place.

"He was abusing public trust, abusing public dollars," Nunez said.

Some Pct. 6 employees worry the constable's not cleaning up wrongdoing but looking for the leaks.

"You want to know who my leak is? Ask me. I won't tell you," we told Sgt. James.

Here's another chance to join the undercover unit, for free of course... A new story means another badge is unlocked, and in this one, you can see the altered records for yourself. The latest financial records from Trevino's troubled charity and listen to a lot more of his criminal dense law. And hear more from his defense attorney is the constable trying to blame his employees for his troubles. And stay tuned -- another shoe drops soon.

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