Missing contraband stirs controversy at La Marque ISD

November 14, 2011 3:50:15 PM PST
Weapons, drugs, money -- evidence seized by a local high school over several years, and now the school's police chief says some of that evidence is missing.

The La Marque school district's police chief is determined to get to the bottom of this. There's no official investigation underway at this point, but he has asked a few outside agencies for help, including the Texas Rangers.

The missing evidence, including drugs, cash and weapons, were confiscated from as far back as 2001 and kept inside a secure room at La Marque High School. According to La Marque ISD's Superintendent Ecomet Burley, the items were stolen under Russell Washington's watch -- the previous police chief.

Burley said, "He reported that they were missing in April 2009, but in the written report he said they came up missing in August 2009."

That report was written by a former district police officer. The district's current police chief recently came across it. Timothy Fields first discovered the missing evidence last year during an audit he conducted after his appointment in July 2010.

Chief Fields said, "At the time we didn't have any documentation to basically back up what was in the property room."

Fields replaced Washington, who was fired while under indictment in an alleged attempt to falsify documents. Those charges were later dropped.

Washington couldn't be reached for comment. News of the missing evidence comes just a few days after he publicly demanded his job back. Washington's supporters say this is no coincidence. Malloy Scott believes the superintendent has turned this into a personal vendetta against the former police chief.

He asked, "What is that this man has done to him to make him be this way? The only reason I can see is that he's doing it is because Chief Washington is not a 'yes man.'"

The superintendent vehemently denies those accusations. Several of Washington's supporters are expected to gather outside district headquarters during a school board meeting as a show of support for the former police chief.


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