DA accuses sheriff of releasing confidential information

GOLIAD – While still in the first days of early voting, one candidate for commissioner faces a contempt of court accusation accusing him of releasing grand jury docket information.

Sheriff Kirby Brumby, who is currently in a runoff race against John Creech for the Precinct 3 position, was served with the civil court motion July 1 at 9:58 a.m.

Titled a Motion for Contempt of Court and filed June 9, the court records say that on May 22, the district attorney’s office faxed a copy of the grand jury docket, which would be scheduled for May 29, to the sheriff’s office.

“The docket contained information concerning a grand jury investigation into several Goliad County commissioners and a complaint against the County Judge Mike Bennett.

“After receiving said docket, Kirby Brumby informed Judge Mike Bennett that he was on the grand jury docket for an investigation.”

The sheriff was served with a Notice to Show Cause on July 1 informing him of the Aug. 13 hearing in this case.

Bennett decline comment on the civil case. Brumby too declined to comment on this only saying “It’s political. They must be trying to help my opponent.”

While District Attorney Rob Lassmann could not be reached for comment, he did issue a written statement to area media saying, “If a grand jury investigates someone and does not indict, it is not fair to that individual to have his name in the public. This is one of the reasons for grand jury secrecy laws.”

While the paperwork for this motion was filed June 9, it was June 11 that Joel B. Johnson, a judge from outside the county, was assigned to hear the case.

It would then be June 29 that a hearing date was coordinated between the judge and the court.

While the case does not specify information about the grand jury investigation in question, three commissioners were no billed by the grand jury during that May 29 hearing. 

None of the three would say why they were requested to appear before the grand jury, only that they were summoned.

The government code calls for a maximum fine of $500 and no more than six months in jail in a contempt case.

Jason Collins is the editor at the Goliad Advance-Guard and can be reached at 361-343-5221, or at editor@mySouTex.com.


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