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GPS Audit Prompts Investigation of Deputy Constables

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By BJ Austin, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-968734.mp3

Dallas, TX – Dallas County officials are apologizing for eviction cases that may have been mishandled by Deputy Constables over the past two years. 25 constables are under investigation for allegedly falsifying work records about serving civil documents - mostly eviction notices. KERA's BJ Austin reports.

Republican County Commissioner Maurine Dickey says she thought the Constable problem was fixed. Allegations of campaign violations against a two Constables were resolved last year. More than 200 traffic constables were laid off after repeated complaints from citizens - and also for budgetary reasons.

Dickey: It's kind of another black eye and it's very disappointing.

County Judge Clay Jenkins says Constable Derrick Evans, cleared of campaign violations last year, found inconsistencies in a precinct audit and told Commissioners. The County Auditor cross checked the GPS records from all constable cars with work logs. Judge Jenkins says it appears some civil papers, primarily eviction notices, were NOT served as legally required.

Jenkins: So, if you had a situation where someone never went to your house, posted notice, you might have been evicted before you had the opportunity to get the money together to stay in your house. I find that particularly despicable.

Judge Jenkins says deputy constables in all five precincts are involved. They will be put on administrative leave, and could be fired. The audit information is going to the District Attorney for a possible criminal investigation. Jenkins says the number of deputy constables involved could grow, and he apologizes to the public for the alleged breach of trust.

Email BJ Austin