Saturday, August 31, 2013
Request for information on Livingston security services and who payed the bill stiffled by TDCJ
The Backgate posted a story last week regarding potential improprieties regarding use of state resources to provide 24 hr security services for TDCJ Executive Director Brad Livingston and his family. Office of Inspector General Officers were pulled away from their units of assignment and large back logs of criminal cases to provide secret service style security for Livingston and his family both at his home, and around the Huntsville area. Reports were also received from credible sources that indicate that Livingston may have used state funds to install an elaborate security system in his private home outside of Huntsville. TDCJ has since officially denied that report via email just this week.
The Backgate requested open records from the agency last week asking for information on spending for overtime and incidentals for his assigned security officers, who authorized the spending, and whether or not taxpayer money was used to install the security system in his private home. The agency deflected the request and forwarded it to the Texas Attorney Generals office for an opinion as whether the information is releasable. In our opinion, the taxpayers of Texas (you and me) have the right to know how much or our tax money is spend, and on what it's being spent on. Not to mention proof on whether or not it's being used illegally, or without proper authorization. We are still awaiting the OAG decision. The agency has always appeared secretive in dealing with these types of issues when in fact as a publicly funded agency, they should remain transparent. We will see this one through and report back as new information comes in.