Investigation is needed
Is it time for an investigation into the Hays County Jail, or Judge Becerra, or both? Recent accusations by Judge Becerra seem to have been unfounded regarding the status of the jails. In a recent no-notice inspection by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, the jail was found to be 100% in compliance.
However, any investigation into jails by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards should itself be questioned. A recent 77 page report from the Texas State’s independent Sunset Advisory Commission, provided to the 87th Texas State Legislature, found that jail standards are in many instances ‘vague’ and not in keeping with the current times. If the jail truly has no issues, then they should be open to an investigation by a small group of independent citizens to tour the jail. In no small matter, jail conditions and an inspection by its citizens should be open and transparent.
At the same time, Judge Becerra seems to have his own issues with oversight and transparency regarding the manner in which Hays County business and communication is being conducted. Poor reporting of COVID hospitalization cases resulted in State Representative Erin Zwiener to write a letter to Judge Becerra in July of 2020. But his issues seem to be deeper than that.
In the Sep 25th issue of the Texas Tribune, Judge Becerra was reported meeting with a scam artist marketing COVID antibody tests. In the same time period, the Texas AG began an investigation into Judge Becerra’s other alleged COVID supplier and testing interactions.
It could, on one hand, appear Judge Becerra’s complaints about the jail are a smokescreen to divert attention from the spotlights that have been focused on himself.
But lingering questions still exist in this reader’s mind: 1. What, if any did the Texas AG uncover? 2. What are the true standard issues in the jail, if any? 3. Has COVID reporting from Hays county been brought into alignment with actual hospital cases?