NOTE: It is part of the Texas Ranger duties to investigate “misconduct and corruption of public officials” See Texas Ranger official duties at https://www.dps.texas.gov/TexasRangers/rangerresponsibilities.htm
The Hays County Commissioners Court’s regular meeting opened Tuesday morning with a discussion on why an item was pulled from the agenda without court approval.
Hays County Judge, Ruben Becerra, removed an item regarding the Hays County Voting Center locations from the agenda on Friday afternoon without consulting the commissioners or the item’s sponsor, Commissioner Walt Smith.
Smith asked the Judge and staff several questions on how the decision was made to remove his item (#33) and the procedures that were utilized.
Discussion and possible action to approve election vote center locations for the November 2019 Constitutional Amendment election.
According to the item’s agenda language, commissioners were slated to hold a discussion on the election voting center locations for the November 2019 election; the court would be able but not required to take action to approve the proposed voting center locations.
Becerra said he had the item pulled due to it lacking the supporting documents including a list of the polling places from the Hays County Elections Administrator.
Janice Jones, Legal Support Services Specialist for the Office of General Counsel for Hays County, told commissioners she had prepared the agenda according to the instructions she received in Wednesday’s agenda-prep meeting and sent a copy of it to the county clerk, Dr. Elaine H. Cárdenas.
Jones said the City of San Marcos kept revising their list of suggested voting centers and did not provide the Elections Administrator with a final proposal until Monday afternoon.
An automatic email response noted Thursday that Hays County Elections Administrator, Jennifer Anderson, was out of the office until Monday.
Smith requested an investigation by the Texas Rangers into how the item was removed from the agenda without court notification.
Hays County Legal Counsel, Mark Kennedy, said the request for an investigation by the Texas Rangers would not require an agenda item or a vote by the court.
The Texas Ranger Division is the primary criminal investigative branch of the Texas Department of Public Safety; they are responsible for investigating potential misconduct and corruption of public officials.