Craig Watkins Responds to News Concerning Constables, Tow Company Investigation

Categories: Crime
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Brian Harkin
Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins
On its Web site Friday, The Dallas Morning News ran an editorial concerning Dallas County Constables Derick Evans and Jaime Cortes's "too-cozy" relationship with Dowdy Ferry Auto Service, which is towing thousands of cars under their watch without keeping track of what happens to them after they've been impounded. In the editorial, the paper says Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has been allowing this to happen without any hint of an investigation into the constables' dealings with the tow company: "Watkins has declined to say whether he will pursue the matter. Watkins mustn't continue sitting on the sidelines."

Watkins isn't pleased with that characterization, which is why, moments ago, his office sent out the following response to the editorial. You can read the full missive after the jump, but a highlight:
To accuse me of "sitting on the sidelines" and suggest that I would allow alleged criminal activity to go unnoticed is disingenuous. Just because I am not vetting my cases with the media and the court of public opinion, which I will never do, is hardly a reason to jump to the conclusion that I am not doing my job. There is a reason why the district attorney's office has prosecutorial independence. There is a reason why we do not comment on potential public integrity issues. My job as the criminal district attorney for Dallas County is to seek truth and justice, not to feed the insatiable appetite of those who have political agendas.
Go for the whole shebang.
District Attorney Craig Watkins Responds to Dallas Morning News Editorial

(DALLAS - August 24, 2009) -- In today's editorial, "Watkins needs to investigate the constables," the Dallas Morning News failed to print my actual comment and instead chose to write an editorial that would leave readers with the false impression that I am not doing my job. When asked last week by the Dallas Morning News whether the district attorney's office was investigating two Dallas County constables (Precincts 1 and 5), my response was the same response we always give when complaints are made against elected officials and other public servants. I would neither confirm nor deny whether we are investigating this issue.

To accuse me of "sitting on the sidelines" and suggest that I would allow alleged criminal activity to go unnoticed is disingenuous. Just because I am not vetting my cases with the media and the court of public opinion, which I will never do, is hardly a reason to jump to the conclusion that I am not doing my job. There is a reason why the district attorney's office has prosecutorial independence. There is a reason why we do not comment on potential public integrity issues. My job as the criminal district attorney for Dallas County is to seek truth and justice, not to feed the insatiable appetite of those who have political agendas.

Yes, I do owe it to taxpayers to get to the truth, and the citizens of Dallas County can rest assured that I take my job very seriously and that I do it with the utmost integrity and sincerity. If a crime has been committed, we will follow the law and do our jobs. However, under no circumstances should anyone expect the district attorney to discuss the particulars of any potential investigation or case.

Craig Watkins
Dallas County Criminal District Attorney


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