In a strange and embarrassing case, the Collin County District Attorney’s office has recused itself from prosecuting a felony case against six district clerk supervisors accused of falsifying employee attendance records and time cards. The reason? The DA’s office has admitted to its own practice of improperly altering time records starting in 2003, and affecting about 40 of its own departmental employees.
“As a result of newly discovered evidence … the State of Texas now agrees that the Criminal District Attorney of Collin County and the Collin County District Attorney’s Office is disqualified in this case,” according to a filing Tuesday signed by First Assistant District Attorney Greg Davis. Davis’ affidavit asks the judge to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.
The DA’s office has characterized its own practice of falsifying time cards as rewarding employees with time off for “meritorious conduct” according to Davis. However, in the case against the six district clerk supervisors, the defendants are accused of falsifying attendance records so that employees could work on the election campaign of Chief Deputy District Clerk Patricia Wysong Crigger.
Crigger and the five other defendants were charged with organized criminal activity, a second-degree felony punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and from two to twenty years in prison. Crigger won the Republican primary, and faces two write-in candidates and no Democratic opponent in the November election. The trial was to have commenced on November 15, but is now scheduled to begin after the first of the year, presumably around the time that Crigger takes office.