Thursday, June 3, 2010 , Updated 10:13 a.m., June 3, 2010
UPDATED: Collin County Courthouse raided by Texas Rangers
While several of the current rumors link the recent District Clerk election to the warrant and raid, I have to say that I have not been able to confirm.
At about 2 p.m. yesterday, my phone and email started buzzing me with news that Texas Rangers and DPS Troopers were serving a search warrant on the District Clerk's office at the Collin County Courthouse.
According to unconfirmed reports, agents closed all the offices of the District Clerk for several hours. I have heard rumors (but I have not been able to get an official confirmation) that several county computers were seized.
WFAA Channel 8 covered the raid on the evening news, but they only reported that there was a raid and that, "the investigation is focusing on some employees of the district clerk's office, but no other details were available."
The Observer was told by some courthouse sources that the search warrant was issued in Austin. I do not know if any investigation was initiated by the State Attorney General or by the Collin County District Attorney. There are many rumors as to the reasons for the raid, but as of now, none have been confirmed.
I have been unable to reach the District Clerk, Hannah Kunkle, for comment.
The District Clerk's office serves the nine Collin county District Courts, keeping all court records and filings. The Collin County district clerk's office also operates a passport service.
The District Clerk is an elected position. Ms. Hannah Kunkle has served as the District Clerk for over 20 years, but did not seek re-election this year. Her Chief Deputy Clerk, Patricia Crigger, won the Republican Primary in March -- since she does not have a Democratic opponent, Ms. Crigger will be the next District Clerk as of January 1, 2011.
While several of the current rumors link the election to the warrant and raid, I have to say that I have not been able to confirm.
As I find out more about the raid and any ongoing investigation, I will update the news on the Observer.
UPDATE: Here is the statement from DPS in Austin on yesterday's search warrant and raid of the District Clerk's office:
“Pursuant to an ongoing investigation into allegations of improper use of Collin County resources and personnel in furtherance of a political campaign, the Texas Rangers executed a search warrant at the offices of the Collin County District Clerk in McKinney this afternoon. The search warrant was executed to search for evidence which would support the allegations. If the allegations were found to be true, charges of Abuse of Official Capacity and/or Tampering with a Government Record could be filed in the future. Currently, no arrest have been made.”
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