Erath County auditor Janet Martin has released the findings of an audit of the sheriff’s office.
The findings were released Friday morning in a special called meeting at the Erath County Courthouse and outlined a range of administrative wrongdoings while the late Tommy Bryant was sheriff.
The audit began in November 2016, one month prior to Bryant’s suicide, and was completed in April of this year.
The audit could not be released until now - when the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement and the Texas Attorney General’s Office - completed their own investigations.
Martin released a document in open court Friday outlining the audit’s findings.
In it is the revelation that two former supervisors and one employee of the sheriff’s office received pay from the county and from an outside source at the same time, and that normal “clock in” and “clock out” procedures were not followed.
“Certain employees were allowed to call the office with their work times,” the document states. “Numerous manual time entries were found for the same six employees.”
The audit also unveiled problems at the jail including a supervisor also abusing their time.
“A shift leader was clocking in then leaving the building and coming back to clock out at the end of their shift,” the document states. “The supervisor of the shift leader had knowledge of what was happening and was approving the timesheet. The information was obtained through an interview during the internal affairs investigation.”
It was also noted that medications for inmates were not readily available and that food was not being prepared by a licensed dietician.
Other jail issues included falsifying documents pertaining to fire drills, unlocked doors - a violation of jail standards - and a string of accusations against supervisors that include “unbecoming conduct,” and sleeping, intoxication and watching movies while on duty.
An inventory of the sheriff’s department vehicles found a variety of maintenance issues including cracked windshields and missing or duplicate equipment inside the vehicles.
The audit also found a variety of infractions pertaining to the regularity of checks being given to the county treasurer and problems with procedures of handling “narcotic buy money.”
A separate audit using the same procedures was conducted after Sheriff Matt Coates was appointed to the office found the problems had been corrected.
In perhaps the most serious revelation is the one involving a sheriff’s office employee who forged the signature of Erath County Judge Tab Thompson on a federal document.
On the eve of Dec. 20, 2016, hours after Bryant’s death, a team went to the sheriff’s office to inventory and secure items.
“During the next thirty day period six employees left Erath County and the files from their desks were reviewed,” the document states. “One file found in a supervisor’s desk contained a document with an altered signature. The signature of the County Judge had been cut from another document and was taped to a federal document The County Judge and his assistant were asked if either of them made the alteration or had authorized the alteration and both the Judge and his assistant knew nothing about the altered document.”
That file and all of its contents have been handed over to the attorney general’s investigator.