Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia Hit Where It Hurts

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

John Denholm, a former Harris County sheriff's deputy turned lawyer, knows how to push buttons.

And he's done it again, filing a lawsuit that hits right at Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia's point of pride -- an open and transparent administration.

Denholm is seeking an injunction, saying Garcia has consistently refused to release public information in regards to two officers who are in court over their dismissals. Time-consuming requests by the sheriff to the state AG's office on whether stuff could be released were typical, the court documents say:

Various items have gone missing. Some requested items (audio CDs) were claimed to have not existed or were missing but were apparently found after this office's inquiry into the matter.

It would lead one to conclude somebody finally got serious about looking for the material after the AG inquired about it.

The filing says that Garcia's spokesman Alan Bernstein, identified as "a respected former reporter" for the Houston Chronicle, made statements that prove the department was hiding information.

Bernstein says the sheriff and county attorney have not seen the suit and therefore will not comment.

"I confirm that I am a former reporter," Bernstein tells Hair Balls.

Update: From Bernstein, May 12:

One of the two former sheriff's officers listed as plaintiffs in last week's lawsuit against the sheriff over open records is former Lt. Louis Guthrie, fired for a 2008 incident in which he directed the application of crime tape to a busy car wash that his wife had accused of taking $17 from her vehicle.

Today the Sheriff's Civil Service Commission, an independent body whose members are selected by the DA, Commissioners Court and the sheriff, denied Guthrie's request for reinstatement after hearing from him and other witnesses.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.