Metro released news today that the District Attorney's Office has closed its investigation into allegations that Metro employees were illegally destroying documents and violating the Texas Public Information Act.
In a one-paragraph letter sent on July 21, the DA's office informed Metro that the investigation "...found no evidence of criminal wrongdoing and those allegations were unfounded."
"We're pleased with the outcome of the investigation," Gilbert Garcia, Metro's chairman, said in the press release sent out today.
Allegations about Metro's document destruction started in February, when Lloyd Kelley, a Houston lawyer and former City Controller, sued the agency because he believed that some of the public documents he requested were destroyed.
The District Attorney's Office launched its criminal investigation a couple weeks later.
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Metro's board eventually approved a settlement in the Kelley lawsuit in June and, as part of the agreement, paid $40,000 to cover Kelley's legal fees. The "Agreed Final Judgment" between Metro and Kelley can be read on Metro's Web site.
According to a statement released by the District Attorney's Office today, its investigation continued through the end of June. From the statement:
...evidence was examined and witness testimony was developed, some with grand jury assistance. A careful analysis of all of this information led to the determination that there was no evidence of criminal wrongdoing...
From just about every angle, it appears case of Metro document shredding is closed. For the New Metro, that has to be good news.