Sounds Like DA Craig Watkins's Interview With Evan Smith Is Going to Be Revealing. Ish.
It's been interesting this morning, trying to piece together exactly what Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins is telling Texas Tribune editor-in-chief Evan Smith. At this very moment they're doing a TT sitdown at the Austin Club, and I've been following along via Twitter. The Southern Shift, thus far, is doing by far the best job. So far I've learned via "The Voice of the South" that Watkins has a policy of keeping investigations secret till his office has "clear evidence," that "the public corruption allegations in Dallas County run deep and touch on more than just two constables" (that's all he'll say) and that "after working with Attorney General Abbott on a case, DA Watkins says he'll never give a case to him again -- 'different approach' to justice."
Update at 10:30 a.m.: I e-mailed Smith to see when the video of the interview would be posted. Friday, he said, Monday at the latest. But some clips will be available before day's end. And TT's Emily Ramshaw just posted a recap ("Watkins Plays Self-Defense"), in which she writes of the brouhaha involving, among others, Dallas County Constables Jaime Cortes and Derek Evans:
Watkins said two of the Republican Dallas County Commissioners who he believes usurped his authority by hiring an outside investigator were already aware he was investigating, but knew he couldn't announce it publicly. He has no qualms about trying to block their efforts, saying he was "really protecting the sanctity of the District Attorney's office ... because of the political atmosphere afoot."
Watkins said the results of that investigator's review pale in comparison to what his office has uncovered since. He said the constables are now "not the only two elected officials" being investigated, and that there "is still going to have to be, at some point, a prosecution." Meanwhile, he defended his selection of Ted Lyon, a Democrat who has contributed to Watkins' campaign, as a special prosecutor to oversee the case -- even though he rejected Attorney General Greg Abbott's repeated offers of prosecutorial assistance.
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