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Jenkins Wants Constables to Put Deputies on Leave, With Pay, During Investigation

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Patrick paid a visit to The Building Formerly Known as the Texas School Book Depository Friday, where Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins and commissioners John Wiley Price and Maureen Dickey fessed up: Looks like at least 25 deputy constables lied about serving papers, chiefly eviction notices. "Another black eye," said Dickey, referring to the results of the five-month internal audit that, using GPS data, revealed deputies from all five precincts weren't where they said they'd been -- out serving papers, doing their jobs.

Price wasn't about to take the blame, though: "We're not complicit." And that was all they were gonna say about it till a closed-door meeting Tuesday.

Late yesterday, we got further word: There's going to be another meeting Saturday morning at 8:30. This one will also be behind closed doors.

County spokesperson Maria Arita said that Jenkins and the county commissioners spent yesterday's sealed session going over "all of the evidentiary and pertinent materials and policies revolving around the disciplinary action being encouraged by Dallas County against deputy constables for allegedly falsifying sworn affidavits." She also said that between Friday and yesterday, more than a dozen deputy constables were given paperwork outlining the allegations made against them and the available evidence, as mandated by state law.

The accused deputies were given 48 hours to sign the docs -- which isn't an admission of guilt, the county reminds -- and return them to their respective constables.

Said Arita, the constables have been invited to Saturday's meeting, where they will be given "attorney-client privilege discussion about the audit." On Saturday they'll count up the number of deputies who've seen and signed the statements of complaint; the commissioners will then find out what the constables intend to do about their deputies during the investigation.

Said Arita, "Judge Jenkins has encouraged Constables from all five precincts to cooperate with the Commissioners Court by placing implicated employees on administrative leave with pay until the investigation is concluded."

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