Texas Rangers seen removing items from Harris Co. District Attorney's Office
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- An investigation in action Tuesday as Texas Rangers removed computers and recordings from the Harris County District Attorney's office.
We first reported last week the Rangers were investigating the office and that the DA herself claims to have requested the probe. Now Pat Lykos issued her first public statement about the issue she once said she knew nothing about.
We are a long way away from that statement more than two weeks ago when Lykos said she knew nothing of an investigation into the private lives of grand jurors. Since then, Lykos admitted she ordered that inquiry and now she is being investigated by the Texas Rangers herself.
Theirs is an unmistakable silhouette. The hat, the boots and now the evidence. Eyewitness News cameras spotted Texas Rangers on the fifth floor of the Harris County Criminal Courthouse Tuesday afternoon. It is home to a number of investigators and the computer forensics department.
Though it was not necessarily unexpected, it was the first public sign of the Rangers' investigation into the DA's office. We're told Rangers left with two computers and recordings of the DA -- at least one of those recordings of an interview she gave to Eyewitness News. It's all connected to the Rangers' ongoing investigation of what the DA herself termed "allegations of investigatory misconduct" by her office.
Those allegations stem from the DA's own inquiry into the private lives of grand jurors who were investigating her. It's an investigation she denied knowing about.
"I know nothing of that. I certainly didn't authorize the investigation," Lykos said back on January 31.
Before admitting to it a day later.
The DA sent a statement Tuesday afternoon which read, "I asked the Texas Rangers to conduct an investigation. Today I authorized the Rangers to inspect and take for examination any items of interest in this office. We shall cooperate fully."
It seems the office is.
"The Texas Rangers' review -- if they exonerate the DA's office, it's a partial exoneration because we don't know what legal parameters were involved. This wasn't a normal grand jury investigation -- this was a pick up the phone, call the Texas Rangers and tell them to come look at this," said KTRK Legal Analyst Joel Androphy.
And while the DA says this is all at her request, our own sources say they were questioned by the Rangers on February 7. That's three days before Lykos ever asked the Rangers to investigate. Lykos wrote the Rangers on February 10, saying, "I respectfully request that should you authorize an investigation, it be done expeditiously and further respectfully request that a news release be distributed stating that I formally requested the investigation."
The Texas Department of Public Safety confirmed to Eyewitness News that the Rangers' activity Tuesday was connected to the investigation of Lykos' office.
We should point out that the FBI was here last week, but they told us they are not conducting any investigation into the DA's office.
Tuesday's is the latest chapter in an ongoing investigation into the DA's office. The probe dates back to problems with the DWI testing vans, first exposed by 13 Undercover.
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