- Bexar County Sheriff: Resigned to avoid prosecution for bribery related to the commissary. (2008)
- Potter County Sheriff: Convicted of bribery related to jail commissary. (2008)
- Bastrop County Sheriff: Convicted of bribery to protect illegal gambling. (2008)
- Harris County DA: Resigned over drug addiction, sexually and racially demeaning emails revealed in a lawsuit, and alleged special privileges given his secretary/mistress using county funds. (2008)
- Laredo Police Chief: Convicted of bribery and aiding drug smugglers. (2007)
- Cameron County Sheriff: Convicted of bribery and aiding drug smugglers. (2006)
- Gray County DA: Convicted of drug and weapons crimes. (2005)
There's no telling how far the commissary related corruption goes. Another Sheriff from Kleberg (Kingsville) awarded the company accused of bribing the Bexar Sheriff a contract during his final weeks in office then allegedly accepted a consulting contract with them when he was a private citizen.
And that's leaving aside a slew of corruption cases involving lower level officers. Among the most brazen: Four deputies in Tyler including the chief deputy over the low-risk portion of the jail were arrested this spring for allegedly using trustees to collect scrap metal and pocketing the profits. The special agent in charge of the FBI's El Paso bureau from 2001 to 2003 was indicted for corruption in 2006, but I can find no record of how that case came out.
This pattern brings to mind the opening lines to the old Buffalo Springfield tune, "There's something happening here. What it is ain't exactly clear." Perhaps the rate of high-level corruption and misconduct cropping up is routine and I've merely noticed it more because I'm tracking it on the blog. Perhaps it's because enforcement improved, so we're seeing more cases. Maybe the rash of incidents is purely anomalous? Or perhaps it portends some larger societal trend toward corruption that that's only barely beginning to become fully visible. Who can say? What do you think?