Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Forensic Science commissioner resigns to avoid revealing public info

Somehow I'd missed that one of Governor Perry's recent appointees to the Texas Forensic Science Commission - Bexar County Medical Examiner Randall Frost - had resigned in October just weeks after his appointment because he wouldn't reveal immediate family members' names or assets required on state ethics disclosures.

There's got to be more to this than was reported. Frost wrote in his resignation letter to Perry, "I am unwilling to disclose the names of my family members or the addresses of our residence, my spouse's business and our other properties, knowing that the information would then become public record." But that's a really strange claim. His home address and other property ownership is already a public record in real property records held by the county. If his wife owns a business, it is registered either with an assumed name certificate at the county or as a corporation with the Secretary of State. All the information he's afraid to disclose is public record already if anyone wanted to look. Of course, nobody had a reason to before now.

One also imagines part of the backstory may be that, when initially approached for the job, Dr. Frost didn't sign on for the kind of political fiasco initiated by new chairman John Bradley when he took over and immediately shut down all the agency's activities and ordered commissioners to delete all their email. Before then, the Forensic Science Commission was a sleepy little entity barely noticed by the press. All of a sudden, Frost found himself in one of the most high-profile appointments in state government, with reporters not just from Texas but both coasts focused intently on the commission's activities. The game had changed, and under the new rules he wanted out. That's how it looks, anyway.

In his place, Perry has appointed Tarrant County Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dr.Don't ask don't tell of Waco fame.