There are new revelations in the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office evidence dump.
They include surprising admissions from the deputy some say is solely responsible for destroying important evidence.
KHOU 11 News got ahold of the results of an internal affairs investigation. It suggests others may have ordered the property room purge. But only one employee trashed still active evidence.
The investigation was launched in March following a complaint of “improper destruction of evidence stored in the property room.”
According to the report, property room manager Chris Hess would “..Ramble, mumble and speak without clarity and was evasive at times when responding to questions asked.”
The report appears to refute Hess’s claim that drugs and other evidence were destroyed at the direction of his superiors.
Instead, he and two other Precinct 4 deputies had been ordered to review evidence to determine eligibility for disposal.
Hess told the investigator that the Texas Health and Safety Code allowed the destruction of drug evidence without a court order.
But, according to the report, Hess acknowledged “..He was unfamiliar with the code and commented that he only read “bits and pieces.”
In addition to thousands of pieces of destroyed evidence, the report states that DNA evidence was improperly stored in boxes in an outside storage building.
It also says that stolen property that should have been returned to owners was kept in storage for days, months, even years.
“I never thought I would have an employee that would go rogue and do what he did,” said Constable Mark Herman during a news conference several weeks ago.
Herman told us today that Hess was put on desk duty immediately when the issue came to light.
He was terminated soon after.
However, the report suggests Hess continued to work in the property room so he could help train other deputies.
Hess’s attorney still maintains that he was working on orders from his bosses.
He provided Hess’s last employee performance evaluation which included a positive review.
(© 2016 KHOU)