Despite No Text Messages or Emails From Sheriff, Smoak Claims, ‘That’s All’
By BOB PALMER
Jimplecute News Editor
JEFFERSON – Marion County Attorney Angela Smoak on Tuesday delivered 234 pages of documents reputed to be copies of emails received and sent by Chief Deputy Frank Cason between April 17 and May 12 to a Jefferson Jimplecute representative this week.
The Jimplecute had sought the documents in a Texas Public Information Act request that also sought email, text messages and social media postings by Cason and Sheriff David McKnight. When asked where were copies of McKnight’s documents and Cason’s text messages, Smoak declared the box of 234 pages was all the documents she had.
“Do you mean Sheriff McKnight is refusing to provide his documents?” The Jimplecute asked. “These are all the documents I have,” Smoak replied. In a letter on July 3, Smoak indicated that she did understand that the sheriff ’s electronic communications were public records and would be provided.
“As I understand your current letter, you [Jimplecute Publisher Mica Wilhite] are requesting:
1. All correspondence in any electronic form between Frank Cason and any other person or entity regarding the transaction of official business save and except those items excluded under the PIA between April 17, 2019 and May 12, 2019, AND
2. All correspondence in any electronic form between Sheriff McKnight and any other person or entity regarding the transaction of official business save and except those items excluded under the PIA between April 17, 2019 and May 12, 2019.”
Smoak indicated the 234 pages of documents came from only one of the parties, but “I feel certain that the requested documents from the other party will be at least this amount or more and that information will be forthcoming as well.”
Smoak, however, reversed herself in a letter dated July 5. “There are no additional documents which are responsive to your request,” Smoak stated. “Only the 234 pages previously referenced in that letter are responsive.”
Jimplecute Publisher Wilhite was not convinced. “To contend Sheriff McKnight did not send or receive any emails and did not send or receive any other text messages than the ones printed on the front page of the Jimp between April 17 and May 12 is not credible,” Wilhite said.
Wilhite indicated the matter would be referred to a higher authority. “The office of the Texas Attorney General has already opened an investigation into the matter,” Wilhite said. “This inadequate response will be brought to the Attorney General’s attention.”
The documents delivered by Smoak were the inauxious flotsam of the internet. “We would like to invite you and your staff to our annual BBQ dinner,” one man wrote Cason on April 30.
“Thank you for your request for help locating funding for your grant project,” another wrote. The Marion County Sheriff’s Department was not immune to spam.
“There are only four hours left to enter and win a $10,000 gift card to The Home Depot,” one email read.
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