Brown County Judge says AG's decision to clear him of corruption was vindication


BROWNWOOD, Texas - The Brown County Judge said Thursday he was disappointed a former law enforcement official criticized the Texas Attorney General's Office for not prosecuting him for corruption. 

Judge Ray West was accused by the Brown County Sheriff's Office of bribery, abuse of official capacity, and securing execution of document by deception.

Former Chief Deputy Bobby Duvall, who was one of three investigators on the case, told KTXS on Wednesday he believed West committed corruption.

But West told KTXS the AG's decision to drop the investigation proved he acted within the law back in 2013 when he allowed a private company to begin construction on county-owned property before getting approval by the commissioners' court. 

"Nothing happened with it," West said. "[Duvall] should've known better than to have made a public statement like that."

After a seven-month battle with the sheriff's office to make the documents public, KTXS received the files associated with its case on Tuesday. They included audio recordings where West told law enforcement not to pass their investigation to the AG's office.

"The problem is that if you get the AG in here, they start twisting that book around," West said in the recording.

Duvall also said West tried to stop the investigation.

"What I tried to do was explain the law to them and they didn't listen," West said. "The attorney general's office did listen. They knew the law. They didn't listen to me. They just knew the law."

According to documents, West and former Brown County Probation Director JR Williams took three golf trips paid for by two private companies that were bidding to turn the building into a facility housing juvenile inmates.

G4S was one of the two companies and it was eventually awarded the contract.

West said he questions the timing of Duvall's statements on a more than three-year-old investigation, which he was cleared of any wrongdoing.

West is running for re-election as Brown County Judge, a position he's held since 1992.

"Only now is someone publicly making a statement like this that is completely unsubstantiated," West said.

Below is a copy of West's full statement in regards to Wednesday's KTXS story:

It is extremely unfortunate that Mr. Duvall, as a former law enforcement officer for Brown County, would resort to making reference -- public or otherwise -- to a claimed investigation that he personally tried to instigate, and that he admits resulted in no action. He should know better. I am mostly disappointed in Duvall's actions because as a law enforcement officer, he should have been a reflection of this county. We deserved better character and services from our law enforcement officials, and we are now getting the kind of service and good character from our sheriff's office.

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