IRS wants documents KTXS obtained during our investigation of Brown County attorney
BROWNWOOD, Texas - Brown County Attorney Shane Britton is under investigation by multiple state federal agencies for corruption and bribery.
On Tuesday, the Internal Revenue Service was added to the list seven months after we started our investigation into Britton's alleged criminal misconduct.
The IRS requested "copies of any, and all, documentation that was secured and related to KTXS's investigation" into Britton. http://www.ktxs.com/news/irs-investigating-embattled-brown-county-attorney/567064123
The U.S. Attorney's Office, FBI, Texas Rangers and Texas Attorney General are looking into the legality of a pre-trial diversion program where people with misdemeanors can pay a donation to Britton's office and receive more lenient sentences or have the conviction removed from their record. http://www.ktxs.com/news/federal-and-state-officials-are-investigating-the-brown-county-attorney/191588147
In December, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton ruled Britton's program was unlawful http://www.ktxs.com/news/texas-ag-says-brown-county-attorneys-program-doesnt-operate-within-the-law/215323542 As a result, the county started to repay money Britton's office collected from the program. http://www.ktxs.com/news/brown-county-auditor-says-theyre-starting-process-to-repay-money/217780824
Days after the AG's ruling, KTXS obtained documents showing Samuel Juarez, a man accused of killing an 8-year-old boy while driving under the influence, had earlier taken part in the pre-trial diversion program for a previous DUI arrest. http://www.ktxs.com/news/brownwood-hit-and-run-suspect-participated-in-countys-pretrial-diversion-program-in-2003-and-2006/222899541 Britton, who had repeatedly refused our requests for an interview, denied Juarez took part in his pre-trial diversion program and claimed that was an agreement Juarez made with the county clerk's office. But the county clerk told KTXS that she does not have the authority to make such agreements. When we pushed him on the issue, Britton got up and walked out. http://www.ktxs.com/news/brown-county-attorney-denies-he-made-agreements-with-hit-and-run-suspect/225165753
In January and February, KTXS obtained copies of bank statements which show Britton used a county-issued credit card to fund personal vacations. http://www.ktxs.com/news/brown-county-attorney-took-trips-to-new-york-dc-and-chicago-on-county-credit-card/246313420
State lawmakers filed two different bills aimed at ending the pre-trial diversion program. Brown County Judge Ray West claimed that was done based off "media reports." But KTXS spoke to the lawmaker who authored one of those bills. He said West's claim is far from the truth. http://www.ktxs.com/news/in-open-letter-lawmaker-rebukes-brown-county-judges-claims-concerning-donation-program2/382214262
In April, KTXS traveled to Austin where state lawmakers heard testimony one of those bills. http://www.ktxs.com/news/brown-co-residents-testified-in-austin-on-tuesday-in-support-of-lawmakers-bill/433295054
The bill did not come up for a vote in the 2017 legislative session. http://www.ktxs.com/news/lawmaker-disappointed-with-killing-of-brown-county-donation-program-bill/493567305