Special prosecutor brought into Pct. 3 investigation
POSTED: Monday, March 19, 2012 - 8:32pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 8:50am
The investigation into the Smith County Precinct 3 Constable’s Office has taken a new turn.
And that turn involves the appointment of a Special Prosecutor.
Smith County District Attorney Matt Bingham confirmed to KETK today that he will ask Longview attorney Lance Larison to take over the investigation of Precinct 3 Constable Dustin Rust.
Bingham says he wants to avoid any hint of favoritism in the case, but Constable Rust had a different view.
The case revolves around private security patrols that were provided by the Precinct 3 office for the Woods subdivision.
Peace officers are allowed to do private security work, within certain limits. The question is, was that the case here or was the operation essentially a private security service run out of a government office?
KETK obtained affidavits from 3 of the deputies, and one uses that very phrase in describing their security operation. He also claims that Rust did some of the patrols and asked that the deputy funnel some of the money to him in cash.
All 3 implied they used county vehicles, county gas and at times, did the patrols while on duty.
Rust says it ties to County Commissioner Cary Nix and his investigation into wrongdoing in Whitehouse.
Bingham says three of the depputies have cooperated with the probe and admitted their guilt..
Of course all this comes as Rust seeks reelection, and his father Donn Rust runs for Sheriff.
Some suspect it may be politically motivated, but Bingham denies that’s the case.