CALL 713.222.TIPS (8477)

Crime Stoppers’ Final Comment on Audit Request

The following letter from our Chairman Justin Vickrey was sent to Mr. Post on October 24, 2022:

Mr. Post,

After careful consideration of the baseless demand for an audit by one of the Harris County Commissioners, we are hereby ceasing further efforts to participate in this request. Crime Stoppers of Houston (CSoH) and chief assistant county auditor, Ms. Errika Perkins, of the Harris County Auditor’s Office (HCAO) mutually understood the political nature behind this request and we were assured the HCAO was an impartial party. We voluntarily and legally met all that was asked of us through the wealth of documentation CSoH provided. The last discussion we had with the HCAO was that the draft was a “work in process” and we would provide some additional documentation for a final draft.

As you well know, the continuation of this charade was never able to occur due to Ms. Perkins providing an interview less than two weeks later to a Houston Chronicle reporter who has shown multiple times to have an unconscionable bias against CSoH (https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/crime/article/Crime-Stoppers-Harris-County-auditors-stonewalled-17438375.php). Her incredible lack of good judgement in an ongoing audit left us grimly disappointed with zero trust your office is indeed impartial as she professed it to be. CSoH never “declined” or “stonewalled” any part of the process with your office and your team knows it.

Additionally, it is important to state for the record:

  1. CSoH has received $200,000 from Harris County Commissioners Court (HCCC) since 2018 and none of the grants had a right to audit clause, which, as your office is well aware, was expressly removed by the County.
  2. Donations by the Harris County District Attorney’s Office (HCDAO) were from state asset forfeiture funds and not taxpayer funds. HCCC governs taxpayer funds, not state forfeiture funds. As such, HCCC has no standing to request an audit of those funds.
  3. Funds received from probationary fees are not taxpayer funds governed by HCCC. Those funds are audited by the State of Texas.
  4. Lastly, the claim by the auditors in their draft report that these funds fall under the Department of Justice (DOJ) are incorrect. Let us explain the correct information:
    1. The HCDAO performs civil forfeiture work for three (3) separate forfeiture entities, which are governed by different rules.
      1. State Asset Forfeiture funds
        1. Governed by Ch. 59 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. The HCDAO must use these funds only for law enforcement purposes. Ch. 59 does not make requirements on the recipients of the donations.
      2. DOJ Federal Asset Forfeiture funds; and
      3. US Treasury Federal Asset Forfeiture funds.

As planned, the negative headlines sought by the Commissioner were achieved in a sad effort to distract for the true issues in Harris County around crime and the rampant repeated release of violent felony offenders. In hindsight, we erred in voluntarily agreeing to go along with this to begin with. Lesson learned. I truly hope you too have learned a lesson in the danger of allowing your office to be weaponized by any Commissioner with a political axe to grind.


Justin Vickrey
Chairman, Board of Directors
Crime Stoppers of Houston


Posted by on 24 Oct 2022