Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What we've got here is a failure to communicate

His failure unfortunately cost us greatly.

Governor's security chief failed to seek help
Gary Scharrer - Express-News

The head of the governor's security force didn't ask for extra help to protect the Governor's Mansion because he thought he wouldn't get any additional officers, and he did not report security equipment failures to his bosses, according to an internal DPS report released Monday.
The internal Department of Public Safety investigation does not contain major developments not previously reported in the aftermath of the June 8 fire at the Governor's Mansion. The fire, started by an arsonist, caused considerable damage to the 152-year-old national historic site.

Only 13 of the mansion's 20 security cameras were working at the time.

Dale Avant, captain of the governor's protection detail, said he knew cameras were not working, according to the report. His superiors said they didn't know the extent of the equipment failures because Avant did not tell them, according to the report.

The report identified Trooper John Esposito as the sole officer on duty when an unknown arsonist scaled the mansion walls and hurled an object on to the mansion porch, which triggered a fast-spreading fire.

Although a $50,000 reward has been offered for information resulting in the arrest of the arsonist, investigators say they are still looking for a break in the case.

Department of Public Safety Commission Chairman Allan Polunsky, of San Antonio, requested the report and urged the department to make it public. He would not comment about the contents of the report.

“The investigation and its release to the public is a very positive step forward on the part of the department, and I'm pleased to see this action taken,” he said.

The report also revealed that troopers did not have good directions to handle foreseeable events at the Governor's Mansion during a $10 million renovation project, which started last fall. Gov. Rick Perry and his wife, Anita Perry, moved out of the mansion when the renovation project started.

Trooper Mike Harris drafted a proposed set of written orders to cover security during the construction project, but Avant “never approved these post orders,” according to the report.