County Denies Paranoia in Refusal to Give Up Security Video

Published 03/10 2014 02:11PM

Updated 03/10 2014 02:48PM

Neal Burt, Civil Division Chief, Lubbock County
Neal Burt, Civil Division Chief, Lubbock County
By James Clark

LUBBOCK, TX -- Having been accused of both paranoia and refusing access to public records, Lubbock County responded to concerns raised last week by attorney Rod Hobson. Hobson complained that his wife was falsely accused of witness tampering, and security video inside the courthouse would prove her and Hobson’s law firm innocent.

Lubbock County refused to turn it over.

“We destroy witnesses. We don’t tamper with them,” Hobson said at the time. Hobson also wrote to the Texas Attorney General’s office saying Lubbock County should be forced to turn over the video. He pointed out that the cameras are in plain sight; the existence of security video could hardly be a secret.

“The location of the camera is but one of the specifics that the Attorney General will be looking at,” said Neal Burt, Civil Division Chief for Lubbock County.

Burt said Texas law allows the county to keep certain information secret concerning the security video system.

“That has to do with lens, resolution, [low]-light capabilities, recording capabilities, whether it’s on a continuous loop, whether it’s recorded over; there are numerous factors that play into that.”

Hobson’s wife was taking notes at the divorce proceedings of Angelina and Erik Medina. Erik’s father is the soon-to-be former City Attorney for the City of Lubbock, Sam Medina. The elder Medina has been accused of sexual assault by Angelina. No criminal charges have been filed and Sam Medina said in January that the allegations are false and the result of a bitter divorce case.

Hobson said the video would show once and for all that his wife did not speak to a witness in the courthouse and therefore did not engage in witness tampering. Noble cause or not, the county said ‘no.’

“The public information laws of the State of Texas require all requesters to be treated the same no matter who they are,” Burt said. “As such, simply because Mr. Hobson is trying to clear his wife's name - which I certainly understand - we're legally prohibited from giving that any preference.”

As for Mr. Hobson’s allegation last week that the county’s decision might inspired by paranoia, Burt responded, “Certainly Mr. Hobson is entitled to his opinion. We don’t necessarily see things the same as he might in this given situation.”

Related Story: County Refuses Open Records Request That Attorney Says Will Clear His Firm

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