James Kohler, a longtime Kyle-area constable, says Cutler, a first-term sheriff, falsified information he gave to the commissioners court in December. In an undated letter sent to area media, Kohler says that Cutler told the commissioners on Dec. 6 that he had reached a deal to house Hays County Jail inmates in the Travis County Jail for $5 per day.
But the Travis County sheriff said Cutler had provided “definitely misinformation” and no agreement had been reached, according to Kohler.
Cutler today denied the charged and brushed it off as a political publicity game. Cutler faces a GOP primary challenge from former Sheriff Tommy Ratliff, a Kohler ally.
“These allegations are baseless and without merit, and they appear to be politically motivated,” Cutler told the Hays Free Press. He referred other questions to the Hays County district attorney.
Kohler also says Cutler faces two complaints of official oppression stemming from his refusal to pay for parking and a meal at area events. Click here to download Kohler’s letter.
“He is not above the law,” Kohler writes, saying Cutler should be held accountable for his actions.
“I don’t want Hays County to become known as a county of corrupt government should he (Gary Cutler) win the election,” Kohler writes. “Serious problems will occur if he is later found guilty on any one or all of these allegations.”
Both officials face challengers in their primary campaigns approaching this spring, Kohler as a Democrat and Cutler as a Republican. The Hays Free Press has left a message seeking comment from Cutler.
Responding to a public comment about the allegations during the Hays County Commissioners Court on Dec. 10, Commissioner Will Conley said the sheriff can choose how much to pay other jails to house Hays County’s inmates so long as he does not exceed his budget.
“The dollars allocated to the sheriff’s office for the transport of prisoners to different locations when our jail facility is full is a specific line item in the sheriff’s budget,” Conley said. “The sheriff has to live within that budget whether he’s paying $4 or $100 per prisoner, and the sheriff is responsible for managing that line item.”
This report first appeared in the Hays Free Press. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Hays Free Press and the San Marcos Mercury.Email | Print