by BRAD ROLLINS
Former Sheriff Tommy Ratliff says he never caused his ex-wife to suffer broken bones and a concussion and that he can prove it.
Ratliff this afternoon released the results of a polygraph test conducted in January 1989, a few months after his former wife, Ann Harral, told a Texas Department of Public Safety internal investigation that he had badly injured her during an attack at their Pampa home.
Ratliff told examiner Doug Ferris that he did not falsify his report about the incident, that he did not lie to investigators and that he had not withheld information about what caused his wife’s injuries, Ferris wrote in a letter dated January 17, 1989 to Ratliff’s attorney.
“Following the examination, a review of the polygraph charts failed to reveal any deceptive criteria. It is this examiner’s opinion that Mr. Ratliff was truthful in answering the above relevant questions,” Ferris wrote.
Ratliff said he did not produce the letter when the 22-year-old allegations of spousal abuse where leveled against him during his failed 2010 campaign because he considered it his personal business. After the Mercury published a trove of internal DPS documents this morning, Ratliff said he felt “backed into a corner.”
“I said, well, now’s the time for me to prove that it didn’t happen,” Ratliff said. “This is all I can humanly do to prove that it’s not true.”
Ratliff said he took the polygraph in 1989 in an attempt to prove to his superiors that he had not caused Harral’s injuries.
“And you know what happened?” Ratliff asked. “I spent the next 21 years in the Texas Rangers because they knew then it wasn’t true.”
The documents published this morning indicate that Ratliff’s reassignment and disciplinary probation, however, were upheld by DPS’ chain of command after the polygraph results were made available to the internal investigation.
In a memo recounting a Jan. 23, 1989 administrative review — four days after the polygraph results were provided to Ratliff’s attorney — Ranger Sen. Capt. H.R. Block wrote that “the review was conducted without any viable evidence or additional information being submitted that would change or affect the previous action recommended and approved in the disciplinary process.”
The disciplinary action was upheld by W.M. Pruitt, the Rangers’ criminal law enforcement chief, on Feb. 2, 1989 and by DPS director Joe Milner on Feb. 24, 1989.Email | Print