Houston PD investigation into suspended sexual assault cases not completed by mayor’s July 1st goal

Department says investigative process of the investigation done, reviews are next steps

HOUSTON – On Monday Mayor John Whitmire’s goal was not met by the Houston Police Department.

The Internal Affairs investigation into why over 4,000 sexual assault cases were suspended because of lack of personnel remains incomplete, even though Houston Mayor John Whitmire told KPRC 2 Investigates last month he expected it to be finished by “the first of July.”

In a brief phone call Monday morning, Mayor Whitmire told KPRC 2 Investigates that HPD still needs a “few more days” to complete the investigation.

By late afternoon HPD revealed the investigative process was done, but the investigation still had to be reviewed through proper channels and then presented to Acting Chief Larry Satterwhite.

“At some point it needs to be done and to the extent that it hasn’t, that is wrong,” said KPRC 2 Legal Analyst Brian Wice.

As we first exposed in early May, the investigation was reopened after questions of integrity emerged surrounding a letter Executive Assistant Chief Chandra Hatcher wrote to former Chief Troy Finner. There were claims made in Hatcher’s letter that launched the Internal Affairs investigation.

“If that is what set this investigation back, once again another black eye for Houston’s finest,” said Wice.

The case was reopened nearly 60 days ago and focused specifically on Hatcher’s claims of attending a meeting where the practice of sexual assault cases being suspended was first presented. Departmental sources confirmed to KPRC 2 Investigates that she never attended the meeting and was out of town. At his first news conference as Acting Chief, Satterwhite said it was something Hatcher would have to explain.

Wice’s take on trying to identify whether someone attended a meeting?

“This is not quantum physics, this is not rocket science, look at your day timer, look at your Google app. Either you were there or you weren’t and if you weren’t that’s fine. But to the extent that it’s taken this long to try and figure out whether or not you attended a meeting in my estimation is unconscionable,” said Wice.

What is the Houston Police Officers Union saying about the delay?

“I believe it should have been handled by now, but I believe there are some inner workings that we are unaware of that will eventually come out and we’ll have some closure to this,” said HPOU President Doug Griffith.

The reopening of the investigation as a result of the Hatcher letter is having an impact on the department’s morale according to the union.

“For the most part they are looking at it from the outside looking in and they are going wait a minute had we lied on something at home right now, but we have command staff that are there that allegedly, because again the report is not done, but allegedly made some false statements,” said Griffith.

KPRC 2 Investigates did ask whether or not Acting Chief Satterwhite provided a statement letter or spoke with investigators.

The department said it is protocol not to comment on an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation.

About the Authors

Journalistic bulldog focused on accountability and how government is spending your dollars. Husband to Wonder Woman, father to a pitcher and two Cavapoos. Prefers queso over salsa.

As an Emmy award-winning journalist, Jason strives to serve the community by telling in-depth stories and taking on challenges many pass over. When he’s not working, he’s spending time with his girlfriend Rosie, and dog named Dug.

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