Galveston County District Attorney Jack Roady’s decision to hire a special prosecutor and a special criminal investigator had the courthouse buzzing Tuesday with one question ”Who is under investigation?”
Even county commissioners who approved Roady’s request for the contracts to hire the two men are in the dark as to what is being investigated.
Roady first confirmed to The Daily News that there is a specific criminal case he needs a special prosecutor to handle. Such a hire usually involves public officials or a high profile case and the district attorney’s office doesn’t want the impression anyone is gaining favoritism during any investigation.
From Bayou Vista to Clear Lake Shores and even in La Marque city officials inquired if the ongoing scandals in their communities were the subject of a special investigation. Courthouse observers wondered aloud if the ongoing DWI investigation into Galveston County District Clerk Jason Murray somehow evolved into a much broader investigation.
Again Roady declined to reveal the nature of the investigation.
The special prosecutor Roady hired Chuck Noll is the former head of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office governmental investigations unit and also was the head of that office’s public integrity division leading to further speculation the investigation deals with some sort of governmental corruption case.
For now the district attorney is mum.
Noll would be paid $65 an hour for the investigation and pretrial preparation and $400 a day for time spent before a grand jury and in any court hearings should there be an indictment according to the contract to be considered by commissioners.
The county also would pay for Noll’s lodging at a local hotel and a $45 per diem.
Special criminal investigator Dan A. McAnulty would be paid $50 an hour for the investigation plus $300 for time spent in grand jury or court hearings. He also would be paid mileage and the county would pay for his lodging at a local motel and a meal and expenses per diem of $45.
The funds are in the district attorney offices contract services budget but commissioners were required to agree to the contract to hire the two men Roady said. He had no timeline for how long the investigation would take or when it possibly could be presented to the grand jury for potential charges.