Trib: Reyna’s Handling of Alleged Leak Raises Concerns About his Leadership

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Another scathing editorial on the Facebook DA from the Waco Trib:

Among alleged leaks that Reyna vigorously disputes: A member of Reyna’s staff reportedly had an 11-minute phone conversation with a close friend who is a family member of one of the seven defendants under investigation by Kingrey — and while police met with Reyna about the case. Another instance involved a different Reyna employee and another of Kingrey’s theft investigations.

If this wasn’t enough, Reyna later got on his Facebook page, insisted there were no leaks in his office and attacked Kingrey (without naming her) as one “who chooses to make unfounded accusations in an effort to detract from her efforts of subverting justice.” He attributed some problems to her dating life.

Is this the leadership voters expected when they elected Reyna in 2010 — to vilify a police detective on Facebook, possibly provoking the dedicated police officers who vouch for her? Judging from other disputes involving his office and East Waco leaders, as well as some crime victims advocates, mounting evidence suggests Reyna has a decided preference for confrontation in this community.

This isn’t to suggest police shouldn’t re-examine their own protocol in such cases. But the district attorney’s decision to take the fight to social networking sites is hardly fitting with the stature of the office.

Police Chief Brent Stroman told the Trib editorial board this week he regards the dispute between police and Reyna’s office as an “isolated incident.” That’s an optimistic way of looking at it. Unfortunately, Reyna’s handling of this affair has only raised more concerns about his leadership — and not just by Waco police.

One of the more interesting aspects of this issue has been how Waco PD brass has exercised admirable restraint in the face of public attacks on the integrity of their office. We tend to think of police as being the Dirty Harry antiheroes, pushing the limits of what is acceptable, but constantly being reigned in by hypersensitive politicians. On the contrary: the unelected police are conducting themselves with professional poise in this case, while the elected official is out throwing tantrums and smearing the institutions that got him elected.

And in case anyone is wondering whether AR's outbursts are affecting Waco PD and the department's ability to do it's job: consider this comment from someone responding to AR's latest Facebook post from this afternoon, in which he again attacked both Detective Kingrey and, by extension, Judge Strother:

Sounds like the hammer needs to be pounded on a local law enforcements [sic] head! This type of activity happens frequently and the innocent are left empty handed. Unfortunately!!! Cocky Police who are above the law?

This is your tough-on-crime DA, McLennan County, publicly undermining the people who protect you from the worst of society.

Jeff Wilson

Enough is enough. This man has alienated about everyone he can: police, newspaper, judges, budget-minded taxpayers. We need a primary challenger.

2013-02-23 7:43 am