Georgetown Sheriff John Maspero in a heap 'o trouble.

Discussion in 'The Search for Rachel Cooke' started by Tricia, Oct 18, 2003.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    Sheriff John Maspero is the Sheriff in charge of the department that is investigating Rachel Cooke's disappearance.

    There are some fine people in the Sheriff's department. I have met several of them. Great people who care and want to find Rachel.

    However their boss, Sheriff Maspero, is not someone I think highly of at all.

    Now he has been caught with his pants down. Literally.

    Inquiry puts sheriff's job on the line
    If tapes show lawman was drunk, Williamson attorney may seek ouster

    By Sarah Coppola


    Friday, October 17, 2003

    Williamson County Attorney Eugene Taylor said Thursday he has begun an inquiry into whether Sheriff John Maspero should be removed from office for appearing to be drunk on a Georgetown roadside early Saturday morning.

    A motorist told a police dispatcher that morning that Maspero seemed drunk and was relieving himself in her view as he walked along Williams Drive, according to the Georgetown Police Department. A patrol officer determined that Maspero seemed drunk and drove him to a home a few miles away, police said. Maspero was not charged with a crime and has said he thinks he did the responsible thing by not driving drunk after attending a barbecue.

    Taylor said he would encourage the sheriff to resign or might sue to remove him from office if the 911 recording and videotape of the police stop show Maspero drunk. Taylor has asked the city for those tapes and any other documents pertaining to the incident. He said he would subpoena them if the city refuses to release them.

    The incident "highly offends me. It personally incenses me," said Taylor, who, like Maspero, is a Republican. "We have worked for years and years to get a tough-on-crime law enforcement reputation here, and to have your head law enforcement guy not obey the law doesn't sit well with a lot of people."

    Taylor also has asked radio station KVET 98.1 FM for a copy of Thursday's interview with Maspero on the Sammy Allred and Bob Cole morning show.

    Texas law says a sheriff or any other elected county official may be removed for "intoxication on or off duty caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage."

    The case would be a jury trial before one of the county's four district judges, Taylor said. Prosecutors would have to show that Maspero was drunk, but would not have to prove it beyond reasonable doubt, he said. Instead, the slightly more lenient standard of proof used in civil cases would apply. Taylor said that if a judge agreed that the case had merit, the judge could appoint an interim sheriff until the case was completed.

    Georgetown City Attorney Patricia Carls has asked the Texas attorney general for an opinion on whether the recordings should be released to news organizations under open records laws. She did not return a phone call on whether she would release the tapes to the county attorney.

    Taylor said he will carefully review the documents before deciding whether to sue. "If all that I'm hearing is true, it would be gracious of him to step down, and I would encourage that," Taylor said.

    Maspero said he would fight a lawsuit and still plans to run for re-election in November 2004. He said he is glad he chose not to drive drunk but is willing to face criticism for his conduct. "What I did was a personal matter; it was obviously a mistake -- which I have admitted to -- and I will take full responsibility for it," he said. "I do not think my job as sheriff has come into question."

    Patrol officer Ben Runkle stopped Maspero at 12:45 a.m. Saturday after police received the 911 call. Runkle determined that Maspero did seem drunk but was not a danger to himself or others, police said.

    Another officer, Mike Tackett, also responded to the call, and his patrol car video camera captured part of the incident, police said.

    On the radio show Thursday, Maspero said that he relieved himself in some bushes and was walking on a sidewalk before police stopped him.

    When a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman asked him Wednesday whether he had relieved himself along the road, the sheriff said he did not. He did not clarify during that interview that he had relieved himself in some bushes.

    The Austin American-Statesman has also requested the police documents. In her letter to the attorney general, Carls said that she is unsure whether the documents may be kept private to protect the officers' identities or because the department didn't file charges against Maspero.

    Maspero said that even if the attorney general approves releasing the documents, he will have to sign a consent form before the city releases them. He received the consent form Thursday, and he will sign it today, he said.


    Now granted Maspero made the right choice not to drink and drive. However I question his judgement as an elected law enforcement official for the following reasons;

    *Getting drunk in a public place on a weeknight no less.

    * walking home intoxicated

    *not having the sense to call someone to pick him up.

    JMHO of course

  2. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    Maybe he will be ousted, and someone will be put in office who can really benefit RC and the investigation into Rachel's disappearance...we can only hope and pray that will happen!
  3. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    More updates on the sheriff:

    Sheriff enters alcohol treatment program
    Chief deputy will lead department as Maspero seeks help for problem

    10/21/03: Sheriff enters alcohol treatment program
    10/18/03: Witnesses say sheriff was drunk
    10/16/03: Patrol video of sheriff's stop is withheld
    10/15/03: Williamson County sheriff gets lift home after appearing drunk

    By Sarah Coppola
    Tuesday, October 21, 2003

    Amid growing calls to resign, Williamson County Sheriff John Maspero has decided to seek treatment for a drinking problem and will run for re-election next year, his attorney announced Monday.


    Inquiry begins; sheriff in rehab
    Task force starts sorting through leads

    By Sarah Coppola
    Wednesday, October 22, 2003

    Williamson County Attorney Gene Taylor's team of six investigators began an inquiry into Sheriff John Maspero's conduct Tuesday by sorting through more than 50 leads.
  4. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member


    The story on John Maspero is getting worse.

    Williamson County prosecutor files lawsuit to remove sheriff
    County Attorney Gene Taylor says he can prove Sheriff John Maspero was drunk in public a dozen times

    By Sarah Coppola


    Thursday, November 13, 2003

    GEORGETOWN -- Williamson County Sheriff John Maspero has been seen drunk and barking like a dog at a strip club, sexually harassing a female employee at a Christmas party, persuading on-duty deputies to drink beer with him and threatening to fire his chief deputy for refusing to publicly defend him, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday.

    More on this.
  5. 1000 Sparks

    1000 Sparks Active Member


    Could this man be the reason Rachel has not been found?

    Was he too busy with his own dirty deeds instead of putting more effort into finding Rachel?

    I still pray that some day Rachel comes home.
  6. Ayeka

    Ayeka Member


    What a pig.

  7. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    Rachel Cooke's father calls for Maspero to resign

    04:49 PM CST on Thursday, November 13, 2003

    By Jerry White /

    The father of a missing Georgetown woman on Thursday joined the call for Williamson County Sheriff John Maspero to step down.

    “It’s very frustrating,†Robert Cooke said. “I’m seeing someone who is supposed to be in charge of my daughter’s case acting like a 20-year-old college student.â€

    Cooke’s daughter, Rachel Cooke, disappeared the morning of Jan 10, 2002, while jogging in her parents’ Georgetown neighborhood.

    “I’ve been frustrated all along,†Cooke said. “I think that they should have actively pursued the case. They should have gone out and looked for leads instead of waiting for the telephone to ring.â€

    Cooke said he repeatedly urged Maspero to form a task force with Texas Rangers and FBI agents to look into the disapperance.

    “He never formed that task force. He wanted to keep it within his own department,†Cooke said. “I think anytime you have an ability to go to additional sources with different backgrounds who have access to different databases, it will help. You do that with any kind of problem. It just helps to bring in people with different experience to help solve something that’s reached a dead end.â€

    Maspero’s troubles began last month when Georgetown police picked him up while he was walking along the side of the road on a night that he admits he had been drinking and had urinated publicly.

    On Wednesday, a lawsuit by Williamson County Attorney Eugene Taylor seeking Maspero’s removal from office outlined other instances of public drunkenness.

    The petition is very detailed in its allegations of misconduct, incompetence and drinking on and off duty. It is the result of a month-long task force investigation that included interviews with 125 witnesses.

    "There were a number of incidents, there were a substantial number of rumors. I guess the only thing that I was sort of surprised by, I thought we would dispel more than we would prove, but that doesn't look like it was the thing," says Taylor.

    The petition claims there were two incidents when Maspero became intoxicated at leadership and budget retreats that were paid for by the county. There are also two allegations of sexual harassment and one allegation of drinking in the sheriff's department while working on the budget.

    At one point, according to the suit, Maspero was at a topless bar in Austin and was on his hands and knees, barking like a dog.

    Cooke said Thursday that now is the time for him to leave.

    “I think Maspero should step down,†Cooke said. “I think it’s the right thing to do for Williamson County and for himself. And I’d like to see Rachel’s case brought back up and re-evaluated.â
  8. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    Way to go RC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Time to kick some booty and get some action...proud of you taking a public stand on the Maspero issue! Let us know if there is anything we can do to help.
  9. AK

    AK Member

    Oh my heavens

    RC, that is just shocking and disgusting information. I hope every TV station in your area is aware of this lawsuit and that you will get lots of press in the print and radio media. Your quotes are right on target and I have to wonder how Maspero may have obstructed justice by inaction, if not in other ways. I'd also like to know if he has an alibi.

    Maspero's personality doesn't give me the comfort that he's sympathetic with your quest. An argument could be made that he is anti-female, anti-victim, and of the mind that Rachel got what she deserved. If there are a victim's rights organization and/or branch of NOW in your area, you need to make them aware of this hideous person.
  10. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    Maspero Appears in Court

    Embattled Williamson County Sheriff John Maspero made a court appearance Thursday, just one day after a lawsuit was filed to remove him from office.

    In Georgetown, Maspero was officially served with that lawsuit Thursday afternoon, which means there will be a civil trial...snip

    Sheriff Maspero was at Thursday's hearing, which lasted about 30 minutes. Visiting State District Judge James Clawson, who is from Bell County, allowed the petition to be officially served to Maspero. But he set another hearing for next week to address Maspero's suspension and temporary restraining order requests.

    Both Maspero and Taylor say they're satisfied with Thursday's decision. Taylor says a trial will proceed.

    Meanwhile, Maspero's attorney Ed Walsh says the suspension and temporary restraining order could have been granted Thursday. That hearing is set for next Friday at 9 a.m..

    Maspero will complete his alcohol treatment program in a couple of weeks. If the judge doesn't suspend Maspero next week, Maspero is expected to resume his duties as Williamson County Sheriff.

  11. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    Re: Oh my heavens

    I received a phone call from a major network last night. They saw the article and may have me on a show next week. I'll let everyone know if/when it happens. The 5 local stations are all over Maspero's case. Two interviewed me yesterday.

    Your second paragraph hits it right on the nose.
  12. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee


    The SO spokeshoney is out covering Maspero's butt. She issued a statement that the FBI and Texas Rangers have been involved in Rachel's case and to me an offer to help that was declined is not the same as being involved. Correct me if I am dis-remembering RC.
  13. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    FBI and Texas Rangers

    They had a Texas Ranger on the case the first weekend and an FBI agent part time for about 2 weeks. About a week after Rachel dissappeared the SO had a conference call with FBI profilers. Since then the TX Rangers have been used to interview people outside of Central Texas and the FBI to interview people out of Texas.

    This is not what I call being actively part of the case. I want them working with the SO on a task force as an equal partner who contributes ideas to work on. Since the conference call with FBI profilers in Jan. 2002 they have only used the FBI as a remote interviewer.
  14. AK

    AK Member


    It really is time to demand a task force, and this gives you the perfect opportunity to bring it up. I think the FBI is very limited in how they can help, esp if the SO doesn't take their advice.

    I've mentioned this before but... Recently I worked on a case that was stalled for years. There was a strong suspect but no indictment. People in the community got bumper stickers that read "ARREST XXXXX XXXXX'S KILLER" and the city brass was embarrassed into pumping up the volume. Eventually, and although it was a controversial and difficult case, there was a trial and conviction.

    Maybe you need a bumper sticker that reads: GEORGETOWN SHERIFF: FIND RACHEL COOKE! - with your website info in small print.

    I sure hope you get some answers. This is such a disaster.
  15. Tez

    Tez Member


    This just makes me furious! Sounds like the good ole boys system is alive and well there, just like here in AR. Don't give up!
  16. Tricia

    Tricia Administrator Staff Member

    You Go RC. I agree with Fedorax. Now is the time to demand a task force.

    This pig did not do jack :(:(:(:( in Rachel's case. Not until the TV cameras were rolling.

    Do it RC. Bring up all the times you tried to get this sheriff off his a.s.s. to help you.

    Remember the reporter in 2002 who claimed the Sheriff was starting a task force? The reporter filed a report saying that on "Monday" the Sheriff would start to form the Rachel Cooke task force. Well for one year I called and called and called and asked when the task force was going to be formed. It wasn't until last spring when I went back to Texas and met with the Sheriff's office ( not the Sheriff himself) that I was told the reporter filed a false report. The Sheriff gave himself a lot of wiggle room because the real story was the department was "looking into" forming a task force. When I tried to contact the reporter I was told that he had "moved on."

    It's always about trying to look like doing the right thing when in reality nothing is being done.
  17. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member

    TES Mission for the Missing

    Families hope DNA will help bring their loved ones home
    11/17/2003 9:30 AM
    By: Tad Hathaway

    For the families and loved ones of missing persons, every day can be a struggle, just ask the father of Rachel Cooke.

    "Until you go through this as a parent, you really don't have any idea what kind of nightmare it is," said Robert Cooke.

    Robert's 19-year-old daughter went missing over a year-and-a-half ago. Like many other parents whose children have gone missing, his hope fades as time passes.

    "It’s very difficult to admit that but I have to be practical --the odds of her still being alive are minuscule," he said.

    DNA might help to identify the remains over 100 people at the Harris County Medical Examiner's Office.

    Sunday, he and others who gathered at a fund-raiser to benefit search efforts, say they are encouraged by a new state-wide database that takes the DNA of family members and can match it with skeletal remains found from all over the state.
    more, including a video
  18. RC

    RC FFJ Senior Member


    More threats from EX-SHERIFF Maspero.

    New evidence to be used against Maspero in removal trial
    08:18 AM CST on Friday, November 21, 2003
    By Amanda Lawson / KVUE News

    Williamson County Sheriff John Maspero will face new evidence when he's court Friday trying to keep his job.

    Maspero's problems became public when he was stopped by police who had gotten a report that the had been urinating in public while drunk. The sheriff's exchange with the officers who stopped him became public and then other accusations of public drunkenness began to surface.

    Williamson County Attorney Gene Taylor then sued to remove Maspero from office. They are due in court today. A judge could decide to temporarily remove Maspero until the trial on permanent removal.

    On Thursday, KVUE News obtained some new evidence that will be used against the sheriff.

    The evidence is a recently recorded phone conversation between Maspero and acting sheriff Richard Elliott. Taylor alleged Maspero threatened to fire employees who didn't publicly support him.

    Maspero: Well, did you tell them I threatened to fire you?
    Elliott: You know, John, I'm not going to say that's the word I used. I told them about a conversation me and you had. I'm not supposed to be discussing that, John.
    Maspero: You know you can discuss it. There's no process here. There's no civil process. There is nothing. There is nothing you can't discuss. . ."
    Four minutes later, the conversation's tone escalated.
    Maspero: I'll tell you the same thing I told Gene (Taylor). . .is make sure you kill me.
    Elliott: I'm not going to kill you, John.
    Maspero: Just make sure you do that, Richard.
    Elliott: Don't goddamn be threatening me, I'm tired. . .
    Maspero: . . .and I'm tired of you guys who are supposed to be standing tall turning on me like a bunch of goddamn rabid dogs and won't even talk to me."

    The county attorney's office will also present a home video taken in April of what it says was an all-day drinking binge at teh Terra Vista Country Club and continued throughout the evening at a local restaurant.

    According to Taylor's lawsuit, the sheriff was "seen having trouble walking in the parking lot."
    Other allegations outlined in Taylor's suit include drinking on duty, sexually harassing an employee and other instances of urinating in public.

    After the initial allegations arose, Maspero entered an alcohol treatment center. He could not be reached for comment on this story but is required to be in court today to answer Taylor's accusations.
  19. Moab

    Moab Admin Staff Member

    RC, I hope they hang his a$$ from the highest tree, and someone replaces him who gives a damn about something other than the good ole boys club. His exchanges in that conversation sound like Boss Hogg from the Dukes of Hazzard. It is time to get someone in there who cares about upholding justice and can help you with Rachel's case!
  20. "J_R"

    "J_R" Shutter Bug Bee

    Hearing Held Regarding Maspero's Fate

    Will he stay or will he go? That's the question facing a visiting judge Friday in Williamson County. It's a hearing to determine if Sheriff John Maspero will be temporary suspended.

    Reaction around Williamson County to the Maspero case is mixed. And some people just don't want to talk about it.

    It's an inescapable topic of conversation in Williamson County.

    While they might not know all the details of the case, people know what they expect from a public official.

    "Sounds like pretty lousy activity for somebody in that position," said Pam Hubbard.

    "Just because you're an elected public official doesn't give you the right to behave anyway you want to," said Pam Hubbard.

    Donna Patton is a little more forgiving:

    "Basically, I think everyone deserves a second chance," said Patton, "and if he wasn't driving, he didn't hurt anybody and he's rehabilitated himself, he has ever reason to get that second chance."

    But Williamson County is known statewide for its tough-on-crime attitude.

    "Yes they do," said Ron Hubbard, "and to come from the head guy to do something like that--we were talking about that on the way over here--you have certain jobs, certain positions of authority, you need to set examples and you just can't be an ordinary Joe."

    So there's a certain irony about the sheriff's current situation. And while some people are willing to wait for the court to decide:

    Interesting note: most people didn't seem to think that the publicity is bad for the county. One person told us that, since county officials are working to remove Maspero, it shows the county's tough-on-crime attitude doesn't play favorites.

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