POTTER COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - The arrest of a Potter County employee led to an emergency meeting of Potter County Commissioners today.
Director of Information Technology Jason Patrick was arrested at the Potter County Courthouse on charges of a "public integrity crime." Potter County officials said the criminal investigation has been going on for quite some time.
The Texas Rangers led Patrick's investigation in cooperation with the 47th District Attorney's Office and the Potter County Attorney's Office. Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley said they had reached a point in the investigation where it was time to take action.
"It's only been within the last 48 hours that we've been aware that the Rangers had reached a stage in the investigation that made it incumbent on the commissioners court to act," said Brumley.
The "public integrity crime" is a Class A misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in prison or a $4,000 fine, and in some cases both. 47th district attorney Randall Sims said Patrick has worked in the Potter County IT Department for about two to three years, and said there's no reason to believe information in the Potter County IT system will be compromised.
"He's the director of the department, he clearly has the capabilities to do a lot in the it world... that is a concern for us and our systems," said Sims. He continued saying, "We absolutely have taken precautions to protect Potter County IT. We've taken every step to do that."
Patrick has been suspended indefinitely with pay. He is scheduled to be booked into the Potter County Detention Center and arraigned tomorrow. Officials said this investigation is ongoing and the exact complaint against Patrick is still unknown. But when asked if the alleged crime was financial in nature, Potter County Attorney Scott Brumley responded:
"I can say at bottom, just about anything involving the county is financial in nature."
Brandon Purrington is now the interim IT Director. This is a developing story. NewsChannel 10 will have more information on this story as it develops.