The Texas Department of Public Safety confirms its auditors are investigating the Harris County Precinct Four Constable Office.
The 11 News Defenders have learned the allegations involve using a state computer database to run criminal background checks for personal business.
It is against Texas law to use the Texas Crime Information System, or TCIC, for anything other than a criminal justice purpose.
Law enforcement agencies across the state access TCIC on a daily basis to check warrants, stolen property, and a suspect’s criminal history.
But now, the Precinct Four Constable Office is accused of using it for something other than official police business.
“We take any complaints received regarding misuse of the system very seriously, and will investigate anytime we receive one,” said Department of Public Safety Spokesperson Tela Mange.
DPS received two complaints, which 11 News obtained, alleging “on a monthly basis for over a year” Precinct Four was running “background checks for new members.”
But not new members of Precinct Four, the complaints allege, but rather new members of the Spring Masonic Lodge #1174, which Constable Ron Hickman himself has longstanding ties.
11 News: “You’re a member of the Spring Masonic Lodge?”
Hickman: “Have been for about 20 years.”
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