By Mark Lisheron | Texas Watchdog
AUSTIN — Security on the Texas border has created yet another insidious problem: an acute shortage of public accountants to keep track of the largess from all the illegal trafficking.
An audit of $562,000 of criminal asset forfeiture fund spending by former Brooks County Sheriff Balde Lozano has been turned over to the office of the Texas Attorney General, according to a story by the Corpus Christi Caller Times.
Lozano has not been charged with any crime.
The investigation comes eight months after a Nueces County district judge sentenced former Brooks County District Attorney Joe Frank Garza to jail and ordered more than $2 million in restitution for skimming at least $1.2 million from the same kind of fund for himself and three of his former staff members.
The same auditor in the Garza investigation said Lozano, sheriff from 1997 through 2009, spent $394,000 on 18 cars bought without county approval for reasons that appeared to have nothing to do with law enforcement. The sheriff returned $21,550 to Brooks County after five of the cars were sold, according to the audit.