AUSTIN (AP) - The director of the embattled Texas Department of
Public Safety is retiring -- effective August 31st.
DPS has faced criticism over the June 8th fire that severely
damaged the Governor's Mansion as only one trooper guarded the
The blaze has been ruled arson. So far no arrests.
DPS Colonel Tommy Davis is retiring after nearly 44 years with
the agency. The 67-year-old lawman didn't elaborate.
Governor Rick Perry has vowed to have the mansion rebuilt.
Perry today said Davis has been a public servant of
long-standing and he's grateful for his distinguished service to
The chairman of the Public Safety Commission, which oversees
DPS, says he has the utmost respect for Davis and never asked the
colonel to retire.
But Allan Polunsky says the mansion fire illuminated problems at
DPS, an agency Polunsky described as mired in tradition that
"hasn't seen a whole lot of forward-thinking.
-- An e-mail Polunsky sent to Davis about eight hours after the
fire began was obtained by The Associated Press under the Texas
Public Information Act.
The e-mail indicated Polunsky was irritated he wasn't told of
the fire right away.
Polunsky told AP today that he was upset the fire hadn't been
reported to him immediately and that Davis called him 20 to 30
minutes after receiving his note.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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