On Thursday October 7th, Former Randall County Sheriff Joel Richardson was cleared of any wrongdoing in an “Abuse of Official Capacity”.
In 2020, Richardson was accused of misusing a county contract to purchase a new Computer Aided Dispatch system for Randall County and a 5G LTE system for the 911 District which was designed by Motorola.
This CAD system would allow patrol deputies to communicate with the dispatch center and with other patrol officers without using a radio.
The 5G LTE system would allow first responders to move large amounts of data and video in both Potter and Randall Counties.
The price of the project was a little of $2 million and was to be funded by the 911 District. Richardson served as Chairman of the Board for the 911 District which is an appointed position by the Randall County Commissioners.
The 911 District is a special purpose district and therefore could not apply for the frequencies since they are not a branch of local government, per se. Therefore, the application was then made by Randall County, through the State of Texas for those frequencies. However, the frequencies were not available at that time from the Federal Communications Commission. Because of this unforeseen circumstance, it left a $700,000 credit in the contract with Motorola.
In a press release it stated that Sheriff Richardson was able to acquire $1.6 million worth of emergency communications equipment for use by first responders at no cost to Randall County or taxpayers.
The four day trial ended with a unanimous verdict of NOT GUILTY after only 2 hours of deliberations by the jury.
Richardson said, “I would like to thank my amazing attorneys for the work they did in representing me. I would also like to thank the citizens of Randall County and the Randall County Commissioners Court for standing with me during this legal process. Throughout my lengthy career with the Randall County Sheriff’s Office, I strived to serve humbly and with integrity. Now I feel like my reputation has been restored”.
Richardson’s attorneys who represent him are; David Mullins, esq. Richard Biggs, esq. Kim Hall, Legal Assisttant, Mullin, Hoard & Brown
Vince E. Nowak, esq. Vince E. Nowak Attorney at Law