Jefferson Co. officers reinstated after indictment quashed

Jefferson Co. officers reinstated after indictment quashed

Two of four current and former Jefferson County officials who were indicted in May for alleged involvement in courthouse corruption have been reinstated to their upper echelon positions at the Sheriff’s Office, according to information from the governmental agency.

JCSO Deputy Chief Tim Smith and Sgt. Chad Kolander, each charged by a grand jury on two felony counts of tampering with a governmental record and tampering with physical evidence for their alleged role in covering up actions taken by a third sheriff’s office employee to alter evidence taken from a detainee in former Judge Layne Walker’s 252nd District Court in 2013, were granted a reprieve from prosecution on a temporary basis Aug. 15. In August, visiting Judge Stephen Ables ruled that language used in penning the indictments was too vague to proceed, and allowed special prosecutor Josh Schaffer, an independent attorney from Houston commissioned to oversee the investigation, 10 days to amend the indictments.

Instead, Schaffer filed an appeal to the judicial decision on Friday, Aug. 26, at the 10-day deadline. There have been no further submissions made in the cases since. All parties are set to hold a telephone conference on the pending charges Sept. 15.

According to the JCSO, both men are free to resume their posts at the county policing agency. Deputy Marcus McLellan, JCSO spokesperson, released word that Kolander and Smith were back at work beginning Wednesday, Sept. 7.

“All indictments were quashed by the judge and the special prosecutor did not amend the indictments,” McLellan reported. “The Sheriff’s Office is pleased with the outcome and we look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Jefferson County.”