Texas Jail Captain Arrested for Tampering with Government Records
An April 11 arrest warrant for Hill County Jail Captain Sherry "Diann" Hammer, 68, was issued after a Texas Rangers investigation, stemming from charges of tampering with government records, a class A misdemeanor.
Hammer called a detention officer into her office March 15, handed her a stack of documents, then ordered her to shred them.
As the detention officer followed orders and shredded the documents, she observed the documents were actually request forms filled out by an inmate, the complaint says.
"Not believing this was legal, the detention officer removed a piece of paper from the printer and placed it in the shredder to make Captain Hammer think the documents had actually been shredded."
The detention officer submitted to the Texas Rangers nine inmate request forms that were not shredded, according to KWTX.
In an interview on March 17, the detention officer told the investigation Ranger that Hammer told her "these are just crazy men talking and the Texas Jail Standards Commission would not like them," the complaint says.
On March 18, the Ranger interviewed Hammer and told him she was only shredding the copies of documents because she was "getting ready to resign and retire again."
Hammer denied shredding on March 15, or asking anyone else to shred original documents, the complaint says.
She also denied making any statements about the jails standards commission.
But while reviewing jail video from that same day, the detective saw the detention officer walking from Hammer's office carrying papers in his hand.
The detention officer is seen in the video shredding blank paper from the printer and then taking the other documents in her bag, according to the complaint.
"In summary, Captain Hammer removed original government documents (inmate request forms) from her office and instead of placing the forms in the inmate's file, she directed a subordinate to destroy the documents by shredding them," the investigator wrote in the complaint.
"Additionally, there were no copies of the documents retained anywhere else."
Hammer's attorney refutes the claims.
"There were no original documents, only copies," Randall Moore explained.
"Tampering with a government record is the most misused criminal offense by district attorneys when it comes to Texas Police officers."
Moore claims there's a lot more to the case and confirmed the detention officer in the complaint is related to Hammer.
"There's a lot of things that are going to come out of this case that will reveal that my client didn't do anything wrong, a lot of politics and other things that are going on behind the scenes," Moore said.
"I think there are a lot of problems with that administration and they should be focusing on those, not on something that didn't happen."
Hammer was placed on administrative leave during the Ranger's investigation.