BROWNWOOD, TX – Brown County Attorney Shane Britton is currently under investigation by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Lubbock for corruption and bribery in relation to his pre-trial diversion program and Brown County Attorney Donation Fund. LIVE! previously reported on a pre-trial diversion agreement between Shane Britton and Samuel Juarez, an intoxicated driver who killed 8-year-old Dylan Franklin in early December 2016.
The pre-trial diversion program that Britton and Juarez entered allowed Juarez to make a donation of a lesser charge to mitigate his DWI charges. Attorney Shane Britton claimed he was innocent and denied any information pointing towards Juarez signing two pre-trial diversion agreements with his office, despite court documents (obtained by KTXS) showing otherwise.
Tuesday, KTXS revealed that Britton founded a Brown County Attorney Donation Fund (BCADF) in 2007 where defendants in misdemeanor cases were given the option to pay a donation to the fund of a lesser charge (or have their charges completely removed from record) as part of Britton’s pre-trial diversion program.
Furthermore, documents show that money from the BCADF was used to cover more than $5,300 in costs to fund trips that Britton took to New York City, Washington D.C., and Chicago. Money from the fund was transferred to a county-appointed credit card, which was used to pay for the trips. Bank statements from mid-2013 show Britton charging $244 for a one-way trip to NYC, as well as $1,300 for a stay in the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington D.C. on the county credit card.
After this discovery, further investigation found no receipts that would explain the costs and did not answer the question of whether these trips were related to county business. Brown County Commissioner Joel Kelter said in a statement, “I always bring a receipt to any purchase I make to match up to my billing; that’s just my standard procedure.”
All KTXS could find in regards to Britton’s case were slips of the amount spent and Britton’s signature.
County Judge Ray West, who previously believed any decision on Britton’s case was premature, has declined to comment, as well as Brown County Auditor Jennifer Robinson and Attorney Shane Britton.
This is an open investigation, and LIVE! will continue to update should more information become available.