Texas Attorney General Opinion: GA-1002 Page: 1 of 4
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ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
April 29, 2013
The Honorable Joe Shannon, Jr. Opinion No. GA-1002
Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney
Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center Re: Whether a county auditor has a right to
401 West Belknap access inmate property in a county jail to
Fort Worth, Texas 76196 compare it with inmate property receipts
Dear Mr. Shannon:
You tell us that the Tarrant County Sheriff receives and stores Tarrant County Jail
inmates' property, then lists that property on receipts.' You explain that the Tarrant County
Auditor has requested to examine the property and the receipts in order to determine whether the
receipts are accurate, but the sheriff has refused her request to examine the inmates' noncash
property because he contends that the auditor may examine records of money only, not other
kinds of property. Request Letter at 1-3. Accordingly, you ask whether the auditor may access
the inmates' noncash property and compare it to the property receipts. Id. at 1.
County officials have the powers they are expressly granted by law and implied
powers that are necessary to perform the powers expressly granted. See City of San Antonio v.
City of Boerne, 111 S.W.3d 22, 28 (Tex. 2003) (describing the powers that the Legislature
confers on counties and commissioners courts). You tell us the auditor contends that two laws
grant her authority to access inmate property, Local Government Code sections 112.006 and
115.001. Request Letter at 2. Section 112.006 grants a county auditor "general oversight of the
books and records of a county, district, or state officer authorized or required by law to receive or
collect money or other property that is intended for the use of the county or that belongs to the
county." TEX. Loc. GOV'T CODE ANN. 112.006(a) (West 2008). Section 115.001(1) provides
that a "county auditor shall have continual access to and shall examine and investigate the
correctness of: (1) the books, accounts, reports, vouchers, and other records of any officer." Id.
You tell us the sheriff contends that sections 112.006 and 115.001 refer to records and
reports having to do with money rather than noncash property. Request Letter at 3-5. In other
words, the sheriff interprets section 112.006 to mean that a county auditor has general oversight
'Letter from Honorable Joe Shannon, Jr., Tarrant Cnty. Criminal Dist. Att'y, to Honorable Greg Abbott,
Tex. Att'y Gen. at 1 (Oct. 29, 2012), http://www.texasattomeygeneral.gov/opin ("Request Letter").
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Texas. Attorney-General's Office. Texas Attorney General Opinion: GA-1002, text, April 29, 2013; (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth1050919/m1/1/: accessed April 18, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.