Rick Perry's Cover-Up and Corruption: Texas Forensic Science Commission

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Ed. Note: This is the eighth part of a ten-part wrap-up of Rick Perry's history of cover-up and corruption that will run on Burnt Orange Report today.

Days before an expert was to give testimony, Rick Perry rearranged the board at the Texas Forensic Science Commission to appoint one of his top lieutenants, John Bradley, as the new Chair. Bradley immediately canceled a hearing on the death of Cameron Todd Willingham, a man who could possibly have been executed without having committed the crime he was accused of.

The Houston Chronicle describes the actions of the cover-up in the Rick Casey column, “The revolt of the scientists“:

This was the first meeting of the commission under Bradley, who was appointed last September. His first official act was to cancel a meeting three days later at which the commission was scheduled to receive a report from a nationally renowned arson expert hired by the commission in its first high-profile case.

The meeting had drawn national attention because the expert found that the arson investigation that helped lead to the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham for the murder of his children was badly flawed. It was especially controversial because Perry had rejected a request to delay Willingham's execution based on similar expert analysis.

Bradley unilaterally wrote the agenda for Friday's meeting to focus on new policies and procedures, omitting the Willingham report. He also unilaterally chose Harlingen (which is as close to Mexico City as to Fort Worth, where three of the nine uncompensated and busy commission members live), making wrong my snide prediction that he would hold the meeting in Presidio to discourage reporters.

Much, much more about this in the stories below.

Additional Sources – The Latest

Coverage on BOR – The Cover-Up

About Author

Phillip Martin

Currently the Research and Policy Director for Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute, Phillip Martin writes occasional long-form pieces for BOR that promote focused analysis and insight into Texas politics. Born and raised in Austin, Phillip started working in politics in 2003 and started writing on BOR in the summer of 2005. Phillip has worked for the Texas Democratic Trust, the Texas Legislative Study Group, and now the Progress Texas family. He is a lifelong Houston Astros fan, a loyal Longhorn, and loves swimming at Barton Springs Pool.

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