When will Justice flatten probation mobsters?

By Greg Harman

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While our DA is investigating complaints that pee-testing contractor Treatment Associates had a clean-pee-for-hire program working for some probation officers, we're looking forward to larger federal case.

Guess that will be in the courts in October â?? unless the U.S. Department of Justice cares to step in, in the meantime.

Either way, we'd be grateful to see the spotlight thrown back on the probation department's failed leadership, specifically Operations Director Kathy Cline and Chief Bill “All About The Feet” Fitzgerald.

`Yep. We didn't want to drag things down too much in “Urine Trouble” this week, but new witness Natalie Bynum has her own story about Fitz's alleged foot fetish. We're so glad she's been drawn to the light.`

In the fights over so-called “false positives,” the depositions being put together by Van Os & Associates offer a tantalizing glimpse into the mind of this gummed-up machine that is Bexar probation and Treatment Associates.

I was floored by how little the Cline knows about the testing process â?¦ until I realized how well that position serves her. (No dummy, our local law school grad.) And I was stunned that Treatment Associates' founder and director Jeff Warner's would misidentify a probationer for a cat. (Was he a “cool cat,” Jeffrey, or just a run-of-the-mill pussy?)

A few loose quotes from two depositions for further consideration follow.

Cline on what a “rapid reader” cup is, the little tub used to collect and test urine samples:

“I'm not certain. I do not recall for sure. I think that they get a specimen and that specimen is entered into some kind of a little machine or something. And it reads what the results are.”

What are false positives?

“I have been told, and it has been explained to me, that that term is â?? there arne't false positives. That doesn't mean that there is never. But that they are â?? but that term, false positive, is a tem that leads you to believe something that is not necessarily true.”

Why didn't TA want to do confirmations?

“He just wasn't going to be paying for, you know, 500 confirmations a month or whatever. You know, not that there were that many. But if there were going to be a lot of them, he wasn't gonna pay for it.”

Can't cold meds can scramble a preliminary drug test?

“There were issues of that. I could not speak directly to any of those things, because I am not an expert in any of it.

“I think there were maybe 35 confirmations that were done. But I cannot remember for sure â?¦ I was behind the scenes working with the issues with, you know, with Treatment Associates in terms of the general issues and renegotiating the contract and dealing with it. The particular issues, I were not â?? I was not involved in. Though, I was made aware of, you know, issues, but not particular cases and particular emails and things like that.”


Treatment Associates' Director Jeff Warner on the need for confirmation testing:

“My recommendation is that you almost never need it. The reason you almost never need it â?? and this is my recommendation, my opinion â?? is that you're managing with this device, which is whatever percentage accurate it is, depending on who you talk to â?¦ But the bottom line is you're testing people under supervision over a period of time.

“That test had a line or it didn't have a line. There's no such thing as a faint line. There's a line or there's not a line. Okay. That's theâ?¦ that's the extent of my interpretation.”

False positives, Jeff?

“The software that recorded what the camera took a picture of was broken. The test wasn't broke. â?¦ The result of the test was recorded wrong by the camera, which in turn lied to the software, which in turn lied to the department about what the result of the test was, or misrepresented about the test. But the test was not wrong.”

About those supposedly positive samples that got confirmation testing by GC/MS and came back negative. Surprised?

“What I know about that â?? or what I've been trained or told about that, once again: I'm not an expert â?? is that, no, that shouldn't be a shocker at all. The confirmation test, even though they are saying that you got, you have up to six months, let's say, to store those samples and answer that confirmation, there's degradation of the sample during the six months. They can degrade below what the cut-off level was on the handheld, from what I've been told. â?¦ there's no reason in God's green earth to run four GC/MS tests on this cat.”

Many of you have been asking why this contract with TA stands? And why Cline and Fitzgerald are still running the probation department. Human suffering aside, my best guess would have to be for the sheer entertainment value.

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