Senator Tommy Williams
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0104

January 24, 2005
Contact: Lauren Hutton (512) 463-0104
Larance Coleman (512) 463-0345

Sens. John Whitmire and Tommy Williams hold press conference on the Houston Crime Lab troubles

AUSTIN -- Today State Sens. John Whitmire, D- Houston, and Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands, with the support of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst asked Houston Mayor Bill White to invite the Texas Rangers to take charge of the investigation of the troubled Houston Crime Lab.

"My major concern is the lack of urgency the city has demonstrated in addressing the problems," said Whitmire, Senate Criminal Justice Committee chairman. "A criminal justice system that is tough must also be fair, accurate and just."

Williams, a member of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, said, "Our preference has been that the City and the Houston Police Department work this out locally, but we are dissatisfied with their progress."

"The city needs an immediate outside investigator that can restore credibility and public confidence in Houston's criminal justice system," Williams added. "It is crucial that our hardworking police officers know they have a competent crime lab backing up their investigative efforts."

First elected in 1996 to the Texas House of Representatives, Tommy Williams was later elected to the Senate in 2002 and re-elected in 2004. He represents all or portions of Montgomery, Harris, Liberty, Chambers, Jefferson and Orange counties.