A member of McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna’s staff was among 40 people with warrants for their arrests who Waco police contacted during the weekend as part of the Great Texas Warrant Roundup.
Waco officers knocked on Delena Denee Gordon’s door Saturday morning and gave her the option of going to jail or paying fines totaling $408 for outstanding warrants for driving with an expired license plate and failing to appear in court.
Gordon, 42, paid the fines with a credit card in a phone call with Waco Municipal Court clerks, and the Class C misdemeanor warrant for her arrest was dropped, Waco police Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton said.
Gordon, who has worked in the victim services section of the district attorney’s office since October 2011, said Monday the ticket and court date merely slipped her mind. She said she took appropriate action to pay the fines when contacted by police.
Gordon was given a ticket for displaying an expired license plate Feb. 15, Swanton said. When she failed to pay the ticket and did not contact the court within 10 days, a warrant was issued for her arrest Feb. 26.
“They went out to serve the warrant Saturday morning, but it was just the luck of the draw. Nobody knew who she was and nobody knew she works in the DA’s office,” Swanton said.
The officers’ visit to Gordon’s home comes less than a month after a court hearing revealed a dispute between some Waco police officers and Reyna’s staff about a detective’s refusal to release the name of a confidential informant to the DA’s office. The dispute led Reyna to dismiss cases against seven defendants in an alleged auto theft ring.
When asked Monday about the
warrant for Gordon’s arrest, Reyna declined to comment through an office spokeswoman.
Waco police served 42 arrest warrants Saturday as part of the Great Texas Warrant Roundup, an event joined this year by 300 cities and counties in an effort to clear as many unpaid traffic tickets and other Class C violations as possible from the books.
Unpaid fines in Waco total about $10 million, Swanton said. The city court mailed out about 10,000 notices to people with outstanding fines and the city waged a multimedia campaign to alert the public about the ongoing warrant roundup.
Of the 42 warrants served Saturday, 20 people did not have the money and went to jail, Swanton said.
About 200 people stood in line Friday outside municipal court to take care of their warrants and “do the right thing,” Swanton said.
“This is just the start of the effort,” he said. “Officers will be working on the warrants for another few weeks. But we want to emphasize that people have taken this program in the right spirit, and we cleared well over 200 warrants in the past two days.”
Swanton said the warrants range in age from one month to 18 months, with values from about $100 to thousands of dollars.
People wishing to pay fines may call the municipal court at 750-5900. Current warrants are posted on www.waco-texas.com/court.asp.