BRAZORIA COUNTY, Texas – A grand jury investigation into whether a former Brazoria County clerk illegally stacked juries has concluded with no charges being filed, the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Monday.
Rhonda Barchak retired from her post in August. Since then, allegations that she illegally assembled jury panels have grown.
Barchak’s attorney, Chip Lewis, told KPRC2 last year the claims were not true.
“At no time during her tenure did she do anything improper,” Lewis wrote in a statement to KPRC 2 in Oct. 2021. “Any claims of systemic racism relative to this jury empaneling process could not be further from the truth.”
An investigation was led by the Texas Rangers after questions surrounding Brazoria County’s jury selection process arose.
Then, Brazoria County District Attorney Tom Selleck wrote in a statement to KPRC 2, “this office has received allegations of improprieties or irregularities in the jury assembly process. The law requires jurors be selected at random and it is this process that is alleged to have been conducted improperly.”
Leaders of the Brazoria NAACP, as well as other community leaders including, Quannell X and Rep. Ron Reynolds, have called for the Department of Justice to launch an investigation of its own.
“I am not going to sit quietly as juries, which are the bedrock of a fair criminal justice trial, are tampered with and separated by race and geography. We will keep fighting until true justice is met for everyone,” said Eugene Howard, criminal justice committeeman, Texas NAACP.
Community leaders in opposition to the grand jury’s decision will gather for a news conference Monday at noon. The event will be livestreamed on KPRC 2.