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Where did you get the plane Johnny?

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In response to where the plane the Ellis County Sheriff's Office used for the "random air search" came from, County Auditor Mike Navarro replied,“Ellis County did not purchase the airplane, nor was it seized.”

The following open records request was sent below :

Date: October 23, 2009

Attn: Public Information Officer
Dear Officer for Public Records:
This request is made under the Texas Public Information Act, Chapter 552, Texas Government Code, which guarantees the public’s access to information in the custody of governmental agencies. I respectfully request a copy of the the following information:

1) Annual operating expense and/or budgeted line item for the ECSO airplane, or any other aerial vehicle piloted for law enforcement or other purposes utilized by the ECSO;

I have included an attached PDF copy of the 2009/2010 Ellis County Budget. The Sheriff’s Office is on page 12. There is not a separate line item for airplane expenses. It is treated like any other Sheriff’s office item and is just part of their overall budget. For budget purposes, it’s basically treated like an “Auto”.

2) Total cost of ECSO airplane when purchased;

Ellis County did not purchase the airplane so I have no information as to the cost of the ECSO airplane when purchased.

3) Location/company/firm/individual who the county purchased the airplane from (or where it was seized);

Ellis County did not purchase the airplane, nor was it seized.

4) Annual fuel costs for airplane;

The plane has not been operational in our County for a year, so I do not have an annual fuel expense for it. Additionally, since there is not a separate line item for the fuel, it will be lumped in with all of their other means of locomotion and will not be tracked separately by my office. Perhaps the Sheriff’s Office will be able to provide you detailed fuel expenses.

5) Name of pilots at the ECSO or another agency paid for by county taxpayers who pilot the plane;

My office does not maintain the personnel files, so I have no way to ascertain who may or may not be a pilot at the ECSO, and if they do not pilot the plane, that information would not be relevant to their employment with Ellis County, so HR would probably not have that either. Additionally, there is no outside agency or individual that is paid for by county taxpayers to pilot the plane.

6) Annual base salary of ECSO/county pilots;

There are no pilots paid for by ECSO. Since the pilots are not county employees, I do not have any idea what their annual base salary may or may not be.

7) Projected flight information for Fiscal Year 2009/2010 for ECSO plane including, but not limited to: patrol schedules, calendars, flight schedule;

My office does not maintain that schedule so I do not have that.

Any and all bids submitted to county for other airplanes, if available; please list and include all company names and prices submitted;

There have been no bids submitted to the County for other airplanes (at least since I’ve been here (June 1993)). Also, there were no bids submitted for their current airplane as we did not buy it.

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Nelson Propane

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