August 11, 2022

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Uvalde officials accuse DA of failing to ‘timely deliver’ resources, call for state takeover

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Two local Uvalde officials are asking Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to remove District Attorney Christina Busbee from oversight of the Uvalde Together Resiliency Center, which was opened to provide support for families impacted by the Robb Elementary School shooting. 

Abbott announced an initial $5 million investment for the fund on June 3 and appointed Busbee to oversee it. 

Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin and state Sen. Roland Gutierrez, who represents Uvalde, wrote in a letter to Abbott on Tuesday that they have heard “numerous troubling reports” about the district attorney’s handling of the fund, including the “failure to timely deliver victim’s compensation resources to those in need.”

Hearts on a banner hang on a fence at a boarded up Robb Elementary School on Friday, June 3.
(AP/Eric Gay)

“One Uvalde family was in danger of having their power cut off in their home at the same time they were praying and caring for their daughter in the hospital,” McLaughlin and Gutierrez wrote. “Other families have been offered a meager bereavement benefit for only two weeks of pay.”

UVALDE CITY COUNCIL MEETING GETS HEATED AS FAMILIES DEMAND ANSWERS: ‘YOU’RE IN CHARGE’

The local officials are requesting that the Texas Department of Emergency Management take over the fund. 

Busbee, who is also investigating the shooting, told ABC News last week in rare public comments that she has been meeting with families of the victims. 

“We’re trying to make sure that they’re getting the resources that they need,” Busbee told the news outlet. “And then I am telling them where I am in the investigation, and so those conversations have been ongoing.”

Children run to safety after escaping from a window during a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School where a gunman killed nineteen children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas, U.S. May 24, 2022. 
(Pete Luna/Uvalde Leader-News/Handout via REUTERS)

Busbee did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital on Tuesday. 

UVALDE SHOOTING: OFFICER WHOSE WIFE WAS SHOT WAS DISARMED AND ‘ESCORTED’ AWAY, TEXAS DPS CHIEF SAYS

Officials at the state and local level have been in a war of words about the response to the shooting for the last six weeks. 

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw has placed the blame on local police, saying that Uvalde school police chief Pete Arredondo placed “the lives of officers before the lives of children.” 

A woman visits at a memorial at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on Wednesday, June 1, to pay her respects to the victims killed in last week’s school shooting.
(AP/Jae C. Hong)

McLaughlin has accused McCraw of deflecting blame from his own agency, claiming at a recent city council meeting that the DPS director will “lie, leak, mislead, or misstate information in order to distance his own troopers and rangers from the response.”

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State Sen. Gutierrez has also sued DPS for records related to the shooting, saying that the “response to this awful gun tragedy has been full of misinformation and outright lies from our government.”