HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - It's still not known exactly how many defendants got out of the Harris County Jail during a four-day period because the computer system, Jweb, crashed while undergoing routine maintenance.
A magistrate's order states more than 258 defendants had to be released because they could not have probable cause hearings within 24 to 48 hours. Arrest warrants are now being issued.
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"Now, there's a manhunt and that is inefficient and dangerous to the public," said Harris County Precinct 3 Commissioner Tom Ramsey.
It seems the timing of the 4-day crash couldn't have been worse.
"The sheriff's department and the DA's office will both tell you Thursday evening through Saturday night/early Sunday morning is one of the busiest times we have for intakes to the jail," said Ed Wells with the DA's office.
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"Mechanical things break as Commissioner Ramsey and I discussed yesterday and when they do, you have to pull out a Big Chief tablet and a number 2 pencil," said Maj General Rick Noriega, Director of Universal Services which includes, Jweb.
"I was instrumental in IT for the county, especially the justice system for several years," said former Harris County DA Joanne Musick.
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Musick and others were taken aback when Noriega told Commissioners Court only one or two Jweb employees have recently left.
"He said one, maybe two," Musick said. "There were about 20 to 30 people maybe one or two? I count 23 turnovers."
According to the list, 23 people directly responsible for the day-to-day operations of Jweb have resigned or retired. Those who left include two database administrators.
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"The programmers for that part of the system are gone, the quality control people from that system are gone, the business analysts from that section are gone," said Musick.
Noriega refuses to with FOX 26 about the computer crash.