Top Texas liquor regulator got "hazardous duty" pay on Hawaii junket

Jay Root of the Texas Tribune continues his excellent reporting on the growing scandal involving Texas liquor regulators:

"The state’s top liquor regulator got “hazardous duty pay” — typically provided to state employees doing risky work — while attending alcohol industry conferences at fancy resorts in Hawaii, Florida and California, state records show. 

The reason: Sherry Cook was trained as a “peace officer” — a cop — a designation that allowed the director of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to increase her take-home pay, get a state-owned vehicle and fill her tank with free state gas. 

Cook is not alone. 

TABC paid to help Deputy Director Ed Swedberg get trained last year as a certified police officer and gave him a car even though he — like Cook — is a civilian employee whose job description does not require peace officer certification, records show. 

The agency's annual reports show the number of employees provided state-owned cars at TABC's Austin headquarters has more than doubled in less than a decade. In 2008, six people at agency headquarters had state-provided cars, the report that year said. By the 2016 fiscal year, that number had shot up to 15, the reports show.

High-powered weapons apparently come with the job, too..."

Read the whole thing at:

The Texas Tribune also recently reported that the state's top liquor regulator is stepping down amid the controversy: has previously linked to the Texas Tribune's ongoing coverage of this situation here and here.