The statement by
District Clerk Lynne Finley is in response to specific allegations made against her offices and employees:
"The Collin County District Clerk shares a common goal with the U.S. Department of State of providing expeditious and secure passport application procedures. The suspension by the Dallas Passport Agency has resulted in at least 10,000 citizens being turned away from the Collin County Passport Offices. The District Clerk requested a meeting with appropriate decision makers with the Department of State with the goal of swiftly reopening the Passport Office.
"After receiving a response from the U.S. Department of State on the afternoon of February 21, 2019, affirming our suspension based on alleged inappropriate relationships between a county passport clerk and an expediting company, I can unequivocally confirm that the passport clerk at issue has worked solely for Collin County for 10 years.
"The second allegation by an unnamed applicant alleges a series of events which are inherently impossible, as the District Clerk's office never receives issued passports. Also, alleged improper credit card charges are easily disproved by the receipt journal through our computerized systems.
"Both of these unfounded allegations by the Department of State could have easily been cleared up months ago with a phone call to my office, requesting the necessary documentation to refute them. The Collin County District Clerk will be providing a comprehensive response to the U.S. Department of State as soon as practical. It remains the hope of the Collin County District Clerk that the documentation and facts refuting the allegations will allow our passport offices to re-open for the benefit of our citizens."
The State Department received the
attached response from the District Clerk on Monday, Feb. 25. A conference call with the Department of State took place on Feb. 26, with assurances that the federal agency would review and respond timely. However, the passport offices still remain closed.
For the intitial news release on this story,
please go here.