Shooting the Messenger


"Peaceful Seguin, Texas, with... Bill O'Connell... his tough-minded reporting exposed problems with the local regional narcotics task force. After a series of articles sparked the ire of the Guadalupe County Sheriff's office.. forced him from his job...

""..you're talking about a community that is run by old money," says O'Connell. "There are interests who do not want the community to be perceived in a negative way. So if I write a story and point to a problem, many times their reaction is to shoot the messenger rather than address the problem."

"..the Seguin-based narcotics task force... missing evidence and clashes with the Department of Public Safety... The DPS documents revealed a task force in disarray...

"".. my publisher... told me that the sheriff had come to his office and said that... at an August 12 city council meeting that I attended, I supposedly reeked of marijuana," says O'Connell...

"In early September, after the second article on the NTF, O'Connell began to get phone calls from people he knew in Seguin, warning him that he should lock his car doors and be careful... his publisher, Crow suggested that O'Connell get a drug test... within the space of several days, the suggeestion turned into a demand. "They were concerned that someone would put something in my car, maybe at a traffic stop," says O'Connell...

"O'Connell refused to take the test, insisting.. that he would not lend credibility to the rumor... On September 9, O'Connell resigned.." (Harrington, Katherine. "Shooting the Messenger." Texas Observer, 10/24/03, 6-20).