The Texas Tribune/Austin American-Statesman has continued its investigation into the public/private relationship between Texas Mutual Insurance Company and the Travis County DA’s office. The DA’s office has previously refuted the claim that there is anything suspicious or improper about the contract, saying that the company is simply reimbursing the office for additional staff handling its fraud cases specifically. However, new emails obtained by The Texas Tribune and the Austin American-Statesman show officials from the DA’s office used the fact that the partnership generates money and good PR for Texas Mutual in an effort to increase the compensation amount. The agreement has come under scrutiny at the Travis County courthouse and the state Capitol following the publication of the initial investigation last month that raised questions about the deal. Critics say the public-private partnership constitutes a basic conflict of interest, and officials have since temporarily suspended the agreement.
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