Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Troup ISD assistant principal resigns; New Summerfield ISD teacher investigated

Troup, TX:

Troup High School assistant principal Mike Staples was placed on administrative leave in November 2010 and subsequently resigned later last month after an undisclosed “complaint” against him by a parent surfaced. Vice Principal Staples had previously been the assistant principal of the West Rusk ISD, according to newspapers. (Source: Tyler Paper, Troup High School Vice Principal Resigns As Investigation Continues, December 4, 2010)

New Summerfield, TX:

According to the December 8th edition of the Tyler Paper, another unidentified New Summerfield ISD teacher under investigation resigned Tuesday, December 7, 2010. (Source: Tyler Paper, New Summerfield Teacher Being Investigated, December 8, 2010) Case closed. The end. No other reporting added or needed for the tiny school district of 410 students.

What is similar in both these stories is that they occurred in and around Cherokee County; are being initially glossed over by Cherokee County based reporters; and consequently contain absolutely no information for public assimilation. The published weather forecast has more qualitative content for the readers. The information disclosed regarding both of these school employees amounts to nothing more than announcements rather than actual reporting of the facts resulting in these resignations and “investigations.” In what other part of the State would newspaper editors bury pertinent information regarding the school districts their own children attend, especially in towns where the schools are the only newsworthy item? They report the cafeteria's cream corn being served on Tuesday, but refuse to identify the allegations leading to another round of Cherokee County teachers being handed their walking papers. In the Freedom of Information Age is it that they believe their school districts and subsequent investigations of (kinfolk) personnel do not require transparency? Or are they just doing their part covering up the mess? What good is this lack of detail in the articles if the individuals are completely innocent? Ambiguous news writing usually shelters the politically well-connected or familial, while simultaneously harming via rumor and innuendo their targets outside that insulated group. Any parent planning to move to Cherokee County and have their children attend the public and private learning institutions in the area should consider how these school resignations are being ‘reported’ by the local media.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The cost of incumbency: Pensioners hit pay dirt

Retirement pensions based upon term pay scales are exponential burdens on taxpayers when incumbents stay in office until the minimum federal retirement age. Cherokee County could save millions allocated for insurance premiums and pension funding if citizens vote out long-term officeholders. There are no “political parties” within Cherokee County, just strategically placed family members of the same people pretending to be Christian conservatives or civil-minded Democrats. Only candidates outside that family circle can bring both fiscal responsibility and citizen oversight to a political boss system that rewards itself with nepotism and cronyism. How many incumbents are also of Medicare age, but instead continue to have their county medical insurance coverage subsidized by the taxpayers? The only way for Cherokee County to pull out of the current economic and unemployment quagmire is for voters to remove incumbents and start with fresh policies. The Cherokee County incumbents in November and in 2012 are relying on voter fraud, apathy, ignorance and undeserved trust to keep their coveted ever-expanding pensions.

This is especially true for those public officials who arrogantly lie in print and in person to the people, at whose will they are supposed to serve. Conversely, the new batch of candidates will not drain the taxpayers’ coffers because they haven’t become vested in the county retirement system. Plus their moral compasses will still be intact, making their tenures the more cost-effective over the Good Ol' Boys and Biddies. For too long, the same clique has been rewarded for smearing political opponents and bringing false charges against them in order to distract from their own political chicanery. This has been the highest priority of the Cherokee County district attorney. Their admirers in the local newspapers follow suit and pile on the diversionary tactics each election cycle. Cherokee County recently witnessed the resignation of a sheriff’s deputy (who sent out slanderous emails about the Jacksonville police chief), only to be praised for his actions by his employers and offered his job back when presumably the stench dissipates. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, May 20, 2010) Taxpayers are not only subsidizing this criminally malicious behavior, they are funding it past retirement age and for the next generation of nepotists and cronies.

Why reward with accruing perks those who abuse the power of their elected offices, lie to their constituents and squander taxpayer dollars on blatant political witch hunts? Look no further than those on the bandwagon trying to focus attention on Precinct 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti, while the rural properties of the judge’s dog kin have been maintained for decades with county equipment. Look at the salary expenditures for public servants in the district attorney’s office and sheriff’s department (along with their under-the-counter designees) who claim to be “investigating” the propriety of a truckload of gravel rolled out on Patterson Lane. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, September 18, 2010) They never “investigated” themselves for digging catfish ponds and paving deer leases for their bosses. They will however spend their salaried time illegally eavesdropping on the Commissioner’s phone conversations in order to vet the next round of grand jury members. Or as they call it, “continuing to investigate.” Working with an annual budget of about $20 million, incumbent members of County departments focus on political enemies, blackmailing each other, or stealing the money outright.

Whether out of fear of retaliatory loss of advertising revenue or plain ignorance, the local media spins reports on how taxes were unlawfully siphoned and withheld throughout decades of public corruption. Days before the 2010 midterms, the current county judge touts to have “saved” over $250,000 commissioners were forced to cut from the county budget, only because it became public that the county was being overtaxed. Was the money just floating around due to poor bookkeeping? (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, August 23, 2010)

The hucksters and supporters call it “a rainy day fund.” Imagine how much money off the record from overtaxed property owners has been confiscated in the last 30 years, to make it appear on the record that certain county agencies are running under budget. The current county judge has reigned over this budget for the last eight years before Cherokee County slowly nudged itself into fiscal oversight. The political gamesters actually congratulate each other for what they call “surplus” funds after court-ordered audits reveal a massive amount of overtaxation having to be stricken from the county budget. Proving Cherokee County’s decades-old policy of shuffling money out-of-sight and out-of-mind; funds that should have been lawfully dispersed to property owners and NOT into undisclosed interest-bearing accounts administered by the county.

Strategically placed supporters of incumbents defy logic with emotional and factless pleas to voters to keep the same people in office each election cycle. Skewed, even fabricated balanced county budgets are collectively and singularly praised in the local newspapers by these political choreographers. We certainly know by now to expect incumbents’ cousins and buddies to come out of the woodwork in support of the same song and dance. However a few brave citizens are beginning to break ranks and candidly discuss the facts surrounding the misuse of county funds and deliberate overtaxation, i.e. surpluses hidden from the public. Perhaps one aspect for discussion is the egregious property tax disparity between those associated with the dog kin of county employees and the inflated assessments on those not related to assessors.

Cherokee County’s auditing costs over 1% of the county’s approximate $20 million budget each year. The county auditor’s budget for 2010 was reported as $242,000; for 2011 it will be nearly $250,000. (Source: More taxpayer money for accounting reconciliation is requested for each public official accused of embezzlement, i.e. the Rusk Water Department Clerk, the Director of Adult Probation, the Justice of the Peace Clerk, etc., etc. Prosecuting theft of public funds may be an economic booster for prosecutors, attorneys, investigators and auditors alike, but it is the taxpayer who picks up the bill. The thieves get to keep their City, State and County benefits. Until all the shysters are removed from office, Cherokee County taxpayer money will be used on inflated county pensions; against those who shake the family tree; and out-of-county auditors called in to clean up the mess. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, September 27, 2010)

Jacksonville, TX:
Former Tyler Bank Employees Sentenced in Separate Federal Cases U.S. Attorney’s Office February 22, 2010
From the Eastern District of Texas: U.S. Attorney John M. Bales announced today that two former bank employees have been sentenced to federal prison for separate federal criminal violations in the Eastern District of Texas.
LLOYD WAYNE ROCK, 47, of Jacksonville, Texas, pleaded guilty on July 28, 2009, to a charge of embezzlement by a bank employee and was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Leonard E. Davis. Rock was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $145,000. According to information presented in court, from 1995 to December 2007, Rock was employed as a bank teller for Bank of America in Tyler. During this time, he embezzled approximately $145,000 from the bank. In an unrelated case, AMBER PENNER, 27, of Tyler, pleaded guilty on June 24, 2009, to making false bank entries and was sentenced to five months in federal prison today by Judge Davis. Penner was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $80,500. According to information presented in court, from 2005 to January 2008, Penner was employed as a bank teller for Southside Bank in Tyler. During this time, she embezzled funds from the bank and made fraudulent entries in the bank accounting system to conceal the scheme. These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Coan. (Source: FBI press release 2/22/10)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Commissioners approve private road maintenance all over the county, circa 1979

Local newspapers and prosecutor lie about road maintenance.

Not only does Cherokee County equipment maintain private property of friends and relatives of local politicians, commissioners build completely new roads for well-connected landowners. In the documented past, the Cherokee County Commissioners Court was more than eager to annex private property in order to provide services for members of their clique. City and county road crews have been ordered to work on golf courses and hunting clubs used by their bosses. A stark editorial difference exists between the recent ousting attempts against Precinct 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti for paving a bona fide public road VERSUS local reporting that all roads in “Cherokee County need to be maintained because they are in the county.” (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, "Commissioner defends club road maintenance," August 21, 1980)

Old newspaper articles show former County Commissioner William Kennedy authorizing culverts to be installed on roads all through the privately owned Cherokee County Hunting Club south of Rusk, TX. This type of isolated road improvement on private property was acknowledged and accepted in local newspapers. The current district and county attorneys' mentors never considered prosecuting those Commissioners for improving their buddies' private properties at taxpayer expense. The former Sheriff never dispatched his deputies to seize precinct maintenance logs to prove any impropriety. In their minds, it was good for everybody. They were open about their corrupt solidarity.

Jacksonville Daily Progress, August 21, 1980

In 1979, County Commissioners openly defended using taxpayer dollars to pave the private “road to nowhere” on the personal property of Lewie Byers, a wealthy Rusk banker and former Rusk city councilman. The Byers landlocked property off FM 2962 had culverts, grading and other roadwork installed on it “almost entirely for Byers’ benefit, and practically no one else’s.” (Source: Rusk Cherokeean p. 1, 14, "Road to Nowhere But Banker’s Land," September 13, 1979)
On Nov. 13, 1978, the Commissioners Court agreed to commit county funds and equipment, and accept the road as a county road, although it leads to nowhere except to Byers’ property. Now that the road has been taken over by the county, it will be maintained at the taxpayers’ expense. (Source: Rusk Cherokeean p. 1 "Road to Nowhere But Banker’s Land," September 13, 1979)
County Helped Build This Road To Lewie Byers' Land (Source: Rusk Cherokeean Sept. 13, 1979 p.1)


Rusk Cherokeean p. 1, 14 September 13, 1979

An apologetic Alto Herald editorial was written in response to the Jacksonville radio station KEBE revelations to the public that the Lewie Byers property was being developed on the county’s dime.
After checking out the project, The Herald does not believe any criminal act has been committed. We firmly believe that County Commissioner William Kennedy is an honest and honorable man… The taxpayers of Cherokee County simply don’t feel they should help Councilman Byers, or any other land speculator and developer, make possible windfall profits at their expense…(Source: Alto Herald p.2, editorial "Road to Nowhere" September 13, 1979)

Alto Herald p.2, editorial "Road to Nowhere" September 13, 1979

Now fast forward to 2010 after Precinct 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti rattles their cages, Cherokee County newspapers forget their own articles on Lewie Byers and on their front pages claim a bonafide public road to be “private.” (Source: “Commissioner paves Patterson LaneCherokeean Herald August 25, 2010) The corrupt Good Ol’ Boys and Biddies are not just trying to have it both ways; they claim a nonexistent oversight has been committed by the Pct. 3 Commissioner for maintaining a school bus route. At the same time they pretend not to have had county subsidized improvements performed on their own and their buddies' properties for the last three decades.

Cherokee County brand of gotcha politicking.  It's way of life.

Embedded reporters writing propaganda for Cherokee County, Texas newspapers take their cues directly from the district attorney’s office. No physical meeting is needed on courthouse property after decades of printing lies fed to them; editors know to publish fabrications that either promote their collective corrupt agendas, or completely bury facts. Case in point: Precinct 3 County Commissioner Katherine Pinotti is under “investigation” by the corrupt county Good Ol' Boy system, because she ostensibly authorized gravel to be spread on Patterson Lane, located in the northern part of the county.

With the help of sheriff deputies, the County Attorney spearheaded the fabricated “investigation” (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress August 26, 2010) into whether certain laws had been violated by Katherine Pinotti, because (according to them) there were conflicting reports about Patterson Lane being private or under the aegis of county maintenance. A mock commissioners court meeting was later held to declare the road as “private,” despite the outdated mapping system delineating Patterson Lane as a County Road under past maintenance. The sham investigation is now in the hands of the District Attorney. Local reporters have done their duty to pile on the lies by claiming Commissioner Katherine Pinotti paved an unmarked road.

Is it plausible that Cherokee County’s longtime newspaper reporters have become amnesiacs? Probably not. Perhaps the goal is for their younger readers to remain oblivious to what the local press has archived about the insidious public corruption in their home communities. Meanwhile, they assume their more mature readers won’t remember the commissioners court, et al law-breakers of yesterday. Editorials and articles written in the same newspapers as far back as 1978 show that commissioners and city councilmen alike were more than eager to build roads on private property, hunting clubs and golf courses frequented by the Cherokee County ruling class.

The Rusk Cherokeean (prior to combining with the Alto Herald) became a punching bag for local politicians in the Fall of 1978 for having the audacity to report that the City of Rusk and commissioners were using public equipment and labor to improve the local golf course located on the New Southern Motor Hotel grounds. Local attorneys, prosecutors, judges and the whole lot of corrupt Good Ol' Boys past, present and future played golf on the "obviously illegal" and  "public-funded subsidy of a private interest group." (Source: Rusk Cherokeean editorial p. 2, Nov. 2, 1978) They were all active members of the New Southern Motor Hotel Country Club located on Hwy 69. Many of them are life members.

 Rusk Cherokeean editorial p. 2, Nov. 2, 1978

Sunday, August 29, 2010

County audits bring finger-pointing to Precinct 3; Bullard police officer admits having sex with minor

Jacksonville, TX:
Things are steaming up in Cherokee County, folks, but talk about 'the pot calling the kettle black.'  The embedded corrupt aspect is targeting recently elected officials who shake the tree and expose the ingrained favoritism. Longtime Cherokee County elected officials and generational county employees have funneled the equivalent of millions of taxpayers’ dollars to themselves and their ilk over the last several decades. County equipment has been used to bulldoze, pave and enhance the private properties of in-laws for the last 30 years. The installation of culverts, cattle crossing guards, wooden bridges and roadbed are routine for Cherokee County’s so-called elite on their rural properties. In order to distract from the ingrained corruption, Cherokee County is attempting again what they do best, that is to blame someone else for exactly what they themselves blatantly do. Their target this month is the only forthright County Commissioner in their ranks.

They hope to pass the stench over to agencies within the county who do not buckle under the pressure of the corrupt Rusk, TX courthouse. Local reporters enable false charges by deliberately not fact-checking the accusations made against the whistleblowers. And the Cherokeean Herald is Johnny-on-the-spot eager to publish the crap fed them by current occupants of the Rusk courthouse. According to the Daily Progress, Precinct 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti is being investigated by law enforcement for maintaining a misidentified county road. Instead of keeping his nose in his own jurisdiction, longtime Precinct 4 Commissioner Byron Underwood has tattled on his political opponents’ maintenance of a segment of County Road 3403 (now called Patterson Lane), 5 miles north of Jacksonville in the Mount Selman area. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress August 26, 2010)

The county road in dispute, Patterson Lane, is currently maintained by Precinct 3 because it is a thoroughfare from CR 3401 (Old Jacksonville Rd.) to CR 3404,  just West of HWY 69. According to the Daily Progress article, Commissioner Pinotti performed her due diligence in requesting county maps be updated to reflect the delineation of missing roads and her constituents’ requests to maintain Patterson Lane. Especially after the heavy rains her boss County Judge Chris Davis claims to have championed just months earlier. The fact is Patterson Lane is not a private road. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department that is spearheading the “investigation” and County Attorney hope the rest of the county thinks otherwise. It all depends on who you are related to as to whether or not you can get away with using county equipment on private property. Precinct 3 has been open and has kept records about its maintenance of Patterson Lane. How dare this woman publish how and where the precinct maintenance money is spent!

The good ol’ boys are playing gotcha politics with the only female Commissioner in Cherokee County, Texas. Their tactics are as old as the corruption they perpetuate: criminalize perfectly legal actions and prosecute those outside of their circle for the shenanigans that they themselves commit every single day. Once again their goal is to make a law-abider spend thousands of dollars in legal fees to fight a trumped up charge. Their modus operandi is always the same; they use the Sheriff's Department and courthouse to ruin the reputations and the lives of political opponents. The County Bosses hold the purse strings and they aren’t letting go until Cherokee County taxpayers wise up, shed their inertia and vote them all out.

Commissioner Pinotti is not under attack for merely ingratiating herself by extending county services to the residents on Patterson Lane; she is accused of the crime of “misusing county funds” that her entrenched political peers have been committing for decades. They say she improperly used county equipment, labor and time to maintain a road not under the aegis of her Precinct. Of course it is not a crime for a county commissioner to maintain a lateral road on which dozens of homesteads are located.

Those on the attack want Precinct 3 residents to believe as a commissioner, Pinotti has no discretion as to where she sends her crews. Does she have to, according to County Attorney Craig Caldwell, ask for the male members of the Commissioner's Court to grant her permission to fix a street name sign?  Has Caldwell ever held the other commissioners to that standard during his tenure? Of course not. Patterson Lane is not a private driveway; it is a school bus route used to pick up the children living up and down the road. In the County Attorney's mind the contiguous tracts of land are still conveniently "undeveloped" but part of a "subdivision," nonetheless. (Source: "Commissioner paves Patterson Lane" Cherokeean Herald August 25, 2010) So where's the crime?

Let's look at those private catfish ponds dug by county employees on the clock and with county equipment. Let's look at community service workers maintaining private driveways, such as the ones all over Precinct 2 and Precinct 4. 

How dare a woman challenge the good ol’ boy network!

Unfortunately for the Pinotti family, every single private phone conversation they’ve ever had in that county has been intercepted by law enforcement and their mail rifled through by post office employees since she began upsetting the political hiarchy. Those in high places must not like what she has to say about them in private phone calls and certainly don’t like her candidness with the voters. It is their plan to have Commissioner Pinotti buckle under the financial strain of hiring an attorney to chase rabbit trails and coerce her to admit to “some type of mapping error.” In order for the Commissioner’s Court to go back to the way it was in the good ol' pre-Women's Lib days of meeting behind closed doors with no citizen or fiscal oversight.

It’s like the foxes guarding the chicken coop!

A few weeks prior to this fa├žade, the Jacksonville Daily Progress reported Justice of the Peace clerk Heidi Jones Tyler was accused of stealing cash money straight out of the Precinct 3 office. She was placed on administrative leave after preliminary county audits of Pct. 3 funds fell short by $30,000. (Source: “Up to $30,000 missingCherokeean Herald August 18, 2010)

Justice of the Peace James Morris was alerted when a resident asked for a cash receipt for a previously paid fine. The fine had been falsely entered as “dismissed.” Sources close to the investigation report an arrest in the case is imminent.  (Source: CBS 19TV August 13, 2010) J.P. Morris has also been outspoken about the corruption he has witnessed at the Commissioner’s Court meetings and has written letters to the Texas Attorney General’s office. After bowing to pressure from new county commissioners, Cherokee County’s local and 3rd party auditors are revealing the depth and breadth of missing funds in particular agencies.

Perhaps “missing funds” are made up for by the county’s unethical revenue-generating tactic of withholding proceeds payable to owners of real and mineral properties. Cherokee County deposits unlawfully nondispersed funds into interest-bearing accounts with associated cumulative fees generating for the county treasurer’s and county clerk’s offices to ‘administer.’ The county certainly knows how to utilize its databases when it demands bloated taxes from its citizens. But those good ol’ boys and gals in the Rusk, TX courthouse just can’t seem to come up with a serviceable mailing address when the county has its mitts on funds due to those on their Muck With List.  

The Cherokeean Herald cites another $18,881 stolen in 2009 from the Adult Probation Office that taxpayers will have to reimburse. Cherokee County Adult Probation Director Carl Phillips was charged in December 2009 with embezzling over $60,000 in illicit credit card purchases during an alleged 10-year spending spree. County Auditor L.H. Crockett tells the Herald readers:
I understand that when Tommy Kerzee [incoming probation director] replaced Mr. Phillips, he was told what was going on. It seems some probation department staff members knew about the credit card charges. Mr. Kerzee called the state and they sent (state) auditors to go through the old records,” County Investigator Lt. John Raffield said that Mr. Kerzee came to him, District Attorney Elmer Beckworth and DA Investigator Randy Hatch.
The article continues:
Mr. Raffield said at least two persons in the probation department knew that Mr. Phillips was allegedly using the credit card for his own personal use. (Source: Cherokeean Herald December 23, 2009)

Carl Phillips gets his service award from County Judge Chris Davis.

Despite the evidence and county employee witnesses, initial charges against Phillips were dismissed on July 29, 2010. In order to drag the case out indefinitely and shunt from public spectacle, the case was re-entered on the Cherokee County docket. It’s good to have friends in high places who you can collect dirt on to stave off a costly defense.

Does it normally take a decade of witnesses coming forward and a handful of district attorney investigators for Elmer Beckworth to prosecute one of his favorite jury panelists?

Sources: Criminal Docket; Case 17638; THEFT OF PROPERTY BY PUBLIC SERVANT GREATER THAN $20K LESS THAN $100K THE STATE OF TEXAS vs CARL PHILLIPS Filed 11/23/2009 - Disposition: 07/29/2010 Dismissed-insufficient evidence; 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, TX. Criminal Docket; Case 17845; THEFT OF PROPERTY BY PUBLIC SERVANT GREATER THAN $20K LESS THAN $100K THE STATE OF TEXAS vs CARL PHILLIPS Filed 07/26/2010 - Disposition: current; 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, TX.

Bullard, TX:

Steven Wayne Morris: Bullard, TX cop received 8 Years in prison for sexual assault to a child. The case began with intercepted texts to a 15-year old and his suspension as reported in local newspapers. (Source: KLTV) Morris is eligible for parole in 2020 thanks to Smith County prosecutors.

Cherokee County resident and resource officer for the Bullard ISD, Steven Wayne Morris, age 26 has been with the Bullard Police Department for two years. Officer Morris was suspended without pay in June 2010 during an investigation involving an undisclosed student at the Bullard High School. The patrolman initially lied to his superiors about having a relationship with a student and was terminated. During questioning by the Texas Rangers, Morris admitted to having repeated sexual encounters with a 15-year-old Bullard student in the back of her car. Officer Morris has been charged with sexual assault of a child and is incarcerated in Smith County jail on a $350,000 bond. (Source: "Bullard police officer charged with sexual assault of child" KLTV, August 20, 2010)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Convictions reaped from planted juries; Sex offender waives cut-and-paste jury trial

Rusk, TX:

A May 17, 2010 article in the Tyler, TX newspaper “Friends, Family Of Suspects Motivated To Testify For Many Reasons” attempts to clarify why East Texas jury trials are stacked with relatives of opposing parties. It is concluded that family members testify against their relatives for a variety of reasons ranging from a sense of civic duty, to ingratiating themselves with law enforcement, to domestic vendettas. No mention of the limited size of untainted jury pools in these rural areas where everyone is related.

In Cherokee County courts, indigent defendants’ family members unwilling to testify are faced with the threat of bogus obstruction charges for not reciting the district attorney’s version of events. They are not as eager to falsely testify against loved ones as the article suggests, especially in the case of capital murder and when the death penalty is in play. Furthermore, the article completely ignores the fact that the District Clerk, via the district attorney’s office, plants the petit juries with relatives of law enforcement and/or alleged ‘victims.’ In Cherokee County this is taken to a whole ‘nother level of corruption by actually placing relatives of State witnesses directly in the jury box. These family jewels are willingly coached to lie during voir dire to feign ignorance of the case, to slip past opposing counsel and be seated. And let’s not forget Cherokee County’s practice of fabricating “friends” of the Defendant who deliver “anonymous” tips to local law enforcement. It’s all smoke and mirrors to cover up illegal phone tapping and perjury, if not a complete fabrication of alleged crimes.

As the Tyler news article attempts to deflect, these “relatives of the defendant” are called into court in order to express intangibly what they “felt in their hearts,” as opposed to what actually happened based upon the tangible physical evidence. This is a tried and true technique of a corrupted Cherokee County judicial system, which is to prosecute criminal cases based upon a preponderance of intangible feelings such as “the crime could have happened,” rather than using tangible evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that a crime actually took place. The Tyler News apology piece begins by citing the recent murder conviction of Jessie Smith of Jacksonville, TX in Cherokee County’s 2nd Judicial District Court.
Friends and family testified in the trial of Jessie Smith because they felt "very strongly" that a murder had occurred, Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth said. (Source: Tyler Paper, Friends, Family Of Suspects Motivated To Testify For Many Reasons, May 17, 2010)
In other words, hearsay and conjecture are accepted as completely reliable and admissible sources of testimony in Cherokee County. The intention is to get an already partialized jury to falsely convict based on the preponderance of feelings and emotions rather than on bona fide proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Cherokee County’s district attorney concludes by citing a fictitious Rusk jailhouse molestation case that never made it to the newspapers, docket or court records. No facts or fact checking required ‘round here.
Beckworth recalled a 2001 child molestation case in which a defendant was trying to make arrangements with another inmate to kill witnesses who would testify against him. The defendant even drew a map of where he wanted the inmate to go, he said. However, the inmate told authorities about the plot, and the defendant ended up getting a life sentence. (Source: Tyler Paper, Friends, Family Of Suspects Motivated To Testify For Many Reasons, May 17, 2010)
District Attorney Beckworth would lead the readers of the Tyler Morning Telegraph to believe that his own modesty in 2001 kept him from reporting that a [nonexistent] jailhouse informant was given leniency for helping thwart yet another [nonexistent] incarcerated child molester from “murdering” State witnesses for a case he made up on the spot.  As we see time and time again, this is the way the political game is played by backwoods sycophants trying to cover up, for example, the two hundred plus Cherokee County sex offenders put on probation during Beckworth’s tenure.

Jessie Antowan Smith died in prison one year later in May 2011.

Elmer Beckworth and other small town prosecutors are motivated to suborn defendants’ friends, co-workers or loved ones who they think can be easily gulled to voice perjury placed in their mouths by authority figures. As the Smith County prosecutor and defense attorney suggest in the article, favored targets for suborned testimony in a rural setting are the timid, the superstitious, the jealous and the grudge holders; especially those with most favored status with the DA. Cherokee County prosecutors are equally motivated to coerce a friend, co-worker or loved one to turn against the defendant in order to boost charges that do not meet the Texas Penal Code. The Cherokee County district attorney’s office will also trump up charges on those they deem as a threat to the Big Lie, as they did to Randy Kelton and the Robert Fox defense team. They’ll collectively spend more time and taxpayer dollars smear mongering their credible opposition than reviewing the legalities of their caseload.

Cherokee County stands resolute in its tradition of stacking juries with those closest to the case. And if a “friend” or “family member” doesn’t exist to testify against the defendant, then the district attorney's office will conjure one up. Behind closed doors in corrupt Smalltown USA, the grand jury may be presented anonymous letters from a concerned write-in citizen; accusations composed by the district attorney. However, they will not be presented for scrutiny damning evidence of official oppression or countywide petitions demanding investigations into the local corruption.

“See, even this jailbird believes the Defendant is guilty…”

Another prime example of this official misconduct can be found in the Buenka Adams and Richard Cobb capital murder case in which Beckworth and his investigator helped pardon a convicted felon arrested again for possession of a firearm simply for the incarcerated felon's willingness to repeat the district attorney’s talking points at trial. Then with the district attorney himself lying to the Court of Criminal Appeals that a leniency offer in writing never took place for the felon's jailhouse testimony:
Another letter was written by Beckworth on January 10, 2003. Although it was addressed "to whom it may concern," Beckworth testified that it was sent to [the informant’s] parole officer, Roy Shamblin. The letter stated: "Please be advised that this office will not seek prosecution on [the informant] for the offense of Unlawful Possession of Firearm by Felon. If anything further is needed please contact this office."
Beckworth testified that the State did not make any deal with [the informant] regarding his charge for unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. (Source: AP-74,875 Richard Aaron Cobb, Appellant vs. The State of Texas from Cause No. 15054 in the 2nd District Court Cherokee County)
It was ruled in the Richard Cobb appeal that the deal cut with the jailhouse informant was immaterial because it would not have changed the outcome of the Cobb murder trial. However, the existence of a written leniency agreement signed by District Attorney Elmer Beckworth in exchange for a State Witness’ testimony is exculpatory evidence that should have been disclosed pretrial to defense attorneys. Jacksonville, TX: On May 17, 2010 Jacksonville resident Horacio Gonzalez waived his rights to a jury trial for one count of the aggravated sexual assault of a child and was expeditiously sentenced to 30 years by the 2nd Judicial District judge. Gonzalez, 33, chose to have his case heard by the judge and face the assistant district attorney. For two years Gonzalez successfully avoided Cherokee County’s cookie-cutter jury selection. To confuse and distract further, the Tyler Paper reports Horacio Gonzalez’s residence to be in Houston, rather than his actual habitation in Cherokee County, where the assault occurred along with his past crimes (Source: Tyler Paper, May 25, 2010). According to Gonzalez’s court appointed attorney,
There were two potential findings other than ‘not guilty; one was aggravated sexual assault of a child and the other was indecency with a child. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, May 24, 2010)
The district judge believed there wasn’t enough evidence in April 2009 to convict Gonzalez of exposing himself to the alleged victim, but a year later the district court, minus a jury trial, was convinced a crime did occur. (Source: Cherokee County, TX Criminal Docket; Case 17474 ; INDECENCY W/CHILD; THE STATE OF TEXAS vs GONZALEZ, HORACIO and Case 17369 ; AGG SEXUAL ASSAULT CHILD; THE STATE OF TEXAS vs GONZALEZ, HORACIO)

The month of May wraps up in the usual hackneyed lies, heart-felt testimony and another misleading child molestation case for the Cherokee County, Texas archives. Next month we will examine the Robert Fox civil rights reboot in the Eastern District of Texas filed on May 14, 2010 and the murder for remuneration case in Shelby County.

Monday, April 5, 2010

April 2010 is proclaimed Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By proclamation, President Obama has declared April 2010 as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence (focusing on sexual assault and rape) and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. (Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center)
Contributions to actual resource centers, such as those funded by the NSVRC (and not outlets for political grandstanding), are what make a difference. Please donate directly to the NSVRC to provide continuing assistance on date rape prevention and awareness in rural areas.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hogtied and beaten in Cherokee County custody, circa 2006

March 15, 2010

Jacksonville Daily Progress
"Case against White dismissed"
Lauren LaFleur CNHI

JACKSONVILLE — Charges against Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Chris White were dismissed Monday.

White was accused of kicking Michael Jones of Jacksonville in the face on the night of Aug. 3, 2006, after Jones was restrained in handcuffs.

White had no comment Monday afternoon about the matter.

“We are pleased with the Court's decision,” said Chad Rook, one of the attorneys representing White. “The Court clearly made the correct ruling in dismissing all claims against Captain White, as not a shred of evidence exists that he did anything to Mr. Jones.”

Jones initially filed a suit against Cherokee County because of his alleged attack. However, the county was dismissed by the court on summary judgment.

Jones was charged with evading arrest for the night in question — witnesses said they saw Jones hitting a woman in his car that night. When a Bullard police officer tried to pull Jones over to investigate the matter, Jones fled.

He was found about five hours later behind a convenience store in Troup, after abandoning his vehicle and fleeing on foot.

Ted Garrigan, Jones’ court-appointed attorney, said Jones was subdued and laying on the ground, cuffed at wrists and ankles, when Texas Department of Criminal Justice officers turned him over to Cherokee County officers.

“By the time he got to the Smith County Jail, he had six teeth knocked out and his nose was broken,” Garrigan said in a previous interview. “He said he remembers lying on the ground face down completely restrained. A Cherokee County deputy vehicle pulls up, a deputy steps out of it and kicks him in the face until he blacked out.”


Michael Clyde Jones, courtesy Smith Co. 8/3/2006

According to Rook and Robert Davis, the other attorney representing White, Jones could provide a physical description of his alleged attacker — approximately 5 feet, 8 inches tall and 150-180 pounds.

But the claims that he was kicked in the face and subsequent description of his attacker didn’t come for a while.

“He never made this claim at the scene or for months following his arrest,” Rook said, via an e-mailed response to questions sent by a Daily Progress reporter. “He only started making such a claim at some point during his criminal proceedings months later.”

Rook said only three Cherokee County officers were on the scene, and White was only named because he fit the description of the man Jones claimed kicked him.

Statements were filed by officers on the scene, including those by seven TDCJ officers, all dated between Aug. 15, 2006, and Aug. 18, 2006. Six of those seven ended their written statements by stating they did not see anyone kick, hit or mistreat Jones after he was cuffed. While the wording among the six statements vary, they each express that they did not witness Jones being mistreated by any officers on the scene.

In fact, according to records obtained by the Daily Progress, only one officer recorded that any sort of attack was made on Jones — former Bullard Police Department Officer Bryan Richards recorded that a single officer involved in the incident, Troup’s Officer L. Becker, referenced th alleged incident at all.

“While Officer Becker was at the Bullard Police Department, he advised me that he saw a Cherokee County deputy kick Michael Jones in the mouth after he was restrained with hand and leg restraints,” according to Richards’ report. “This statement was not documented in the incident report that was provided to the Bullard Police Department.”

Becker’s statement was dated Aug. 11, 2006.

(Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress March 15, 2010)

Jones may appeal his excessive force case, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Prosecutor wastes taxpayer dollars during Recession

"Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.” - Adolph Hitler

Something smells rotten, and this ain’t Denmark- it's Cherokee County, Texas, folks. The Faye Bell Harris saga is actually the story of her ex-husband being a drug snitch for the district attorney’s office gone really badly. That’s not the version the district attorney, sheriff’s department and those rallying around the “Faye Bell Harris Amendment” would tell in 2005 when Elmer Beckworth told his fib all the way to the state capitol. They would have you believe a drunken, drugged and dangerous individual on Felony Bail could actually be repeatedly arrested and RELEASED after threatening the woman whose house he had repeatedly tried to burn down. Before the epiphany that perhaps a Cherokee County district judge should order the incarceration of a deranged drug addict whose pattern of trespassing and stalking might lead to cold-blooded murder.

DPS officer James Scott Burns would not have been murdered on April 29, 2008 if Cherokee County’s elected officials had simply kept their promises to the voters to diligently and without bias obey the law themselves. Rather than deposit the $15,000 in bond money into the local coffers per the district attorney's recommendations. Collectively they illegally released Smith County parolee Brandon Wayne Robertson after his felony arrest April 7, 2008 for narcotics and gun possession. (Source: Longview-Marshall News Journal May 8, 2008)

Of course the local Cherokee County media omits the part about Brandon Robertson being arrested by the DPS for having a GUN and drugs. So we'll go ahead and reprint it here:

Suspect arrested weeks before trooper's shooting

Published May 8, 2008

A Texas Department of Public Safety trooper stopped and arrested Brandon Wayne Robertson about three weeks before officials believe the convicted felon fatally shot Trooper James Scott Burns. According to the Department of Public Safety, Robertson was stopped about 9:40 a.m April 6 on Texas 135 in Cherokee County. Officials did not immediately say what initiated the stop. Robertson was arrested on charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was released the next day on two $7,500 bonds, according to sheriff's office records. A call to the bondsman was not immediately returned, and it was unclear who contacted him.

Judge Forrest Phifer, who works for the municipal court in Rusk, Wales and Cuney, said he set the two bonds at an amount typical for the charges. He said he could not set an "oppressive amount" without violating the U.S. Constitution.

Phifer said that he thought the trooper who arrested Robertson said there were no problems during the traffic stop and that the firearm was found in the trunk of the vehicle. He added that he didn't recall information that would have indicated that Robertson posed a risk that justified a higher bond.

Officials say Robertson fatally shot Burns after Burns pulled Robertson over in Marion County the night of April 29. Robertson was found dead May 1 with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to law officers.

Jennifer Lynne Petrick, 36, was found with Robertson and arrested on charges of possession of marijuana and probation violations. Petrick remains in Cass County jail on a $5,000 bond, according to the Cass County Sheriff's Office. Investigators say Petrick was in the car driven by Robertson on the night of the killing.

(c) 2008 Cox Newspapers, Inc. - Longview News-Journal

Cherokee County’s elected bureaucrats always try to finagle the system in order to enrich county coffers, as they did when setting in motion the murder of Trooper Scott Burns. Instead of denying that lucrative bond and maintaining custody of a very dangerous armed drug mule/ parole violator, such as Brandon Robertson. And these hubristic officeholders didn’t bungle their releasing of the above-mentioned drug addict Michael Harris in 2003. Their price tag to ignore the laws about notifying a parole violator’s Smith County parole officer and required no-bond detention was $15,000 and less and nonexistent for Michael Harris. More on this in a moment. Insidious corruption along with voter complacency enables this infrastructure not to just survive but to thrive decade after decade.

Michael Harris

Voters in the upcoming March primaries should consider which candidates support wasting taxpayer dollars versus those who pledge to clean up the “corruption” and nepotism that has been going on for decades in plain sight. Which candidates support long and frivolous court cases that perpetuate never-ending whitewashes of lies and postponed hearings, as in the case this month against Robert Fox? Which candidates support using the judicial system as a means to grandstand fictitious claims of “terrorism” and a “win at all cost” mentality? Even after spending and wasting tens of thousands of your tax dollars trying to keep the likes of a harmless Robert Fox in jail for nine (9) months with bond set so exorbitantly high in order to ensure his inability to pay it. And so they could deprive Fox of his freedom (at taxpayers’ expense) while they juggle to figure out what more they need to invent to finally convict him of ‘something’. Yet they let Brandon Robertson and Michael Harris walk out the door to kill, with virtually no Probable Cause hearings whatsoever. Is it because Robert Fox is destitute and offers no money to the Cherokee County infrastructure?

Cherokee County, TX and related Robert Fox court hearings in 2009 alone range from the preposterous to the completely fabricated by the district attorney’s office. Elmer Beckworth et al's following cases against Robert Fox and associates have been dismissed:
• Feb 15, 2009 Felony Parole Absconder EXTRADITION FAILURE
• March 11, 2009 Felony Barratry DEPORTATION FAILURE
• April 28, 2009 Felony Tampering with a Government Record DISMISSED
• July 28, 2009 Class A Misdemeanor DISMISSED
• July 28, 2009 Class A Misdemeanor DISMISSED
• July 28, 2009 Class A Misdemeanor DISMISSED
• July 28, 2009 Class A Misdemeanor DISMISSED
• Nov. 19, 2009 Simulating Legal Process case against Robert Fox DISMISSED

Robert Fox

The media again has taken its cues from a corrupt Cherokee County judicial system and fails to report that Robert Fox is facing yet another day in court at the end of February for a bogus “tampering with a government record” charge. Trial dates have been picked right before the March elections in order for Fox’s stacked local jury to decide whether or not the city of Jacksonville should have its liability insurance premiums threatened by civil rights violation suits. Even after all charges related to the open-ended raid of his property have been dismissed.

This month Cherokee County’s lead prosecutor Elmer Beckworth takes on Robert Fox’s court-appointed attorney by having the district court hear Motions in Limine to keep the release of armed parolee Brandon Robertson stricken from the record and from the ears of jurors. As usual, doing the State's best to draw the court's attention away from the relative facts. The District Attorney wants to hush-hush the illegal treatment of Fox by Reece Daniel and other Jacksonville police officers with the State's motions. It appears police misconduct is the backbone of the Robert Fox defense. At the same time, the Cherokee County Sheriff"s Department was caught sending false emails in retaliation of Jacksonville chief of police Reece Daniel's outspoken complaints about the way Elmer Beckworth has been handling the Fox case. (Source: Tyler Paper December 19, 2009)

A problem arises if the motion in limine is granted to the prosecution to exclude evidence needed by the defense to exculpate him/her from the accusations of the prosecution. For an example of this, see the Branch Davidian trial, in which the bench denied the defense the right to present evidence of misconduct by the federal agents who conducted the siege, evidence that if presented would likely have brought acquittals of all defendants. The original standard of due process was that in criminal cases motions in limine could be granted only to the defense. (Source: Wikapedia)

The fact is District Attorney Elmer Beckworth is filing Motions in Limine in order to castrate Fox’s court-appointed attorney’s efforts to adequately defend his client. And the DA wouldn’t do that if the State’s case was clean. Beckworth has to have the judge grant his limine motions because he must keep from the jury and off the court’s record certain FACTS that Fox’s side can present. Like the fact they granted bail to an armed and dangerous thug two years ago who went on to kill a DPS trooper, while they kept Robert Fox in solitary confinement for nine months. Is this the way you want your courts run?

Cherokee County voters often have little choice in who actually gets on the ballot and eventually represents them in their communities. With the help of a few strategically placed election judges, the stage is set for another sweep by the corrupt old guard. March 2010’s primaries bring out the best and the worst, but clear choices are available in several candidacies after decades of stagnant nepotism. Unfortunately, Cherokee County’s statewide known pattern going back as far as the 1960’s is to make the wrong choice. As we all know, Cherokee County is corrupt and it will take quite a shake-up this time around to remove those with an engrained belief of entitlement and grandiose sense of importance.

Welcome to Pathological Lying 101

Again, we need to look no further than the published track record of Cherokee County’s egocentric district attorney. The mantra “I’m the DA and you’re a nobody;” "the Law says what I tell you it says" has gone on long enough, has it not?

"I say it, therefore it is."

A repeated pattern of knowingly misrepresenting case facts and legal code prima facie to the media and even to the State Legislature is what Cherokee County’s District Attorney appears to do best. Mr. Beckworth’s most successful articulate attempt has been convincing the mother of slain Jacksonville resident Faye Bell Harris that her daughter’s senseless murder in 2003 was a result of the Texas constitution being too lenient on Felony Bond. Instead of the fact that drug informant Michael Harris murdered her daughter because District Attorney Beckworth offered no limitations to Harris’ court-ordered drug rehab along with no court-imposed restrictions. Nor enforced any Protective Orders that would have kept Harris from continuing buying drugs, threatening to kill his ex-wife and snitching on his dealers. Per Elmer Beckworth, Michael Harris was arrested repeatedly while on Felony Bond and in Cherokee County custody at the Rusk State Hospital, and repeatedly released to buy more drugs and threaten his ex-wife. The Cherokee County District Court did nothing to protect Faye Harris, even though her ex was arrested REPEATEDLY on her doorstep threatening to kill her. Even though his original Felony Bond was for trying to burn her house down.

…Michael Harris was charged with arson. His bond was reduced at a habeas corpus hearing in March, at which time the district judge required as a condition of bail that the defendant not contact or communicate with his ex-wife. After the habeas corpus hearing, Michael Harris assaulted Faye, vandalized her vehicle, and continued to contact and harass her, disregarding the judge’s conditions of bail. (Elmer Beckworth to the TDCAA Oct. 2005)

Then why didn't you and your Narcotics Officers enforce the judge's conditions, Elmer?

The 2010 US census will put Cherokee County at almost 50,000 people, but the county certainly is structured like a run of the mill, pre-1960’s Southern ghetto. Taxpayer dollars have been used since the turn of the century to line the pockets of local politicians and their families. Yet Cherokee County has been hit pretty hard during the recent economic downturn. Can we afford to continue to prosecute baseless charges in the name of personal vendettas, as Cherokee County’s District Attorney is continuing in the Robert Fox case? While at the same time letting drug addicts/informants like Michael Harris and Brandon Robertson out on bond the day after they are arrested, armed and dangerous.

Robert Fox was housed on the taxpayer dole for 270 days in the Rusk jail. Michael Harris spent his time in the cozy Rusk State Hospital after his multiple attacks on his ex-wife. Parolee Brandon Robertson spent one night in Cherokee County jail after being arrested on Hwy 84 for carrying a gun and crystal meth. Robertson's bail was granted, deposited; and he set out and murdered the next DPS trooper who stopped him, three weeks later. These are just a few published and well-documented examples. What of the other family members coming forward about slain loves by the more recent batch of Cherokee County drug informants?

Are Cherokee County voters going to let this colossal waste of taxpayer dollars continue indefinitely? While they think about it, do they want their taxpayer dollars continuing to play this TIT FOR TAT in the Robert Fox case, that Elmer Beckworth and these men seem to thrive on? While the entire county is put at risk for lawsuit after lawsuit ? In the meantime, Beckworth, et al hurries these child molesters through Adult Probation because they won't spend their budgets prosecuting them, again putting us all at risk. Wouldn't you rather have pedophiles prosecuted? The following Registered Sex Offenders were 'prosecuted' by Elmer Beckworth and currently driving around town on probation in Cherokee County, Texas:

• Frank Birden Guinn, age 82, Alto TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 12-year-old female;
• Michael Morrison, 48, Alto TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;
• Gary Mark Hayles, 43, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of an 8-year-old female;
• Wesley Boyd Mohr, 60, Bullard TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;
• William Barry Travis, 54, Bullard TX, aggravated sexual assault of a child of an 8-year-old female;
• Matthew Isaiah White, 17 (published), Bullard TX, indecency by exposure involving a 15-year-old female;
• Christopher Steven Goleman, 33, Gallatin TX, aggravated sexual assault of a disabled 39 year-old female;
• Tommy Junior Allen, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;
• William Tracy Arnold, 42, Jacksonville TX, burglary and felony involving a 34-year-old female;
• James Travis Baker, 22, Jacksonville TX, indecency of a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;
• James Isaac Barnett, 18, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child of a 14-year-old-female;
• Brian D. Black, 19, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 10-year-old female;
• Vernon Willis Blackshire, 29, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;
• Anthony Eugene Boone, 38, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 6-year-old male;
• Cole Joseph Brooks, 22, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;
• Christopher Lee Calley, 25, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 3-year-old female;
• Gark Michael Clark, Jacksonville TX, 52, sexual assault of a child of a 16-year-old girl;
• Arturo Allen Cochran, 26, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 12-year-old female;
• Carlos Jerome Conner, 37, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;
• Steven Daille, 58, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• James William Dennis, 64, Jacksonville TX, agg. kidnapping/sex assault of a 38-year-old female;
• Jose Ramon Galan, 53, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 9-year-old female;
• Jonathan Keith Glenn, 23, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;
• James Henry Golden, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 36-year-old female;
• Nathan Wayne Grimes, 61, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 9-year-old female;
• Ollie Ray Grogan, 62, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a 5-year-old male and 7-year-old female;
• Nickolas Noel Harwell, 31, Jacksonville TX, two counts of aggravated sex assault of a 12-year-old female;
• Kevin Lyn Hawes, 42, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old;
• Christopher Michael Hennessy, Jacksonville TX, 25, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female; absconded.
• William Lee Hershiser, 48, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Roger Hunter, 72, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;
• Aaron Lee Joslin, 25, Jacksonville TX, two counts of sexual performance of a 7-year-old male;
• Robert Michael Lane, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 10-year-old female;
• Jackie Neal Locke, 46, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 13-year-old female;
• Ben Mallard, 47, Jacksonville TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 11-year-old female;
• James Donald McClain, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 20-year-old female and 11-year-old female;
• Leroy Edward McCuen, 56, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 9-year-old female;
• Kenneth Ray Messick, 59, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female and 16-year-old female;
• Stacy Bernard Mills, 39, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 11-year-old female;
• Tracey Dewayne Moseley, 33, Jacksonville TX, indecency by exposure to a 15-year-old female;
• Jamie Lee Newburn, 28, Jacksonville TX, two counts of attempted sexual performance of a 14-year-old female;
• Sammy Carroll Newman, 54, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;
• Patrick Brian Norsworthy, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of an 8-year-old female;
• Derrick Wendell Owens, 34, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 9-year-old female;
• Kevin Wayne Patton, 36, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 14-year-old female;
• Glenn Durrell Pierce, 49 years of age, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male;
• Bruce Townsend Powell, 48, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 30-year-old male;
• Jimmy Reed, 47, Jacksonville TX, attempted sexual assault of a 25-year-old female and unknown female;
• Mandell Rhodes Jr., 43, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 52-year-old female;
• Thompson Ward Stricklen, 43, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 11-year-old female;
• Paul Arlen Taylor, 51, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 13-year-old female;
• Terry Lawrence Taylor, 48, Jacksonville TX, indecency by contact of a 12-year-old female;
• James L. Wells, 52, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 5-year-old female and 6-year-old female;
• Johnny Decole Wells, 25, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Larry Wayne White, 45, Jacksonville TX, aggravated sexual assault of an 8-year-old female;
• Timothy Kevin Zweck, 32, Jacksonville TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Robby Lee Buffalo, 32, Rusk TX, prohibited sexual assault (incest) of a 11-year-old female;
• Richard Dean Davis, 47, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 14-year-old female;
• Nile James Dean, 39, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 8-year-old female;
• James William Hammons, 45, Rusk TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female;
• Jason Aaron Husband, 29, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a child of a 15-year-old female;
• Elbert James Patton, deceased, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact with an 8-year-old female and 9-year-old female;
• Delian Brenanard Session, 43, Rusk TX, sexual assault of a 34-year-old female and 11-year-old-female;
• Troy Gibbs Sutherland, 31 years of age, Rusk TX, attempted sexual assault of a 15-year-old female;
• Aubrey Thomas Taylor, 48 years of age, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 10-year-old female;
• Dale Joseph Tylich, 51, Rusk TX, indecency with a child by contact of a female less than 16 years of age;
• Charles Clifton Bruner, 45, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 6-year-old female;
• Michael Servetus Childs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;
• Tommy Robert Husband, 46 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child by contact of a 16-year-old female;
• Michael Sean Lee, 33 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 13-year-old female;
• Timmey Martin, 41 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 14-year-old female;
• Michael Ryan McMichael, 34 years of age, Troup TX, indecency with a child of a 12-year-old female;
• Martin Otis Pitts, 51 years of age, Troup TX, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a 7-year-old female;
• Bryan Thomas Toombs, 31 years of age, Troup TX, aggravated sexual assault of a 13-year-old female.
• Alisha Arriola Corley, 36 years of age, Wells TX, sexual assault of a 15-year-old male.

(Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress 2006)

Where are your candidates' priorities in the March primaries? Probation for child molesters and letting parole violators out to murder? Or endless prosecution and pre-trial incarceration of harmless individuals such as Robert Fox who rattle their cages by simply questioning their wrongdoings?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Director of Adult Probation in Rusk, Texas indicted for public theft. State Rep fined for ethics violations

Rusk, TX:35-year veteran Cherokee County employee and Adult Supervision and Corrections Department director Carl Phillips was recently indicted on charges of theft by a public servant and misappropriation of public funds. The three-count indictment lists thefts of property beginning in 1999 and deliberate destruction of credit card receipts in excess of $20,000 but limited to $100,000. Phillips’ alleged stealing spree was reported in 1999 to, and ignored by, former Cherokee County District Attorney Investigator Randy Hatch according to the article (Source: Tyler Paper December 17, 2009). Ten years later, Cherokee County Sheriff Department investigators revisited the original allegations.

Carl Phillips began his employment with Cherokee County in 1974. The theft of funds was reported again to Phillips' successors after the indictee's 35-year retirement party. Phillips was Cherokee County’s longest employed public servant on record according to friends recusing themselves from pretrial. Friends such as all the district and county judges, the sheriff and every Grand Jury foreman for the last three decades. Notwithstanding his own recusal, good friend and District Attorney Elmer Beckworth predicts a traveling judge will hear the case (Source: Tyler Paper). Obviously not in the local Rusk diner where Phillips, et al might be found sipping ice tea, reminiscing about the good ol’ days and discussing those taxpayer subsidized vacations.

Jacksonville Daily Progress

Carl Phillips (l.) congratulated by current County Judge Chris Davis (r.) for 35 years of excellent public service.


House District 11:
Soon after switching parties, former Democrat and now Republican State Rep. Chuck Hopson (R) of Jacksonville has been fined for ethics violations for nondisclosure of political contributions. Rep. Hopson was ordered to pay $2900 in restitution by the Texas Ethics Commission for his campaign being in violation of section 253.032 of the Election Code and section 20.29 of the Ethics Commission Rules. (Source: News-Journal January 13, 2010)

According to the Texas Ethics Commission, Rep. Hopson and his Cherokee County based campaign treasurer

failed to properly report and improperly reimbursed
political expenditures from personal funds, failed to disclose information regarding contributions
from out-of-state political committees, failed to properly disclose total political contributions
maintained, and converted political contributions to personal use.

The Commission continues, that State Representative Hopson (R-Jacksonville):

failed to disclose the payees, payee addresses,
dates, purposes and amounts of political expenditures for mileage made with personal funds
on his 30-day pre-election report for the November 7, 2006, general election, and January
and July semiannual reports for the years 2007 and 2008.

The nine page Order and Resolution can be read at :

The original complaint can be read at :

Don't forget to read the ongoing corrupt activities in Cherokee County, Texas on Austin's acclaimed Politico "The Burnt Orange Report"