Posts Tagged ‘Cherokee County’
Jury selection begins this Monday, March 19 for another re-trial against Robert Fox. A mistrial was declared after the first attempt by Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth to once again circumvent the Texas Penal Code with the help of tainted grand and petit juries. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, June 2, 2011 “Mistrial declared for Fox”) Fox delivered a Notice to Sue for $30 million to the City of Jacksonville after his property was raided by police three times in a month period and accused of being a “terrorist.”
The re-trial is slated for the following Tuesday March 27, 2012 after the jury plants are properly vetted and relatives of those Fox filed federal grievances against are culled from the pool. Then again, the trial is being held in Cherokee County where jurists lie under oath and jurors with dropped criminal charges vie to be seated after decades of ingratiation.
Even if you do not reside in Cherokee County and attempt to file a Civil Rights complaint in a neighboring county, District Attorney Elmer Beckworth will summon you in front of his friends sitting on his hand-picked juries. Prosecutors will call up their friends and relatives of those you are suing, and issue a warrant for your arrest. They will call you a “wanted federal fugitive” when you appear in court and re-arrest you on other trumped up charges. They will lock you in the Rusk, TX jailhouse and local judges will happily set your bail illegally beyond your ability to pay. They will raid your private property repeatedly in order to break you.
That is exactly what happened and is continuing to happen to former Jacksonville resident Robert J. Fox. Fox’s civil complaint against Beckworth and the City of Jacksonville was accepted by the US Eastern District and placed on the docket several years ago. (Source: Fox v. City of Jacksonville Texas et al Case No. 2:2010cv00158 TX Eastern District) This was not a government record that was tampered with.
Even when Cherokee County and City clerks refuse to accept any Notice to Sue, and you are forced to file your documents elsewhere, Elmer Beckworth, et al will file State criminal charges on you, claiming jurisdiction on a Federal matter. Cherokee County prosecutors and their willing accomplices will claim that they can bring charges against you, because you are suing them in Federal Court (Source: Fox v. City of Jacksonville Texas et al Case No. 2:2010cv00158 TX Eastern District) The 12th Court of Appeals in Tyler will rubberstamp this podunk county’s jurisdictional overreaching. As we and our readers have said before, be forewarned: Cherokee County is rogue, anti-American and out of control. These people make a living violating the law and people’s rights.
Jury selection begins today for the Robert Fox retrial in Cherokee County district court. Elmer Beckworth refuses to recuse himself despite the fact he has answered Fox’s federal complaint as a Defendant. Again tax dollars will be wasted trying to bamboozle folks that Fox committed felony “tampering with a government record” for delivering an Intent to Sue to the City of Jacksonville. One element of Fox’s federal complaint is the refusal of the County Clerk and Cherokee County constables to endorse and serve his petitions under the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure. A Tort Claim form is not required to serve the City of Jacksonville Risk Management office, as it has been served under class action by victims of police officer Larry Pugh’s rape on patrol spree and Tomato Bowl riot.
Texas Rules of Civil Procedure
Rule 106. Method of Service
Unless the citation or an order of the court otherwise directs, the citation shall be served by any person authorized by Rule 103 by
1. delivering to the defendant, in person, a true copy of the citation with the date of delivery endorsed thereon with a copy of the petition attached thereto, or
2. mailing to the defendant by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a true copy of the citation with a copy of the petition attached thereto.
Robert Fox has been arrested, incarcerated and indicted on one false charge after another, all of which have either been dismissed (Barratry), found Not Guilty (Possession of an Illegal Substance), or resulted in mistrial (Tampering with a Government Record). This after being called a “terrorist sympathizer” by the Jacksonville Police Department and repeatedly by local newspapers. Fox has spent a total of 457 days in Cherokee County jail after his bail was set unconstitutionally high and his personal effects paraded around during a staged press conference. Every single accusation levied on him has come from the Cherokee County district attorney and those he intends to sue. Fox claims his constitutional rights were violated during multiple open-ended Swat-style raids on his commercial property in Jacksonville. Three such raids in one month alone. Cherokee County has answered to these types of claims in federal court before, but because three raids in one month is so blatantly illegal, they must trump up something to justify their criminal conspiracy to violate Fox’s rights. Robert Fox has an easily provable case of malicious prosecution, illegal search and seizure and unconstitutional practices.
Robert Fox .
What prosecutor in any legitimate county would pursue made up charges against a man, simply because the individual filed a bona fide legal document accepted onto the US Eastern District court docket? When Robert Fox’s Intent to Sue paperwork was mailed from Smith County, Elmer Beckworth’s office did not ask the FBI to charge Fox with mail fraud. Why? Because they know no other county or federal court could easily stack a jury to convict an innocent man. No crime had been committed with paperwork that could have easily been thrown in the trash upon receipt. Instead, they vilify the Plaintiff in a Civil Rights suit with “sovereign citizen” rhetoric, as they did recently with Austin radio talk show host Randy Kelton. No actual crime has been committed by Fox’s paperwork against them. But crimes are continually being committed against Robert Fox in Cherokee County. The FBI and Texas Rangers in the area appear to have zero interest in Fox, or the outcome of justice one way or another.
Robert Fox relocated in the late 1990’s from the Dallas/ Fort Worth area to Cherokee County. He and his associates were not greeted with open arms after setting up a satellite branch of the House of Israel in downtown Jacksonville, TX, directly across from the fire station. It was common knowledge that members usually refused to properly identify themselves when stopped and often successfully challenge minor traffic and legal infractions. This is a BIG No No in Dogtown, USA. The House of Israel members claim to practice their sovereign God-given rights; some say they are just asking for it when they challenge the status quo. The City of Jacksonville knows this and like most small town bored cops, started escalating their random stops of House of Israel members walking to the corner store. Not only that, the ministry’s downtown location was prime real estate for those wanting the out-of-towners to get the Hell OUT. They called them a “lightning rod for terrorism” but would deny they illegally tapped the church’s phones.
House of Israel, Jacksonville, TX .
Prior to Robert Fox’s arrival to Jacksonville, TX, local member Barry Brooks was convicted of operating a dental practice without a license and fought the district attorney’s office tooth and nail. Brooks held no punches embarrassing prosecutors in open court. And we all know that small town police forces are just political arms of the court house. Cherokee County wanted the House of Israel dissolved and punished. Barry Brooks’ adjacent property to the ministry hall allegedly contained expired dental antibiotics, and thus the excuse for multiple raids after-the-fact on Robert Fox’s section of the downtown rental plaza. Fox was present during the raids, placed under arrest and was forced to cough up bail money in escalating amounts. Cherokee County law enforcement has always operated like this.
A fishing expedition.
By an open-ended raid, we mean an illegal Search Warrant that offers no scope within the Affidavit; just grab what you can and use it anyway you can, as they did against Robert Fox. Jacksonville detective Jason Price showed Fox’s personal effects (none of which was illegal to own or suggested criminal activity) to the local media during a press conference. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress)
“Jason Price, detective for the Jacksonville Police Department, held a press conference, Friday morning where he announced that a felony warrant had been issued for the arrest of House of Israel leader Robert Fox. Price also explained that his investigation had uncovered connections between Fox and known terrorists. Progress photo by Kelly Young” (Source: Daily Progress)
During this televised press conference, the Jacksonville Police Department claimed Robert Fox to be a terrorist sympathizer because of his so-called “anti-government/ lawyer” leanings. Tyler TV stations and local sycophant newspapers were invited to spread the word that “a terrorist” named Robert Fox had links to “the Taliban and Timothy McVeigh.” (Source: KLTV July 25, 2008, “House of Israel Leader has Taliban link; draws Timothy McVeigh comparison“)
He’s the ringleader of an anti-government group, caught here in East Texas.
Now he’s been linked to a major terrorist organization – the Taliban.
Robert James Fox was arrested in May by Jacksonville Police and then again in June. He bonded out, and is now wanted for another felony charge.
Jacksonville Police held a press conference today and walked us through Fox’s history and what they see as his potential threat…
“We believe there is the same kind threat potential with Robert Fox, as there was with Timothy McVeigh,” Detective Jason Price told KLTV 7. “It’s a pressurized pot and it’s hard to say when it’s going to blow.” (Source: KLTV)
East Texas media outlets ran with the story for several months, on the word of small town criminals attempting to divert attention to away from their own stinking corruption, murder and rape. This House of Israel fiasco was going on during the time the City of Jacksonville was settling multiple federal lawsuits of their former rapist cop Larry Pugh of the Jacksonville PD. Officer Pugh, linked to missing women in the area, was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison for attacking one of his victims after she went to federal authorities. (Source: Daily Progress)
Where was the press conference for Jacksonville PD Larry Pugh’s missing victims? But we digress.
Robert Fox has never been a federal fugitive nor been wanted by the feds; furthermore the DOJ has never intervened to assist the city of Jacksonville or Cherokee County in their “sovereign citizen” lying dogshit. And that is exactly what it is. These people live in it and feed on it. The local media spreads it around.
Robert Fox and the House of Israel group have faced prosecution in the past for claiming religious rights when challenging minor traffic court cases, such as carrying passports to Heaven with “Elohim’s Kingdom of Israel” stamped on it. (Source: 766 F. Supp. 569 (1991) United States of America v. Robert James Fox, No. CR3-90-0288-H, United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division, June 3, 1991) Fox’s own legal briefs are cantankerous and loaded with Biblical jargon that by design infuriates judges. No one would want to be on the receiving end of one of his Motions or lawsuits. If they were without legal merit, his court filings could be thrown in the trash or perhaps mailed back to him with a note instructing him to stick it up his ass and set it on fire— in that order. Because Robert Fox was articulate in his federal complaint against Beckworth and the City of Jacksonville, et al they are retaliating by putting him on trial AGAIN for a bogus “tampering” charge, or “paper trail” as they call it. (Source: Daily Progress)
Sheriff James Campbell’s son-in-law was a juror on last year’s Robert Fox trial. For next week’s scheduled retrial, Elmer Beckworth does not want it leaked to the jury pool that he and James Campbell had to answer Fox’s Civil Rights complaint, because it was accepted and placed on the US Eastern District’s docket. Fox’s complaint was not summarily dismissed before all parties responded on the record. They should be recusing themselves and their kinfolk if it where a legitimate charge.
Parties in Fox’s federal complaint say he can’t file law suits and petition the government because a federal judge in Dallas labeled Fox a “vexatious litigant” back in 1993. The Cherokee County district attorney can not deny that Robert Fox’s civil rights have been constantly violated and the US Constitution trampled repeatedly; instead Elmer Beckworth responses to the civil rights suit claim that Fox has no right to recourse. Therefore anything Fox files is illegal (in Cherokee County), no matter where he files it. Elmer Beckworth’s retort to the US Eastern District does not deny Fox’s rights are being violated; Beckworth responded that Fox has no right to file any law suits. And what better way to settle a Civil Rights suit against the people you are suing, then by bringing fake criminal charges against the Plaintiff in a federal lawsuit? Cherokee County’s Elmer Beckworth is being praised and patted on the back for implementing this violation of the letter of the law. They think Robert Fox deserves it— to Hell with the Constitution.
Those in support of the District and County Attorney’s re-election campaigns are infuriated that the Robert Fox briefs mention Elmer Beckworth’s law school DWI and murdering drug informants such as Michael Harris who avoided prosecution. They want to ignore the decades’ worth of child molesters passed on the docket and given a few years probation living next door to them. They don’t care that a drug mule parolee named Brandon Robertson was released after being stopped with a gun and crystal meth, and went on to murder a Texas State Trooper 2 ½ weeks later. The City of Jacksonville cannot afford another round of civil rights suits after settling multiple class-action cases against rapist cop Larry Pugh. They don’t care that Craig Caldwell has spent the last 2 years accusing Pct. 3 Commissioner Katherine Pinotti of one made of up crime after another, while his predecessors had golf courses, private roads and ditches installed all over the county. (Source: KETK Jan. 19, 2012, “County Attorney apologizes to KETK”)
Those in favor of the status quo don’t care when their county officials are caught stealing hundreds of thousands of tax dollars and not one of them do 1 year in prison. They don’t care when women go missing after showing up at the Rape Crisis center.
They expect to get away with murder because they always have. According to the Justices operating in the US Eastern District, the City of Jacksonville was not responsible for employing a rapist cop who drug women out to the cemetery while on patrol, and molested them at gunpoint. The City of Jacksonville is not responsible for the women who their police officer raped while on duty or those who went missing after reporting it. According to this bunch, the City of Jacksonville, TX is not responsible for the nine women who survived and came forward, including the victim who escaped to testify. (Source: Evelyn Lewis vs. Larry Pugh, Mark Johnson, City of Jacksonville*)
*affirmed on Aug. 18, 2008 by the 5th Circuit Appeals in opinion No. 07- 40662 from the US Eastern District case 06-CV-357. Read here: ftp://opinions.ca5.uscourts.gov/byDate/Aug2008/Aug18/07-40662.0.wpd.pdf
Accordingly to the same bunch, the City of Jacksonville is not responsible for the multiple raids and civil rights violations against Robert Fox and his friends passing through Cherokee County.
The City of Jacksonville, i.e. those in the community wanting the House of Israel property and the entire group removed by force, knows of the group’s tenacity and hard-headedness. Especially when it comes to the legal proceedings they complain most about, especially when they feel they are being done dirty. As stated earlier, Robert Fox has never been a “fugitive wanted on felony charges in Texas;” Fox has appeared to every single hearing, subpoena and summons he has been called to. Each time Robert Fox appeared to defend himself in Cherokee County’s courts, he has been charged again for another crime, ad nauseum, in order to stifle his civil rights suit.
There is no question that the entire Cherokee County jury pool knows who Robert Fox is, has heard about him, and have read about him in the paper. They all know he has filed civil complaints against the county. However they will never be instructed by the district judge that the Cherokee County district attorney’s office has no federal jurisdiction to prosecute a piece of paper Fox filed in Smith County against Elmer Beckworth. A private citizen, as annoying as they may be, may file an Intent to Sue wherever and whenever they like in the United States of America. Fox’s juries have been suborned to forget that fact.
After his multiple arrests in Cherokee County, Robert Fox was not released on his under his own personal recognizance; instead his bail was set unconstitutionally high and he was kept in the Rusk, TX jail for 235 days before his first hearing — for a total of almost a year and half. In March 2009, a traveling judge found Fox not guilty of “possession of dangerous drugs” in the County Court at Law. Charges of barratry were also dismissed. The reasons for the escalating raids and his multiple arrests failed the test of legality.
If filing an Intent to Sue at the Jacksonville, TX city hall is “Tampering with a Government Record,” then why is Robert Fox’s civil rights complaint on the US Eastern District’s docket? Why was it accepted and reviewed? Why did Elmer Beckworth, the City of Jacksonville and local news outlet have to respond to it? Being locked in jail for over a year and half, raided at gunpoint for charges that were eventually dropped; and being called a “terrorist” is CRUEL and USUAL for them, i.e. TORTURE under the color of law elsewhere. What about the women tortured by Jacksonville patrolman/rapist Larry Pugh? What equity do they get from the bench? What about the families of the missing women and those murdered by Cherokee County drug mules and informants?
These judges and justices who rubber stamp this criminal activity don’t just rely on their constituent equivocators to keep their pre-Civil Rights mentality alive and well; East Texas is teeming with rats and roaches crawling in and out of their back pockets. Hence, civil rights complaints get swept under the rug with the dung heaps they thrive in.
If nothing is done about this ongoing 21st Century corruption, the entire area should be economically quarantined, boycotted, closed off from the rest of the world (as they would prefer) and left to rot on the vine. There is not one entity working on this Robert Fox case that is not 10 thousand percent cognizant that Cherokee County is guilty of violating the law under the United States Constitution. Willfully, knowingly, openly and repeatedly.
March 31, 2012 update: Robert Fox’s 2nd trial began Tuesday March 27, 2012 and recessed early Wednesday March 28 due to Fox getting sick and requesting a continuance. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress “Trial session shortened after defendant falls ill” March 28, 2012)
Fox’s re-trial continues April 25, 2012.
Deputy Sheriff sends emails falsely claiming police chief is being sued for sexual harassment; public told to forget about it.
Jacksonville, TX/ Rusk, TX:
For argument’s sake, let’s say a high-ranking deputy with the city of Jacksonville police department sends a slew of anonymous emails to East Texas news agencies asking why they aren’t reporting that Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell is resigning under the pressure of multiple sexual harassment suits. Cherokee County taxpayers should ask themselves if they would witness a ‘kiss and make up’ scenario between those agencies, as the one we’ve just seen painted last week. (Source: Tyler Paper December 19, 2009) Or for the sake of debate, let’s say a lay citizen bombards news outlets with emails falsely claiming Sheriff Campbell is facing lawsuit after lawsuit for sexual harassment in the workplace. In the case of a private citizen making those types of false claims against Sheriff Campbell or Jacksonville police chief Reece Daniel, then the district attorney himself would crawl out from behind his facade of trustworthiness and beat the drums of prosecution. They all would be crowing from the Rusk courthouse steps about how they would hold that individual and his network of allies criminally accountable. With the local media chiming in to fan the flames of criminal/civil action and to pervert the jury pool.
However, the shoe is on the other foot: The outside world got a tiny glimpse last week into the slanderous and lowlife blackmail methods Cherokee County officials employ against each other and their political counterparts. Agencies that routinely share illegally obtained information and work hand-in-hand violating our constitutional rights make for bad bedfellows when one decides to complain to the Texas Attorney General’s office about the other. Or butt heads and embarrass the district attorney, as Chief Reece Daniel did in May of this year when he petitioned against Elmer Beckworth’s handling of the Robert Fox charges. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress May 3, 2009)
Sheriff James Campbell’s chief detective Chris White, captain for the Cherokee County sheriff’s department, recently sent anonymous emails to various East Texas news agencies claiming Jacksonville police chief Reece Daniel was resigning under the pressure of five (nonexistent) sexual harassment suits. Chief Daniel responded to the libelous accusations with a statement to the local press that the Jacksonville police department would no longer work alongside the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department until White was reprimanded or fired. Chief Daniel chooses his words carefully in his response to the Sheriff Department’s emailed accusations:
“Chris White told me he had sent the email in retaliation for me refusing to accept a case that originated in Cherokee County that he wanted my detectives to investigate. This is an extremely paltry reason for a law enforcement officer to get angry over and, in my opinion, violate the law. If he will do this to me knowing all the resources I have at my command then I worry about what he might do to an innocent civilian who makes his angry.”
(Source: KLTV December 14, 2009)
Statements like those can never be retracted, even though Chief Daniel has been counseled to sing Sheriff Campbell’s praises, and ignore the Penal Code statutes he himself cites within his complaint to TCLEOSE and in his response to Chris White’s accusations. Cherokee County taxpayers have the right to know why Sheriff Campbell refuses yet again to hold his deputy’s feet to the fire. Detective White’s actions cannot be undone and his anonymous emails (claiming sexual harassment) leave the recipients in those media outlets scratching their heads. How can Cherokee County’s sheriff continue to employ a deputy who retaliates against a fellow officer? What other dirt and mudslinging does the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department sanction? We know this latest published episode only scratches the surface. The broader intent of the emails was not only designed to smear Reece Daniel, but to frame someone else for sending the emails actually authored and distributed by a Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputy.
Campbell continues his decades-old pattern of unaccountability, even when his highest ranking deputy is caught red-handed emailing libelous content about a local police chief to news agencies. Campbell hides behind his department’s taxpayer supplied attorney rather than acknowledging his own deputy’s guilt. Sheriff Campbell’s statements deny knowledge of the emails’ “content,” but he surely knows his deputy White’s actions are rogue to say the least. (Source: KLTV December 14, 2009)
Instead of hiding behind his lawyers and saying that he knew nothing of the emails’ content, Sheriff Campbell could have taken the honorable route the day Chief Daniel responded to his accusers. Campbell could have made a simple statement that he would not tolerate this level of crap out of any of his employees. Despite the thousands of wasted taxpayers’ dollars and hours he and the Cherokee County newspapers have spent crooning about the county’s highest paid Deputy Sheriff. Campbell chose to play word games that he was “unaware” of anything while he remained hidden from comment.
City and County lawyers warn Chief Daniel ‘not to go there’ by pointing out repeatedly that one female employed with the Jacksonville Police Department made one accusation of sexual harassment against the chief in the past. Which resulted in her prompt promotion out of the field and into a higher paying position within Cherokee County law enforcement (thanks to a deal brokered by the current city of Jacksonville attorney). Sources: Jacksonville Daily Progress and Cherokeean Herald December 16, 2009
And they top off yet another of Cherokee County’s notorious lies that the emails are a result of a “personal conflict” between Detective White and Chief Daniel. Then why the use of both a county attorney and the city of Jacksonville attorney for a private pissing match? Sheriff Campbell cannot make a statement to his constituents without an attorney looking over his shoulders and writing his unapologetic smokescreens. These are the questions the local media should be asking before closing the book on this latest installment of sexual blackmail, Cherokee County style. The pattern of unethical behavior is not over; it will continue as long as these people hold office.
There is enough criminal activity and dirt to spread around, so if these guys want to keep their jobs, it is apparent that in their minds, they had better stick together. They will have to continue to feign solidarity during intrajurisdictional disputes and target the innocent people Chief Daniel refers to in his statement. Hopefully, they believe, this sordid little story during the Christmas holidays will disappear from the evening news.
Chief Detective Chris White’s libelous emails about Reece Daniel are not only unethical, they shed light into the modus operandi that has been going on for decades in Cherokee County. Too many of these current public officials are bought and owned by these sexual harassment/ blackmail techniques. A thorough Spring house cleaning is long overdue. Get rid of these corrupt parasites at election or continue to have your taxpayer dollars lining their attorneys’ pockets. Or you can continue to support the vermin while they pay each other off with your hard earned tax dollars. You have just witnessed a microcosm of their unethical universe: a salaried deputy sheriff sending anonymous and inflammatory emails on a County computer in order to deflect media attention onto the police chief of Jacksonville. With the intention of blaming someone else for it until his IP address was traced.
Merry Christmas Cherokee County and have a blessed New Year. The March primaries are right around the corner; vote the prevaricators and provocateurs out. It is time to bring some semblance of honor into your public offices. Next month we will discuss the case of 35-year veteran Cherokee County employee and true friend of the courthouse Carl Phillips, the director of the Cherokee County Supervision and Corrections Department. Phillips was recently indicted for theft of services and allegedly tampering with government records while head of Adult Probation. (Source: Tyler Paper December 17, 2009)
A case for and against jury sentencing.
The ongoing saga of the missing $147,000 from the Rusk Texas water department finally has closure. Prior to her July 2009 trial, Rusk water department clerk Doris Robinson had been quietly preparing to pay back the first round of $50,000 increments she had stolen during her tenure as a Cherokee County public servant. Robinson pleaded guilty in open court and a sentencing jury was swayed to give her 10 years probation. She was fined $5,000 and ordered by presiding Judge Bascom Bentley III to pay back over a four year period, the remaining taxpayer monies that she embezzled over a two year period. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress July 9, 2009)
District [369th] Judge Bascom Bentley added his own stipulation that Robinson make her restitution within four years, with payments of at least $10,000 due, Dec. 31 of each year. (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress July 9, 2009)
Mrs. Robinson pleaded to embezzling over $145,000 from the taxpayers. Of course that would be $10,000 a year for four years for a total of $40,000; plus the $57,000 she paid at sentencing. That would leave an unnoticed remainder of $50,000 to go unaccounted…
courtesy Daily Progress
Not to go unnoticed in the news, the 369th District Court convened this mock trial on Wednesday July 8, 2009 and local newspapers followed suit. Mrs. Robinson agreed to have this local jury “decide” her punishment, which theoretically could have ranged from nothing to 10 years in state prison. The maleable jury was seated to assess only the punishment phase of the case. Robinson had previously waived her rights to a jury trial and she accepted District Attorney Elmer Beckworth’s plea bargain. Before deciding Mrs. Robinson’s punishment, the Cherokee County jury heard opening statements, along with testimonies from witnesses. (Source: Tyler Paper July 9, 2009)
Strategically designated Cherokee County ‘dignitaries’ bombarded jurors with accolades about the Robinson family, while the specific methodology implemented to achieve the embezzlement was swept under the carpet. This was the punishment phase of the “trial;” guilt was already established though Mrs. Robinson was never forced to admit her guilt to the jurors. Local newspapers followed suit, leaving reasonable doubt that a clerical error could have resulted in the missing $150,000. It was in the hands of the 12 jurors to decide whether or not prison was appropriate for a 62-year old “Christian” woman without a CPA license (Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress July 9, 2009)
The State did not vigorously present mitigating factors for a harsher sentence, hence the premeditated deliberation of 10 years community supervision. The process itself is a contradiction (plea bargain acceptance, then jury sentencing of the same punishment), and is a not so clever way for district attorneys and judges to appear to be removed from the case. In a tiny town of only 5,000 people, that concept is entirely ridiculous. Mrs. Robinson’s fate was determined in the judge’s chamber months before the jury was vetted.
The fact is the presiding judge had already accepted the punishment of the defendant, because the district court is mandated by law to show record of the defendant voluntarily waiving his or her rights to a trial and PLEADING GUILTY.
From the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, when a trial by jury has been waived, the district judge determines the sentence. To stave off embarrassment of a long and costly trial, the Doris Robinson case followed the prosecution’s recommendation of probation. District Judges can either accept or reject said plea bargains. The precedent of jury sentencing is always under fire due to the nature of the limited evidence heard at sentencing, versus extensive and specific evidence allowed at trial. So don’t be snookered into believing it was the compassionate jury composed of five white women, a black woman and six white men sentencing Mrs. Robinson after 1 hour and 45 minutes of ‘deliberation’ who meted out probation as her sentence. (Source: Cherokeean Herald July 8, 2009)
The fix was in from day one because she was a city employee and faced Elmer Beckworth and a Cherokee County jury instead of a legitimate federal jury. Cherokee County Texas prosecutors, law enforcement and Beckworth’s handpicked jurors are more interested in putting Civil Rights complainants in prison than public servants caught stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in city revenue.
According to the July 8, 2009 Cherokeean Herald, Doris Robinson was sentenced that same day to 10 years in prison, with that sentence probated for 10 years, fined $5,000 in her “theft trial” and ordered to pay $143,000 in restitution. Readers of Rusk’s local Cherokeean newspaper are predictably misled into presuming defendant Robinson was scrutinized in a full-fledged “theft trial” by jurors who then sentenced her to repay the money in order to avoid imprisonment.
BEFORE July 8, 2009, Mrs. Doris Robinson pleaded guilty to theft of Rusk Water Department funds in her plea bargain, which resulted in her avoiding a “theft trial” by jury with its inherent risk of imposition of incarceration if found guilty by those trial jurors. So why in the world is it permissible for the court’s time (taxpayers’ money) to be squandered on assembling a jury panel solely for the purpose of sentencing confessed thief Mrs. Robinson when the district judge is the one with the authority to impose sentencing of plea bargainers?
It is quite implausible that Mrs. Robinson’s capable legal advisors would have approved her written admission of guilt if that document did not contain the specific requirements for avoidance of incarceration, to include but not limited to, her acknowledgement that she will repay within a set timeline the funds she admitted stealing. It’s smoke and mirrors Cherokee County style with public officials and local media creating the illusion that courthouse employees are honorably utilizing the salaries they draw from the taxpayers’ collective wallet. The fact is the Robinson probation sentence was already a done deal in verbiage of her signed plea and sentencing agreement.
As usual, they want to have it both ways when ‘Project Got to Fool ‘Em Everyday’ is in full swing. If a local steals the same amount of money from a federally insured bank, then a stiffer penalty and different outcome can be expected outside the tainted Cherokee County legal process.
47-year old bank teller Lloyd Wayne Rock, also from Jacksonville, TX, was indicted in federal court for stealing over $145,000 from a Bank of America located in Tyler, TX. Rock is accused of stealing the money since he began his employment at the Tyler branch in 1995. Lloyd Rock pleaded guilty on July 29 to the embezzlement charge and faces up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted. (Source: Tyler Paper July 29, 2009)
Wood County, TX:
Wood County officials are requesting the Texas Rangers move their attention away from Cherokee County and come on down to help find $1,063 missing from the county treasurer’s office. Treasurer Becky Cannon faces a Wood County grand jury for the “misplaced funds” from the sale of scrap metal. (Source: Tyler Paper July 29, 2009)
Rusk County, TX:
A female prison guard at the Henderson Bradshaw Unit has been arraigned for paying an inmate to perform sex acts on her. Hether Bargsley, 32 was fired June 13 after admitting to officials she had paid a prisoner $200 for having sex in a doorway.
Rusk County Sheriff Department dispatcher and warrant clerk Kristy Campbell, 43, was charged on July 31 with cashing in a stolen money order of a missing $500 bond.Theft of service by a public official is a state jail felony. (Source Tyler Paper July 31, 2009)
Smith County, TX:
A Pct. 1 Smith County Deputy Constable, who is also the son of Precinct 3 Commissioner Terry Phillips, is under investigation for being on the payroll but not having a TCLEOSE police officer’s license. Derek Lee Phillips, age 23 had come under scrutiny by the Texas Rangers after an incident the night of June 29, in which he pulled a handgun on guests at his father’s property. Phillips has been patrolling with other deputies and identifying himself as a deputy constable, despite being unlicensed. (Source: Tyler Paper July 16, 2009)
One official said the county is liable for officers and deputies, and a person with as many citations as Phillips would also be a problem for insurance. (Source: Tyler Paper July 16, 2009)
A stark difference of facts presented in neighboring Smith County;
Cherokee County’s liability insurance provider in concert with elected officials have a proven track record of schmoozing public opinion that its policyholder county is a low-risk client. Even after hiring gypsy cops and rapists who cause huge insurance claims for the county that employs them.
A female deputy Smith County constable is also under Texas Ranger investigation and is also patrolling Pct. 1. This after she was alleged to have instigated a scuffle at her former boyfriend’s Tyler apartment complex. Newly licensed Minerva Martin is accused of going to a former boyfriend’s apartment to confront him and his current girlfriend, according to witnesses’ accounts and disturbance calls.( Source: Tyler Paper July 23, 2009)
It is also reported that TCLEOSE officials have recommended Precinct 1 Constable Henry Jackson’s license be revoked. Constable Jackson pleaded guilty in August 2008 to a Misdemeanor count of tampering with a governmental record and was given six months deferred adjudication. He also pleaded no contest to a Class C assault charge from sexual harassment and official oppression allegations. (Source: Tyler Paper July 17, 2009)
Constable Henry Jackson
Tyler, TX Police Chaplain Anwar Khalifa was arrested in a Dallas hotel by an off duty Frisco, TX police officer, when the officer working security caught Khalifa smoking marijuana in the parking lot. Khalifa, the former head of the East Texas Islamic Society, was asked to resign by Tyler’s chief of police. (Source: Tyler Paper July 23, 2009)
Frisco Police Sgt. Crawford took the remainder of the marijuana and rolling paper and logged it as evidence and also notified the Tyler Police Department of the incident. (Source: Tyler Paper July 23, 2009)
Anwar Khalifa (Courtesy KLTV Tyler, TX)
Another stark difference from a recent Cherokee County, TX episode when Constable Randall Thompson was arrested by federal agents on the Mexican border for meth distribution. Instead of turning his badge in, Randy Thompson continued his role as Pct. 3 Constable up to the day he was indicted in federal court on drug charges. Employers of public officials such as Constable Thompson and Khalifa are always notified when the employee is arrested elsewhere. Despite Cherokee County’s pattern of pretending not to know their political allies have been arrested and are facing federal indictment the next day. Cherokee County’s District Attorney’s office, the Sheriff’s Department and constables routinely “split the revenue” of seized property during drug raids (even airplanes), without oversight. (Source: Cherokeean Herald August 27, 2008)
Jacksonville High School assistant coach Jerry Chism, 34 of Longview, was placed on administrative leave after being indicted for participating in illegal dog-fights. The football coach had been arrested in November 2008 for a DWI in Gregg County, before transferring to nearby Jacksonville ISD where he was employed for approximately one year.
Jerry “Scotty” Chism was arrested July 8 in Panola County during a three-state sting which led to over 25 other defendants being indicted in federal court for animal cruelty. (Source: Tyler Paper July 16, 2009)
JHS Coach Jerry Chism
Warning: Cherokee County Texas institutions are bastions of child exploitation and employ purveyors of child pornography.The mass exodus of Rusk Independent School District faculty members earlier this year is based upon the revelation that protected locals and administration officials with a penchant for photography have been under FBI scrutiny for years- stemming from the 2001-2002 Department of Justice crackdown of Palestine, Texas resident Mark Bates – the Webmaster of a worldwide e-mail child pornography ring originating from Internet servers in Anderson and Cherokee Counties. Why did the Rusk High School principal and all those Rusk ISD teachers and coaches turn in their resignations?
The FBI sting called “Operation Candyman” netted individuals throughout the country, including an A&M cadet in Brownsville and two men from the Houston,TX area. 89 subscribers total were indicted. Mark Bates, age 33 of Palestine, TX was sentenced in December 2002 to 30 years prison for being the mastermind and moderator of the website used to download images federal prosecutors called “absolutely appalling in the depth of their depravity.” Many arrested subscribers to Mark Bates’ email group (such as Toby Barnett from Lufkin, Texas) were people ‘holding positions of trust with frequent contact with children.’ Mark Bates had two prior child molestation convictions and a history of mental disorders.
The ongoing cover up of this type of depraved and illegal activity should show the rest of the state just how duplicitous Cherokee County Texas really is. Especially when local officials pretend to have no knowledge of kiddie porn being distributed from computers owned by the school district. A place where under the guise of fake evangelicalism, the images of broken and bloody bodies of children have been traded like Green Stamps on the Internet for decades. While at the same time Cherokee County district attorney Elmer Beckworth offers probation to a Rusk Texas man who mutilated his own 12-month old daughter, and the district court voraciously accepts any and all plea bargains to over 3 dozen registered sex offenders within the county. Mark Bates’ child porn ring of 6 years ago apparently never ceased to exist outside the area, with ongoing federal sentences (such as Jeffrey Scott Ray of Nacogdoches and Toby Barnett of Lufkin, TX) never making it to the pressroom. The list continues.
Lon Morris College’s head golf coach Barry Dean Griffin, age 38, has been arraigned in federal court for possession and distribution of child pornography. Coach Barry Griffin was arrested Monday, June 9, 2008 after surrendering to federal authorities in Tyler, Texas. According to the June 10, 2008 issue of the Tyler Paper, Lon Morris faculty member Barry Griffin : “has been charged by complaint for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography on May 30 in Cherokee County [Texas]. If convicted, he could face 5 to 20 years in prison for the distribution charge and up to 10 years in prison for the possession charge.”
Monday’s appearance by Griffin in front of Tyler, TX based US Magistrate Judge John Love was reported here first. He has not been formally indicted.
Lon Morris College coach Barry Dean Griffin
Barry Griffin is a junior college Kinesiology instructor and coach for Jacksonville, Texas based Lon Morris and has been since 2005. The Lon Morris men’s golf team took fourth place in a recently held NJCAA tournament in Huntsville, Alabama, with hotel accommodations arranged by the college. Griffin has also traveled out of state to Daytona, Florida where he accompanied the Lon Morris College girl’s golf team , who took a 4th place prize at the women’s NJCAA national championship games.
Similarly, the Jacksonville home of Rusk ISD drama coach Harold “Bo” Scallon was raided last year by federal authorities on a tip from the Longview, TX police department. The tip being that the High School teacher was distributing child pornography over the Internet. His personal laptop, school computer and hard drives were confiscated by the FBI. Scallon pleaded guilty on April 4, 2008 in federal court to possessing over 150 sadomasochistic images of minors. He taught for the Rusk Independent School District for nearly 30 years and with parents’ blessings, participated in numerous overnight ‘theater camps.’ Due to a plea agreement, his child porn distribution charge was dropped by federal prosecutors, though he still faces decades in federal prison. Certainly the community and school administrators will rally around to petition for Mr. Scallon’s early release and leniency prior to his sentencing date being reported. As they did with Alto, Texas postmaster Herbert Dominguez, prior to his federal sentencing for stealing $27,000 of United States Post Office material- but never reporting it.
Local Cherokee County, Texas media portray Rusk High School Theater class’ Bo Scallon official retirement and contractual obligations to the school district as ending in April 2007, prior to the FBI raid. However, Harold “Bo” Scallon’s continual employment with the Rusk ISD was apparent to the FBI because investigators seized his company computer from the Rusk High School and examined its hard drives. Forensics on his computers uncovered massive files storing violent and graphic depictions involving children.
mugshot of Rusk,TX teacher Harold “Bo” Scallon
The ongoing out-of-county reports of federal investigations compared to the nonexistent media coverage, nor local outcry, begs the question: Has Cherokee County, Texas always been a child molestation and child pornography refuge? Local offenders certainly do not have to worry about prison time if they cut deals with the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office after falling in the hands of Elmer Beckworth .
View the locations of registered child molesters living steps from the Rusk Texas courthouse and Rusk Texas Jr.-Sr. High Schools mapped on a website called FamilyWatchdog .
Found at: http://www.familywatchdog.us
Infant molesters (whose victims are as young as 1 to 6 years-old) all handed probation and local Adult Supervision by the Cherokee County district attorney’s office -and not spending one day in prison.
[known registered Rusk, TX sex offenders - courtesy of Family Watchdog]
As a footnote, Harold “Bo” Scallon was sentenced on Tuesday June 17, 2008 in the US District Courts to 6 1/2 years federal prison time for possessing Internet child pornography. He will remain under parole supervision for 5 years after completing his federal prison term. Had the Rusk ISD faculty member actually acted on his sick fantasies and molested a Jr. High student, then the Cherokee County district attorney would have offered Scallon a few months probation (just like Elmer Beckworth’s office did for Chris Hennessy, a Rusk Texas patrol officer offered a paltry probation sentence of months instead of years for raping a Rusk ISD Jr. High girl in 2004). Or Cherokee County prosecutors would simply ignore the problem like the community and Rusk school board has for the last 30 years of Harold “Bo” Scallon’s teaching career. The world may never know how many deals were struck to keep this guy’s perverted pastimes out of the Rusk ISD school bulletin and news.
Also buried in the archives and the local School Board meeting minutes is a report of another Rusk ISD school teacher and former Jacksonville High School faculty member, Brian Basse sentenced to 3 years TDCJ time in 2007 for sexual contact with a student. Explicit Instant Messages and photos were recovered from his laptop computer by the FBI. Basse had been a Rusk Texas school teacher for 7 years, before relocating from the Jacksonville ISD. Brian Basse’s 36 month sentence (which he may serve 80% of) was handed to him from the 2nd Judicial District Court in Rusk, TX.
And don’t forget about Josh Allen music teacher at the Jacksonville Christian Academy and youth minister for the Tyler Street Baptist Church being sentenced in 2007 to 4 years for possession of child pornography- over 600 graphic and violent images. Tyler Street Baptist Church is a long time polling place for voters in Cherokee County’s Precinct No. 15. The US District Court “noted that Allen has no past criminal history and that he had the support of his church – factors in issuing the relatively lenient sentence.” Great. Gregg County Texas charged Josh Allen for his porn distribution into their county, since Cherokee County Texas failed to do so. A local investigation was not required from the source because, as Allen told Federal Judge Leonard Davis during his January 4, 2007 sentencing, local authorities believed the choir director still “had an opportunity to be part of the solution to the problem” of child porn being distributed via the Internet from Cherokee County, Texas. Allen received the same lack of media attention coupled with an outpouring of local support as did Jeffrey Scott Ray and Toby Lynn Barnett. Ray’s residence in Nacogdoches, TX was raided by federal authorities in 2006 and his sentencing not reported; Jeffrey Ray Scott got 70 months in federal prison. Toby Barnett was charged with possession of child porn and given 3 years probation in 2002 for “not having a prior criminal record,” even though he had been convicted in Nacogdoches, TX for assault in 1996.
Just do a comparison on how the legal system operates 40 miles away in Smith County, Texas. For instance, the recent Wednesday June 18, 2008 sentencing of Daniel Wayne Tidwell, age 29 of Tyler, in the 241st District Court doling out 50 years state prison time. This is after Tidwell pleading guilty to the sexual assault of a 15 year-old girl. Daniel Tidwell did have prior felony convictions, but regardless was facing 5 years to life for the rape.
Don’t forget the crack down on the Mineola Swinger’s Club that has made national news, either. The third defendant out of a string of arrests, Patrick “Booger Red” Kelly , a foster parent, is on trial for drugging children 9 years-old and younger and forcing them to perform strip club-esque dances for patrons of Mineola, Texas’ honky tonk. A version of what Cherokee County, Texas’ counterfeit Christians have been doing for decades: exploiting children and getting away with it. Smith County CPS removed the children from the homes of participants beginning in 2004 when it became apparent drug use and sexual abuse was occurring in the “deeply religious community.” Also awaiting trial are Dennis Boyd and Rebecca Pittman; and Jimmy Dale and Shelia Darlene Sones. Local swingers in the East Texas sex ring Jamie Pittman and Shauntel Loraine Mayo were convicted and sentenced to life in prison earlier in May, for their involvement in making children perform sex acts on stage.
An even better recent comparison would be the 2006 trial in Smith County of a preacher named Jefferson Marion Moore, age 58 at the time, also the Dogwood City Daycare and Preschool operator convicted of molesting a 6 year-old girl left in his care. He was a full time pastor for the Dogwood City Chapel, or “Brother Jeff” as they called him. Jefferson Moore was convicted and sentenced to LIFE in prison for the rape he committed. Moore had been indicted on three counts of sexual assault of a minor involving a 6, 7 and 4 year-old. “Brother Jeff” Moore was also charged with retaliation after an altercation with Smith County prosecutors during courtroom deliberations and given 10 extra years. On the brighter side, the Tyler Paper reports in its June 25, 2008 edition that Jefferson Moore died of “natural causes” in his cellblock earlier this month after serving 2 years in prison. Dogwood City, Texas is a small unincorporated community on Lake Palestine and ideal retirement spot for district judges, located on the Cherokee County / Smith County border and 20 miles from downtown Jacksonville, Texas. No probation offers or lenient sentences for this child molester; the Smith County community certainly did not rally in support of the only preacher and licensed babysitter in their tiny town. Incidentally, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday June 25, 2008 that it is unconstitutional for states to execute child rapists. That will certainly keep Cherokee County’s sexual predator population on a steady incline.
Pastor Jefferson Moore (deceased), daycare owner and child molester
In April 2005, the Kilgore, Texas newspaper The Kilgore News Herald began an expose, aptly named “Child Pornography Big Problem in East Texas,” on how pervasive the crime was becoming.
Next month, more East Texas child molesters off the streets and in federal prison, such as Franklin Albert Pearce of Wood County, Texas gets life for the sexual assault of a 6 year-old girl. William Allen Pipes of Gilmer, TX pleads guilty to distributing child porn and faces 10 years.
In local school news, the superintendent of Overton ISD Dr. Mark Stretcher, after “unexpectedly” resigning his post in January due to a “personal illness and pressure” and subsequently throwing the Overton, TX school district in disarray- why Dr. Stretcher has been charged with felony theft of public funds. Stretcher pleaded guilty to ‘theft in office’ on Friday June 27, 2008. Beware Rusk County, Texas you are in a close second for most corrupt.
TEXAS PENAL CODE § 39.02 ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY.
(a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s
office or employment; or
(2) misuses government property, services, personnel,
or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has
come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of
the public servant’s office or employment.
Rusk, Texas: North East Texas mourns the loss of decorated DPS trooper James Scott Burns, shot and killed the night of April 29, 2008 by ex-Kilgore, TX police officer Brandon Wayne Robertson during a high speed chase through Marion County, Texas. Robertson was under MANDATORY SUPERVISED PAROLE in Smith County, Texas. Nonetheless, Cherokee County Texas had Brandon Robertson in their custody 3 weeks prior on April 7, 2008, but chose to ‘cash out’ for bond on the parolee’s TWO charges of felony possession of narcotics and felony possession of a gun, instead of following the letter of law and notifying the offender’s Parole Officers in Smith County. Brandon Robertson had the same legal rights and lack thereof as a prisoner sitting in TDCJ despite his early parole. And on the outside, he certainly didn’t have a Travel Permit that allowed him to SPEED through Cherokee and Marion Counties and back again each week.
Brandon Robertson was bonded out at $7500 each for both felony citations in Cherokee County Texas on April 7, 2008. Somebody at the courthouse told the Bondsman/woman that this was perfectly legal. And of course the Bondsman/woman, the Justice of the Peace, 2nd Judicial District Judge and arraigning Municipal Judge are all daughter, uncle, brother and father in Rusk, Texas. One would think these people had been sued enough not to listen to the legal advice of the district attorney’s office.
The dirty little secret is: Category I Parolees, such as Robertson, during traffic stops and arrests are not entitled to Bail until the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole reviews the charges via the revocation process. They pretty much have to grab their ankles and spread their butt cheeks during routine traffic stops. Parolees have no “rights to bond” per se, or rights of Due Process when it comes to physical searches. A process not implemented in Cherokee County Texas even though Brandon Robertson was traveling county to county (in violation of his parole) dealing crystal meth to every Small Town Tom, Dick and Harry and Naked Trucker. And Cherokee County decided to set and keep $15000 worth of bond instead of notifying Brandon Robertson’s Parole Officers of his incarceration. In turn, the Parole Officers would have 5 days to review the charges against Robertson, while Robertson sat in jail waiting for a TDCJ hearing. Quite simply, Cherokee County Texas had no legal jurisdiction to set bail for the release of the armed convict after the DPS cited him.
East Texas Trooper, James Burns slain by released parole violator
Brandon Wayne Robertson, age 37, had been on parole for multiple felony drug and theft convictions, as well as unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon in Gregg County, TX. Doing the world a favor, Robertson committed suicide Thursday May 1. The dirtbag piece of human debris killed himself after an extensive statewide manhunt immediately after his cold blooded murder of Trooper James Burns. The trooper’s slaying was witnessed by travelers trying to assist the fallen lawman; a description of Robertson’s vehicle was broadcasted throughout the region as authorities closed in on Robertson’s whereabouts. Huddled up somewhere near his crystal meth lab in the woods of Cass County, Texas, Brandon Robertson shot himself before his capture.
Remember, the city of Jacksonville, Texas police department can help federal and state authorities locate and detain felons wanted in other states when they pop up in Cherokee County, but the Sheriff’s department can’t keep an absconding parolee from a neighboring county in their jail 5 days for a TDCJ Parole Board review. “The US constitution” told them they had to let Robertson out on bail, even after Elmer Beckworth and Todd Staples (R) co-opted the State legislators with the “Faye Bell Harris Amendment.”
The same week parolee Brandon Robertson was arrested and released, the city of Jacksonville, Texas police department touted in the local newspaper The Daily Progress how they arrested two men from out of state affiliated with the “House of Israel” (a supposed Jacksonville based offshoot of the Republic of Texas group); one named Stephen L. Jackson, age 49 of Missouri found in the databases to be wanted on 2 counts, one federal/ one state.
From the Daily Progress April 8, 2008: “[Stephen] Jackson was found to have an outstanding ATF warrant and a warrant from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri for unlawful possession of a prohibited weapon. He was held in the city jail overnight, and was transferred into the custody of ATF agents Tuesday afternoon.”
Jacksonville, TX Police Chief Reece Daniel publicizes how his investigators turned evidence against Jackson over to the ATF. Evidently the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department cannot do the same when it comes to parole violators from neighboring Smith County, Texas who are carrying guns, drugs and cash for bail money on their person.
Trooper James Burns leaves behind a grieving family and community. His funeral was held Saturday May 3, 2008. Murdered on the roadside by an ex-con armed with a shotgun who was recently released from Cherokee County jail – on his way back down the road with a pat on the back- for once being a good Rusk County cop and “never really doing anything wrong before” turning to selling crystal meth, stealing and killing people in a drug induced hysteria. All of which is a parole violation. They probably let him keep his gun, too.
[Trooper James Burns' patrol vehicle, courtesy Longview, TX News-Journal]
James Scott Burns was the 83rd Texas State Highway Trooper to be killed in the line of duty. The ultimate tragedy and blame lies in what neighboring county, Cherokee County TX could have done days earlier in the month of April, when Brandon Robertson was in Cherokee County’s custody. His illicit drug trafficking was temporarily postponed by fellow DPS troopers to the south, patrolling Rusk, Texas. Robertson was stopped, his vehicle searched and he was then arrested for drug possession AND UNLAWFUL CARRYING OF A WEAPON BY A FELON by two Department of Public Safety officers. Robertson was transported and booked in the Cherokee County jail in Rusk, Texas on April 6th. His parole officers were not notified, instead Cherokee County decided to collect $15000 worth of ‘cash-out bond’ for Robertson’s charges and keep Smith County and the Parole Board in the dark. A typical move for small towns trying to generate revenue.
According to an interview with arraigning Rusk, Texas municipal Judge Forrest Phiffer by Longview News Journal reporter Randy Ross, parolee Brandon Robertson was stopped at 9:40 a.m. on April 6 by the DPS and charged with “possession of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm by a felon. He [Robertson] was released the next day on two $7,500 bonds, according to sheriff’s office records.”
View the archived newspaper paper article titled “Suspect arrested weeks before troopers’s shooting” published May 8, 2008 by the Longview/Marshall, TX News-Journal: http://www.news-journal.com/news/content/news/stories/2008/05/08/05082008_trooper_suspect.html
Suspect arrested weeks before trooper’s shooting
By RANDY ROSS email@example.com
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
The next morning, the Cherokee County district judge, the sheriff’s office and district attorney passed on prosecuting parolee Brandon Robertson for his illegal narcotics plus his gun and allowed Robertson to post bail. They didn’t even bother to confiscate his vehicle. As a Class I felon on parole, Brandon Robertson was subject to random searches from his parole officers. During a traffic stop, the DPS would call for back up after identifying the parolee as such, as they did on April 6 in Cherokee County, for two DPS officers to be present while they searched the offender’s vehicle. Caught with drugs and a gun, that parolee A.K.A. Brandon Robertson would automatically have his right to bail denied according to the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole. Robertson would be transported to the nearest county holding facility and the Sheriff, required by Texas Law, would notify the offender’s Parole Officer (named in the DPS database). All those things occurred, except the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department notification to Smith County of Brandon Robertson’s incarceration. Hence, Brandon Robertson was out making his DRUG MULE deliveries throughout East Texas while he was in violation of parole for the 5th time AND simultaneously out on 2 Felony bonds. His Smith County Parole Officers would have issued a warrant for his arrest by April 11, 2008 had he not voluntarily turned himself in. He apparently was set on not going back to jail alive.
“But that wouldn’t make a crackheaded thug like Brandon Robertson become agitated and non-complicit in the next traffic stop by authorities.” He was an “ideal” prisoner according to Cherokee County, so just because he was going back to prison didn’t mean he would pull a gun on the next law enforcement officer in his path of self destruction… Naaaw. For God’s Sake, the maniac killed himself to avoid going to prison. Cherokee County Texas in typical fashion would rather blame the United States Constitution and recite fictitious legal requirements for accepting $15000 bail from an armed convict on his way back to prison.
Cherokee County authorities never even notified Robertson’s parole officers in Smith County. In a matter of hours, Brandon Wayne Robertson was back on the highway to deal drugs, armed with a 20- Gauge COPKILLER. They literally just let the guy drive off. No hearing, no phone calls to a Parole Officer, no formal arraignment, just a deputy escort right out the front door.
22 days later, Brandon Robertson killed a Texas State Trooper who chased him through Marion County Texas transporting more illegal drugs into the region.
ex-con and ex-police officer Brandon Wayne Robertson
Brandon Robertson was well-known by local law enforcement, having previously worked for the Overton, TX and Kilgore, TX police departments between 1990 and 1999 and with the Rusk County Sheriff’s Department (notorious for its internal corruption problems) for several years. Robertson turned to transporting and selling crsytal methamphetamine, or “ICE” to supplement his law enforcement salary until authorities arrested him. He had served 4 months of a 4 year sentence in TDCJ for multiple crimes until he was paroled in April 2007. Parole is a privilege not a right, an opportunity granted to prove rehabilitation dictated by the State Legislature. However, Brandon Robertson’s early release on good behavior is not the issue: The issue is Cherokee County Texas setting bond on a parole violator and not notifying Smith County of his arrests. Brandon Robertson would have and should have been transported to the county responsible for his MANDATORY PAROLE SUPERVISION. And while the offender remained behind bars, a parole hearing would have decided his right to bail. Not a “City Judge” from Rusk Texas trying to generate “cash bonds” for the county to pocket. Cash money generated from the sale of illegal narcotics going into the coffers of Cherokee County Texas.
Any attempt to lie for the record by Cherokee County Texas authorities is the normal operating procedure. A parolee with a gun in his possession is an automatic incarceration for however long it takes to have a Parole Hearing or district court hearing to ascertain bail requirements. Elmer Beckworth, Sheriff James Campbell and other locals in Cherokee County recently championed the preventable death of Faye Bell Harris of Jacksonville, TX and the need to “deny bail” to at-risk offenders. A needless death of a woman begging the Cherokee County district courts for help, even though her estranged husband Michael Harris continued to threaten, trespass and eventually shot gun her dead in her front yard in front of her children. Now after redundant and fictitious legislation has passed since 2006, i.e. Proposition 2, Proposition 6 and Proposition 13 reported by local Cherokee County media as “Elmer’s Law has passed unanimously…”
…why, now for some reason Cherokee County Texas cannot deny bail or even notify the appropriate parole officers of a felon with a gun and crystal meth who is stopped by the DPS in their own county. The birthplace of the Faye Bell Harris Amendment or as locals call it, “Elmer’s Law” will not assess a parolee with illegal drugs, a major drug habit, “a shotgun in the trunk” and now going straight back to prison when his Parole Officers find out about his arrests. Why- Cherokee County Texas couldn’t imagine Brandon Robertson as the slightest danger to society.
Cherokee County can’t even put into effect the laws sponsored by its State Representative, State Senator, district attorney, sheriff, Postmasters, attorneys and other fools and liars willing to sign on to the actions of violent offenders in their own custody.
On April 6, 2008, three weeks before the slaying in Marion County, Brandon Wayne Robertson was stopped and arrested in Cherokee County Texas by a patrolling DPS trooper. Again, Robertson was busted for felony drug possession (crystal meth) along with a concealed weapon and transported to the Cherokee County Texas Sheriff’s Department. TDCJ parolee and ex-cop Brandon Robertson spent one comfortable evening in Cherokee County jail and was released the very next day by Cherokee County authorities on two $7500 bonds. Robertson was arraigned on April 7, 2008 by Cherokee County even though he was on parole with multiple felony convictions. Despite his cited parole violations and criminal status as a convicted felon, Robertson was freed to go back to transporting his drugs in and around Rusk and Cherokee counties, while his case was postponed indefinitely.
Brandon Wayne Robertson’s connections to his former employers in the Rusk County Sheriff’s Office and those within Cherokee County, TX are all too apparent. These two adjoining East Texas counties are the choice for local crystal meth traffickers, often disgraced former peace officers such as Robertson, who have cut deals with their former employers to continue manufacturing and distributing narcotics into the region.
Hopefully, this debacle of Cherokee County Texas allowing an armed and dangerous parole violator out of jail to go out and take the life of a DPS officer, a father, brother, husband and dedicated East Texas lawman, hopefully this will finally open the eyes of the US Attorneys’ Offices operating in the region. It is long past time to hold Cherokee County accountable for brazenly operating against the intent of the law. Knowingly and willingly letting an armed and dangerous parole violator out THE NEXT DAY on a measly 2nd Degree Felony charge should be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
How does a felony charge of drug and weapons possession of a parolee justify only a $7500 Bond? That means Robertson only had to put up a couple of hundred dollars to a Bail Bondsman for felony possession. An inquest into the shooting of Trooper James Burns is pending by the Department of Public Safety and concerned citizens of Trooper Burns’ hometown Linden, Texas in Cass County. Concerned citizens and media types interested in the truth should not focus on Robertson’s girlfriend who may or may not have helped him evade arrest for 2 days. They should focus on how Cherokee County Texas views the judicial and legal system and how they collectively wipe their asses on the letter of the law. Interested parties should focus on how a municipal judge repeats every lie that is fed to him by his attorney, the Cherokee County District Attorney. The lie being that “excessive bond would be unconstitutional” in an arrest, booking and ‘receiving’ of a parolee caught with drugs and a gun. The fact is Cherokee County simply wanted to purloin Brandon Wayne Robertson’s bond. So they avoided notifying Robertson’s parole officers; a parole Robertson had been absconding for several months.
Cherokee County, TX pretends it never happened and never saw Brandon Robertson in their neck of the Piney Woods. Cherokee County wasn’t interested in a parolee’s travel permit status that would have barred him from legally traveling to their good little Christian community to peddle crystal meth to truckers and bored cops. Instead, they would rather lie through their teeth about the Judicial Process of parole revocation. Brandon Robertson was only buying himself time with the two Felony bonds he posted in Cherokee County on April 7, 2008. A drug addict parolee facing going back to prison would logically have made him more dangerous to the next DPS Trooper or sheriff deputy that cited him for absconding his parole conditions, according to Cherokee County’s own actions.
As far as Brandon Robertson taking his life to avoid prosecution, had his parole supervision been in Cherokee County, Texas, he’d be back out on bail the very next day after blasting his way out of a speeding ticket. Hell, the District Attorney’s office could split the guy’s Life Insurance Policy and move into the deceased’s house. Good riddance to Brandon Robertson and his ilk. The sun won’t be shining where he’s going. Unfortunately, his type of bad seed has become all too common in East Texas.
The media should blame Brandon Robertson first for being a dirty stinking crackheaded police officer, and that he went on to become a bonafide drug dealer. They should blame Cherokee County Texas secondly for keeping this drug addict on the streets to kill a peace officer with a wife and 5-month-old baby girl. Where was “Elmer Beckworth’s Law” when it came to denying this violent repeat offender’s bail? Where was Cherokee County’s legal expert when it came to denying bond to a felon with a 20-Guage shotgun and SPEED in his system and snortin’ it in all in his vehicle? And simply calling in the TDCJ authorities to incarcerate a crystal meth user on parole? Cherokee County Texas is both criminally and civilly negligent in giving Brandon Robertson a ‘get out of jail for $15000 worth of drug money’ card.
Sounds like Rocket Science to the crystal meth capital of East Texas.
Our condolences go out to Trooper James Scott Burns’ widow and family. We hope that Mrs. James Burns and family file a successful Wrongful Death suit against Cherokee County Texas and prevail. God knows the law would be certainly on her side, regardless of a sympathetic US District Judge trying to keep a corrupt small town Racketeering Project going for decades to come. Don’t forget to subpoena the DPS officers who arrested Brandon Robertson on April 6, 2008, Mrs. Burns. We are certain they would have a story to tell on how Cherokee County authorities conspired to deliberately drop the ball. The EDITOR would recommend one of the fine Federal Civil Rights attorneys practicing in the Northern East Texas Federal District who advertise on this blog.
District Attorney gives probation to Rusk, Texas infant molester. Driving while black in Jacksonville. Is this why smart companies are leaving the county, or is it the Slip-And-Fall free for all?
To make an agreement in which a defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge and the prosecutor in return drops more serious charges.
plea-bargain “Cherokee County Texas style” (n.) :
A deal struck with a court-appointed defense attorney in which a defendant pleads guilty to a more serious charge and the prosecutor offers adjudicated probation.
In 2006 the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office offered a plea bargain deal of probation to a Rusk, TX resident after his arrest for molesting a 1-year-old baby girl.
Kenneth Dexter Folmar, age 45, accepted 96 months deferred probation in 2006 for the Felony sexual assault of the female infant. Refer to Cherokee County, TX Criminal Docket case 16209 (2006) State v. Kenneth Dexter Folmar, 2nd Judicial District.
Folmar continues his employment in neighboring Anderson County. The Cherokeean Herald ran the picture of the Rusk, TX registered sex offender Kenneth Folmar in their August 2007 local sex offender update. However, because Kenneth Folmar is related to too many people operating the Rusk, TX courthouse, the actual molestation was never reported by the local media. And of course Elmer Beckworth’s plea offer of 8 years probation was not reported either.
The question is why are convicted child molesters in Cherokee County, whose victims are younger than 6 years-old, being put on probation? And their crimes not reported?
Because it is more efficacious for the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office and local media to protect the extended family members of the offender from embarrassment than it is to protect the community. Perpetuating the psychotic paranoid small town mentality by covering up the incest.
There are 79 registered sex offenders residing in Cherokee County, Texas according to a 8/15/07 Cherokeean Herald posting. In a 1/24/07 Cherokeean Herald article, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department released the names of the registered sex offenders living in the county.
As a ‘public service,’ local Cherokee County newspapers refuse to print the ages of the victims under 16 years-old. Nor the fact that EVERY offender on the local offenders list who was arrested by the Cherokee County Sheriff Department were on superficial probation and their 2nd degree Felony jail sentences suspended by District Attorney Elmer Beckworth- putting the county at risk.
The Cherokeean Herald’s policy is not to print the ages of local victms in cases incest, to keep their identities hidden from ostracism and ridicule. In 2003, the Lufkin Daily News was smart enough to print the names and addresses of all registered sexual offenders in the area, including the ages of victims, charges and date of judgment.
The Sheriff Department pretends to be doing the community a service by notifying the public (on a slow news day) of the identity of local child molesters. However, the offer of probation for the violent rape of a small child tells the true story of the criminal justice system operating in Cherokee County Texas. Especially when defendants are related to members of law enforcement, attorneys and clerks employed at the Rusk, Texas courthouse. They want to keep the high incident of East Texas incest under the radar because of their “vested interest in their little communities.” So the district attorney gives probation to Kenneth Folmar of Rusk, Texas for sexual assault of a 12 month old. Molesting a defenseless infant must not be that big of a deal for Cherokee County’s District Attorney.
Similary, Rusk Texas native, dairy hand and registered child molester James Christopher Schlater, age 51, was given deferred adjudication in 2007 after violating a local 6-year-old girl back in 2004. Refer to State v. James Christopher Schlater (2006) Cherokee County, Texas Criminal Docket Case No. 16630.
James Schlater had originally been charged with Felony sexual assault child, according to Cherokee County, Texas Criminal Docket Case No. 15724, State v. James Christopher Schlater (2007). The incident was never reported and of course his picture is not available because Cherokee County has not verified his current sex offense registration.
James Earl Holt, age 52, Jacksonville Texas given 6 years probation in 2007 for the 2003 assault of a 14 year-old girl. Also never reported.
No picture available.
Donald Wayne Thurmon, age 40 from Jacksonville Texas given 10 years probation in 2007 by District Attorney Elmer Beckworth for possessing and distributing child pornography. No need to call the feds in on this one; why waste their time even though it is a federal offense?
Manuel Enrique Huerta, age 21, given 10 years probation in 2007 for sexual assault of a 13 year-old Jacksonville Texas girl.
No picture available.
Cody Allen Whiteley, age 22 of Jacksonville, arrested in Cherokee County in 2006 and pled 7 years probation for the sexual assault of a 13 year-old girl.
Bobby Ray Vines, Jr. age 41 from Jacksonville Texas. Given only 4 years probation for the sexual assault of an 11 year-old female in 2001.
Bobby Vines, Jr.
Ollie Ray Grogan, 65 year-old Rusk Texas native given 10 years probation for 2 counts of molestation of a 5 year-old and an 8 year-old.
Ollie Ray Grogan
Dale Joseph Tylich 65 year-old Rusk Texas equestrian given 6 months probation by Cherokee County for sexual contact with a child. 6 Months because he related to just about everybody in town.
Dale J. Tylich
Marin Otis Pitts, age 54, Troup Texas. Arrested by Cherokee County Texas authorities in 1991 and given 10 years probation for 2 counts of sexual assault on a 7 year-old girl.
Chenney LaVaughn Carter, age 43 in Troup, Texas. Arrested in 2006 for aggravated sexual assault of a child. The victim was a 15 year-old girl. Elmer Beckworth’s office offered Carter 10 YRS DEFERRED ADJUDICATION PROBATION, despite Chenney Carter’s local and Smith County priors.
Cheney L. Carter
Joyal Lee Lackey, age 63 Jacksonville Texas, given 10 years probation in 2005 for Indecency and Sexual Assault of a 13 year-old girl.
Joyal “Muggs” Lackey
Robert Michael Lane, age 36, Jacksonville Texas; offered 10 years probation in 1993 for the sexual assault of a 10 year-old girl. Lane was sent to Bootcamp for 90 days according to the DPS registry and the Cherokee County Court Docket records, Case 11818 State v. Robert M. Lane; Felony-Indecency/Sexual Assault of child-Filed 02/11/1992 – Disposition: 04/16/1993 Conviction-guilty plea or nolo cont-no jury, in the 2nd District Court, Cherokee County TX.
Guadalupe Lora Vera Lara, age 56, given a paltry 5 years probation in 1996 for having sexual contact with 2 Jacksonville Texas girls, one 11 years-old, the other 13 years-old. No picture available.
Patrick Brian Norsworthy age 45, from Jacksonville Texas. Arrested in 1994 for Indecency with an 8 year-old girl. Given 10 years probation in 1999.
Kevin Wayne Patton local businessman, age 40 from Jacksonville, Texas. Given 10 years probation for Indecency with a 14 year-old girl. No picture available.
Robby Lee Buffalo , age 35 Jacksonville, Texas was arrested in 1995 by Cherokee County and a 10 year probation deal accepted in 1999 for sexual assault of a local 11 year-old female.
Donnie Wayne Crippen , age 39 Rusk, Texas. Arrested in Cherokee County in 2006 and given 5 years unadjudicated probation by Elmer Beckworth’s office for the sexual assault of a 16 year-old female.
Jose Ramon Galan, age 53 Jacksonville, Texas given 10 years probation in 1998 by Cherokee County after molesting a 9 year-old girl.
Nicholas “Nicky” Noel Harwell, age 33 Jacksonville, Texas, given 10 years probation in 2003 by Cherokee County Texas prosecutors for 2 counts of sexual assault on a 12 year-old girl.
Kevin Lyn Hawes, age 45 from Jacksonville, Texas. Arrested in 1999 by Cherokee County authorities for sexual assault on a 15 year-old girl. Hawes was offered 10 years probation.
William Lee Hershiser, age 51 Jacksonville, Texas resident given 10 years probation for sexual assault on a local 15 year-old female.
This only scratches the surface of the convicted sex offenders (still residing in-county) arrested by and registered with the Cherokee County Sheriff Department. These are the sex predators registered with the State and given probation as ‘punishment’ by District Attorney Elmer Beckworth and his predecessors. Plea offers comparable to a slap on the wrist. What about the offenses passed on by the Sheriff Department and Beckworth’s office? The ones the public will never know about?
Even if some of these men are innocent, the District Attorney’s office prosecuted them under the penal code which is crystal clear on the punishment assessment for Indecency with a Minor.
INDECENCY OR SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A CHILD: An offense under Texas Penal Code Sections 22.011 (Sexual Assault) or 22.021 (Aggravated Sexual Assault) where the victim is a child (younger than 17 years), and an offense under 21.11 (Indecency with a Child).
§ 12.33. SECOND DEGREE FELONY PUNISHMENT. (a) An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years. (b) In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the second degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.
That is why there are no reports of the child molesters’ probation in the local Cherokee County papers. Only the fact there are registered sex offenders living in the county. Of course the typical excuse of the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office et al is that the law would not allow jail time for a 2nd degree Felony. If you’re stupid enough to believe it, print it and repeat it. The Texas Penal Code and Constitution do not tie the hands of state prosecutors, only those of the patently corrupt.
The remainder of current registered sex offenders given probation without jail time in Cherokee County Texas:
- Roy Joe Bailey, age 65, Wells TX: arrested in 2007; 10 yrs. probation/ 12 year-old female victim.
- Richard Dean Davis, age 50, Rusk TX: arrested in 1996; 10 yrs. probation/14 year-old female victim.
- J.E. Monroe Martin, age 85, Rusk TX: arrested in 1997; 3 yrs. probation/ 12 year-old female victim.
- Dale Joseph Tylich, age 53, Rusk TX: arrested in 1996; 6 mos. probation/ female victim unknown age.
- Tommy Junior Allen, age 51, Jacksonville TX: arrested in 1991; 10 yrs. probation/ 11 year-old female.
- James Travis Barker, age 25, Jacksonville TX: arrested in 1999; 24 mos. city jail/ 6 year-old female.
- Roger Hunter, age 75, Jacksonville TX: arrested in 1997; 10 yrs. probation/ 14 year-old female.
- James L Wells, age 55 , Jacksonville TX: arrested in 1998; 8 yrs. probation/ 2 counts sexual assault on a 5 year-old and a 6 year-old.
- Gary Michael Morrison, age 51, Alto TX: arrested 1991; 10 yrs. probation/ sexual assault of 12 year-old female.
- Wesley Boyd Mohr, age 63, Bullard TX: arrested by Cherokee Co. in 1997; 10 yrs. probation for sexual assault of 10 year-old girl.
The summary of every one of these registered sexual offenses is readily available on the Texas DPS Sex Offender Registry website and Cherokee County Texas court docket. However, not one of these rapes, molestations or incidents of child pornography has been NOR ever will be reported by the Cherokee Countynewspapers. Unless the perpetrator was born out of town. Then they’ll throw the book at him.
This blog posting covers only a partial list of the registered sex offenders that actually reside in Cherokee County, TX and on probation for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child; there is no known count of those child molesters given probation and registered/relocated in other states or counties. Regardless, Elmer Beckworth’s and the Cherokee County District Attorney office’s pattern of lenient plea bargains going back decades to resident child molesters related to members of the local ‘establishment’ is crystal clear. They are sheltered and not reported.
A far cry from the more recent sentencing of out-of-towner Gordon Neal Mathis. The former US Army reservist pled guilty in January 2008 to 6 counts of sexual assault of a 12-year-old Rusk, TX girl and on Monday, February 11, 2008 was sentenced to 40 years State time. Mathis had been convicted in federal court and was beginning his 8 years in federal prison for child porn possession. The 2/17/08 Tyler Paper article gives the impression that former the Army reservist Gordon Mathis was “prosecuted” by an Assistant Cherokee County District Attorney, instead of the fact Mathis threw himself at mercy of the district court, claiming post traumatic stress syndrome. And since his offenses were widely reported by the Tyler Paper, the district court got a little busy and decided Adult Probation wasn’t appropriate for Mathis’ sex crimes. And the Cherokeean Herald quickly dropped their policy of not printing the age of the victim. Gordon Neal Mathis was sentenced on 6 counts of molesting the child for over a two year span.
View the remainder of Cherokee County’s bonafide child molesters living in the area on the Texas DPS Sex Offender Registry located at: https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/Sor/index.aspx
Do a comparison of sex offenders convicted in other counties by prosecutors following the intent of the law. They put child molesters in prison even for statutory rape.
Athens, Texas: Athens Fire Chief Dan Barnes and Athens Fire Marshall Waylen Padgett were recently placed on admistrative leave and Chief Barnes resigned Monday January 28, 2008 amid an investigation led by the Assistant Fire Chief. The Athens Texas city council has been hush hush regarding the internal affairs review of alleged “allegations.”
Longview, Texas: Gregg County Justice of the Peace clerk D. Donna Wallace pled guilty on Wednesday February 13, 2008 to government records tampering. Wallace used an alias to work at the JP office and continue to draw Social Security disability benefits.
Troup, Texas: Dale Lowry and wife Brenda Lowry of Troup, TX were indicted in a Tyler Texas federal grand jury during the first week of February 2008 for allegedly stealing over $28,000 of Social Security disability benefits. The couple had claimed a child as a dependent, even though the child was no longer living with them.
Gregg County, Texas: Sheriff candidate Billy Ray White was sentenced to 6 months deferred probation for falsifying the employment record of one of his employees. White operated a security service; the security guard did not have a firearm license when White hired him.
Jacksonville, Texas: The Jacksonville, TX police department convinced itself from an in-house generated report that racial profiling by its officers was completely imaginary. On Tuesday February 12, 2008, the mayor read the results to the city council that the JPD had ZERO complaints filed regarding discriminating traffic stops and ZERO incidents of racial disparity. Probably because people of ethnic backgrounds and skin coloring are too afraid to drive to the grocery store at night, by fear of being framed, raped or worse.
The city of Jacksonville, Texas is the largest economic center in the county and it is still reeling from the civil suit settlements resulting in the Jacksonville police department starting a race riot at the 2004 Tomato Bowl homecoming game. And for each rape complaint against its decorated patrolman Larry Pugh, sentenced to 17 years in federal prison. When a Cherokee County woman would come forward with an allegation of Pugh raping her, the benign police officer and family man got accommodations by the Jacksonville police department. Until he was caught dragging a complainant into a van by her neck. And despite Officer Pugh facing federal indictment, the County Attorney tried Larry Hinton of Jacksonville, for interfering with Officer Pugh’s racial profiling during the 2004 Tomato Bowl riot. But that’s “nonexistent.”
Jacksonville, Texas: Not only does the Cherokee County Criminal Docket give a peek into the machinations of the district court, the Civil Docket shows the ongoing get rich schemes of relatives planted on Bodily Injury cases. Large companies from out of region foolish enough to set up shop for the cheap local labor are the target of ‘slip-and-fall’ and other concocted lawsuits.
Two major employers in Jacksonville, Texas, Astro Air- a heating and cooling coil manufacturing plant and Alliance Data- a support tech call center, will be closing their doors permanently in 2008. These firms’ relocations will be putting hundreds of locals out of jobs. A sad series of inevitable events for the already destitute county. However, this is probably the first of many wise corporate decisions to vacate the county known for the lack of competitive bidding when it comes to issuing government contracts. And its newspapers not advertising a prescribe method of identifying qualified bidders. The contracts underhandedly going to relatives, even those good ol’ boys with offenses (like those listed above) involving moral turpitude who would otherwise be ineligible to work under any state, county or city job.
For example, city School Board Trustees awarding school renovation projects to their cousin’s construction company. And Billy Bob’s Construction allowing registered sex offenders on the school property to work during class time.
Or instances of county equipment being used as personal property, at the taxpayer’s expense to dig catfish ponds, pave private roads and driveways; including the use of probationers and government employees to work “outside the fence” on private land.
The locals know it’s been going on for decades, but these duped companies’ Board of Directors contemplating doing business in Cherokee County don’t find out until it is too late. The Cherokee County civil docket can attest to the exorbitant amount of lawsuits these remaining companies are facing, and the excessive payouts they are going to pay by summary judgment. There is no such thing as an unbiased juror in a town that small. And they see the flashing dollar signs when a big company makes the mistake of trying to set up an office there. What better way to get a little extra spending money than extorting a company via a bogus lawsuit, with a biased Cherokee County jury chosen before the case is even heard?
For board members of these departing companies, there is no plausible way to estimate the pecuniary damages to the local Cherokee County economy this type of collusion causes. There is no way to compete and/or get a break when the court system is used as a means to wring out their bottom dollar. Certainly these businesses have gotten sick of the Personal Injury suits filed on them; the same cases that backlog the Civil Docket.
Moreover, these corporations’ insurance premiums are bound to have skyrocketed after being targeted by the local ‘slip-and-fall’ con artists. Of course, a sympathetic civil jury related to the victim is readily available for the milking of their profit shares. Cheap labor or not, it is apparently smarter for IT companies and their subsidiaries to avoid the distrustful small town job market. Manufacturing plants owe it to their shareholders to do business where their profit earnings don’t line the pockets of East Texas trial lawyers.
Even Cherokee County’s versions of ‘professionals’ are waiting in line to file a claim against these industries. These companies are only attempting to branch into the rural market. However, once the firms set up shop within the county, they can expect to be lambasted with frivolous lawsuits. And they can expect to pay through the nose because everybody wants a piece of the pie. Then these companies venture elsewhere and leave the honest hard working Cherokee County Texas citizen unemployed, bringing the county’s economy back to the pre-Reconstruction era. According to the 2000 US Census, Cherokee County Texas has a median income 30% lower than the national average.
The fact is the only economic development Cherokee County Texas has to offer the region is its apparent contribution to the illegal drug trade and prison population. The worst corporate decision a CEO can make is setting an office up in a county whose local government officials have reputations of collusion and conflicts of interests.