Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas the Official Site on Corruption

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

Posts Tagged ‘federal prison

Whistlin’ Dixie in the 21st Century. Solved murder bad for Angelina County Sheriff? Tyler man gets bail revoked for 1st violation.

with 3 comments

It’s 2008, and the Cherokee County, TX media is still doing their darndest to gloss over the arrest record of its law enforcement and abject failure protecting its scant 47,000 citizens. This observation is not the result of a “fishbowl effect” of a disproportionate number of arrests of Cherokee County law enforcement, as compared to larger counties. Sure one constable gets sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, but Cherokee County only has four precincts. Sure one patrolman gets sentenced to 17 years in federal prison, but the city of Jacksonville, TX has only ten cops; and 1/2 of them have been investigated by the FBI in the last 5 years. The fact is the corrupt political structure of the county is so ingrained, things are only going to get worse the more the US Attorney’s office scrutinizes the region. These people won’t be giving up their government paychecks without a fight and their favorite tactic is to use the local paper to frighten minorities contemplating federal civil rights lawsuits.

Cherokee County honored its Civil War traditions in early December 2007 with a local Sons of the Confederate Veterans hoopla complete with a General Robert E. Lee award, President Jefferson Davis award and General Stonewall Jackson award going to the most lilywhite Rebeller. Candidates for the Abraham Lincoln and M.L.K. award were apparently not invited. This ain’t just a Civil War memorial, you know what I mean?
View the Alto, TX Confederate States of America chapter on the internet.

Photobucket

There is no thinly veiled agenda in the local ‘heritage defense league.’ Or as local chapters of the SCV call it: “The Northern War of Aggression, the true history of the South.”
But then again there is no historical reenactments or literature provided either at their clandestine meetings on taxpayer property. Other than the local Cherokeean-Herald insulting their black readers with a blasé contention that the Confederacy shouldn’t be indentified with the KKK. But then again, telling their readers who the members of the White Brotherhood are. Printing this redneck rubbish solely for the Martin Luther King holiday and upcoming Black History month. And displaying it at the city of Alto, Texas Public Library Conference Room.

To outsiders this type of Rebel Rousing would appear to be typical East Texas race baiting. However to the large number of black Americans living in the area, it is designed to have a deeper psychological impact. The message is crystal clear.

Without delving back to the turn of the century, we will take a brief look at Cherokee County, TX retrospectively over the last 18 months. Go down the list and tell yourselves Cherokee County, Texas isn’t corrupt. What a great year for the taxpayer.

Cherokee County Texas (2006 to 2007):
Constable Pct. 3 Randall Thompson pleads guilty in March 2006 for possession and distribution of 108 grams of crystal meth after ‘evading’ his duties as district court bailiff. Thompson was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after his ‘resignation.’ Thompson had been appointed as deputy constable by Cherokee County commissioners and had been elected Constable Pct. 3 in 2004. The Texas Association of Counties (TAC) gives a description of Constable Randall Thompson’s duties he perform while manufacturing and distributing meth.

  • subpoena of court witnesses;
  • acting as bailiff for the 369th District and officer of the court;
  • process of service and executing judgments;
  • patrolling;
  • assisting criminal investigations and drug raids; and
  • acting as executive officer for the Justice of the Peace.

You, the lowly taxpayers are supposed to believe that after being elected as Constable, Thompson never worked a single day in the Rusk, TX courthouse or Hodges Unit. You are to believe that in a town that small, where everybody knows what you ate for supper the night before, that :
NO ONE in the district court or county commissioner’s office knew that Constable Thompson had been arrested for drug dealing -
AND they didn’t know where Thompson was before his federal arraignment?

As a matter of fact, a Failure to Appear hearing in the 369th district court was convened a day before Randall Thompson’s federal indictment “Because they hadn’t seen their bailiff for 2 years…” A constable who was appointed by Cherokee County commissioners in 2002 then elected to office in 2004, all the while working as a correctional officer and bailiff in Rusk, Texas. It would take a court hearing to remove an elected official, however Cherokee County was apparently pleased with Constable Thompson’s service until the feds caught him dealing crystal meth and indicted him. Pleased enough to keep paying his salary and lawyer fees. But of course they never met the guy, had him over for dinner or took him to the deer lease—hell, he didn’t show up for work for 2 years… Must’ve been driving that “Cherokee County” marked SUV down to the valley each week to deal drugs “to pay his child support.”
Photobucket

Constable Pct. 3 Randall Thompson circa July 2005, tells KLTV Channel 7 Tyler-Longview-Jacksonville, TX in an expose’ on how he spends his gas money “dealing with illegal dumping, serving warrants, making traffic stops and arrests.” Looks like he’s on his way to work.

However, hours before Thompson’s federal indictment for drug dealing, it became more expedient for the district court and county commisioners to distance themselves from their guy they had appointed in 2004 to serve their wealthiest precinct. It is this type of perpetuated lying that is intrinsic in Cherokee County Texas political culture. Decades of the same nonsense reprinted and linked to here.

Anderson and Cherokee County crisis centers (located in Palestine and Jacksonville, TX) lost state funding in September 2007 along with losing private grant funding and federal funding in November 2007. Due in large part to the city of Jacksonville’s handling of the Larry Pugh rape attacks on Cherokee County women. In December 2007, the centers were temporarily saved when $159,000 was granted through a discretionary fund via the governor’s Criminal Justice Division and lobbying efforts of state Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville).

State District 3’s former senator Drew Nixon (Rep.-Carthage) and his run-ins with law have also been swept under the carpet. Nixon retired his state senate seat in 2000 after being charged with soliciting a prostitute in Austin and was indicted by a Panola County grand jury in July 2007 for fixing the Panola County Fresh Water Supply District board election. Drew Nixon’s latest state charge is official oppression for his “abuse of office.” However, District 11 State Representative Chuck Hopson’s (Rep.-Jacksonville) 2002 campaign treasurer once married to a convicted burglar apparently wasn’t an issue for the papers, either.

Photobucket

TX State District 3

In more horror stories in the month of September 2007, former decorated Jacksonville, TX patrolman Larry Pugh sentenced to over 15 years in federal prison for rape and retaliation, also linked to the skeletal remains of one of his missing federal complainants.
Photobucket
convicted Jacksonville, TX police officer Larry Pugh

New Summerfield hired Michael Meissner as Chief of Police in March 2007. Meissner was subsequently fired for his lack of current TCLEOSE certification and continues to seek employment in law enforcement in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.
Photobucket
Michael Meissner and friends [courtesy Ellis County Observer]

Local media interpret the hiring of Meissner as a simple mistake in a formal background check, placing the blame on Meissner for not reporting his silly little TECLEOSE reprimands. Why would Meissner need a peace officer license when interns for the district attorney’s office can walk up and down the hallways of the Rusk, TX courthouse pretending to have passed the State Bar exam?

$150,000 stolen from the Rusk, TX Water Department by a city employee in March 2007. The community was lied to about the embezzlement case going to a Cherokee County grand jury in September 2007. In December 2007 the Rusk City Council was still waiting for a resolution of the case and an indictment. District Attorney Elmer Beckworth’s excuse was a potential conflict of interest with a member of his October 2007 grand jury being related to the case…as if that was the first relative being seated on a Cherokee County grand jury before. Only when the Texas Rangers are involved in the case.

In April 2007, the city of Jacksonville, TX settled a police brutality suit with victim Larry Hinton after Hinton was beaten, tasered and his teeth kicked out during 2004’s Tomato Bowl riot. Hinton had been acquitted of “misdemeanor charges of interfering with an officer’s duties” after the 2004 High School homecoming brawl. Misdemeanor charges that resulted in Mr. Hinton and his pregnant wife being kicked, beaten and falsely put on trial. Interfering with a police officer’s arrest is actually a felony; hence the protest on the Rusk courthouse steps in January 2006.

Mr. Larry Hinton not only had his teeth kicked out and his pregnant wife beaten up, but  HE was placed on trial by Cherokee County Attorney Craig Caldwell. The charge of  “interfering” during the race riot based on the report of a police officer out on federal bond for rape AND during which the affiant (Jacksonville TX police officer Larry Pugh) was stalking and disposing of his federal complainants.

Apparently the word of a rapist facing 144 months in federal prison is worth more than a black man and his pregnant wife’s, enough to waste the taxpayer’s dollars to tell the county what a good job Pugh and others did starting the 2004 Tomato Bowl riot. View Larry Pugh’s March 2007 federal sentencing on the Department of Justice press release NOT published by Cherokee County media: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txe/news_release/news/EDTX_PUGH030107.html

However, the Jacksonville Daily Progress did report that Cherokee County Sheriff Deputy Regina Battley had the excessive force suit against her, filed by the Hintons and a female victim, dismissed in December 2006.

Civil Rights Class Action Suits include Sandra Rene Roca, Tonya Burns, Debra A Williams, Felicia A Colbert, Della Tyler, Wanda Wilson and Felicia Mosley v . Larry Pugh, the city of Jacksonville, Texas et al, No. 6:2007cv-00081(US Dist. Ct., E.D. Texas, Tyler Division, February 15, 2007). These women are the other handful of Cherokee County rape victims seeking settlements with Officer Pugh’s employers. Never read about them anywhere did you?

Yes, 2007 has been a typical year for Cherokee County, Texas but nothing to cheer about. Local officials hiding under the pretext of false legal statutes and pretending they never hired nor worked with the above mentioned criminals. A sharp contrast to the Fort Worth, TX police department who fired 2 police officers on December 20, 2007. Officers Craig Murrah and David Babb are separately accused of spanking a female detainee and Babb for groping the 9 year-old daughter of a co-worker. Babb had been indicted in September 2007 for the fondling; Murrah is awaiting the Tarrant County grand jury and had prior indecency complaints.
Based on the “merits of the case,” Fort Worth police chief Ralph Mendozza terminated both policemen prior to their trials. Cherokee County would have promoted the pair.

In other corrupt news for the beginning of the New Year.

Jacksonville, TX:
The Eastern District Federal Grand Jury in Tyler indicted Jacksonville, TX resident Kenneth Dale Kern on January 11, 2008. Kenneth Kern was True Billed for theft of social security money and government property. The indictment alleged that Kern fraudulently accepted $32,000 in Social Security disability benefits between 2002 and 2007 and did not disclosed to government administrators his job with Jacksonville employer Nicky Joe Tarrant. Kenneth Kern also faces 10 years for making false statements to federal agents. Cherokee County, Texas media outlets, probably due to Kern’s Jacksonville employer being related to members of the Jacksonville, TX ISD school board , the captain of the Jacksonville Fire Department and a Rusk, TX correctional officer, have not reported Kenneth Kern’s federal indictment. Kern apparently had worked for the Tarrant family business for years while simultaneously receiving government disability checks.


Upshur County, TX deputy indicted; Deputy Richard Louis Bridgewater age 29 was indicted in December 2007 on 5 counts of child indecency. The deputy had admitted to inappropriate contact with an 11-year-old girl. Bridgewater is being held in neighboring Titus County jail as a “safety precaution.” He had a brief stint with the Overton, TX and Big Sandy police departments. Bridgewater now faces 20 years in prison if convicted.

Smith County, TX:
Suspended volunteer firefighter Austin Harden age 17 was arrested December 24, 2007 for posing as a fireman at a house fire on FM 2493. Harden had also been arrested in August 2007 for impersonating a police officer.

Hale County, TX:
A prison guard at the Wheeler Unit in Plainview, TX has been indicted for murder by a Hale County grand jury on December 24, 2007. Jose Rodriguez was charged in the death of inmate Paul Ray Judia after Judia died from head injuries sustained in his cell.

Kilgore, TX:
Gregg County correctional officer Eric Sanders age 24 arrested December 11, 2007 for passing illegal drugs to inmates in the North Jail facility.

Rusk County, TX:
Chief Deputy Daniel “Dusty” Flanagan in Tyler Federal Court Wednesday January 9, 2008. Flanagan had his sentencing hearing postponed. Chief Deputy Flanagan and Lt. Johnny Leon Davidson Jr., both pleaded guilty in July 2007 for assaulting Shawn Wright will in custody. The former sheriff deputies and Rusk County are facing excessive force civil suits by Wright AND sexual harassment suits by a former female deputy. U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider postponed Flanagan’s federal sentencing (he is facing 10 years for the police brutality against Mr. Wright) until the civil matter of restitution is resolved. Flanagan and Davidson concocted fraudulent police reports to cover their actions.

In neighboring Cherokee County, TX , the assaulting police officers would have been promoted and the fraudulent police statements held up as irrefutable proof by the district attorney’s office as in the case of Mr. John Brown of Alto, Texas. Officers with a history of excessive force are even endorsed to run in elections as Cherokee County Constables now that have proven their mettle in federal court. With a few minor drug busts under their belts and proving their willingness to violate the law can get some cushy jobs. Remember, the Trade Winds motel in Jacksonville, TX provides “anonymous” tips to Cherokee County deputies; not an illegal phone drop placed on a motel room. Tips are called “anonymous” by Cherokee County deputies when phone lines are illegally monitored.

Then again, they may be knocking down your door when an “anonymous tip” from the jailhouse leads to a 911 call being generated in a lightning storm. That’s called intelligence gathering; it’s “against the law” for Cherokee County sheriff deputies to “listen in” to private citizens phone calls, not inmates in the county jail. Therefore the sheriff’s office can have it both ways- deny they monitor jailhouse payphones and tell the FBI a jailbird gave them information.

Henderson County, TX:
Mayor Gene Bearden of Log Cabin, Texas (pop. 733) under investigation for personal use of an EXXON credit card. The case had been investigated by the Texas Rangers and handed over to the Henderson County district attorney.

 Gregg County, TX:
Correctional officers Johnny W. Adair and Michelle Parvin were arrested Monday December 17, 2008 for passing banned tobacco products to inmates in the Gregg County jailhouse. This comes after the arrest of fellow Gregg County jailer Chris Sanders one week earlier for delivery of contraband to prisoners. All three were terminated after taken in for questioning according to Sheriff Maxi Cerliano.

Tyler, TX:
Tyler police officer Scott Bradley resigned after a DWI charge on December 5, 2007. Apparently Officer Bradley had been out drinking that night with a visiting Los Angeles detective scheduled to testify in Smith County court. Officer Bradley was arrested at the scene after crashing his car into a telephone pole. He was later placed on administrative leave, and then subsequently quit his position. Bradley was a decorated cop and was recognized by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in May 2007 for his service breaking up a nationwide methamphetamine ring. Officer Scott Bradley was part of a federal drug task force operating in Tyler, Texas.
Had Officer Bradley been operating in Cherokee County, TX to the south, then he could have had a relative in the Rusk post office smash his blood sample on its way to the Austin DPS. His drunken melee’ would have never made the local papers either. In fact oodles of accolades would have spilt from the Cherokeean Herald pressroom.
No one would be the wiser….

Nacogdoches, TX:
Tnisha Steadman, correctional officer for the Nacogdoches County sheriff’s department was fired and arrested Tuesday January 8, 2008 for passing a cell phone to an inmate. Ms. Steadman’s posted her bond at $5000. Sheriff Thomas Kerss commented on having to arrest one of his staff members, “We don’t put ourselves above the law.”

Lufkin, TX:
Angelina County Sheriff candidate and Lufkin police officer Trent Burfine has posted on his campaign website autopsy pictures of a slain local teenage girl. Pictures he says proves the mishandling of the 2003-2005 murder case by Angelina County investigators. The graphic crime scene photographs have caused controversy in the sheriff race, however officer Trent Burfine was within the state’s open records laws when the murder case was closed.
Photobucket
Officer Burfine contends on his webpage Angelina County Sheriff Ken Henson potted a murder investigation of the slain teenager after autopsy reports indicated toxic levels of crystal meth present in her system. Even though her body had extensive bruising and no needles or other indications of an overdose (or suicide) was discovered. The photos show how sheriff investigators contaminated the crime scene. The Lufkin police department took up the murder investigation, resulting in multiple convictions in 2005. A murder Angelina County refused to even consider. This attitude is shared in neighboring Cherokee County, Texas when it comes to investigating the death of undesirables. Why spend the money?
It is unfortunate that Sheriff Henson decided it wasn’t in his 2003 budget to investigate the murder of Candice Alexander. Neighboring Cherokee County shares the same mentality as when 2 Jacksonville, TX women went missing prior to Larry Pugh’s federal trial. They collectively treat these women lower than roadside litter, and candidate Burfine should be commended for his exposure of this malfeasance. No murder investigation was needed up in Jacksonville, either. Of course no one up there ever challenges the established mindset or incumbents.

Case comparisons of the month-
State vs. Michael Frater (Smith Co. 2007) AND State vs. Michael Harris (Cherokee Co. 2005)
Photobucket

Tyler, TX:
On November 15, 2007, 47 year-old Tyler, TX resident
Michael Edward Frater went on trial for “threatening” his estranged wife Ethel Gibson Frater. Unlike the case State v. Michael Harris in Jacksonville, TX, the Smith County district attorney’s office filed a motion to revoke Frater’s bail on an unrelated probation violation after Frater allegedly made one threatening call to his estranged ex-wife. In the similar scenario a few years earlier in Cherokee County, Michael Harris was out on felony bond for arson and continued to threaten, harass and trespass onto his ex-wife’s property. Mr. Frater had his bail pulled immediately; Mr. Harris had his bail reset during multiple hearings at the Rusk, TX courthouse, while simultaneously being escorted to drug treatment at the Rusk State Hospital.
Photobucket 

Michael Edward Frater

Mr. Frater’s bond was NOT set and reset and reset as Cherokee County did for Michael Harris; Mr. Frater was also not in custody or under State supervision. Frater had been paroled in 2006 from Tarrant County for a felony DWI and denied threatening his ex-wife.
Frater was put on trial by the Smith County district attorney for felony retaliation. Michael Frater was acquitted by a Smith County jury on November 16, 2007. Michael Harris continued his escalating domestic violence and murdered his ex-wife Faye Bell Harris of Jacksonville in 2003.

Michael Harris also accepted a plea bargin of life in prison and the family of the deceased was told Harris’ bonds just couldn’t be rescinded until Texas law was changed. Cherokee County blamed the 4th Amendment of the United States and the Texas constitution for deliberately resetting a drug informant’s bail, allowing Michael Harris out on the streets to eventually murder his former wife.

   

http://www.cherokeecountytexas.blogspot.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 104 other followers