Two former City of Alto clerks have posted bond after being indicted for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the city. The theft of public funds allegedly began in October 1, 2010, according to court records. The duo has been charged with felony theft by a public servant. (Courtesy KETK) The Texas Rangers began investigating the missing funds back in April after the two City employees were terminated. (Jacksonville Progress). Years and years of fishing out the City coffers has deliberately gone unnoticed.
A Cherokee County grand jury has indicted two former City of Alto employees on felony theft by a public servant charges.
Jeanie Mignon Curtis Selman, 35, of Alto, was indicted for second-degree felony theft by a public servant when the Cherokee County grand jury met on Aug. 22.
According to the text of the indictment East Texas News obtained Tuesday, the grand jury met in the 2nd Judicial District Court. The indictment alleges that Selman stole somewhere between $30,000 and $150,000 while she was employed as a court clerk by the city of Alto. The indictment states that the theft occurred on Oct. 1, 2010.
The Cherokee County grand jury also indicted another former City of Alto employee. Whittney Nicole Arriola, 31, of Alto, was indicted on a felony theft by a public servant charge as well. The indictment states that the alleged theft occurred on Oct. 1, 2010. She is also accused of stealing between $30,000 and $150,000 from the city. Like Selman, she was working as a court clerk at the time.
Each woman had a bail amount of $10,000. Both Selman and Arriola have posted their bail amounts, and they have been released from the county jail.
Back in April, East Texas News learned that the Texas Rangers were asked to look into allegations of theft that occurred at Alto City Hall, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Jean Dark.
Dark said the investigation was requested by the Alto Police Department.
(Source: CBS 19)
US Attorney Malcolm Bales announces Jacksonville, TX drug raids with Dallas FBI, Sheriff James Campbell, and District Attorney Rachel Patton. (Source: April 1, 2015 Jacksonville Progress)
Like a lot of areas in backwoods East Texas, Cherokee County law enforcement illegally wiretaps and intercepts telephone conversations to conduct drug raids. For providing this information to outside agencies such as the FBI and Narcotics Task Forces, as well as assisting on drug cases for the US Attorney’s office, these small towns are given carte blanche access to any and every private citizen’s personal and business phone conversations. In fact, they are publicly rewarded for violating federal law like they do in 3rd World countries. They are advised to deny it, lie about it, and continue to provide as much information with as little legwork as possible. The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department records phone calls to blackmail political opponents and quash dissent among their Good Ol’ Boy and Gal network. They catalog the locals’ extramarital affairs within the District Attorney’s office and hold each other by the balls for Grand Jury selection. And these folks have been screwing each other like rabbits since their High School days.
Who is cheating on whom these days?
With the ousting of outsider Rachel Patton for ruffling their feathers and with Elmer Beckworth returning to the District Attorney’s office in a few weeks, the uninformed public can expect the Night of the Long Knives to come out in full force. When one of them is caught not towing the County line, the fingers start pointing, the accusations start to fly, and the misdirections are set up like traffic cones to mislead the public. Following in Beckworth’s footsteps they blame the other for their own actions.
Wife swapping and wiretapping? Who’s spying on whom?
In an open City Council meeting on July 14, 2016 the Rusk Police Department accused longtime Rusk City Manager Mike Murray of “illegal wiretapping.” Lt. Brad George of the Rusk PD and others also accused Murray of “retaliation against the police force.” City council has requested a Texas Rangers investigation during back-to-back closed sessions. (Source: KETK) Murray, the local police department, TDC Skyview, and the Sheriff’s Dept. had worked together for decades without dissent. The internal feud is said to have started after the handling of assault charges against the Volunteer Fire Chief earlier this year. Nepotism between the Cherokee County Sheriff and his son the Rusk Chief of Police, and their extralegal means of small town social control is on full display for the local media.
Clocking in at 300 + lbs., it is highly unlikely Mr. Murray is capable of scaling telephone poles and running outlaw phone drops throughout the county to eavesdrop on local drug dealers, lonely wives, and families of his political opponents; however Sheriff Campbell’s deputies and those related to law enforcement are paid to do so.
Illegal phone tapping in Rusk City Hall
Cherokee County newspapers refuse to mention the reason for the Texas Rangers investigation into Mike Murray and the charge of ILLEGAL PHONE TAPPING that Rachel Patton has recommended to the Texas Attorney General. Instead they focus on a fictitious claim of low morale among the police department and city employees for the reason Murray has been placed on paid administrative leave. (Source: Daily Progress) It takes reports from Tyler and Longview to shine the light on the common Cherokee County practice of “illegally wiretapping phone conversations.” (Source: KETK)
OK, boys and girls, let’s play a game called “Follow the Logic…”
- Teenage boys driving around on New Year’s Eve amuse themselves by tossing a firecracker near a local fireworks stand operated by the Rusk Volunteer Fire Chief, Donald Lankford.
- Pissed off Fire Chief jumps in his car and in a high speed chase into neighboring Anderson County, cuts them off several times, pulls them over and roughs up the pranksters.
- Fire Chief is charged with misdemeanor assault in Anderson County; pranksters are let off with a warning.
- Fire Chief continues to work at the Rusk, TX Fire Dept. while his case is aired on local television; some reports say he is suspended for 6 months, others say he is still employed. (Source: KETK)
- A “rift develops” between the City of Rusk Police Department and the City Manager according to some accounts.
- During an open Rusk City Council session in late July, the Rusk PD accuses City Manager of illegally tape recording phone conversations ; Rusk City Council asks the Texas Rangers to intervene and continues to hold closed door hearings to keep prying eyes out of personal vendettas.
Break the Law- keep your TCLEOSE license and your pension
In yet another example of unaccountability, veteran Cherokee County Sheriff Deputy Donald Williams is asked to quietly retire July 29, 2016 after the Texas Rangers investigate a June 21st incident in Alto, TX. Unlike in other venues throughout the state, no explanation is given to reporters or required by the locals. In fact, they’ll pretend Deputy Williams never even worked there or helped get their cousins elected. Fall housekeeping is in full swing with the Texas Rangers in town to maintain the status quo.
Lock up your daughters and lock up your wives. He’s back.
Angelina County Assistant DA and lifetime Democrat Elmer Beckworth (D) announced several months ago he was switching to the Republican Party after remaining a registered Democrat for over 30 years – all the way through two elections of Barrack Obama that didn’t change his mind. Elmer’s flip-flop comes after losing the 2012 Cherokee County District Attorney’s race to his own younger savvier Assistant DA who ran as a Republican. Beckworth had stayed in office three terms, with only 2% of the Cherokee County vote, by running unchallenged and not facing any competition. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) With the help of the Good Ol’ Boy and Biddy Network, he’s hoping to run unchallenged again. Are we to believe Elmer Beckworth is so feckless as to forget he owes his entire career to the Cherokee County Democrats Club? The same people who along with him caucused for Wendy Davis and against the values of every single Republican in the county?
Which begs the question if the current Cherokee County Republican Party will greet with open arms the candidate who has shit smeared them and his potential rivals for decades, in both public and private practice. Will the Chairman be forced to commit suicide over sexual innuendo and blackmail? Will life insurance payouts be divvied up for billboards and television ads as they were for Elmer Beckworth’s predecessors? The fact is Beckworth cannot win an election without the ingrained Rusk/Jacksonville law firms, also devoted lifetime Democrats, trickling votes and money away from a viable opponent. And they can’t run against an honest candidate.
Is Cherokee County still rife enough with corruption as to oust their first female district attorney who took to task District Judge Bascom Bentley’s falsified signature on sex offender Orders? With Beckworth still in office, County Judge Craig Fletcher would not have been exposed for his own shenanigans between Rusk sex offenders and Bentley’s office. (Source: Daily Progress) Hundreds of thousands of dollars would still be wasted on Robert Fox’s tirades and appealing his overturned conviction in the 6th Court of Appeals, Texarkana. (Again Source: Daily Progress) Every dumb lie coming out of Elmer’s mouth could be in publication in the Jacksonville newspaper and his hometown Rusk Cherokeean for generations to come.
Will the honest County Commissioners be threatened yet again with Elmer Beckworth’s stacked grand jury, or will the Rusk Hunting Club continue paving their roads with taxpayer dollars? Come this March Primary, businesses in the area will see if Cherokee County puts the target back on them, their business calls, and personal email. Voters can choose between who Sheriff James Campbell and the local papers endorse, and those they will drum out of town (see Ben Tinsley, et al). Such exciting times for the astute Cherokee County voter. But watch out, Elmer’s confidential informants are ready to come out of retirement from the methadone clinics to murder their wives.
Michael Harris endorses Elmer Beckworth
After all, the Old Wives Family Affair may not have to drive all the way to Lufkin to sit on Elmer’s current bosses’ juries. The Good Ol’ Boys may get their man back in their pockets. Nonetheless, family members of Cherokee County sex offenders are anxiously awaiting to cast their votes for the guy who gave them probation in the first place. If Elmer Beckworth gets his old job back in his hometown of Rusk, the county will be flooded with the likes of extradited child rapist and murderer Tommy Stricklen. (Source: Jacksonville Progress) Guess who got the bigger ticker tape parade in Cherokee County newspapers and raised more money through donations: Beckworth running for reelection or a local sex offender with a handicapped daughter.
Thanks to Elmer Beckworth and his supporters, every single learning institution in Cherokee County has hired child molesters, some who have sat on his juries repeatedly for decades; some who have been exalted in the local newspapers for decades until being caught. Look no further than the sheltered hallways of nearby private Christian academy, The Brook Hill School, quietly scrubbing all records of their recently arrested girls’ volleyball Head Coach. Ricky Eugene Clements, 61,was busted this month for texting a 16-year old female student to “spend the night with him” and driving her off school property without the school’s knowledge or parental consent. (Source: KETK) These too are the people who claim to be Christian Conservatives.
Ricky Clements, Brook Hill Lady Guard head coach (Courtesy: Smith County)
In March 1998, Cherokee County newspapers refused to report the suicide of their elected Democrat Party County Chairman to protect the people responsible. Three years later, they also neglected to publish the death of his son, a court appointed Cherokee County attorney who died in alcohol treatment.
You cannot rely on the small town newspapers to do their job and cover the facts surrounding their kinfolks’ ingrained corruption, hence the creation of The Official Site. In this month’s last and final posting, we dedicate this amateur blog to a man of impeccable character. We could all only hope to be as honorable and steadfast in our faith. The inspiration to research local corruption began from something he once said: “somebody needs to write a book about these sorry SOB’s…”
B.N. Tucker, Sr. was born in California and lived in Jacksonville, TX his entire life. He was the Chairman of the Cherokee County Democratic Party when he committed suicide on March 6, 1998. He was an active member of his church and community, including sitting on the county commissioners’ Salary Grievance Committee. Cherokee County officials pretend his public service never existed. As in Constable Randy Thompson’s case, they’ve been told never to speak of him and to deflect and lie when his name is mentioned. Not one of them before or since could hold a candle to this man. Cherokee County wanted him gone as soon as he promised a more honest and open public forum, even though he ran unopposed as County Chairman in the March 1996 Democratic primary. They knew he would be a problem for then Assistant District Attorney Elmer Beckworth moving unchallenged into the seat of outgoing DA James Cromwell. Sound familiar?
After months of sexual harassment from the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office and their collaborators, this loving grandfather put a gun to his head and killed himself in the prime of his family’s precious lives. He never got to enjoy another quiet sunset or see his granddaughter grow up. Why? Simply for expressing his opinion to his neighbors regarding what he perceived to be the ongoing and growing corruption in his hometown. Because B.N. Tucker, Sr. privately talked about the criminal nature of Cherokee County politics on his home phone, he was personally targeted with concocted ‘love’ letters and explicit glamour shots of the Cherokee County Wives and Girlfriends Club, sent to blackmail and shut him up. The women involved were the friendly spouses of those associated with the district attorney’s election efforts. Their open ‘invitations’ were a not-so-veiled attempted threat to ruin his reputation at his church and as a warning to what they would do to his family. They got their wish. This kind and harmless man was silenced. His complaints to higher federal authorities in Tyler were obviously ignored, despite providing handwriting samples and actual pictures. He made inquiries with the US Attorney’s office, the Tyler FBI, and the Texas Rangers. At one point he was told they couldn’t do anything about the ongoing harassment because “he brought all the evidence to them” and that they would need a nonexistent court order to investigate. Imagine expecting birthday cards in the mail from your grandchildren, only to receive homemade sex videos and filthy letters composed by political opponents in your own party. Instead of enjoying his retirement, that is what this 69-year old gentleman faced going to the Post Office courtesy of the Cherokee County District Attorney office and investigator.
Despite his countless contributions to the Jacksonville, TX community and county at large, and after decades of service to his friends and neighbors, the local newspapers did not run B.N. Tucker, Sr.’s obituary. No paper in the area reported the passing of their elected official, the Chairman of the Cherokee County Democrats. Notice of his death to this day has been covered up by the Cherokee County Bar Association and district court that employed his son, a local attorney also now deceased. B.N. “Tuck” Tucker, Jr. passed away 3 years later in 2001 at the age of 45 after reoccurring alcohol related illnesses. Bert Tucker, Jr. made his living in the 90’s as a court appointed Rusk, TX attorney while simultaneously under medical observation in drug and alcohol treatment. After years of missed court dates, the State Bar eventually intervened and Tucker, Jr. was quietly ordered into rehab in March 1998. There was no mention of his passing in the papers either, despite working for nearly 10 years in the Cherokee County courthouse. Of course the district judges who repeatedly appointed him as counsel and filed for re-election with his father would pretend to have never known either.
B.N. Tucker, Sr. didn’t want to just shake the proverbial tree; he simply wanted more honesty out of the county’s chosen leaders. He became dismayed about what his beloved community had turned into by people pretending to be good Christians. He was privy then to the waste and fraud at Lon Morris College, within walking distance of his home. He was aware of the communal retreats disguised as “Christmas” parties attended by judges, prosecutors, lawyers on the take and their willing spouses. Mr. Tucker lived long enough to see the place he loved turn into a revolving door brothel. In shame, he took his own life on the day his son the local lawyer was committed to drug rehab in Austin by the State Bar. He was no longer proud of his son’s profession, or the company he kept at the Rusk, TX courthouse. It wasn’t the sorry nature of small town politicking that made him give up on life; it was the fact that criminal behavior was encouraged by other agencies that should have moved in to quell it. Like so many others filing federal complaints against Cherokee County, he was told to go home and wait to die. Even after sustaining injuries in a car wreck caused by his son, the Cherokee County Bar refused to hold a competency hearing, even though both were bedridden, and contributed to both of their deaths. Mr. Tucker refused to convalesce while those trying to ruin his reputation continued to cover for his son. And publicly cover for Mr. Tucker’s young attorney son they did, while simultaneously harassing an honorable and decent old man to death.
These people are proud of the blood on their hands. Their entire careers are based on it. This is why there is no accountability when Jacksonville, TX women are raped and go missing, or pepper sprayed and beaten up. This is how the district attorney’s office and sheriff department gets their hands on insurance payouts while diverting attention away from themselves. If you talk about their infidelities, then they’ll attempt to pull you down to their level. Jacksonville Police Chief Reece Daniel experienced this first hand in 2009 with emails concocted by the Sheriff’s chief detective Chris White and sent to news agencies alleging sexual harassment. (Source: KLTV) In fact it was the Sheriff’s Department facing sexual harassment settlements from former female employees; Chief Daniel was supposed to keep quiet about it. You are either with them balls deep, or you are against them.
You were right Mr. Tucker. Someone did need to say something about how things are allowed to operate in Cherokee County and to the detriment of our fragile democracy, more people don’t. It isn’t very hard to spend 15 minutes putting pen to paper to our Congressmen and State representatives. And everything is in plain sight just like you said 15 years ago. It just takes a little bit of effort to put it into words and get the message out. Thank you for shining the light for the first time. Thank you for having the courage and wherewithal you showed others, despite the pain you were put you through. You are with our Lord as you always have been, and you will always be remembered by those honored to have known you as the true pillar of the community you served. Your words of wisdom were well-received and never forgotten. Those who live their lives in the light of our Savior like you will be rewarded in this life and the next. May God bless and watch over your family for eternity.
This is just the beginning.
According to accounts last August 2012, Polk County Judge Elizabeth Coker and then assistant prosecutor Kaycee Jones (now a district judge) engaged in text messaging strategies during a felony injury to a child trial. The defendant was acquitted. The improper collusion during trial by the district attorney’s office and the seated judge is being investigated by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Defense Lawyers Association. (Source: Houston Chronicle) The only significance in this situation, out of millions of other similar episodes, is that a district attorney investigator came forward and reported it.
A neighboring colleague caught red-handed means nothing for smaller venues such as Cherokee County where prosecutors, investigators and judges practically live together during trial to wine and dine jury pools. Here they just blackmail each other with love letters and sex tapes. They share each other’s wives and DNA. It begins in both civil and criminal trials, with juries being handpicked for their involvement in the cases. On taxpayer time, judges and all interested parties are coached to respond to questioning out-of-town lawyers and prying eyes. In Cherokee/Anderson Counties’ 369th District Court, the sitting judge openly discusses his preferences throughout proceedings. Court reporters are trained to ignore his outbursts and hand-wringing to avoid them showing up on the record. His staff is openly affectionate to their counsel of choice in the courtroom, in front of juries. That is until news cameras catch them in the act showing their open bias. In March 2011, a complaint against District Judge Bascom Bentley was filed with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for his biased comments in the courtroom immediately after a defendant was found not guilty in a child homicide case. The video of Bentley’s rant was subpoenaed. (Source: KLTV)
This behavior is nothing new to those who happen to come to this particular courtroom and apparently in other small East Texas towns. It is a systemic pattern of absolute disregard of judicial and prosecutorial ethics that has been championed in this area for decades. The reason they cannot keep their mouths shut during proceedings is because they have a vested interest in the outcome. They are all related to each other. In Cherokee County cases, the outcome is designed to pump money over to family members who make a living billing for subsidized programs such as drug and alcohol counseling, non-existent protective services, and other fruitless means of bilking the system. Hence the enormity of probated child sex offenders and violent criminals who continue to reside and spend their own government assistance here.
County Clerk Bridgette Franklin recently pleaded guilty to two 3rd degree felony counts of theft of public funds, for a total of $32,261. Money for public records paid at the Anderson County courthouse had been “misappropriated” into Franklin’s pockets 918 times beginning in 2006 according to investigators. (Source: Tyler Paper)
There are several identical Cherokee County cases that have either been dismissed, buried, or other arrangements satisfied to keep them out of court. The mentality of locals who do this is that their family owns the county and should have any and all access to the courthouse money jar.
Within the melee’ of the Lon Morris bankruptcy and estate liquidation, fingers have pointed and tears shed, while deals have simultaneously been made to keep any criminal investigations off the table. Nonetheless, the latest conclusion by the AG office is that Dr. Miles McCall illegally transferred restricted funds from the million dollar James Long Endowment into CDs and had his staff covertly cashed them to allocate the funds elsewhere. Which means the LMC upper echelons and the bank moved beyond their scope as benefactor and financial manager to distribute monies as they saw fit. Where did the money go? We won’t hold our breath to find out. The LMC auction has been fast-tracked to keep all questions and actual fact finding proceedings to a minimum. Sam Houston State University filed a petition during bankruptcy proceedings to recover assets supposed to revert to them as beneficiary, if LMC dissolved. The university is also suing Dr. Miles McCall in the Rusk, TX civil court. Let the hand-wringing begin.
Reference: SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY vs MCCALL, MILES, Civil Docket Case 2012120933; filed 12/27/2012 in the 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, TX.
The Texas Methodist Foundation lawsuit regarding the remaining endowments is also on the back burner until the estate property is divvied up. (Source: Tyler Paper)
(Courtesy: CBS 19)
Out of Towners: kiss goodbye all your donations and effort you spent keeping LMC afloat for the last several decades. According to auction results, the locals now have their hands on it.
Footnote: Lon Morris College as an entity filed a federal suit against the former LMC President and Board of Trustees in the US Eastern District on August 29, 2013, citing breach of fiduciary duty, financial incompetence and negligence.
Crunching the numbers last year, this blog had over 25,000 unique visitors in 2012.
The busiest day of the year was April 26th with 241 views.
This site had visitors from 98 countries in 2012, most from the US with the UK and Canada not far behind. Buckingham Palace, the Royal Saudis, and the Vatican read this blog, as well as over 250 US law firms, lawmakers in Austin and Washington DC; and law enforcement agencies throughout the State, including multiple daily hits from our biggest fan, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
Your friendly neighborhood blog will be ending this March and will remain online for research updates and commentary in perpetuity. Thanks to contributors, whistle blowers and regular visitors. A dedication to the gentleman who inspired the creation of “the Official Site on Corruption” 15 years ago will be made in the coming weeks. An effort to clean house in Cherokee County, Texas was proposed in the mid 1990’s. However, the county’s planned nepotism is still intact. The incidence of corruption in the area will also continue into perpetuity as long as the local taxpayer allows it. Missing women, a gunned down DPS trooper, a constable making a meth lab, money stolen out of City Hall, murder for hire; and property destruction for insurance payoffs are the result.
The good people there still have a lot of work to do.
Update: Robert Fox’s felony conviction (Case # 06-13-00056-CR) for “tampering with a government document” was reversed and he was acquitted of all charges in the 6th Court of Appeals, Texarkana on 12/4/13. Fox remains in detention following ICE deportation hearings after serving the entirety of his bogus sentence while waiting for his appeal.
After 8 months of postponements and two trials including a mistrial, Robert Fox was sentenced to 1 year state jail time on December 18, 2012. Fox was found guilty of “tampering with a government document” back in April 2012. (Source: Tyler Paper) This can be considered a bittersweet victory for outgoing district attorney Elmer Beckworth who won’t be facing Fox’s litany of appeals. From what was front page news of the House of Israel’s “terrorist” leanings, to being called “scofflaws” and “parasites,” the local media has gone silent on the unprecedented postponement of sentencing in the 2nd Judicial District court. There are no reports of the countless waste of taxpayer time and money spent to justify the multiple open-ended raids on the House of Israel. Raids that resulted in not only Not Guilty verdicts and dismissals, but the impetus for Robert Fox to file his tort claim against the City of Jacksonville Risk Management. This piece of paper was presented to Cherokee County juries as a “tampered government document,” even though it was printed on plain white paper with no official letterhead and Fox is not a government employee. Falsely accused of being a fugitive, Fox had spent 146 days in Cherokee County jail, unable to make his excessive bail before his trials. Other than for health reasons, he has made all of his court appearances, and in some cases has successfully represented himself. If not beaten and broke, Robert Fox will have the next 230 + days to ruminate over his next Federal lawsuit against Cherokee County and possibly publish another account of judicial terrorism. Fox is reported to be facing expedited deportation proceedings to quash his attempts at appeal.
Lessons learned: do not set up shop in downtown Jacksonville, TX unless you enjoy being harassed and your business calls intercepted by local law enforcement; if you file a lawsuit against the county, then do so from elsewhere under the advice of an attorney; and most importantly, do not stay in the area after filing your civil rights complaints or you will face a media willing to perpetuate perverse lies designed to justify the county’s systemic corruption. Cherokee County is the first place in the country to sentence a “lightning rod for terrorism” as they called him, to 12 months for a piece of paper that could have been thrown in the trash. Except for the fact they all did answer Fox’s complaint in federal court, including the judge and prosecutor who convicted and sentenced him. (Source: Fox vs. City of Jacksonville, et al Case no. 2:2010cv00158)
As a footnote, Robert James Fox is incarcerated in the Bradshaw Unit, one mile north of Henderson in Rusk County, Texas. His projected release date is 7/30/2013 according to TDCJ online inmate search records.