Child porn, sex assault, aiding and abetting arrests of Cherokee County school faculty. Medical Board reprimands equal bad medicine.
This month: Lon Morris coach Barry Griffin pleads guilty in federal court of child porn possession and distribution in Cherokee County. Troup ISD coach fired for texting students; second Troup teacher arrested for hiding fugitive in classroom. Rusk ISD nurse arrested for sexual assault and having an unlawful relationship with a student.
Any of this sound familiar? All this disgusting behavior in local schools during the last week of January 2009. This is why parents should think twice about relocating into this area and having their children attend Cherokee County schools, either private or public.
Lon Morris College golf coach Barry Dean Griffin faces ten years in federal prison and an unsympathetic US Attorney’s office in Tyler, TX. According to the Tyler Paper
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ann Cozby said the defendant’s sentencing guideline range could be enhanced because the child pornography involved children younger than 12, involved sadistic and masochistic material and involved more than 600 images.
Griffin is incarcerated pending his sentencing date. He was arrested last year after his Jacksonville, TX home was raided by a task force composed of the Longview TX police department and the Department of Justice. The Cherokee County District Attorney’s office and Lon Morris Board of Trustees were unavailable for comment.
Rebecca D. Blankinship a.k.a. the district nurse at Rusk ISD was charged with two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a student. “Becky” Turlington Blankinship, a recent Rusk High graduate, bailed out of Cherokee County jail on January 27, 2009 after posting two $25,000 felony bonds. In the vested interest of the little community, the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office did not release names or sordid details. Or to avoid embarrassing the Third Grade class taught by the offender’s mom? The district attorney always can be counted on to protect the local bridal shower committee, consisting of all the above and investigators’ wives. Especially in cases of incest or homo-erotism. Guess the field trip to the courthouse will be canceled this year.
In Troup, TX, the school district suffered a double blow last month with the resignation of a coach after text messages to a student were discovered. A teacher’s aide was arrested for hiding her wanted sister in a classroom. Again, names have been withheld to protect the guilty.
In 2005, Troup ISD coach Samuel “Tony” Sutton was arrested for sex assault on two female students which he originally denied. Sutton had worked for one year for Troup ISD and was hired by the current superintendent Marvin Beaty. DNA matches from Coach Sutton’s saliva were found in two students’ ears. Sutton faced additional and separate rape and aggravated assault charges in Smith County and was eventually sentenced to 35 years. Another black male pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years for participating in one of the sex assaults.
The mother of one of Sutton’s female victims spoke out about the hiring process of the Troup ISD, a process defended by the Troup ISD superintendent during the trial. (Source KLTV)
In February 2006, Alto, TX ISD principal Charles Weeks was fired after six months on the job. The then Alto ISD superintendent Lawayne Sheffield “declined to release the reason for Charles Weeks’ termination.” Local newspapers followed suit, leaving room for speculation. (Source Daily Progress)
The Golden Rule : Lie through your teeth and get away with it.
The lesson to be learned from Cherokee County educational institutions is that this behavior is a direct result of the so-called highest legal authorities operating in Rusk, TX. District court bailiff Constable Randal Thompson was recorded by federal authorities during a drug sting threatening to kill any and everyone attempting to stop him from bringing drugs from the Mexican border into Cherokee County. Jacksonville police officer Larry Pugh dragged a federal witness into a van with a belt around her neck because she went to authorities after she was repeatedly raped by him at gunpoint. Other witnesses against the Jacksonville, TX police department have simply ‘vanished’ even after their remains have been found in neighboring counties.
Let’s not forget District Attorney Elmer Beckworth lying to State Legislators in 2005 on how he couldn’t rescind the bond of one Michael Harris, prior to Harris murdering his estranged wife Faye Bell Harris– not because Michael Harris was a drug snitch for Beckworth’s investigators and because Cherokee County never filed a protective order against Harris. No, it was because the Texas Constitution somehow would not allow Felony Bail revocation during escalating and repeated domestic violence. Similarly, Cherokee County CAN set the bail for parole violators such as Brandon Robertson, even though Robertson was stopped with a gun and crystal meth by the DPS. Is it any wonder respectable teachers are fleeing the county and resigning in droves? What about victims of domestic violence committed by members of the Rusk Chamber of Commerce? What about the men and women beaten up during the Tomato Bowl Riot of 2004 being put on trial- while the arresting officer / State Witness is sitting in a federal holding block on multiple Rape and Retaliation charges?
What about $25,000 being stolen from the post office in Alto, Texas by a US Post Master? What about the missing $150,000 stolen from the Rusk, Texas Water Department?
Outsiders begin to make sense why the smallest county in the area has the worst voter fraud and minority rights violations in the State. This is where sexual deviants, wife beaters and licensed professionals with multiple disciplinary actions can reside under the radar. It is a place where unlicensed police officers such as Michael Meissner can be hired to conduct surveillance on political enemies. And drunks, pedophiles and purveyors of child porn can participate in Elmer Beckworth’s jury pools. Many of these jury members have faced or are facing criminal charges themselves, unless they follow the district attorney’s lead. You can bet they are the best friend a prosecutor could ever have, because they will say and do just about anything to taint the entire judicial process. In Cherokee County, TX, that isn’t an understatement.
Elmer Beckworth and his former investigator Randy Hatch made good friends with a convicted felon who testified against soon to be executed death row inmates Richard Cobb and associate Buenka Adams. So good, they both wrote a letter to the convict’s parole officer and would’ve written the governor for a pardon if need be. Another caveat Cherokee County newspapers wouldn’t dare share with its readers.
Cherokee County is a haven for those seeking a refuge from licensing authorities and willing to take a 200% cut in salary. If these “doctors, lawyers and such” play the game just right, they’ll be lauded for decades in the newspapers even though their professional degrees aren’t worth the paper they wipe with.
Let’s make a quick recap of Rusk, TX’s beloved medical professionals reprimanded and/or suspended by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, yet given oodles of accolades by the Rusk Cherokeean Herald over the years:
• CALDWELL, TROY A. JR., M.D., Rusk, TX, Lic. #E8372
An Agreed Order was entered on 12-7-01 suspending the physician’s license; however, the suspension was stayed and the physician was placed on probation for five years under certain terms and conditions. Action due to nontherapeutic prescribing or treatment.
• PEYTON, JOHN C., M.D., Rusk, TX, Lic. #D5152
On November 30, 2007, the Board and Dr. Peyton entered into an Agreed Order publicly reprimanding Dr. Peyton, prohibiting him from having hospital privileges, and requiring that he take and pass the Medical Jurisprudence Examination; obtain eight hours of continuing medical education in medical record-keeping; and that he pay an administrative penalty of $500. The action was based on his failure to adequately attend to his hospital patients by making his daily rounds and responding to nursing pages for which he was subsequently disciplined by the hospital.
• MEHARRY, LEROY IRWIN, M.D., Umatilla, OR (formerly Rusk, TX), Lic. #F4955
On April 7, 2006, the Board and Dr. Meharry entered into an Agreed Order publicly reprimanding Dr. Meharry and requiring him to comply with all terms and conditions imposed by an Order of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners. The action was based on the action of the Oregon Board in disciplining Dr. Meharry for issues relating to prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances to staff and family members without proper documentation and controls.
• MEHARRY, ROGER ALVIN, M.D., Austin , TX (formerly Rusk, TX), Lic. #E5172
Action Date: 08/17/1996
Description: 8-17-96: ORDER ENTERED GRANTING TERMINATION OF ORDER DATED 2-22-91. LICENSE IS FREE AND CLEAR OF ANY PREVIOUS RESTRICTIONS.
Action Date: 08/18/1995
Description: . 8-18-95: ORDER ENTERED GRANTING MODIFICATION OF ORDER DATED 2-22-91 AS FOLLOWS: REAPPLY FOR DEA & DPS CERTIFICATES.
Action Date: 08/19/1994
Description: AGREED ORDER 8-19-94 DR. MEHARRY’S PREVIOUS 1991 BOARD ORDER WAS EXTENDED FOR 2 YEARS. ACTION DUE TO UNPROFESSIONAL OR DIHONORABLE CONDUCT, AND PROFFESSIONAL FAILURE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE.
Action Date: 02/12/1993
Description: ORDER 2-12-93 REQUEST TO REAPPLY FOR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES DENIED
Action Date: 06/17/1992
Description: AGREED ORDER 6-17-92 ALLEGED VIOLATION OF PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY GIVEN PUBLIC REPRIMAND.
Action Date: 01/22/1991
Description: ORDER 1-22-91 DUE TO ALLEGATIONS OF PRESCRIBING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES TO KNOWN USERS, INSUFFICIENT DOCUMENTATION ON MEDICAL RECORDS, WRITING FALSE PRESCRIPTIONS. PROBATION FOR 5 YEARS. SHALL NOT PRESCRIBE NONTHERAPEUTICALLY. SHALL NOT PERMIT AN UNLICENSED PERSION TO TELEPHONE A PRESCRIPTION IN TO A PHARMACY. MAINTAIN A FILE OF PRESCRIPTIONS WRITTEN FOR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE 2 WEEK PRECEPTORSHIP TO BE COMPLETED WITHIN 12 MOS. MAINTAIN ADEQUATE MEDICAL RECORDS. 50 HRS. CME PER YEAR. SHALL APPEAR TWICE ANNUALLY BEFORE THE BOARD.
(Source Texas Board of Medical Examiners)