Justice of the Peace and readers speak out
Several articles in the Jacksonville Daily Progress and Tyler Paper have cited an open letter from Justice of the Peace James Morris to State Attorney General Gregg Abbott requesting an investigation into the Cherokee County Commissioner’s Court. Precinct 3 Justice of the Peace Morris alleges fraud, tax evasion, accepting bribes, violation of the Open Meetings Law and retaliation. Morris’ main complaint, which he later retracted, was that Cherokee County officials were accepting monthly contributions from a local proprietary tax software and law firm (Source: Tyler Paper June 27, 2009)
Our readers’ comments:
Re 6/2/2009 James Morris letter in Jacksonville Daily Progress and 6/12/2009 Progress article responses from Pct. 2 County Commissioner Kevin Pierce and Pct. 4 Commissioner Byron Underwood. I think Jacksonville’s New Hope Baptist Church Pastor / Pct. 3 JP James Morris’ and the county commissioners’ toing and froing is a just another diversion. One has decided to play the ‘victim;’ the other the so-called ‘bad guys.’ Cherokee County in its entirety is corrupt. It is not the Attorney General’s charge to investigate local corruption; it is the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office. It is almost laughable if it wasn’t so true.
Agreed, as stated in last month’s blog
The corrupt judicial hubris operating for decades in Cherokee County, Texas is itself anti-constitutional, illegal and un-American. It operates in a cohesive little unit of the same group of elected officials, who often as a diversionary tactic pretend to denunciate each other. Don’t be fooled.
The failed Brian Walker (R) campaign alleged that election Box 36 located in New Hope Baptist Church provided illegal swing votes that pushed incumbent Chuck Hopson (D) over the top to keep the Texas House District 11 seat for Cherokee County. Candidate Walker would have to legally challenge the election results in corrupt Cherokee County court, lose the contest in a tainted jury selection (containing the same old ladies who provided the illegal swing votes) and pay the enormous lawyer fees the Hopson defense team would have incurred. Brian Walker was obviously advised by his own attorneys he faced bankruptcy if he continued to press for an election outcome investigation.
Another reader elaborates:
The Pct. 3 election judge at Jacksonville’s New Hope Baptist Church voting location was more than two hours late turning in her ballots in Rusk when the drive from that location should have taken 15 minutes. The obviously inappropriate actions stink to high heaven of election fixing right there inside Morris’ own church. A 3/18/2009 article in the Cherokeean Herald quotes newly [re]elected State Representative Chuck Hopson of Jacksonville that “he is unaware of any illegal activities in elections in his district” and that, after talking with the registrars in his 4-county district, “they are not aware of any voter fraud in any elections. ”
Hopson says “However, if there is a perception, we need to know about it.” Well what about outright in-your-face doesn’t get any more blatant than your hometown’s Pct. 3 election judge violating election rules and showing up over two hours late to the County Seat in Rusk, TX on election night? In a squeaker election between Hopson and Brian Walker. Do any of us with two simultaneously functioning brain cells expect any voter registrar in the notorious east Texas pineywoods to just say you betcha Rep. Hopson, I can write an encyclopedia about the voter fraud I’ve witnessed in this region. Good grief, maybe you’re gulled but I’m not.
How many Cherokee County property owners know who selects their grand jurors? Behind the much misused veil of secrecy about the grand jury process hides the anti-American fact that here in Cherokee County there is no compunction whatsoever about violating Government Code, Title 5 Open Government; Ethics. Subtitle B. Ethics, Chapter 573. Degrees of Relationships; Nepotism Prohibitions when it comes to choosing their own relatives and close friends to be seated.
A bit off topic, but the Editor agrees that nepotism and corruption go hand in hand. Voter fraud is common in East Texas and the Attorney General’s office more often than not ignores the complaints. Smith County officials and the AG’s office were recently notified of illegal voting activities during the City of Winona’s Wet/Dry Elections according to the Tyler Paper. Ineligible voters outside the city limits were allowed to cast their votes, according to complaints (Source: Tyler Paper June 20, 2009).
Similarly, Liberty County Judge Phil Fitzgerald was under investigation by the Attorney General for allegedly dropping DUI charges on his relatives (Source: Houston Chronicle April 19, 2009). Favoritism and sweetheart deals for relatives of East Texas officials have been going on for decades. There is simply not enough bandwidth on the Internet to document the Good ‘Ol Boy/Biddie network allowing the guilty to remain unaccountable. Their favorite technique with the help of small town prosecutors and newspapers is to blame innocents for the illegal activity they and their family members commit.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 James Morris’ open letter to the Attorney General: