Agents of prevarication kiss and make up
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)