Dedicated to Bert Neal Tucker, Sr. (1929 – 1998)
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.