Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas the Official Site on Corruption

"Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

Rusk City Manager accused of wiretapping; Sheriff Deputy under Texas Rangers investigation

with 10 comments

drug busts

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…”

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Fire Chief is charged with misdemeanor assault in Anderson County; pranksters are let off with a warning.
  4. 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)
  5. A “rift develops” between the City of Rusk Police Department and the City Manager according to some accounts.
  6. 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.

Sources: Jacksonville Progress, KETK.

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.


10 Responses

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  1. Corruption in the highest levels of the federal government down to the local officials is proof that the rule of law no longer exists.

    Carl roach

    08/08/2016 at 6:15 AM

  2. Love this website! I am loving it!! Will be back later to read some more.


    08/22/2016 at 4:12 AM

  3. This town has been corrupt since I’ve seen it for the last 9 years that I have been in East Texas. Everyone here knows how corrupt every level of law and legal employees are, but we all turn our heads for fear of retaliation. Just writing this comment makes me uneasy. Like said previously, if they cannot do it, they will have someone else do it for them. We have been waiting a LONG time for someone, somewhere to speak up, and speak loud enough that someone outside of this county could hear us, before our yells got muffled by the same people we are turning our heads from. I think when outsiders start digging, they will find much, much more then bargained for. Everyone is just sitting and waiting….for the doors to be blown wide open and the citizens of Cherokee county to have their little spot of East Texas back to how it should be.


    08/24/2016 at 5:14 PM

    • What’s sad is someone finally did have the courage to speak up. The Rusk police secretary and the Lt. exposed the city manager for what he really was and guess what???? The town sat back and supported the corruption. Ultimately, not enough people provided the support those two needed when they had the courage to finally speak out on the corruption. Rusk is full of ignorant people choosing to look the other way when people with certain last names are accused of wrong doing. Bottom line is this – The City Manager, The City Attorney, The Mayor and the Council are all corrupt!


      10/03/2016 at 5:05 PM

      • Mike Murray was exonerated by the Attorney General.
        At the same it proves just how little the ‘higher authorities’ actually value the civil rights of the citizens in the area.

        Why didn’t the Texas Rangers follow up on the Rusk PD poking around the City Hall phone lines?
        How would the Rusk PD know Murray was tape recording his and his staff’s business calls?- which is perfectly legal according to the AG.
        Who gave the Rusk PD access to Murray’s phone line to prove “corruption?”
        Who is tapping who’s phone?

        Murray gets to keep his pension (and probably his job) with the agreement facilated by the AG and his accusers never to mention “wiretapping” ever again, especially in open City Council sessions. If the City Manager wants to keep his job permanently, he needs to learn that his phone conversations are not just recorded by him; he shouldn’t talk shit about the Sheriff and the Sheriff’s son over the phone or they will accuse him of something worse.

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