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Crunching the numbers last year, this blog had over 25,000 unique visitors in 2012.
The busiest day of the year was April 26th with 241 views.
This site had visitors from 98 countries in 2012, most from the US with the UK and Canada not far behind. Buckingham Palace, the Royal Saudis, and the Vatican read this blog, as well as over 250 US law firms, lawmakers in Austin and Washington DC; and law enforcement agencies throughout the State, including multiple daily hits from our biggest fan, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department.
Your friendly neighborhood blog will be ending this March and will remain online for research updates and commentary in perpetuity. Thanks to contributors, whistle blowers and regular visitors. A dedication to the gentleman who inspired the creation of “the Official Site on Corruption” 15 years ago will be made in the coming weeks. An effort to clean house in Cherokee County, Texas was proposed in the mid 1990’s. However, the county’s planned nepotism is still intact. The incidence of corruption in the area will also continue into perpetuity as long as the local taxpayer allows it. Missing women, a gunned down DPS trooper, a constable making a meth lab, money stolen out of City Hall, murder for hire; and property destruction for insurance payoffs are the result.
The good people there still have a lot of work to do.
Update: Robert Fox’s felony conviction (Case # 06-13-00056-CR) for “tampering with a government document” was reversed and he was acquitted of all charges in the 6th Court of Appeals, Texarkana on 12/4/13. Fox remains in detention following ICE deportation hearings after serving the entirety of his bogus sentence while waiting for his appeal.
After 8 months of postponements and two trials including a mistrial, Robert Fox was sentenced to 1 year state jail time on December 18, 2012. Fox was found guilty of “tampering with a government document” back in April 2012. (Source: Tyler Paper) This can be considered a bittersweet victory for outgoing district attorney Elmer Beckworth who won’t be facing Fox’s litany of appeals. From what was front page news of the House of Israel’s “terrorist” leanings, to being called “scofflaws” and “parasites,” the local media has gone silent on the unprecedented postponement of sentencing in the 2nd Judicial District court. There are no reports of the countless waste of taxpayer time and money spent to justify the multiple open-ended raids on the House of Israel. Raids that resulted in not only Not Guilty verdicts and dismissals, but the impetus for Robert Fox to file his tort claim against the City of Jacksonville Risk Management. This piece of paper was presented to Cherokee County juries as a “tampered government document,” even though it was printed on plain white paper with no official letterhead and Fox is not a government employee. Falsely accused of being a fugitive, Fox had spent 146 days in Cherokee County jail, unable to make his excessive bail before his trials. Other than for health reasons, he has made all of his court appearances, and in some cases has successfully represented himself. If not beaten and broke, Robert Fox will have the next 230 + days to ruminate over his next Federal lawsuit against Cherokee County and possibly publish another account of judicial terrorism. Fox is reported to be facing expedited deportation proceedings to quash his attempts at appeal.
Lessons learned: do not set up shop in downtown Jacksonville, TX unless you enjoy being harassed and your business calls intercepted by local law enforcement; if you file a lawsuit against the county, then do so from elsewhere under the advice of an attorney; and most importantly, do not stay in the area after filing your civil rights complaints or you will face a media willing to perpetuate perverse lies designed to justify the county’s systemic corruption. Cherokee County is the first place in the country to sentence a “lightning rod for terrorism” as they called him, to 12 months for a piece of paper that could have been thrown in the trash. Except for the fact they all did answer Fox’s complaint in federal court, including the judge and prosecutor who convicted and sentenced him. (Source: Fox vs. City of Jacksonville, et al Case no. 2:2010cv00158)
As a footnote, Robert James Fox is incarcerated in the Bradshaw Unit, one mile north of Henderson in Rusk County, Texas. His projected release date is 7/30/2013 according to TDCJ online inmate search records.
District Attorney runs Assistant DA as opponent; Attorney General investigates missing $1.3 million Lon Morris endowment
‘Tis the season to fool everybody, and political ads have run simultaneously in local newspapers pretending not to know of the incestuous politicking of the Cherokee County district attorney’s office. Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth (Democrat) is being “challenged” by his assistant district attorney Rachel Patton Rogers, running as a Republican, in the ONLY so-called “contested” race in the county. Beckworth has won praise from his mentor former DA and retired Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Charles Holcomb, who also related to the majority of those at the courthouse, Rusk State Hospital, and remaining county government employees. (Source: Tyler Paper, Nov. 4, 2012) Family ties go beyond political affiliations, hence public servants’ blatant nepotism for the last 40 years goes unreported during the electoral process. The only party lines in Cherokee County, Texas are the ones used to illegally eavesdrop on each other. So much for small town elections.
Do we really get a choice when one candidate’s only purpose is to keep viable challengers out of the primaries?
It is a common in-your-face tactic of Cherokee County shoring up the election, that is the hedging of votes against potential challengers. Both candidates pretend to be in competition by championing a horrible record of local child molestation cases they shared; over 300+ reported probated child sex offenders during Elmer Beckworth’s 20 year tenure alone. God only knows what the docket doesn’t show. Child molesters and recidivists who are offered probation per Beckworth’s office, and then fail their community service requirements is not a record to run on, but to be ashamed of. Nonetheless, the current district attorney’s further endorsements come from his published jury pools and the former Cherokee County sheriff – now part of a local cattlemen’s association. As long as familial and personal vendettas are played out in their small time political games, no child is safe in Cherokee County. No one is safe.
Ask the parents of molested children in Rusk and Jacksonville forced to live nextdoor to offenders who make sweet deals with the district court. Ask the loved ones slain by Cherokee County drug informants released after repeated bail violations. Asked those pepper sprayed and beaten up by Cherokee County law enforcement during high school events. Ask the sexual assault victims, battered wives and families of missing women who have to sue the county in Federal Court to get their rapes on the record. Ask the district judge who’s own bailiff is sitting in federal prison for selling crystal meth.
As Assistant District Attorney for 20 years, Elmer Beckworth’s job has been to run interference for his predecessors’ judicial remands. Endorsee Charles Holcomb’s last case as Cherokee County district attorney resulted in the overturning of an innocent man’s so-called “murder for remuneration” conviction that resulted in a commuted life sentence. Even though all evidence pointed elsewhere, then assistant prosecutor Beckworth continued the facade of a bonafide investigation into the murder of Alto, TX feed store owner Jackie Hicks. As a district attorney Beckworth has continued that pattern of lying all the way to the state legislature in Austin.
Daily Progress, June 3, 1993
As Elmer Beckworth’s lead assistant prosecutor, Rachel Patton Rogers worked side-by-side with Beckworth and his investigators. Hence the cycle continues. Beckworth, a life long Democrat, sensed earlier in 2010 the political tides would swing overwhelmingly Republican during this county election cycle. Hence his “first assistant attorney” was quietly shuffled out last year and over onto the local Republican ticket. Are voters actually to believe that both Beckworth and his recruited assistant are vying for the job as Cherokee County’s top prosecutor simply because they appear in opposite political parties? The local newspapers would have their readers believe so. Her job has been to make sure the DA office stays “in the family.” Meanwhile, bogus political ads have been run simultaneously with articles on the Texas Attorney General’s investigation of missing endowment money at the former Lon Morris College. Over $1 million in a restrictive trust fund deposit according to the Rusk Cherokeean is not “missing” at all:
There is no missing money at Lon Morris College. “Contrary to recent news reports, we know where the money went…” (Source: front page Rusk Cherokeean, “No Missing Funds at Lon Morris,” Oct. 31, 2012)
All other legitimate news agencies are reporting the missing Dr. James Long endowment to Lon Morris College, now valued at $1.3 million. (Source: KLTV) By law, college endowment funds are restrictive, in that the principal (the $1 million gift) cannot be spent all at once, only accrued interest per the donation.
JACKSONVILLE, TX (KLTV) –
Months after the oldest two-year university in the state closed its doors, a serious investigation into its finances has been opened. The Texas Attorney General’s office and Lon Morris college are looking for $1.3 Million in missing endowment funds. A Rusk man left the money to the school, but explicitly stated in his will that the money would be transferred to Sam Houston State University if Lon Morris College ever closed its doors.
In 2009, a little more than $1 Million was willed to the school by Lon Morris graduate, Dr. James D. Long.
Because of interest, that endowment would now be worth about $1.3 Million.
The AG’s investigators are demanding a long list of documents, including emails, bank records and minutes from board meetings. They’re looking for anything that leads their office to who was managing the funds that should have been deferred to Sam Houston State University.
The Attorney General’s Office says the missing endowment funds were brought to their attention after a lawyer for the Long Estate contacted the Texas State University System.
(Source: KLTV, “Attorneys question if Lon Morris College honored donor’s will,” Oct. 25, 2012)
As a footnote to the original article, the Texas Attorney General’s office is now questioning former Lon Morris president Dr. Miles McCall regarding over $1.3 million in missing endowment monies.
JACKSONVILLE — The former president of Lon Morris College is at the center of a Texas Attorney General investigation into a missing $1.3 million. The money comes from an endowment that should have reverted to Sam Houston State University after LMC declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July.
Dr. Miles McCall — who was college president from July 2005 until he resigned May 24 — was questioned in Arlington this week regarding management of the endowment, according to officials and court documents. He had been ordered by a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to comply with the questioning.
(Source: Jacksonville Daily Progress, “Texas Attorney General investigates missing $1.3 million in endowment money, former Lon Morris College president questioned,” Oct.24, 2012)
How the local media lies, covers up, and buries stories.
Lon Morris College is being auctioned to pay off the $30 million debt it has accumulated. They lied to us that the junior college was financial stable, despite employees being paid late repeatedly in violation of federal labor laws. (Source: CNN, May 24, 2012) They lied to us that the oldest two year college in the State of Texas was not going to bankruptcy court, when in fact Chapter 11 measures were in place to petition the US Eastern District to keep creditors at bay. (Source: KLTV, July 5, 2012) They lied to enrolling students that their financial aid was not in jeopardy, after holding federal loan disbursements longer than allowable — then being placed on probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) commission. (Source: Tyler Paper, Dec. 22, 2011) They told high school graduates that Fall classes were in full swing and recruited students to apply for scholarships and financial aid, knowing the school was permanently closing its doors this Fall. (KETK, Aug. 24, 2012)
They knew the risks of enrollment during Chapter 11 bankruptcy, furloughing their entire teaching staff, and the Department of Education cutting off financial aid, yet they continued to actively recruit students. Colleges that have entered bankruptcy are debarred from participating in Federal Student Assistance (FSA) Title IV programs. They masked their last ditch capital raising efforts in the cloak of fake Christianity, community solidarity, and blind loyalty. Their cult mentality shined through with a faculty willing to work for free, month after month, and obediently keeping their mouths shut when asked about it.
“Earlier reports of Lon Morris Junior College entering Texas bankruptcy courts suggested students planning to attend this fall would be safe for the semester as debt resolution efforts played out. However, an announcement was made last week that the fall semester would not carry on as planned and, instead, will have classes suspended.” (Source: “Lon Morris College Files for Bankruptcy” Sept. 4, 2012)
This type of behavior and consorted effort to bury their collective ingrained corruption is nothing new. Locals forget how previous LMC president Clifford M. Lee told registrars to change the failing grades of his enrolled son, resulting in the resignation of Board of Trustees members. (Source: Texas City Sun, Oct. 8, 1997) That incident of fixing transcripts by the college president was also spun by local reporters when the facts surfaced and were picked up by the Associated Press.
“Lon Morris College president investigated for having son’s grade changed”
JACKSONVILLE, Texas (AP) – The president of Lon Morris College ordered a failing mark on his son’s transcript at the school to be upgraded, the Jacksonville Daily Progress reported Sunday. In a copyright story, the newspaper reported that Clifford Lee has been investigated for directing the school registrar to change a 1995 math score from an “F” to a “C” on his son Craig’s transcript this summer.” (Source: Texas News, Sept. 29. 1997)
Events surrounding child porn charges against Lon Morris head golf coach Barry Griffin and his subsequent 4 1/2 year federal prison sentence were reported belatedly and as matter-of-fact. (Source: “Ex-Lon Morris Head Golf Coach Gets 4 1/2 Years For Child Porn,” Tyler Paper, June 10, 2009) Reports on out of town and overnight tournaments accompanied by Coach Griffin and students ceased only after other media outlets reported his arrest. Now, the local media refuses to print the bankruptcy sale and piece meal auction of the Lon Morris property and school’s assets. It is bad enough for a trusted institution facing $30 million in federal debt litigation to leave so many students and faculty in limbo. But to actively recruit naïve high school graduates with the help of the local media lying about the severity of Lon Morris’ financial problems goes beyond the pale. Even as Lon Morris was being divided, sold, and reverting back to original owners under Chapter 11 bankruptcy litigation, they told parents and students otherwise.
The carrot of a ‘free education’ was beguiling to lower income families, paid by the Pell Grants the junior college needed to stay out of the red. They knew that student enrollment alone would not cover the school’s accumulated debt of $30 million. But with 98% of the student body on financial aid, the goal was always to increase enrollment. This is why Lon Morris held student loans longer than the 14 days past disbursement per the US Department of Education. (Source: Daily Progress, “LMC violates federal aid regulation” May18, 2011) This is why they kept their doors open for enrollment after laying off their entire teaching faculty and a posted foreclosure.
No financial aid checks to draw interest off of, no school.
Out of town parents oblivious to the level of corruption permeating every institution in this county should use this as their wake up call. These institutions are the advertisers for the “News” outlets whose purpose is to paint the rosiest picture of the stinking corruption that keeps this place afloat. The worse it gets, the thicker they pile it on. When their associates are caught and sent to prison, they pretend their crimes never took place, ignoring the years of accolades spread by false reporting and word-of-mouth. If you want the facts surrounding the everyday affairs of Cherokee County, you’ll have to read about it in newspapers a hundred miles away, if it ever gets reported at all. The truth rarely sees the light of day here.
Welcome to Cherokee County, Texas. Spend your money wisely. Spend it elsewhere.
- “Closed Lon Morris College Prepares for Piecemeal Auction,” Katy Stech, Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Sept. 27, 2012.
- Stephens, Angela. “Texas College President Ordered Alteration To Son’s Transcript,” Community College Week 10.7 (1997): 2. MasterFlLE Premier. Web. 28 May 2012.
- “No intentional wrongdoing at Lon Morris” Rusk Cherokeean/Herald, Oct. 9, 1997.
- “Lon Morris President meets with employees after talk of bankruptcy,” KETK, April 6, 2011.
- “Lon Morris College: Bankruptcy a step forward,” Tyler Paper, July 4, 2012.
- “Lon Morris: Open for business,” KLTV, July 19, 2012.
A moving ambulance is not a Japanese bullet train; it does have brakes, door locks and restraints.
Media coverage in Cherokee County is a mixture of bald-face lies, propaganda, innuendo, and illogical fiction. A recently polished article highlights the tragedy of a 36-year old alleged “mentally disturbed” woman from Troup, TX who died several weeks ago while being transported for observation after Cherokee County sheriff deputies were dispatched. It took a few days for them to get their stories straight, but here’s the one they are running with. The article “Troup woman dies after jumping from ambulance” is the perfect example of deliberate misdirection used to hide unlikely storylines. They even bury the obvious facts that would shed light on Cherokee County EMS transport procedures during non-life threatening situations and non-emergencies.
(Courtesy: Tyler Paper)
According to the Tyler Paper, Crystal Delaune died on August 19, 2012 after jumping from a moving ETMC ambulance and landing in the middle of US 69 south of Jacksonville, TX. (Source: Tyler Paper, August 28, 2012) Delaune had reportedly show signs of delusion and was being transported by stretcher to Mother Frances Jacksonville when she removed her restraints, unlocked the doors, and jumped according to Cherokee County paramedics. She had attempted to flee the ambulance at the scene and again in route when CCSO dispatch was notified, then told to disregard. On the final attempt, Delaune jumped from her stretcher and exited through the rear door while in route. (Source: CBS 19)
Paramedics described how they tried to grab her before jumping from the moving vehicle; apparently the brakes were stuck and the power locks inaccessible. It would be ridiculous for EMTs to pull off on the side of the highway and gain control of a 120 lbs. woman. Instead the collective story for public consumption is akin to a scene from the Runaway Train movie “Unstoppable“- both as realistic and well-acted as the other. Apparently it does not occur to Cherokee County readers that an ambulance is capable of driving slowly on the shoulder instead of throwing patients out the back door.
Unathorized interception at the telecom companies and illegal party lines.
Podunk law enforcement and prosecutors share the limelight with Federal investigators during politically timed drug raids. The only investigative skill required to bust local drug dealers and small town gangbangers is the illegal interception of phone conversations. Problem is, the spying has been going on for so many decades with the blessing of partnered East Texas agencies, that the monitoring goes beyond the local meth house. These agencies don’t ask for disclosure or sources, but they do offer a carrot to counties willing to intercept people’s phone calls. No warrants are needed either to eavesdrop on political opponents and the lay population. The criminal activity is justified in their over-inflated drug busts portrayed as something significant.
Drug dealers are caught in Cherokee County because they talk about it on the phone. Local gas stations, hotels, rest areas, places and persons of interest are hard wired for county law enforcements’ listening pleasure. For long term monitoring, they recruit their family and friends to spy on their neighbors. Investigators move in and out of retirement providing dirt for political rivals’ personal vendettas. Cherokee County has been caught several times in the past per court documents, remands and injuctions, but under their jurisdictional policing agreements, the bottom of the totem pole is required to initiate the illegal phone taps. It may be a good way to clear out the rural drug dealers operating in East Texas, but the interception of regular folks’ business calls, personal emails, and private conversations is the real gold mine to these corrupt agencies. And make no mistake about it; FBI agents who get their tips from a Cherokee County lawman knows exactly where it is coming from. They are too lazy to do their own leg work, or follow up on what the counties tape record. They call it “cooperation.”
How do they get away with it?
As blatant Cherokee County corruption is discussed on the Internet news feeds, radio talk shows, and by concerned citizens, this underlying question is bantered about. How can Cherokee County prosecutors repeat in open court the information they obtained from a private phone conversaton? Those in Cherokee County’s crosshairs such as Robert Fox, formerly of Jacksonville, TX, and Randall Kelton of Austin’s Rule of Law radio have experienced it first hand, while outsiders are left to speculate. The answer is as relevant today as it was 30 and 40 years ago because the same Good Ol’ Boy “investigative” network is in place operating at full steam, even in the age of cell phones and Wi-Fi. They get away with violating constitutional privacy laws because when the issue is raised in the appellate and federal courts, homegrown judges kill the complaints before they see the light of day. Tyler’s 12th Court of Appeals labels the concern of illegal wire taps as a “non argument,” by skirting the issue as a federal question. Federal justices in turn summarily dismiss basic constitutional privacy questions in their own jurisdictions. That is the reason why the local postal services are compromised and mail is rifled through by the Sheriff departments, while personal phone calls are played for district attorneys, judges and the law firms they work for. It goes on at every level of Cherokee County’s daily operations and as a function of their job security. If the local media started reporting about hometown corruption going on under our noses, their own personal dirty laundry would be aired by county officials.
In April 2012, Robert Fox of the House of Israel was found guilty of “tampering with a government record.” (Source: Daily Progress, April 27, 2012) A previous mistrial was declared in June 2011 (Source: Daily Progress, June 2, 2011) and earlier this spring Cherokee County prosecutors moved quietly forward for a retrial after answering Fox’s federal complaints. Fox’s sentencing has been delayed while administrative judges in the region hear his Motions to overturn this year’s legal debacle. Four months have passed since a Cherokee County jury of kissin’ cousins decided a letter Fox mailed to the City of Jacksonville Risk Management was a State felony offense, for threatening to sue them all in court for the multiple illegal raids on his property. Not to mention keeping him in the Rusk, TX jail for 146 days without bail on meritless charges, eight of which were eventually dismissed and one resulting in a Not Guilty verdict. (Source: Daily Progress, July 31, 2009) District Attorney Elmer Beckworth has decided that he alone has jurisdiction over what documents are presented and their content in Cherokee County. (Source: Tyler Paper, April 28, 2012) Especially when Beckworth, the City of Jacksonville, and Sheriff Department were forced to answer Robert Fox’s claims in federal court. (Source: Fox vs. City of Jacksonville, et al Case no. 2:2010cv00158) In any other county this official retaliation would be grounds for immediate disbarment.
The impetus of Robert Fox’s latest legal quandary is the fact that presiding 2nd Judicial District Judge Dwight Phifer officiated a wedding held for a ‘no show’ witness who Cherokee County refused to subpoena. The same witness was made available when a traveling judge from Longview held court in the 2nd Judicial District. Regional administrative judges will be deciding if a fixed jury, lying prosecutor, and district judge who refuses to recuse himself is grounds for remand. Fox’s next scheduled hearing on the matter is on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at the Rusk, TX courthouse. The timing of Fox’s Conflict of Interest motions (and legal diatribes) have been repeatedly postponed while his case remains in unprecedented limbo. Local media has been invited to cover the circus, however it is doubtful they would report a decision to throw out a case of official repression they have been cheerleading.
When Cherokee County institutions fail and go under (such as Lon Morris College’s recent Chapter 11 bankruptcy), the reality of the situation is buried by the local media and replaced with rose colored stories of how wonderful their little community is. When drug informants kill their spouses and DPS troopers under the district attorney fund; when teachers are caught with child porn and black people profiled and beaten; when attorneys get DWIs and veteran employees are caught embezzling; when commissioners bulldoze their private property and police rape and kill- well, those news stories don’t seem to make it to the Letters to the Editor section. Blatant criminal activity of their officials is justified by piling on the shit smear campaigns; it makes the blatant violation of the US Constitution more palatable.
Translation: “We violate the law in order to do what is best for our little communities, our families, and ourselves.”
Cherokee County’s willingness to illegally intercept private communications keeps it on the map and an asset to corrupt neighboring law enforcement vying for the trickle of federal drug enforcement monies. These areas have a Zero Tolerance for privacy and even less for the rule of law.
By: Matthew Bailey – Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
Tyler, Texas – Smith County Judge the Honorable Randall Lee Rogers made statements [while] on the courts bench while in session that two counties in the North/East Texas area are incompetent and/or corrupt.
Although the good judge didn’t go into much detail to the reasons to why he felt this way, by listening to his expression on the matter, you could tell he had a knowledge of something that would make him say that about another county. Judge Roger however gave an explanation that he would not do business with Dallas or Cherokee counties from with-in his jurisdiction/court on legal issues.
Dallas and Cherokee may have corruption and incompetency issue that should be resolved and it is brave for Judge Rogers to even make statements about it. Coming from a Judge that could arrest and jail anyone for lying, you can pretty much bet when he says something it is true. So if Mr. Rogers says Dallas County is incompetent and Cherokee County is corrupt, it is believable.
Why is [it] good that the Honorable Randall Lee Rogers said something? Maybe in some way it will blow the whistle on some bad stuff that goes on in those counties. Of course it may just be his opinion that these two counties are in such shape but what would make the Judge react toward them in this manner? Past experiences perhaps.
Tylerites, or Smith Countyites should feel proud to know that their judge holds values enough to speak up when he sees something going on wrong. [Too] many times [do] we hear about [a] someone who does something wrong and never one who is the fight for right. Thanks for looking out for us Judge, however you do it.