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Posts Tagged ‘Lon Morris

A County consortium

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Polk County Judge texting prosecution to aid during trial.

According to accounts last August 2012, Polk County Judge Elizabeth Coker and then assistant prosecutor Kaycee Jones (now a district judge) engaged in text messaging strategies during a felony injury to a child trial. The defendant was acquitted. The improper collusion during trial by the district attorney’s office and the seated judge is being investigated by the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct and the Texas Defense Lawyers Association. (Source: Houston Chronicle) The only significance in this situation, out of millions of other similar episodes, is that a district attorney investigator came forward and reported it.

A neighboring colleague caught red-handed means nothing for smaller venues such as Cherokee County where prosecutors, investigators and judges practically live together during trial to wine and dine jury pools. Here they just blackmail each other with love letters and sex tapes. They share each other’s wives and DNA. It begins in both civil and criminal trials, with juries being handpicked for their involvement in the cases. On taxpayer time, judges and all interested parties are coached to respond to questioning out-of-town lawyers and prying eyes. In Cherokee/Anderson Counties’ 369th District Court, the sitting judge openly discusses his preferences throughout proceedings. Court reporters are trained to ignore his outbursts and hand-wringing to avoid them showing up on the record. His staff is openly affectionate to their counsel of choice in the courtroom, in front of juries. That is until news cameras catch them in the act showing their open bias. In March 2011, a complaint against District Judge Bascom Bentley was filed with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct for his biased comments in the courtroom immediately after a defendant was found not guilty in a child homicide case. The video of Bentley’s rant was subpoenaed. (Source: KLTV)

This behavior is nothing new to those who happen to come to this particular courtroom and apparently in other small East Texas towns. It is a systemic pattern of absolute disregard of judicial and prosecutorial ethics that has been championed in this area for decades. The reason they cannot keep their mouths shut during proceedings is because they have a vested interest in the outcome. They are all related to each other. In Cherokee County cases, the outcome is designed to pump money over to family members who make a living billing for subsidized programs such as drug and alcohol counseling, non-existent protective services, and other fruitless means of bilking the system. Hence the enormity of probated child sex offenders and violent criminals who continue to reside and spend their own government assistance here.

Anderson County Deputy Clerk indicted on 918 counts of theft, pleads to two charges.

County Clerk Bridgette Franklin recently pleaded guilty to two 3rd degree felony counts of theft of public funds, for a total of $32,261. Money for public records paid at the Anderson County courthouse had been “misappropriated” into Franklin’s pockets 918 times beginning in 2006 according to investigators. (Source: Tyler Paper)

There are several identical Cherokee County cases that have either been dismissed, buried, or other arrangements satisfied to keep them out of court. The mentality of locals who do this is that their family owns the county and should have any and all access to the courthouse money jar.

Former Lon Morris president sued by Sam Houston State University for draining $1.3 million Long Endowment.

Within the melee’ of the Lon Morris bankruptcy and estate liquidation, fingers have pointed and tears shed, while deals have simultaneously been made to keep any criminal investigations off the table. Nonetheless, the latest conclusion by the AG office is that Dr. Miles McCall illegally transferred restricted funds from the million dollar James Long Endowment into CDs and had his staff covertly cashed them to allocate the funds elsewhere. Which means the LMC upper echelons and the bank moved beyond their scope as benefactor and financial manager to distribute monies as they saw fit. Where did the money go? We won’t hold our breath to find out. The LMC auction has been fast-tracked to keep all questions and actual fact finding proceedings to a minimum. Sam Houston State University filed a petition during bankruptcy proceedings to recover assets supposed to revert to them as beneficiary, if LMC dissolved. The university is also suing Dr. Miles McCall in the Rusk, TX civil court. Let the hand-wringing begin.

Reference: SAM HOUSTON STATE UNIVERSITY vs MCCALL, MILES, Civil Docket Case 2012120933; filed 12/27/2012 in the 2nd District Court, Cherokee County, TX.

The Texas Methodist Foundation lawsuit regarding the remaining endowments is also on the back burner until the estate property is divvied up. (Source: Tyler Paper)

Out of Towners:  kiss goodbye all your donations and effort you spent keeping LMC afloat for the last several decades. According to auction results, the locals now have their hands on it.

Footnote:  Lon Morris College as an entity filed a federal suit against the former LMC President and Board of Trustees in the US Eastern District on August 29, 2013, citing breach of fiduciary duty, financial incompetence and negligence.


Lon Morris College: altered transcripts to bankruptcy auction

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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.

Jacksonville, TX:

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.


Written by Cherokee County, Texas

10/02/2012 at 8:00 PM

Parasites make for good bedfellows; Low scores for free college

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It must be Christmas time in Cherokee County. Cherokee County Bar Association members pretend to run as opposing candidates to hedge votes away from viable office seekers potentially challenging the status quo during the upcoming primaries. Local newspapers repeat the facade to keep the cronyism alive and well. According to the liars, Cherokee County voters are supposed to believe that the Assistant District and Assistant County attorneys are actually vying for their bosses’ positions by running against the incumbent who employs them. (Source: Tyler Paper, Incumbents Face Opposition In Coming Cherokee County Elections, Dec. 18, 2011) That would be like Joe Biden switching to the Republican Party to challenge President Obama in the general election. So far, Cherokee County incumbents are running unchallenged again.

Meanwhile like clockwork, local attorneys make up reasons to bill the taxpayers by “settling” legal issues made up to exploit legitimate public concerns. Their job is deflecting attention away from the generational corruption and bilking the public coffers.

First, bogus legal crisis are created within the local city councils for embedded attorneys to charge hourly rates; it is the taxpayer who foots the bills. These lawyers have a blank check to solve these “issues” of public concern, that are issues that they themselves create. ‘Opposing counsel’ play both sides of made-up legal arguments that have no basis in fact, instead of addressing WHERE THE MONEY IS GOING. For decades, they stir up scenario another scenario between each other to pay their car notes, mortgages and children’s college tuition. With councilmen on board for the perpetual ruse, they drag out a hodgepodge of legal filings until their agreed amount of money is allocated.  All parties involved time the intended resolution of their fabricated “issue” towards the end of the fiscal year, when attorney fees are buried in city and county budget reports.

Secondly, local governments employ unaccountable members of the Cherokee County Bar Association to conceal the nepotism. Their job is to steer the community’s attention away what is really going on, by creating a rabbit trail of drawn out legal minutiae or fictitious campaigns. The local newspapers are recruited to dumb down the process and put a final spin on the cover up. They never answer the basic questions such as “Who got the money and how much do these homegrown attorneys cost the taxpayer?”  Or “Why is your so-called political opponent paying for your campaign?” It is all a money game to them.

The winners are the usual small town lawyers whose entire income comes from pubic sources, and therefore without oversight. After the smoke screen settles and the law is correctly interpreted, those on opposing sides can be found “on the same page.” The same page they were on from the beginning, between the sheets and behind closed doors.

What’s the deal with these guys working hand-in-hand to earn a living, even as opposing parties in lawsuits and criminal cases? Their wives work at the same shops on the Rusk, TX square and downtown Jacksonville. They are officers of the same companies for tax abatement purposes. They carpool to church together and are on each other’s Christmas card list. For some, that relationship goes beyond the amiable and into the bedroom. Exchanging pictures of each other’s wives in uncompromising positions keeps them on the same page and willing accomplices of the money grab. If a member of the Good Time Association steps out of line, they can expect to be sexually blackmailed with humiliating love letters, Glamour Shots and hotel receipts to their significant other or minister of their choice.

Meanwhile they also screw the county out of tens of thousands of dollars of public funds each year.

There is little fiscal oversight in the dark crevices of Cherokee County, Texas- just an engrained buddy system designed to sponge off the economic development of the county. A recent November 5, 2011 Daily Progress article “JEDCO’s accountability for nearly $1M in funds question” pretends to tackle the need for oversight.

 JACKSONVILLE— Jacksonville city officials have provided little oversight of the Jacksonville Economic Development Corporation’s handling of roughly $1 million annually in taxpayer money.

JEDCO’s failure to get city council approval before awarding economic development grants to local businesses appears to violate state law.

The article goes on to further state,

The seven-member board is not elected and is accountable to the city council, according to JEDCO’s founding documents.

The council is responsible for appointing members to the board and has the authority to remove members as well as reorganize or dissolve the corporation.

The Jacksonville Daily Progress asked five current and former city officials why the city has not fulfilled its obligation to ensure JEDCO follows state law, but none would answer on the record. (Source: Daily Progress, Nov. 5, 2011)

It is a moot point that a handful of people call the shots of where to spend $1 million of taxpayer dollars. JEDCO “volunteers” are appointed by the Jacksonville city council who (taxpayers are to believe) ironically were demanding oversight of their appointees (i.e. lovers and kinfolk). (Source: Jacksonville Progress, JEDCO, city struggle lasted more than a year, Nov. 19, 2011)

Yet the city council and local newspapers never ask to see the attorney bills nor answer the question “WHO GOT THE MONEY???”

Furthermore, if it is within the city charter to manage a quasi-government organization such as an economic development corporation, then why do attorneys need to rehash and re-bill for the same old ground for over a year? They don’t need to because the “city struggle” between JEDCO and city attorneys is only a means for these entities to milk the taxpayer. The same people have their fingers in the local school systems as well.

Another of Cherokee County’s institutions of higher learning, whose budget consists entirely of government Student Loan grants and “gifts,” cannot pass the financial responsibility test of Federal Student Aid programs because they won’t keep the money in reserve. (Source: Daily Progress, Dec. 9, 2011) KETK reports that Lon Morris Jr. College, located in Jacksonville, TX , delayed paying its staff for the umpteenth time this year. (Source: KETK, Lon Morris College delays paychecks again, Dec. 5, 2011)

Local newspapers con their readers by suggesting the current economy has something to do with teachers not being paid at the college. (Source: Tyler Paper, Some Lon Morris employees paid late, Dec. 6, 2011) Lon Morris continues to have its finances out of compliance, while at the same time being propped up by the local media as a viable Christian alternative to neighboring Tyler Jr. College. Since 2010, Lon Morris faculty continues to have their paychecks in limbo (Source: Tyler Paper, Dec. 6, 2011) while the school’s enrollment has doubled. The school continues to run on a deficit on the books and spends the Financial Student Aid deposits into the red. Where is the money going?

Earlier this year, KETK went to the Lon Morris College grounds in Jacksonville to interview employees and faced Cherokee County’s typical cult-like silence.

We found that employees and students alike are concerned about the finances at Lon Morris. When we went to the college, we were quickly informed by officials that employees were told not to say a word.

One student, Theodore Lloyd, says, “I need to know if this school is going bankrupt because I need to stop putting my money into it.”

Lon Morris officials are not giving students any answers. (Source: KETK, Lon Morris College employees not getting paychecks, April 5, 2011)

Why not try asking the Lon Morris Board of Trustees to do an internal and public audit? Surely members of Cherokee County’s CPA association would like a shot at billing the taxpayer for services rendered. The fact is the college’s “financial obstacles,” as it is spun, are not due to any bona fide economic challenge. According to the college’s webpage, 88% of Lon Morris students are on scholarships and 95% are on Federal Financial Aid.

In 2010, Lon Morris awarded over $1 million in financial aid to a student body of less than 1000. (Source: Wikipedia)  Despite this, the college will have to submit a letter of credit within 30 days to the DOE that it will keep at least 10% of the Financial Student Aid money in reserve and submit to administrative oversight. The Department of Education scores Lon Morris as “not financially responsible.” (Source: Tyler Paper, Dec. 13, 2011)

US Department of Education crime data also shows the 2 year college to have a low student retention and graduation rate, as well as a “relatively unsafe place” to go to school. (Source: American School Search) Quite the opposite from the spin promoted by local newspapers; these Lon Morris crime stats were never mentioned: between 2007 and 2009 there were 13 on-campus burglaries, 4 robberies, 2 aggravated assaults and 4 stolen vehicles. (Source: KLTV, East Texas college struggles with gang problem, Sep. 15, 2010) 11 students were expelled from the college last year after a gang related shooting. (Source: Daily Progress, LMC shooting still being investigated, Sep. 14, 2010)

Lon Morris student housing courtesy KETK.

In May 2011, the US Department of Education also found that Lon Morris was in violation of Federal Aid distribution requirements by holding students’ financial aid checks over 2 weeks after receiving them from the government. No doubt deposited in the First State Bank to draw a little interest off of. (Source: Daily Progress, LMC violates federal aid regulation, May 18, 2011) In Cherokee County there is no accountability for those holding the purse strings.

It doesn’t matter if the money comes from inflated property taxes, unreported Sales Tax revenue, stealing it out of people’s mail, bogus farm claims or Federal tuition assistance programs, it won’t appear on the county books because it will be in these people’s personal bank accounts.

To whom is the money going? In Cherokee County it goes to the families of these parasites whose spouses work together and share the same gene pool. They are business partners through and through, easily spotted divvying up gifts of insurance payouts and pretending to not only be opposing counsel, but political rivals.

As a footnote, Lon Morris College has been placed on a 12-month public sanction by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) for “significant financial and accreditation noncompliance.”  (Source: KETK, Dec. 22, 2011)

Written by Cherokee County, Texas

12/20/2011 at 12:00 PM

Child porn, sex assault, aiding and abetting arrests of Cherokee County school faculty. Medical Board reprimands equal bad medicine.

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This month: Lon Morris coach Barry Griffin pleads guilty in federal court of child porn possession and distribution in Cherokee County. Troup ISD coach fired for texting students; second Troup teacher arrested for hiding fugitive in classroom.  Rusk ISD nurse arrested for sexual assault and having an unlawful relationship with a student.

Any of this sound familiar? All this disgusting behavior in local schools during the last week of January 2009. This is why parents should think twice about relocating into this area and having their children attend Cherokee County schools, either private or public.

Lon Morris College golf coach Barry Dean Griffin faces ten years in federal prison and an unsympathetic US Attorney’s office in Tyler, TX.  According to the Tyler Paper

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary Ann Cozby said the defendant’s sentencing guideline range could be enhanced because the child pornography involved children younger than 12, involved sadistic and masochistic material and involved more than 600 images.

Griffin is incarcerated pending his sentencing date. He was arrested last year after his Jacksonville, TX home was raided by a task force composed of the Longview TX police department and the Department of Justice. The Cherokee County District Attorney’s office and Lon Morris Board of Trustees were unavailable for comment.

Rebecca D. Blankinship a.k.a. the district nurse at Rusk ISD was charged with two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a student. “Becky” Turlington Blankinship, a recent Rusk High graduate, bailed out of Cherokee County jail on January 27, 2009 after posting two $25,000 felony bonds. In the vested interest of the little community, the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office did not release names or sordid details. Or to avoid embarrassing the Third Grade class taught by the offender’s mom? The district attorney always can be counted on to protect the local bridal shower committee, consisting of all the above and investigators’ wives. Especially in cases of incest or homo-erotism. Guess the field trip to the courthouse will be canceled this year.

In Troup, TX, the school district suffered a double blow last month with the resignation of a coach after text messages to a student were discovered. A teacher’s aide was arrested for hiding her wanted sister in a classroom. Again, names have been withheld to protect the guilty.

In 2005, Troup ISD coach Samuel “Tony” Sutton was arrested for sex assault on two female students which he originally denied. Sutton had worked for one year for Troup ISD and was hired by the current superintendent Marvin Beaty. DNA matches from Coach Sutton’s saliva were found in two students’ ears. Sutton faced additional and separate rape and aggravated assault charges in Smith County and was eventually sentenced to 35 years. Another black male pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years for participating in one of the sex assaults.

The mother of one of Sutton’s female victims spoke out about the hiring process of the Troup ISD, a process defended by the Troup ISD superintendent during the trial.  (Source KLTV)

In February 2006, Alto, TX ISD principal Charles Weeks was fired after six months on the job. The then Alto ISD superintendent Lawayne Sheffield “declined to release the reason for Charles Weeks’ termination.” Local newspapers followed suit, leaving room for speculation. (Source Daily Progress)

The Golden Rule : Lie through your teeth and get away with it.

The lesson to be learned from Cherokee County educational institutions is that this behavior is a direct result of the so-called highest legal authorities operating in Rusk, TX. District court bailiff Constable Randal Thompson was recorded by federal authorities during a drug sting threatening to kill any and everyone attempting to stop him from bringing drugs from the Mexican border into Cherokee County. Jacksonville police officer Larry Pugh dragged a federal witness into a van with a belt around her neck because she went to authorities after she was repeatedly raped by him at gunpoint. Other witnesses against the Jacksonville, TX police department have simply ‘vanished’ even after their remains have been found in neighboring counties.

Let’s not forget District Attorney Elmer Beckworth lying to State Legislators in 2005 on how he couldn’t rescind the bond of one Michael Harris, prior to Harris murdering his estranged wife Faye Bell Harris– not because Michael Harris was a drug snitch for Beckworth’s investigators and because Cherokee County never filed a protective order against Harris. No, it was because the Texas Constitution somehow would not allow Felony Bail revocation during escalating and repeated domestic violence. Similarly, Cherokee County CAN set the bail for parole violators such as Brandon Robertson, even though Robertson was stopped with a gun and crystal meth by the DPS. Is it any wonder respectable teachers are fleeing the county and resigning in droves? What about victims of domestic violence committed by members of the Rusk Chamber of Commerce? What about the men and women beaten up during the Tomato Bowl Riot of 2004 being put on trial- while the arresting officer / State Witness is sitting in a federal holding block on multiple Rape and Retaliation charges?

What about $25,000 being stolen from the post office in Alto, Texas by a US Post Master? What about the missing $150,000 stolen from the Rusk, Texas Water Department?

Outsiders begin to make sense why the smallest county in the area has the worst voter fraud and minority rights violations in the State. This is where sexual deviants, wife beaters and licensed professionals with multiple disciplinary actions can reside under the radar. It is a place where unlicensed police officers such as Michael Meissner can be hired to conduct surveillance on political enemies. And drunks, pedophiles and purveyors of child porn can participate in Elmer Beckworth’s jury pools. Many of these jury members have faced or are facing criminal charges themselves, unless they follow the district attorney’s lead. You can bet they are the best friend a prosecutor could ever have, because they will say and do just about anything to taint the entire judicial process. In Cherokee County, TX, that isn’t an understatement.

Elmer Beckworth and his former investigator Randy Hatch made good friends with a convicted felon who testified against soon to be executed death row inmates Richard Cobb and associate Buenka Adams. So good, they both wrote a letter to the convict’s parole officer and would’ve written the governor for a pardon if need be.  Another caveat Cherokee County newspapers wouldn’t dare share with its readers.

Cherokee County is a haven for those seeking a refuge from licensing authorities and willing to take a 200% cut in salary. If these “doctors, lawyers and such” play the game just right, they’ll be lauded for decades in the newspapers even though their professional degrees aren’t worth the paper they wipe with.



Let’s make a quick recap of Rusk, TX’s beloved medical professionals reprimanded and/or suspended by the Texas Board of Medical Examiners, yet given oodles of accolades by the Rusk Cherokeean Herald over the years:

• CALDWELL, TROY A. JR., M.D., Rusk, TX, Lic. #E8372
An Agreed Order was entered on 12-7-01 suspending the physician’s license; however, the suspension was stayed and the physician was placed on probation for five years under certain terms and conditions. Action due to nontherapeutic prescribing or treatment.

• PEYTON, JOHN C., M.D., Rusk, TX, Lic. #D5152
On November 30, 2007, the Board and Dr. Peyton entered into an Agreed Order publicly reprimanding Dr. Peyton, prohibiting him from having hospital privileges, and requiring that he take and pass the Medical Jurisprudence Examination; obtain eight hours of continuing medical education in medical record-keeping; and that he pay an administrative penalty of $500. The action was based on his failure to adequately attend to his hospital patients by making his daily rounds and responding to nursing pages for which he was subsequently disciplined by the hospital.

• MEHARRY, LEROY IRWIN, M.D., Umatilla, OR (formerly Rusk, TX), Lic. #F4955
On April 7, 2006, the Board and Dr. Meharry entered into an Agreed Order publicly reprimanding Dr. Meharry and requiring him to comply with all terms and conditions imposed by an Order of the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners. The action was based on the action of the Oregon Board in disciplining Dr. Meharry for issues relating to prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances to staff and family members without proper documentation and controls.

• MEHARRY, ROGER ALVIN, M.D., Austin , TX (formerly Rusk, TX), Lic. #E5172
Action Date: 08/17/1996

Action Date: 08/18/1995

Action Date: 08/19/1994

Action Date: 02/12/1993

Action Date: 06/17/1992

Action Date: 01/22/1991

(Source Texas Board of Medical Examiners)

Lon Morris coach arrested for child porn at Cherokee County Jr. College.

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Warning: Cherokee County Texas institutions are bastions of child exploitation and employ purveyors of child pornography.The mass exodus of Rusk Independent School District faculty members earlier this year is based upon the revelation that protected locals and administration officials with a penchant for photography have been under FBI scrutiny for years- stemming from the 2001-2002 Department of Justice crackdown of Palestine, Texas resident Mark Bates – the Webmaster of a worldwide e-mail child pornography ring originating from Internet servers in Anderson and Cherokee Counties.  Why did the Rusk High School principal and all those Rusk ISD teachers and coaches turn in their resignations?

The FBI sting called “Operation Candyman” netted individuals throughout the country, including an A&M cadet in Brownsville and two men from the Houston,TX area. 89 subscribers total were indicted. Mark Bates, age 33 of Palestine, TX was sentenced in December 2002 to 30 years prison for being the mastermind and moderator of the website used to download images federal prosecutors called “absolutely appalling in the depth of their depravity.”  Many arrested subscribers to Mark Bates’ email group  (such as Toby Barnett from Lufkin, Texas) were people ‘holding positions of trust with frequent contact with children.’  Mark Bates had two prior child molestation convictions and a history of mental disorders.

The ongoing cover up of this type of depraved and illegal activity should show the rest of the state just how duplicitous Cherokee County Texas really is. Especially when local officials pretend to have no knowledge of kiddie porn being distributed from computers owned by the school district. A place where under the guise of fake evangelicalism, the images of broken and bloody bodies of children have been traded like Green Stamps on the Internet for decades. While at the same time Cherokee County district attorney Elmer Beckworth offers probation to a Rusk Texas man who mutilated his own 12-month old daughter, and the district court voraciously accepts any and all plea bargains to over 3 dozen registered sex offenders within the county. Mark Bates’ child porn ring of 6 years ago apparently never ceased to exist outside the area, with ongoing federal sentences (such as  Jeffrey Scott Ray of Nacogdoches and Toby Barnett of Lufkin, TX) never making it to the pressroom.  The list continues.

Jacksonville, Texas:

Lon Morris College’s  head golf coach  Barry Dean Griffin, age 38, has been arraigned in federal court for possession and distribution of child pornography. Coach Barry Griffin was arrested Monday, June 9, 2008 after surrendering to federal authorities in Tyler, Texas. According to the June 10, 2008 issue of the Tyler Paper, Lon Morris faculty member Barry Griffin :  “has been charged by complaint for allegedly possessing and distributing child pornography on May 30 in Cherokee County [Texas]. If convicted, he could face 5 to 20 years in prison for the distribution charge and up to 10 years in prison for the possession charge.”

Monday’s appearance by Griffin in front of Tyler, TX based US Magistrate Judge John Love was reported here first. He has not been formally indicted.


Lon Morris College coach Barry Dean Griffin

Barry Griffin is a junior college Kinesiology instructor and coach for Jacksonville, Texas based Lon Morris and has been since 2005. The Lon Morris men’s golf team  took fourth place in a recently held NJCAA tournament in Huntsville, Alabama, with hotel accommodations arranged by the college. Griffin has also traveled out of state to Daytona, Florida where he accompanied the Lon Morris College girl’s golf team , who took a 4th place prize at the women’s NJCAA national championship games.

Similarly, the Jacksonville home of Rusk ISD drama coach Harold “Bo” Scallon was raided last year by federal authorities on a tip from the Longview, TX police department. The tip being that the High School teacher was distributing child pornography over the Internet. His personal laptop, school computer and hard drives were confiscated by the FBI. Scallon pleaded guilty on April 4, 2008 in federal court to possessing over 150 sadomasochistic images of minors. He taught for the Rusk Independent School District for nearly 30 years and with parents’ blessings, participated in numerous overnight ‘theater camps.’ Due to a plea agreement, his child porn distribution charge was dropped by federal prosecutors, though he still faces decades in federal prison. Certainly the community and school administrators will rally around to petition for Mr. Scallon’s early release and leniency prior to his sentencing date being reported. As they did with Alto, Texas postmaster Herbert Dominguez, prior to his federal sentencing for stealing $27,000 of United States Post Office material- but never reporting it.

Local Cherokee County, Texas media portray Rusk High School Theater class’ Bo Scallon official retirement and contractual obligations to the school district as ending in April 2007, prior to the FBI raid. However, Harold “Bo” Scallon’s continual employment with the Rusk ISD was apparent to the FBI because investigators seized his company computer from the Rusk High School and examined its hard drives. Forensics on his computers uncovered massive files storing violent and graphic depictions involving children.


mugshot of Rusk,TX teacher Harold “Bo” Scallon

The ongoing out-of-county reports of federal investigations compared to the nonexistent media coverage, nor local outcry, begs the question: Has Cherokee County, Texas always been a child molestation and child pornography refuge? Local offenders certainly do not have to worry about prison time if they cut deals with the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office after falling in the hands of Elmer Beckworth .

View the locations of registered child molesters living steps from the Rusk Texas courthouse and Rusk Texas Jr.-Sr. High Schools mapped on a website called FamilyWatchdog .                                              

Found at: http://www.familywatchdog.us                                                                                                

Infant molesters (whose victims are as young as 1 to 6 years-old) all handed probation and local Adult Supervision by the Cherokee County district attorney’s office -and not spending one day in prison.


 [known registered Rusk, TX sex offenders – courtesy of Family Watchdog]

As a footnote, Harold “Bo” Scallon was sentenced on Tuesday June 17, 2008 in the US District Courts to 6 1/2 years federal prison time for possessing Internet child pornography. He will remain under parole supervision for 5 years after completing his federal prison term. Had the Rusk ISD faculty member actually acted on his sick fantasies and molested a Jr. High student, then the Cherokee County district attorney would have offered Scallon a few months probation (just like Elmer Beckworth’s office did for Chris Hennessy, a Rusk Texas patrol officer offered a paltry probation sentence of months instead of years for raping a Rusk ISD Jr. High girl in 2004).  Or Cherokee County prosecutors would simply ignore the problem like the community and Rusk school board has for the last 30 years of Harold “Bo” Scallon’s teaching career.  The world may never know how many deals were struck to keep this guy’s perverted pastimes out of the Rusk ISD school bulletin and news.

Also buried in the archives and the local School Board meeting minutes is a report of another Rusk ISD school teacher and former Jacksonville High School faculty member, Brian Basse sentenced to 3 years TDCJ time in 2007 for sexual contact with a student. Explicit Instant Messages and photos were recovered from his laptop computer by the FBI. Basse had been a Rusk Texas school teacher for 7 years, before relocating from the Jacksonville ISD. Brian Basse’s 36 month sentence (which he may serve 80% of) was handed to him from the 2nd Judicial District Court in Rusk, TX.



And don’t forget about Josh Allen music teacher at the Jacksonville Christian Academy and youth minister for the Tyler Street Baptist Church being sentenced in 2007 to 4 years for possession of child pornography- over 600 graphic and violent images. Tyler Street Baptist Church is a long time polling place for voters in Cherokee County’s Precinct No. 15. The US District Court “noted that Allen has no past criminal history and that he had the support of his church – factors in issuing the relatively lenient sentence.”   Great.     Gregg County Texas charged Josh Allen for his porn distribution into their county, since Cherokee County Texas failed to do so. A local investigation was not required from the source because, as Allen told Federal Judge Leonard Davis during his January 4, 2007 sentencing, local authorities believed the choir director still “had an opportunity to be part of the solution to the problem” of child porn being distributed via the Internet from Cherokee County, Texas. Allen received the same lack of media attention coupled with an outpouring of local support as did Jeffrey Scott Ray and Toby Lynn Barnett. Ray’s residence in Nacogdoches, TX was raided by federal authorities in 2006 and his sentencing not reported; Jeffrey Ray Scott got 70 months in federal prison.  Toby Barnett was charged with possession of child porn and given 3 years probation in 2002 for “not having a prior criminal record,” even though he had been convicted in Nacogdoches, TX for assault in 1996.

Just do a comparison on how the legal system operates 40 miles away in Smith County, Texas. For instance, the recent Wednesday June 18, 2008 sentencing of Daniel Wayne Tidwell, age 29 of Tyler, in the 241st District Court doling out 50 years state prison time. This is after Tidwell pleading guilty to the sexual assault of a 15 year-old girl. Daniel Tidwell did have prior felony convictions, but regardless was facing 5 years to life for the rape.

Don’t forget the crack down on the Mineola Swinger’s Club that has made national news, either. The third defendant out of a string of arrests, Patrick “Booger Red” Kelly , a foster parent, is on trial for drugging children 9 years-old and younger and forcing them to perform strip club-esque dances for patrons of Mineola, Texas’ honky tonk. A version of what Cherokee County, Texas’ counterfeit Christians have been doing for decades: exploiting children and getting away with it. Smith County CPS removed the children from the homes of participants beginning in 2004 when it became apparent drug use and sexual abuse was occurring in the “deeply religious community.” Also awaiting trial are Dennis Boyd and Rebecca Pittman; and Jimmy Dale and Shelia Darlene Sones. Local swingers in the East Texas sex ring Jamie Pittman and Shauntel Loraine Mayo were convicted and sentenced to life in prison earlier in May, for their involvement in making children perform sex acts on stage.

An even better recent comparison would be the 2006 trial in Smith County of a preacher named Jefferson Marion Moore, age 58 at the time, also the Dogwood City Daycare and Preschool operator convicted of molesting a 6 year-old girl left in his care. He was a full time pastor for the Dogwood City Chapel, or “Brother Jeff” as they called him.  Jefferson Moore was convicted and sentenced to LIFE in prison for the rape he committed. Moore had been indicted on three counts of sexual assault of a minor involving a 6, 7 and 4  year-old. “Brother Jeff” Moore was also charged with retaliation after an altercation with Smith County prosecutors during courtroom deliberations and given 10 extra years. On the brighter side, the Tyler Paper reports in its June 25, 2008 edition that Jefferson Moore died of “natural causes” in his cellblock earlier this month after serving 2 years in prison. Dogwood City, Texas is a small unincorporated community on Lake Palestine and ideal retirement spot for district judges, located on the Cherokee County / Smith County border and 20 miles from downtown Jacksonville, Texas. No probation offers or lenient sentences for this child molester; the Smith County community certainly did not rally in support of the only preacher and licensed babysitter in their tiny town. Incidentally, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday June 25, 2008 that it is unconstitutional for states to execute child rapists. That will certainly keep Cherokee County’s sexual predator population on a steady incline.


 Pastor Jefferson Moore (deceased), daycare owner and child molester

In April 2005, the Kilgore, Texas newspaper The Kilgore News Herald began an expose, aptly named “Child Pornography Big Problem in East Texas,” on how pervasive the crime was becoming.

Next month, more East Texas child molesters off the streets and in federal prison, such as Franklin Albert Pearce of Wood County, Texas gets life for the sexual assault of a 6 year-old girl. William Allen Pipes of Gilmer, TX pleads guilty to distributing child porn and faces 10 years.

In local school news, the superintendent of Overton ISD Dr. Mark Stretcher, after “unexpectedly” resigning his post in January due to a “personal illness and pressure” and subsequently throwing the Overton, TX school district in disarray- why Dr. Stretcher has been charged with felony theft of public funds. Stretcher pleaded guilty to ‘theft in office’ on Friday June 27, 2008.  Beware Rusk County, Texas you are in a close second for most corrupt.