Posts Tagged ‘Texas Rangers’
Two former City of Alto clerks have posted bond after being indicted for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the city. The theft of public funds allegedly began in October 1, 2010, according to court records. The duo has been charged with felony theft by a public servant. (Courtesy KETK) The Texas Rangers began investigating the missing funds back in April after the two City employees were terminated. (Jacksonville Progress). Years and years of fishing out the City coffers has deliberately gone unnoticed.
A Cherokee County grand jury has indicted two former City of Alto employees on felony theft by a public servant charges.
Jeanie Mignon Curtis Selman, 35, of Alto, was indicted for second-degree felony theft by a public servant when the Cherokee County grand jury met on Aug. 22.
According to the text of the indictment East Texas News obtained Tuesday, the grand jury met in the 2nd Judicial District Court. The indictment alleges that Selman stole somewhere between $30,000 and $150,000 while she was employed as a court clerk by the city of Alto. The indictment states that the theft occurred on Oct. 1, 2010.
The Cherokee County grand jury also indicted another former City of Alto employee. Whittney Nicole Arriola, 31, of Alto, was indicted on a felony theft by a public servant charge as well. The indictment states that the alleged theft occurred on Oct. 1, 2010. She is also accused of stealing between $30,000 and $150,000 from the city. Like Selman, she was working as a court clerk at the time.
Each woman had a bail amount of $10,000. Both Selman and Arriola have posted their bail amounts, and they have been released from the county jail.
Back in April, East Texas News learned that the Texas Rangers were asked to look into allegations of theft that occurred at Alto City Hall, according to Texas Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Jean Dark.
Dark said the investigation was requested by the Alto Police Department.
(Source: CBS 19)
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…”
- 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.
- 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.
- Fire Chief is charged with misdemeanor assault in Anderson County; pranksters are let off with a warning.
- 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)
- A “rift develops” between the City of Rusk Police Department and the City Manager according to some accounts.
- 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.
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.
Cherokee County TX sues employers while enticing more business. Nacogdoches jailer sentenced for child porn. Smith County officials investigated by DPS and Rangers.
Several national and internationally owned companies, such as Alliance Data Systems and Astro Air have divested their businesses from the county due to downsizing and corporate reconstruction. The following Personal Injury lawsuits were filed in the last 4 years against Jacksonville TX based Astro Air in Cherokee County’s 2nd district court:
- Civil Docket; Case 2004030190; MORALES, EULALIA vs ASTRO AIR, INC.
- Civil Docket; Case 2004030218; LAWSON, CARROL vs ASTRO AIR, INC.
- Civil Docket; Case 2005030170; RESENDIZ, TERESA vs ASTRO AIR, INC.
- Civil Docket; Case 951000794; ROBERTS, ARTHUR vs ASTRO AIR, INC.
- Civil Docket; Case 96600493; MEADOR, CYNTHIA vs ASTRO AIR, INC.
- Civil Docket; Case 98200091; ABERNATHY, RICHARD vs ASTRO AIR, INC.
- Civil Docket; Case 98500399; KUYKENDALL, TANYA HIGHT vs BAILEY, PATRICK JAMES, ASTRO AIR, INC, et al.
Meanwhile, the wife of Jacksonville Texas Mayor Pro-Tem was indicted for stealing over $150,000 from the Rusk Texas city hall and the US Postmaster in Alto Texas was sentenced for stealing over $27,000 in postage, before paying it back. The latter receiving 1-year adjudicated probation in federal court, while the former has had her case postponed in hopes she too, can sell her recently acquired assets if in fact she is found or pleads guilty.
Nacogdoches correctional officer Michael Paul Kennedy was sentenced March 13, 2008 to 97 months federal prison for soliciting and distributing child pornography. Former jailer Michael Kennedy, 32 of the Nacogdoches Sheriff Department had been arrested last year at his home in Nacogdoches, Texas according the Texas Attorney General press release on that date. His arrest video and others can be viewed at the Texas Attorney General website.
Michael Kennedy, former Nacogdoches TX jailer
Smith County Constable Henry Jackson’s Tyler based private security firm, Fail Safe Security Agency, is under investigation by the Texas DPS. The DPS issued a search warrant on Constable Jackson’s home based upon Jackson and his firm’s expired licenses required to operate a security business. The Tyler Paper reports that Constable Henry Jackson’s security business employed deputy constables who were paid on county time and wearing Smith County uniforms, while simultaneously working security. A special prosecutor was assigned to the case by the Smith County District Attorney’s office.
The Texas Rangers have also been investigating Smith County Sheriff Deputies, according to the Tyler Paper for using jailhouse inmates to work on officers’ personal property. Four (4) Smith County TX deputies facing felony charges for the misappropriations were fired from the low risk jail facility on Tuesday March 18, 2008. 12-year veteran deputy Lt. Gary Lile, Brandon Langston, Jeff Hudnall and Benjamin Hicks were terminated. The charges stem from inmates gathering scrap metal for recycling, rounding up stray livestock on rural roads and the sale of these proceeds not being reported. Instead the deputies pocketed the monies.
Amidst the investigation, on Thursday March 27, 2009 Lieutenant GARY LEE LILE, 57, took the coward’s way out and committed suicide at his Lindale TX home. The Smith County Justice of the Peace told the Tyler Paper that Lt. Lile had suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his chest.
In neighboring Rusk County, Lieutenant Fred Dunlap committed suicide in the exact manner, under similar circumstances last year. The officer shot himself in the chest, even though Lt. Dunlap was not the focus of a Federal Civil Rights investigation. Chief Deputy Dusty Flanagan, aka Daniel Oscar Flanagan, age 37 of Henderson TX was sentenced to 2 years federal prison for the assault of a handcuffed suspect he and Lt. Johnny Leon Davidson, Jr. questioned in Flanagan’s office. Lt. Davidson admitted to writing a fraudulent police report of the beating. Flanagan was sentenced on Wednesday March 26, 2008 after his guilty plea in 2007 in Federal Court. Rusk County Sheriff Deputy Kenneth Calvin Martin also pleaded guilty during this time for possession of child pornography.
Quoted from Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith regarding the more recent Lt. Lile investigation,“They knew the rules, they knew the regulations and they knew the law. There’s no excuse for it.”
A stark contrast to southern neighbor Cherokee County whose misuse of the District Attorney funds and county equipment has been going on for decades. And those caught being relocated to other parts of the county and/or the malfeasance being not just ignored, but lauded by those at the county seat. Cherokee County bulldozers and employees working on private property, making improvements with taxpayer dollars, is an all too common sight during the dog days of summer. Ever see a county bridge on a private driveway 1500 feet from the Farm to Market Road? Or county trucks laying gravel leading up to a judge’s hunting camp? Or state witnesses being paid for by the insurance pay-out of a murder victim, as in the 1990 Cherokee County case: State vs. Terry Watkins.
Jacksonville Daily Progress August 23, 1990
Title should be: “TAX PAYERS AND BUSINESS OWNERS IN CHEROKEE COUNTY, TEXAS, BEWARE!” News sources are hard to find on this episode of embezzlement of city government funds. We post it here before it drops off the internet. Alleged city hall employee in Rusk, TX is under “investigation” for taking over 150 thousand dollars of missing ‘good time’ money.
“[City] employee is fired,” so there is a suspect, but no grand jury indictment pending.
Rusk City Attorney/Judge Forrest Phifer predicts Elmer Beckworth will do the right thang, but Beckworth is “overloaded with violent crime investigation and Austin legislation.” That will be the new mantra when avoiding the press when a blind eye needs to be turned. However the legislative body in Austin has no record of Elmer Beckworth, et al “testifying” on anything, even in rebuttal for something the House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence (C220). No official mention of Beckworth on the capitol record during the month of March 2007 (when the Cherokeean article ran).
…. And of course the Cherokeean reporter wouldn’t do any fact checking; that’s OK it’s almost time to bombard the locals with mediocre drug busts. Quickly now, you have to turn the taxpayers attention away from the rifling of the coffers of Cherokee County.
As a footnote, Elmer Beckworth was in Austin testifying against HB 1148 on April 11, 2007 as reported by the Criminal Jurisprudence Committee. House Bill 1148 was introduced in February 2007, regarding the term “deadly weapon” when certain cases are prosecuted. Testimony and rebuttal probably did not include a drug addict in Cherokee County custody murdering his wife, a la Faye Bell Harris or vehicular manslaughter as in the Jennifer Hester case, both of Jacksonville, Texas.
Furthermore, Mr. or Ms. East Texas Reporter:
there is not one incident of violent crime on the Cherokee County docket, and there hasn’t been one for a year. You can find that out on the University of North Texas’ online law library citing the Texas Register. You might found out there, however, that there have been some drug dealing among your veteran Cherokee County Texas law enforcement. But I guess you would call that victimless and “an isolated incident.”
Isolated only to a 60-year-old police chief dealing drugs over a 12 year period in Troup, TX. And a District Court bailiff and Cherokee County Constable making meth “from pseudoephedrine for the purpose of distribution” for the past 10 years.
So back to the rifling of tax payer dollars in the Rusk, TX city hall. Why have the Texas Rangers been called in to investigate, according to the other news articles on the incident? Texas law gives District Attorneys discretion in convening a grand jury.
Sheriff Department had another lawsuit in their midst
for one of their officers breaking the ankle of former Alto high school football player John Brown.
Brown lives in the small town of Alto, and unfortunately was born black in East Texas.
With nothing better to do on a quiet Spring night in the piney woods, Officer Jamie Beene spotlighted the property of John Brown’s grandfather, ostenstibly viewing an ongoing drug deal on the side of the road.
Even Sheriff James Campbell stands by his deputy’s strange story, that John Brown was evading arrest, even though he was knocked down, handcuffed and bound, then his ankle shattered (requiring 3 plates and 16 pins).
Cherokee County’s rising star Officer James Q. “Jamie” Beene, then patrolling the pocket change drug dealers in a rural area south of Alto, TX called the “Dope Tree.” No mention of the fact that officer Beene was trespasing on private property. I guess the drug dealers went inside for a snack. Cherokee County District Attorney Elmer Beckworth offered to charge John Brown with something, like interfering with an “official investigation” according to the aforementioned news article. Sheriff Campbell repeated the story that Brown somehow “attacked” his deputy, even though Brown was hogtied at gunpoint. Elmer Beckworth offers no comment, and no real investigation, a’ la his handling of Jennifer Hester being run down in her apartment complex.
Officer Jamie Beene traveled out of his jurisdiction to the home of John Brown about 2 km south of Alto, TX. After seeing trespassers on his property in the middle of the night, John Brown goes out to check on his dogs. He was then jumped, handcuffed and beaten by officer Jamie Beene, along with members of Alto P.D. about 2 km out of Alto, TX jurisdiction, according to the news articles. John Brown’s ankle was broken in the process. Why? What was the motive for this obvious racially motivated attack? Was it that his adjudicated probation was winding down?
Officer Jamie Beene has since been promoted to Deputy Sargeant, in Cherokee County Sheriff’s so-called Narcotics Division. As of June 11, 2007 James Q. Beene is a Reserve Cherokee County Deputy by Commissioner Court approval. The Texas Rangers were called to “investigate” the beating of John Brown.
Instead of a reprimand, Officer Beene can pursue a fine career in Cherokee County. Officer Beene and the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department are facing civil rights violation suits filed in Marshall, TX by the Brown family (at the time of writing). Local Cherokee County media refuses to publish the contents of the suit. Instead the Jacksonville Daily Progress promoted the narco-wonder cops by publishing the seizure of 4 “blunts” and 1 oz. of marijuana. Still waiting to be impressed? They also have the glorious pastime of monitoring the dank rooms at the Trade Winds Motel in Jacksonville, TX.
The brutal beating of John Brown by Alto P.D. was also reported by The BrownWatch: News for people of color. Ice Cube gets his fact skewed in this expose but the gist is the same. Beat a black guy up, break his legs while he’s hogtied, then charge him for evading arrest. That is the heart and soul of Cherokee County, read it for yourselves.
As a footnote, the Tyler Paper reports on March 29, 2007 that Sgt. Beene has been cleared of the brutality claims.
Read the article carefully:
“(Sgt.) Beene was on the property searching for a suspect unrelated to their case and arrested (John) Brown on a charge of interfering with a police investigation. During the arrest, Brown said, his ankle was broken and he was beaten. Several witnesses’ statements matched Brown’s.”
Same article Cherokee County Sheriff James Campbell says:
Officer “Beene was at a high drug trafficking area enforcing the law when Mr. Brown came onto the scene and interfered with his (Sgt. Beene’s) job…”
So, according to the federal jury in Marshall, TX and Sheriff James Campbell, if get your ankle broke after being hogtied, because you have the audacity to confront a trespassing Cherokee County deputy, you deserve it. And the best thing to do is stay in your house like a frightened country Negro when you see the spotlights going across your property. Especially if you are black and you own property near a suspected drug drop. And expect to have every single phone call to and from your house to be tape recorded illegally forever.