HOLIDAY VILLAGES 6/18/2018
HVLOA MEMBER FB RANT - WHO TO?
Hi Mr. Hudgins,
Is your rant against the folks who are asking The Sentinel to call down the ones violating the laws the state put in place to protect property owners and their property values or is your rant against the folks who are violating the laws the state put in place to protect the property owners and their property values? 936 730 5717
POLK COUNTY DA ‘TOUGH ON CRIME’?
Statistical data derived from The State of Texas Office of Court Administration website at first glance indicates that The Polk County District Attorney is extra ‘tough on crime’. Research via open records led to documents proving a total of 616 felony cases were dismissed by Polk County DA's office since January of 2015 through January of 2018. That initially seemed like an excessive amount but when you compare that with the total of cases filed for the same three year time period numbering 3035, you come up with an average of about 20 percent of the Polk County felony cases ending in dismissal.
If we compare Walker County cases to the Polk County numbers, we find 408 felony cases dismissed out of 1716 felony cases filed in Walker County for an average of just over 23 percent of their felony cases being dismissed. The Sentinel has never had the first complaint on the Walker County DA’s office or Sheriff Department so we tend to view them as a relative ‘bench mark’ for what is normal or an average for an ethical operation in East Texas.
A quick look as San Jacinto County shows 312 dismissed out of a total of 1163 filed for 27 percent dismissed. In all fairness to DA Robert Trapp and his office, the number is higher than the the three year period prior to all the gambling raid arrests.
Montgomery County had 3997 dismissals of felony cases out of 17,231 filed for an average of 23 percent.
Liberty County showed that out of 3075 felony cases filed, only 358 were dismissed for an average of just over 10 percent. Liberty County population is 1.6 times the population of Polk County yet Polk County files just as many felony cases.
Angelina County had 353 dismissed out of 3088 cases for 11.4 percent dismissed. Once again, 1.6 times as high a population count as Polk County but very near the same number of felony’s prosecuted with a noticeably lower dismissal rate.
Trinity County had the lowest percentage of dismissals of all. 16 dismissed out of 170 felony cases filed for just under ten percent dismissed.
None of those number really jump out at you other than the lower than average percent of dismissals in Liberty, Angelina and Trinity Counties.
Now let’s add in one other factor. Population numbers so we can talk per capita.
Walker County’s population is 72 thousand. 2.3 percent of the population was charged with a felony crime in the three year period. That is 2.3 people per 100 of population. Add in the fact that Walker County has 1.5 times the population of Polk County but only half the felonies filed on its citizens.
In San Jacinto County, population 28K, 4.1 percent of the population was charged with a felony crime in the same time period but once again, that includes all the gambling raid arrests.
In Montgomery County, population 510K, 3.0 percent of the population was charged with a felony crime. That amounts to 3 people out of every 100 being charged with a felony
In Liberty County, population 83K, 3.7 percent of the population was charged with a felony.
In Trinity County, population 14.5K, only 1.1 percent of the population was charged with a felony.
In Angelina County, population 88K, 3.5 percent of the population was prosecuted for a felony.
In Polk County, population 49K, a Whopping 6.2 percent of the population has been charged with a felony during the same three year period. That figure means that on a per capita basis, in Polk County you are over five times more likely to be charged with a felony than you are in Trinity County, nearly three times more likely than in Walker County and nearly twice as likely to be charged with a felony in Polk County than you are in any other county around in East Texas. That means that 6.2 people out of every hundred count of population in Polk County gets charged with a felony. There must be a reason for Polk County exceeding all their neighbors in felony prosecutions. Three possible reasons for the abnormal statistics have been proffered by Sentinel United Alliance members for consideration;
Political ads by William Lee Hon have claimed that he is “Tough on Crime”.
The higher ratio of criminals just doesn’t seem plausible.
Are allegations of 'abuse of official capacity' based in fact?
Further investigation seems to be warranted.
COLEMAN GETS OAG ORDER TO RELEASE RECORDS . . . . AGAIN
In a letter dated June 11th, 2018 from Attorney General, Ken Paxton, the Polk County lead asst DA, Tommy Coleman was once again ordered to release the majority of documents we previously requested. Sentinel readers may remember that a month or two ago, Coleman was orderd by the OAG to release a quantity of documents vital to The Sentinel investigation into the criminal acts of the incumbent DA for Polk County but has ignored that order.
In the previous order, the OAG chided Coleman that the "representative sample" of documents he submitted was all that letter pertained to and that the letter could not be used to withhold any document that had not been submitted to them for an opinion.
We knew that the 'representative sample' claim by Coleman was bogus because we asked for a broad array of documents. This latest letter proves it because the OAG decision covers a different category of documents that weren't even mentioned in the last order Coleman has blatantly ignored. The most telling is the OAG answer concerning the "Criminal Trespass Warning" ticket stating that, "This office has also found the public has a legitimate public interest in the details of a crime" and supports that statement with the notation of case law that proved, "legitimate public interest in facts tending to support an allegation of criminal activity" (Cinel v. Commick, 15 F.3d 1338, 1345-46 (1994)
We won't hold our breath that Coleman will abide by the law.
CORRIGAN CITY ATTORNEY ANSWERS
In an abrupt about face, legal counsel for the City of Corrigan gave a civil and polite reply to both of The Sentinel open records requests today claiming, "no documents responsive to your request". Chief Gibson's rude and smart aleck attitude seems to have dissapaited once The Sentinel started looking into the mayor's voting record.
Corrigan city attorney claims there is not a single complaint that has ever been filed against Chris Lima. Said attorney also claims that the mayor/council woman never voted to pay money to the PD.
CITY OF CORRIGAN IGNORES SENTINEL
The best effort of The Sentinel to get some quick and accurate answers regarding the allegations of an out of control officer from Corrigan have been thwarted by the City's obstinate refusal to provide public record documents. A phone call to chief Darrell Gibson revealed quickly that he had a hostile attitude toward The Sentinel for daring to ask questions. Recognizing the dead end there with the chiefs smart aleck answer, "Just call the Texas Rangers" followed by an abrupt hangup, caused us to revamp our strategy and request the documents directly from the mayor via email to her official email address obtained from her clerk on May 22, 2018 at 1:25 pm.
The mayor is the official and legal custodian of all of the City's public record documents no matter what department they are from. We resigned ourself to have to wait the ten days for the answers our Sentinel readers were requesting. After 15 days had elapsed with no reply, we called and politely inquired of the mayor's secretary as to where our records were. She had no answer but asked me to resubmit the request directly to her email which I did with the understanding that the first email was legal and binding and that their ten days were up and that we expected an answer post haste but would give them a few days in response to her courtesy to The Sentinel.
Then enters the chief again with an email t0day claiming he referred me to the Angelina County DA, Joe Martin in a prior phone call. That is a lie. He further instructed me today to contact Joe Martin if I wanted any answers. When I reminded the chief that my request was duly submitted and binding by law and that the buck stops with the mayor, he instructed me in writing to contact Angelina County DA, Joe Martin. Neither the mayor or the chief have stated that they forwarded my open records request to DA Martin, only that I needed to contact him for answers.
It doesn't work like that. As I informed the chief, if they decide to forward the request to the DA in the next county over, that is their business. My obligation under law is done. Now my options to deal with the illegal antics of the mayor and the chief via the OAG are on the table. In doing our research, we noticed both the mayor and the chief have the same last name and a Sentinel sleuth found fb posts that prove the two are married. How cozy.
Now I automatically wonder if the mayor, or as council woman, ever voted for you a pay raise. Hmmmm. Chief, if you want to make a federal case out of me simply requesting any documents pertaining to complaints filed against Chris Lima during the time he has been in your employ, we can go there. You push on me, I push back. It is that simple. Our readers have legitimate concerns based on Lima's documented past and more recent actions but are afraid to go through the normal channels in Polk County just because of behavior like yours in a public servant who is supposed to uphold the law, not violate it with impunity.
Let Madam mayor know that she can expect an open records request on her desk in the morning for all those council minutes. Once again, not a threat, just my word. You have accused me of threatening you. Your equating Sentinel Scrutiny to a written accusation that I am threatening you speaks volumes about your and the mayor's lack of transparency. The only thing we at The Sentinel 'threaten' is continued corruption.
PUBLIC RECORDS SHOW RESTRAINING ORDERS
Two different women have filed for protective or restraining orders that have been granted against Chris Lima. Combine that with a need to display his weapon on social media and I call this a red flag.
CHRIS LIMA CITED SECOND TIME IN 10 MOS
Corrigan PD officer Christopher Lima was cited for Disorderly Conduct in a bar in Onlaska Texas recently after being involved in a skirmish with a man and a woman at that establishment. According to official sources, Lima was not arrested but given a court summons for the class 3 misdomeanor offense.
Other sources show that Lima was cited for a Disorderly Conduct charge about 10 months ago by the Polk County S.O. along with abusive language and defamation of character to which he plead 'no contest' but was found guilty of and paid the fine.
The most recent event at the bar spilled out into the county's jurisdiction, possibly Lima's home, where multiple sources claim Lima discharged his weapon during the event. The Sentinel has submitted open records requests but has not found the Polk County Sheriff's Office nor Corrigan PD Chief, Darrell Gibson forthcoming with any real answers. "Call the Texas Rangers" was chief Gibson's reply to our direct question followed by a hang up.
We immediatly called back reminding the chief we had a right to know if Lima is employed there. We were able to determine that there is no Ranger investigation into the allegations of a weapons discharge as far as Gibson knows and that Lima is still employed by Corrigan PD.
Lima was a former investigator for the Polk County DA's office during 2014/15. He worked for the Polk County Sheriff's office for seven years prior to that but started his LEO career with the SJC Sheriff's Dept.
Lima came onto The Sentinel radar in January of 2018 when he contacted us offering to give evidence of corruption on Polk Co. S.O. and on the DA. The timing was suspicious and the incidents he related were really old news. In vetting him as a source, we were cautioned not to trust him as he was close with the very people he claimed he was offering info on.
Despite our best efforts with the Polk Co S.O. and Corrigan PD, it appears both agencies are circling the wagons to protect Lima and Corrigan PD Chief, Darrell Gibson has taken a very hostile attitude toward The Sentinel questions. We have had no success even getting Byron Lyons on the phone. At least Gibson did answer the call. The Sentinel did reach out to Lima for two days in a row seeking comment but those contacts were ignored.
COLEMAN STILL WITHOLDING RECORDS
State Rep James White still turning blind eye to DA antics
TOMMY COLEMAN STILL WITHOLDING RECORDS
In DIRECT violation of the very laws he swore an oath to defend and uphold, Tommy Coleman continues to withold records from The Sentinel. You need to release the documents to me that the OAG ORDERED you to release. I need them for my defense in the case against me. We know there are channels throught the OAG to call your hand but that takes time. This call out is instant. All I have to do is press the 'publish' button and the whole world knows you are still violating the law .
TOMMY COLEMAN WITHOLDS RECORDS
Polk Co asst. District Attorney, Tommy Coleman, in a continuation of a pattern he has developed over the years, continues to withhold evidence that was ordered released by the OAG several weeks ago. In an equally corrupt but polar opposite occurance to the withholding of exculpatory evidence in trials in Williamson County as asst DA that would have proven the accused's innocence, now Coleman is withholding evidence that can prove the crimes of his boss, Polk County District Attorney. In Williamson county, Coleman let a man rot in prison that he knew was innocent.
The documents were requested from the Polk County Sheriff Dept and promply provided by them to the DA's office for dispersement. Despite the basic nature of documents sought and explicit clarification by The Sentinel in the request that we did not want personal financial information but only what was legally available under the Texas Open Records Statutes, Coleman submitted some of the documents as a, "representative sample" to the OAG and requested an opinion.
In the quickest ever return by the OAG in our 30 plus years of exposing the corrupt public servants, the OAG ordered the release of most of the documents that we requested. Coleman, as of this date, has IGNORED that order and continues to withhold evidence vital to The Sentinel's case against the DA.
ASSt. DA DENIGRATES SENTINEL
Multiple accounts of conversations with Polk County assistant criminal District Attorney, Tommy Coleman with various constituents in the community have been related to The Sentinel by concerned readers who have the same story. "He said your publication is full of lies and skews the truth", is the most common theme.
In that assertion according to these readers, Coleman points to a lack of prosecution of Linda Vincent on embezzlement charges and my retraction of and apology for the "Anatomy of Corruption" story regarding the so called, "Hon Pool Party" Coleman refers to as 'alleged'.
The Sentinel has not published any more on the embezzlement story of late for several reasons. We are convinced that there is a legitimate investigation underway by an outside agency's 501 (c) 3 specialist. No new evidence has come to The Sentinel lately. Plate is full with current corruption investigations.
"Your reputation is on the line", was the most recent admonition from a reader that I have never met nor spoken with before. In that line of thought and with much prayer and contemplation, we have decided to publish the 'Hon Pool Party' documents in their entirety with careful redaction above and beyond what was redacted by the Livingston City Attorney before releasing them to us a few years ago. All names, including the convicted rapist will be redacted by The Sentinel as the story is not about any of those young people who are moving on with their lives. The story is about who is the liar here, The Sentinel or Tommy Coleman and his 'alleged' label for the incident.
The documents have been redacted and the page is almost built but I have to get out and make a little hay today while the sun is shining. Look for that publishing in the next few days. Here is one page of that report.
Steve Watson - Publisher.
SAN JACINTO COUNTY 5/18/2018
SPARTA LABELS SENTINEL 'SOCIAL MEDIA'
After dating his O.R. request response letter to The Sentinel for the day BEFORE we published the story below in which he then references our story, Capt Sparta makes several other claims that just don't ring true.
Our request asked for 'any document' related to the stop which Sparta blanketly denied having since, "no arrest were made" yet he was able to glean the victim's name and phone number from somewhere to call her the day our story was published. In that call, Sparta assured her that they would rather handle the complaint there in his office rather than on "social media". Here is Merriam Webster's definition for 'Social': a : marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with friends or associates
That doesn't describe The Sentinel Alert - Town Crier publication in the least. It does describe the posts your deputy Deweese made on his friends social media site depicted below.
The Sentinel is a hard-core investigative journalist news site. As the graph depictes in the attached photo, nearly two thirds of our readers have a 'favorites' direct link to our web site. The majority of the remaining readership searches for us on search engines with the phrase, "Sentinel" to find us. We don't advertise or even pass out cards so it is all word of mouth and relevant news that has built our following. You can see that it is a minimal amount of our readership that is routed to us via 'social media'. You may wish The Sentinel was 'social' in nature but alas, we are not.
On another note regarding your lying answer letter, our research shows that LEO body cams come with an extra battery, can be charged in the car and are advertised to be able to record for 12 hours straight without recharging. My sources say that dash cams are hardwired into the patrol unit's electrical system. Are you or your deputy tampering with evidence Capt Sparta?
SJC PCT 3 5/17/2018
PCT 3 CONSTABLE IGNORES O.R. REQUEST
Allegations of a non consent search and unwarranted stop were made to The Sentinel Alert by a 50+ year old woman, a tourist, who was driving alone and in the vicinity of Shell Oilfield Road searching for the 'Hunter's Camp' that is located there. She alleges that there was no reason to stop her and that Pct 3 Constable Deputy, Nathan Deweese, performed a non consent search of her vehicle by threatening her with arrest if she did not let him search. According to the lone female, there was no citation issued. Her allegations were accompanied by a video clip she provided that does show Nathan Deweese rifling through her car.
As is our method of investigation, The Sentinel filed an open records request with Constable Sam Houston after reviewing the video and a lengthy interview with the woman in order to get some answers. In another blatant expression of his, "above the law" mentality so often displayed by this corrupt constable, he has ignored the request. To his detriment, most will surmise that he and his department have something to hide. It NEVER fails that when elected officials ignore or resist open records requests and we take the issue higher up, there is evidence of wrong doing that they are trying to suppress.
Constable Houston, in a spirit of fairness, we give you until Monday next to reply to the request before we advise the OAG of your violation of the law.
Just for the record, Keith Black and Nathan Deweese, I count it GLORY that corrupt men like you both count me as an enemy. On advice of counsel, I will refrain from commenting on the lawsuit you filed against me Black but I will address the lies in your opening statment. The only part you got right was that the judge has been recused from the case and rightfully so after the illegal and unconstitutional actions he took against me and then later vacated.
As for my 'sources', you and all The Sentiel readers know that my source is your own personel file from when you were employed by the probation dept before your TERMINATION for your criminal acts. We can publish that all again if you want but I would just rather let the visiting judge study the file he has and make his decision based on those documents compared to the articles that I wrote. It has been nearly a month since the last hearing and no word yet. According to my sources, he studied the file to a great extent before the hearing he presided over and did not give a decision that day or since. It was reported to The Sentinel that even after a whole day on that one case, your star attorney, Mary Olga Lovett with all her prowess and power as a global attorney, left the courtroom and did NOT look like a happy camper. So much for your slam dunk.
And now for your mealy mouthed 'wont face me' comment. I will face you anytime you don't run when you see me out in the real world. The only mark you are leaving on SJC REGARDLESS of the decision the judge eventually makes, is of an ex public servant that violated our trust and was outed for it.
It is only fitting that you 'birds of a feather' flock together. Capt Sparta was convicted of sexually assaulting a child before he was 18 so the record is sealed but I have it. Nathan Deweese was indicted, charged and arrested for an abusive crime against a woman from his past. The most recent story speaks to his ongoing criminal acts against women. Constable Houston, as his page shows, is guilty of, among other things, abusing his authority to try and coerce a beautiful young woman to meet up with him one on one if she didn't want to lose her kids or see her baby daddy go to jail. Praise God you and your klan count me as an enemy.
As for the 'let you breathe' comment, that is not my decision. It hasn't been a mistake I made. The longer you have breath, the more asinine and ignorant comments you make. Ever heard the old adage, give them enough rope and they will hang themselves? You are small potatoes in the grand scheme of things. I know you and your coharts are hoping that the corruption battle that is in my sights today will take The Sentinel down. I could be wrong, I have been wrong before but I believe Sparta ignoring my open records request the day after my arrest was because he figured I was down for the count. Don't hold your breath on that one. I serve a God that brings down the mighty with the weak and confounds the wise with the simple. That way there is no doubt about the source of the power that actually accomplishes the feat. You have my address and phone number. I can't say it any plainer than that.
This is not the first time allegations against Sam Houston and his Capt Sparta and Deputy Deweese harrassing female motorists with threats and illegal searches have been made to The Sentinel. There are two basic differences this time. 1) we have video proof of the search. 2) no allegations of stolen money this time.
ENTERPIRSE MAKES MISTAKE - CHRONOLOGY WRONG
In a balanced and well written story published in the SJ News Times, The Polk County Enterprise and then subsequently published on their web site, it was reported that The Texas Rangers executed a search warrant on The Sentinel office/home, confiscating a computer and then after that, the arrest warrant was issued and I surrendered. Both events occured but in the opposite order. My arrest was first (April 25) and the SEARCH warrant wasn't executed until May 1st, nearly a week later.
It may not seem important to most but if the error is left to stand, it could be constured and many will think that the arrest warrant was based on evidence found on the computer that was confiscated. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. The arrest warrant was based solely on the indictments and not on any computer files. It has been two full weeks since the computer equipment was taken.
WASHINGTON DC 5/8/2018
WASHINGTON DC 5/1/2018
The Trump administration has 'edited' the policy manuel the federal attorneys use that has stood firm and unchanged on the rights of a free press for decades. Trump's personal problems have clouded his judgement in this instance. The article linked to the headline, from which this quote comes, explains it.
"Also gone is a section on the need for free press and public trial, which previously stated that employees should consider “the right of the people in a constitutional democracy to have access to information about the conduct of law enforcement officers, prosecutors and courts, consistent with the individual rights of the accused”."
FRITZ FAULKNER SWORN IN AT 11:00 AM
After a fast track bond was aquired by the SJC Auditor's office, Justice of the Peace Pct 3 Randy Ellisor had the honor of administering the oath of office yet again to San Jacinto County Judge Fritz Faulkner. The Sentinel was the only media in attendence for the commissioners court meeting.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY ATTORNEY STALLS ON OPEN RECORDS
An OAG opinion sought by the Montgomery County Attorney, J.D. Lambright asst Sarah Stallberg was returned to her in late March. In it, she was instructed to forward most of the records I requested. We waited two weeks and then called early this week. Sarah Stallberg did aknowledge receipt of the OAG instructions and told The Sentinel, "I will get those out to you this week." We did verify to her that we wanted them email and made sure she had the correct address. The courthouse has closed and no records received this week. Apparently Montgomery County doesn't think it is any of the public's business if Rowdy Hayden hires a deputy constable that has a theft conviction or that the OAG instructions and her verbal committment matter. Here is your come uppins young lady. We understand a heavy work load but disdain falsehoods from public servants.
MONTGOMERY COUNTY ATTORNEY FORWARDS RECORDS
Once again the pattern holds that when The Sentinel asks for open records and the agency stalls with a bogus OAG opinion request, they are trying to cover up or cover for an illegal act. It NEVER FAILS. In this instance, one of Hayden's deputies was harboring a woman who was on the lam hiding her 5 year old daughter from the baby's father in violation of standing court orders.
The deputy knew what she was doing, knew it was a violation but hid her and the child anyway. When The Sentinel filed a written complaint via email detailing the deputy's illegal actions, Constable Hayden's office met the complaint with the assertion that I would have to come in personally, provide ID to prove who I was and hand write and sign a copy of the complaint before they would take action on it. We did none of the above but submitted an open records request via the same email. In that email, we attached records The Sentinel had already obtained showing the deputy had a prior theft convicion when he was 19.
There is no requirement under the open records statutes that any agency has to answer questions so we requested the basic documents to get our own answers. Application for employment, basic prehire background check, any prior complaints filed against the deputy, etc. Pretty basic fare.
The Sentinel's effort was spent to help locate a missing child for the father. The Montgomery County Attorney stalled with a bogus OAG opinion request.
During that time, a Sentinel investigator fb sleuth found a tag about a softball game the child would be playing in and the child's father and his family showed up to the game getting to see the child for the first time in months. The deputy constable hid himself in the press box the entire game and kicked the woman to the curb shortly after. That made for the third time the child had suffered moving with her mother in just a few months. The father's enforcement action finally made it to court and the judge told the mother that he wasn't known for putting mothers in jail, "Unless they do it again". The child was recently reunited with her daddy and his family.
Meanwhile, back at The Sentinel, we got the records that prove the deputy's application said, "No" under the 'ever been arrested/charged' with a crime question. There may have been a legal expungment of the crime from his record and therefore legal for him to answer 'no' but that doesn't change the fact that it was a lie. One of the main arguments that the Montgomery County attorney made trying to withold the information was because it was "embarassing" to him.
With much consideration, The Sentinel has decided not to publish the deputy's name. Despite his flaws like we all have, Sentinel vetting has shown that he comes from a good family with roots local to his community and that he has a passion for police work. In his youth, he has made some mistakes but has opportunity to learn from them. We don't expect perfection but we do expect honesty.
The Sentinel decision not to publish this young constable deputy's name is based on several factors. It was 'petty theft', less than 500 dollars. The application check box pictured below shows that the young man's immediate inclination was to tell the truth. That speaks to his raising. The interview notes on the right show that it was the higher up person in the constable's office that is the liar because if you are unable to contact walmart, you are an idiot.
Far from holding you above the law or immune from scrutiny, that badge is rather a symbol of the trust the public has placed in you. A trust that is to be held in the highest regard or we will take it away. If you have a ranking officer in your office who is telling you to lie on your application and then conspires to cover up your crime for you, don't follow his lead but rather follow the instincts your parents raised you with. Stand on the truth always. It is the only solid ground.
BANK ACCOUNT OPEN
The Bank of San Jacinto
P.O. Box 100
100 Hwy 150 W.
Coldspring, Texas 77331
It is known as the:
"Defend the 1st Amendment" acct.
The Bank of SJC has agreed to open a bank account and has accepted donations to it. That account is dedicated to attorney fees, bond payments and legal expenses for defending our 1st Amendment rights. The Sentinel will NOT have any access to the money.
The donation button below does go directly to The Sentinel for our operation. The 'Donate' button does not show up on phone apps one reader pointed out. It does show up on the computer version.
Prosecutors re examine evidence
""The ordinance isn't the only problem," Briscoe said. "The problem is an out-of-control police department."
Publisher - Stephen C. Watson
Office - 50 W Oak Tree Drive
Pointblank, Texas 77364
936 730 5717