REPUBLICAN PARTY FOLKS ACTIVE IN POLK COUNTY
POLK CO REPUBLICAN PARTY MEMBERS MEET
Texas Senator Robert Nichols, District 3 and Joshua Siegal, the Senator Ted Cruz campaign representative, met with a room full of concerned Polk County Republicans to discuss the state of affairs in Polk County and east Texas Monday night at La Casita in Livingston. Republican Party Chairman, Fred Grube and quite a few card carrying Polk County republicans were present and took advantage of the opportunity to get some answers.
It was easy for Nichols and Siegal to talk about things state and nation wide but Commissioner Tommy Overstreet stood up for Polk county and brought the conversation back to what matters here locally. After the two speakers both agreed that it was “rural Texas votes” keeping them in office, Overstreet spoke up wanting to know why then was all the Federal money going to the I 35 Corridor instead of any of that money making its way into Polk County for the I 69 Corridor.
411th District Judge Kaycee Jones and 258th District Judge elect, Travis Kitchens were in attendance and were involved in earnest conversation long after the dinner was over and some of the crowd left. It was a great opportunity for an exchange of ideas, observations and information. “The intersection of Business 59 and 190 is a prime example of where we are missing the boat”, Commissioner Oversteet lamented in one conversation. “You can’t turn left without blocking through traffic because you are having to wait”
Mr. Wayne Woods spoke up for our nation’s Flag and The Cross of Christ in one of those after the meeting visits. His opening prayer made it plain that is the Conservative ground he is standing on. Another person noted that it takes more than a republican label to make an elected official a conservative. “It is more about the decisions they make and actions they take than any label”, he said.
As the upcoming General Election begins approaching ever closer, there was a common thread and mutual agreement that there was plenty of work to be done and that standing on our conservative values was the way to move the Republican Party forward in Polk County and East Texas.
LIMA POST - VEILED THREAT?
Shortly after The Sentinel posted the stories below, Corrigan PD Detective, Christopher Lima, a Polk County native, made the facebook post at left highlighting the language from a news story weeks old already. Combined with the allegations of him committing an aggravated assault while admittedly drunk in April of this year along with the prior fb photo Lima posted of himself brandishing his pistol for his 'followers', this most recent post has ominous undertones.
"I have never had the first complaint or disciplinary action filed against me by anyone at any of the jobs I have worked at" Lima stated in a prior Sentinel interview when we were looking into the aggravated assault allegations that have been made against him. A followup open records request submitted to just one of Lima's former employors contains over 400 pages per the OAG opinion request letter the Polk County DA's office has filed attempting to block access to Lima's personel file.
According to the letter, over 40 pages the DA is trying to block the public from seeing pertain to crime victim impact statements, 7 pages pertain to a child welfare and protective services case against him and over 60 pages pertain to an "unadjucicated criminal offense for which the defendant was placed on deferred adjudication".
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 a Corrigan officer 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 documents and more recent actions but are afraid to go through the normal channels in Polk County just because of the behavior of 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.
COMMISSIONER'S WIFE ARRESTED
The culmination of a long term Sentinel Investigation that involved several in the Onalaska community was that Linda Vincent, wife of Polk County Commissioner Ronnie Vincent was arrested on two felony counts of 'Theft of Service". She made bond in short order. Details are limited at this point but we will seek more information and share it with The Sentinel readers as the case progresses. A standard step one was recusal of the local DA's office. As revealed in the analytical DA stats in the 'tough on crime' article, Liberty County's DA's office is much more thorough in assessing evidence and less inclined to persue baseless charges or seek a dismissal than the Polk County office.
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.
Steve Watson - Publisher.
STILL NO CORRECTION EXCEPT ONLINE
ENTERPIRSE MAKES MISTAKE - CHRONOLOGY WRONG
In what seemed to be 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.
SAN JACINTO COUNTY 5/3/2018
26TH ANNIVERSAY OF UNSOLVED MURDER
The Natasha Atchley murder, some alledge rape and murder, remains unsolved twenty six years ago today. The Sentinel has worked on the case a bit and even called a prison to request an interview with an inmate a year ago. The next day, a cold case investigator called and asked me not to do the interview so as not to interfere with their investigation. "They will lawyer up" was his reasoning if I contacted the man serving a 60 year sentence for a ten year crime in the TDCJ unit farthest from here. "He was railroaded for what he knows and his entire inheritance stolen by the system" one friend claims.
A group of local sleuths, friends and family have refused to let the case die. The reward has been increased and new eye witnesses have come forward with very disturbing but matching stories. It has long been said that it was a Polk County crime that happened in San Jacinto County. There is a group on facebook called 'Justice for Natasha' that is keeping the investigation alive, challenging the status quo and invading the heretofore power structure with social media that has become more powerful than the old guard that has kept their secrets so long. Social media that brings distant witnesses to our very livingrooms.
Kelly Barnes and Chris Edwards worked together to get the story corrected and the website version of the paper updated to show the actual chronology of events. The clip at left shows the error version but the headline is linked to the same page showing the corrected story and that my surrender was on April 25th and the search warrant for my computer was not executed until May 1st, nearly a week later. It took over a month but Thank you Ms. Barnes and Chris Edwards.
NOW. How about a correction in the print editions near where you made the mistake ie:front page. That is where I do my corrections. If you don't correct the mistake, you are still making it.
MAJORITY OK WITH FAILED TACTICS
In a broad show of support for the failed 'real republican' tactics and a vote of confidence in the existing "Welcome to Polk County - come on vacation, leave on probation" image that the current prosecutor's office has developed for their community, a substantial percentage of the Polk County voters endorsed the 'status quo' by coming out to vote for John Wells. Despite Well's lack of experience and lying ads, the intimidation tactics of having the incumbent prosecutor stand with him on the sidewalk at the polling place seems to have turned the tide in his favor locally. San Jacinto County voters also embraced the continuation of the tyranny but by a much less degree than Polk. Trinity County voters came through and propelled the most qualified and experienced candidate to victory in the race. Wells' ad indicating his opponent, the Victorious Travis Kitchens, was the 'no change' candidate was the biggest lie in his last minute ad. Some sources claim that the incumbent prosecutor stated he would resign if Kitchens won. Waiting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Now to follow up on that alleged unreported campaign expenditure.
POLK CO 'real republican' ATTACKS
In a move that closely mimicks all of the so called, 'real republican' campaign tactics utilized in the primary, 258th District Judge candidate, John Wells confuses real world politics with facebook and the twitterverse. Calling voters, "followers", Wells resorted to a low class personal attack ad in the Polk County Enterprise on the eve of the final vote for the Republican Primary run off election. In so doing, Wells is ignoring the proven fact that the self same tactic failed miserably for ALL of the 'real republicans' that went (down) before him. The ad that ran in the SJ News Times was not offensive like the Polk Co ad but the fact that the Polk County voters, people that know him already, soundly rejected Wells in the primary may have lent to the desperate home town tactic.
The Sentinel offered via direct text message to Wells before the runoff to publish any document he could provide proving that he had probate experience or ever served as a special prosecutor. Instead of shutting down his detractors with proof, Wells chose to ignore The Sentinel offer and resort to hurling personal attacks against what he calls, "a small group".
If the recent primary election is any indicator, Wells may as well pack it in and start licking his wounds. The voters have shown they are fed up with lying political ads, low class tactics and mealy mouthed politicians that point and holler but never have proof. In our years of vetting candidates, The Sentinel has seen a lot of candidates attack their opponents but this is the first time we have seen a desperate candidate attack the voters.
We did enquire of Wells today if he had the proof documents yet so we could publish them but we also asked, in light of the new voter attack tactic he used, if he even has a campaign manager.
The voters have overwhelmingly chosen men and women this election who have a broad experience base, good moral character and that have NEVER run an attack ad in their lives. That only describes ONE candidate in this run off and it isn't John Wells.
POLK COUNTY 3/17/2018
OFFICIAL NOTICE - NO OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION
Two Texas Rangers and one Federal official have informed The Sentinel to date that there is no official investigation of the OFBC/FFA embezzlement allegations in Onalaska Texas by them. The Texas Rangers both gave The Sentinel verbal assurance that there was no investigation on going by them and a Federal agent replied to The Sentinel inquiry in writing assuring us that it would take more than allegations to instigate an official D.O.J. investigation.
POLK COUNTY 5/4/2018
SENTINEL RELEASES SKETCHES OF SUSPECT
Thirty four years later our community has not forgotten your service. One day your family and friends will see the justice they deserve. Constable is the oldest law enforcement position in our nation and one that we feel you understood the importance of. You lived in, were part of and responded to the very community you served. Your annual salary of $1.00 per year speaks volumes to your character and integrity.
According to witnesses on the day of his murder Bill Garsee had just arrived home and gone to the feed barn about 100 feet behind his house to feed his dog. While he was in the barn, the shooter pulled into Constable Garsee's driveway and called to him. As Bill Garsee walked up to the late-model Chevrolet pick up truck, he was shot twice in the chest and once in the wrist.
SHERIFF DEPARTMENT TORTURES INMATE
The only problem is that it was just a well crafted attempt to get us to run a false story about the Polk Co S.O. that could be debunked. Instead, we debunked it first but tried to have a little fun with the 'source' first. They went quiet and the phone number doesnt work. It shows to be a good number assigned to someone in downtown Livingston but when you call it, it is a non working number. Hmmmmm
The video is a county sheriff inmate being tortured but it was published on youtube long before the 'source' claimed the incident occurred to 'her son' in Polk Co. The event is real but it actually occurred in Tennessee. The Cheatam County S. O. uniforms are almost identical to Polk Co. The photo at right is a legitimate photo off of the Polk Co. S.O. website. There is a woman on the fringe of the video that does have similar characteristics to the female deputy in the P.C.S.O. photo. The perpetrator even supplied me a photo of her 'son' and close ups of tazer wound marks. I wonder who would go to such great lengths that has an interest in ruining The Sentinel's credibility right now? They don't know me. I do make mistakes on occassion and even mixed up a sr and jr once in a pool party story but we do scrutinize everything that is submitted to The Sentinel despite whether the source is anonymous or names themselves. This one didn't pass.
ADULT VINCENT DAUGHTER INSTRUCTS PUBLIC
In an effort to squelch scrutiny of her mother's crimes, the adult Vincent daughter has taken to social media to slam The Sentinel and instruct members of the public what they can and cannot post on social media. In her privileged rant, Ms. Vincent admits her mother's guilt on the FBC embezzlement for all the world to see.
COMMUNITY BANDS TOGETHER - PROVIDES PROOF
A disappointing result from local law enforcement and the prosecutor's office in Polk Co dragging their feet and giving Linda Vincent, wife of commissioner Ronnie Vincent cover for her crimes has backfired.
The Sentinel was challenged by the local Ranger with, "We don't start an investigation on a say so" and then DA Lee Hon totally ignored the issue despite The Sentinel's track record of accurate information. It is not the only allegation of turning a blind eye to crimes committed by those in power that have been leveled against either man. But that is another investigation.
The Onalaska community was miffed and has had a belly full of the good ole boy system and has responded with production of the documents that are needed to prove embezzlement of FFA/4H Buyer's Club funds during Linda Vincent's tenure as treasurer. A cooperative effort between several members in the community has resulted in evidence that warrants investigation.
Not all of the principals are known to The Sentinel. One had access to actual bank records. One had access to FFA Buyer's club records. Another had access to dates and information that has been compiled over several years. Another knows me and had enough confidence that we would protect their identity and do the right thing with the information that they collected them up and made the documents available to us via courier. Only one is published above. It is a bank record that shows the purchase of a cell phone, dinner for the Vincent family and a hotel paid for with the FFA/4H kid's money. The 100 dollar cash withdrawal was done at an atm.
There are quite a few other instances of personal expenditures that had the effect of causing the Buyer's Club to bounce checks and incur many overdraft charges. Another document is a forged letter on the bank letterhead explaining away an issue where Linda Vincent was questioned about disappearing money and 'the bank' took responsibility. The only problem is the name of the signer is miss spelled and that person has confirmed that they never saw the letter much less signed it.
As is a Sentinel practice when an unsatisfactory answer is given at the local level, we often contact the tallest hog in the trough (no pun intended regarding the Vincent hog selling enterprise) to get some answers. Why was this ignored? What is the connection? How deep does the embezzlement go? How many organizations that Linda and Ronnie 'Boss Hogg' Vincent were involved with are missing money? A short list of outfits that the Vincents had their hands in are, Little Dribblers, Texas Junior Livestock Assn, Polk Co Youth assn, Library Board, School Board. There are others.
These documents will be made available to any official investigator that believes it warrants further investigation. My number and address is posted in the left column. Come see me.
Steve Watson - Publisher
The screen shots of a recent email interchange between Polk County Commissioner, Ronnie Vincent and The Sentinel are partially displayed with this story. In my inquiry email, my writing assures the commissioner that I will publish his reply in its entirety. After careful consideration, our decision was to print this portion only but offer, at the commissioners request, to display the entire documents.
The un displayed portion of my email inquires about two seperate allegations that have been made by so far reliable sources and his answer to those allegations.
Since The Sentinel has not obtained documented proof of the two and only had questions, we have considered our options of keeping our verbal committment to publish in the whole vs. bringing un proven allegations into the discussion.
COMMISSIONER GIVES STATEMENT
A response to an email inquiry was received at The Sentinel offices. We will share that with the readers soon.
LINDA VINCENT DELETES FB ACCOUNT
Too Late ma'am. We already have a sneaking suspicion why no one seemed interested in prosecuting you three months ago when The Sentinel brought the information to Polk County officials. Stay tuned because we have several more fb tidbits we will be sharing this coming week.
PUBLIC TRUST VIOLATED BY LOCAL LEADER
Matt 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
Linda Vincent, wife of Polk County Pct 2 Commissioner Ronnie Vincent has violated the complete trust placed in her by the FBC Onalaska for many years according to Sentinel sources. Our investigation has shown a pattern of forgery, fraud, theft and embezzlement that has racked up a total in excess of a quarter million dollars over quite a few years as Ms. Vincent held the position of church secretary. Sources close to the matter state that church minutes were forged granting Ms. Vincent permission to cash in some FBC Certificates of Deposit in a local bank. When interviewing an official associated with the Baptist General Convention and the local church and attempting to confirm the initial amount as 60K stolen, The Sentinel was told several months ago, "We don't know what the total will end up being because we are just now beginning an audit of all the books and all the accounts."
We reached out to Commissioner Vincent offering to publish any statement he or his wife would make verbatim and got no response.
CHURCH SEEKS PROSECUTION AS AMOUNT EMBEZZLED PASSES 250 THOUSAND DOLLARS
According to Sentinel sources, The FBC Onalaska has sought help from Polk county prosecutor Lee Hon to prosecute the crimes perpetrated against the church as a combination of stolen CD's, credit card abuse and just plain ole writing checks to family has brought the amount past the quarter million dollar mark. Reliable sources indicate it may be as high as 300K of stolen money.
FBC ONALASKA CONSIDERS OUTSIDE AUDIT
Following a more thorough look at the financial records of FBC Onalaska, a couple of the church's credit cards have questionable expenses charged under the last pastor totaling in excess of 30K dollars. The leadership is considering having an outside audit done. The partial funds recovered (approx 45K) from the thief of the certificates of deposit are now earmarked to pay that outstanding credit card debt to prevent any further interest payments being made on the debt. At least one person in the Onalaska community has contacted The Sentinel, identifying the unnamed person correctly and issuing a warning of a pattern of involvement with the money end of many local organizations ranging from Little Dribblers to the Library. The Sentinel did confirm with official Polk County sources that this investigation was turned over to law enforcement and the DA in short order.
NOTARY DAUGHTER HAS FRAUDULENT SEAL
In a 'mum is the word' obstacle to The Sentinel investigation by all parties involved, we can only present the facts we are able to obtain through open records and proven reliable sources. Open Records are often a time consuming process but there are some provacative twists to the story. The woman (soon to be named) who embezzeled the money from the FBC Onalaska has a grown daughter who is a local Notary and was formerly employeed by a local Onalaska bank where she used her seal on banking business. A simple perusal of the S.O.S. site that regulates Notary Publics revealed that this notary had two seals and two Notary ID numbers registered with the Secretary of State based on a fraudulent Social Security number on a 2016 application. We have no proof that her daughter was involved in the embezzlement fraud but we have confirmed that her employment with the bank was ended soon after The Sentinel gave the information to the Texas Rangers and Polk County officials. According to the S.O.S. spokesperson, the fraudulent seal and ID will be voided and recombined with her original Notary file. We have written an OR request for the Notary Record Pages since her tenure began. More on this story as it develops.
NO "OFFICIAL" INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY
Despite verbal confirmation to The Sentinel from church officials that it did occur, no action is being taken on the alleged embezzlement of more than 50K dollars from the Onalaska First Baptist Church by a prominent member and former employee. Ranger Young was given the call to look into the allegations when the information was brought to law enforcement but the Ranger has not spoken with the church official according to him as of today. DA Lee Hon's office does not have a case listed according to his office spokesperson today. The allegations that this member forged signatures that required a notary seal to cash in CD's belonging to the church, confirmed by a church official, do not warrant an investigation according Ranger Young unless someone brings him some evidence. "We don't start an investigation on a say so", the Ranger clarified. The Baptist General Convention lead counsel clamped down on any information and all the members are being told DO NOT discuss the case with anyone.
The Sentinel investigation continues. The church documents nor the bank documents are subject to open records laws but sources indicate there may be other places to look related to public funds that are subject to open records.
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.
This money is from Sentinel Readers so we give a public accounting
The "Donate" button below goes to The Sentinel operation.
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