According to city records, Hearne City Manager Pee Wee Drake’s government-issued credit card was used to buy hundreds of dollars worth of football tickets, while thousands of dollars worth of city funds were spent on Christmas gifts, including several flat-screen televisions and a tablet computer. I am also informed that city employees purchased supplies for Mayor Ruben Gomez’s home using city funds.
I suspect the credit card purchases are only the tip of the iceberg. In a letter sent this afternoon, I asked Robertson County DA Coty Siegert, Major Jeffrey Collins of the Texas Rangers, and Robertson County grand jurors to investigate city hall finances and determine, among other things, whether city officials are tampering with electricity bills in order to reward their friends and punish their political enemies.
Rodrick Jackson, a Baptist minister and former city council candidate, originally obtained records of Mr. Drake’s credit card purchases via the Texas Public Information Act, and I drafted a new public information request that focused on utility records. Mr. Jackson submitted the new request on July 21, 2015, and the electricity service to his home was disconnected the same day, allegedly due to a mistake. However, city officials did not reconnect his electricity until the following day, and only after he threatened to call a lawyer. That looks and smells a lot like retaliation, which would be a crime under the circumstances.
Below are some of the suspicious purchases and transactions that appear in the records obtained by Mr. Jackson: … Read more