Yesterday evening, my former clients on the Hearne City Council voted to rehire Bryan F. “Rusty” Russ, Jr. as the city attorney and ratify the pay of a city supervisor who has been sitting behind bars since January. This should eliminate any doubt about whether Hazel Embra, Joyce Rattler, and LaShunda White have joined the Booger County Mafia.
I suppose I could view that as a sign of racial progress in Booger County insofar as Mrs. Embra, Mrs. Rattler, and Mrs. White are the first black members of the Mafia, but I am more inclined to think of the words of the apostle in II Peter 2:22: “It has happened to them according to the true proverb, ‘A dog returns to its own vomit,’ and, ‘A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.'”
My former clients ran on a platform of cleaning up the corruption at city hall, which historically treated its black residents as second-class citizens, but instead they decided to sell out and become part of the problem. And no one personifies that corruption more than Mr. Russ, who had been the sworn enemy of the three blind mice up until the time that they decided to join the Mafia. This afternoon I sent a letter to District Attorney Coty Siegert requesting an investigation of the three blind mice for criminally violating the Texas Open Meetings Act.
As explained in the letter, the evidence indicates that the decision to rehire Mr. Russ was made well in advance of the meeting. I warned them that it was illegal and they did it anyway, so criminal charges are perhaps the only deterrent at this point. The Bryan-College Station Eagle reports that the council also voted to ratify the city manager’s decision to keep paying Natividad Rodriguez, Jr., the city streets supervisor who was arrested in January for violating his felony probation.
You would have never known that the council was voting on that issue, however, but for the fact that Mrs. Rattler accidentally blurted out his name during open session. Clearly, the majority was trying to hide that vote from the public, and as I explained in my letter to Mr. Siegert, that too is a violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Apparently the three blind mice are trying to keep City Manager Pee Wee Drake out of prison by purporting to ratify his unlawful act of paying an employee behind bars.
According to The Eagle, Mr. Drake said he only paid Mr. Rodriguez his accrued vacation and sick leave, but I am reliably informed that this is not true. Significantly, the three blind mice did not vote to ratify the payments until after Mr. Siegert’s investigators started serving grand jury subpoenas for records related to Mr. Rodriguez’s payment. I’m sure Mr. Russ thinks Mr. Drake cannot be charged with misapplication of fiduciary funds so long as the council subsequently approves what he did. I don’t think that argument will work, but I’d rather not tip my hand at this point.
Incidentally, I am informed that Mr. Rodriguez’s family is still staying in a city-owned residence at the airport for only $125 per month. Why is Mr. Rodriguez so protected? If I was still in law enforcement, I would ask the mayor whether Mr. Rodriguez has been providing discrete late-night courier services from the airport to the mayor’s business associates.
THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM
On August 29, I reported about how city officials were refusing to comply with public information requests submitted by my client, Rodrick Jackson. The next business day, the same city officials finally told him he could pick up the records.
It’s easy to see why the mayor didn’t want those records released, particularly the utility records. As we expected, the records indicate that the mayor’s allies get special favors. Consider Ama’s, the Mexican restaurant owned by the mayor’s sister. According to Mr. Jackson, the mayor’s sister has written almost fifty thousand dollars worth of hot checks to the city, and her electricity has not been disconnected even though her bill is thousands of dollars in arrears. An average citizen’s electricity would have been shut off immediately.
I will start posting utility records as soon as I get scanned copies. Stay tuned.