The Booger County Mafia is getting nervous (and for good reason)

Hearne Mayor Ruben Gomez unilaterally cancelled the upcoming May 2, 2017 city council meeting, according to other council members, and I suspect that’s because he’s worried about facing the voters next Saturday.

Mayor Gomez and Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron inevitably would have faced tough questions about their mishandling of the Sgt. Stephen Yohner fiasco, and the surest way to dodge that problem would be to cancel the meeting.

Councilwoman Martha Castilleja told me last night that the mayor had not yet responded to her text asking why the regularly-scheduled meeting was cancelled, and it’s not clear that the mayor even has the authority to cancel the meeting unilaterally, but then it’s not like Mayor McCrooked, Boy Wonder or anyone else in the Booger County Mafia ever cared about following the law.

If you want to understand just how nervous the Mafia is about losing control of city government, read Thursday’s front-page screed against Councilwoman Shirley Harris on the front page of the Robertson County “News” by publisher Dennis Phillips. Dennis never could distinguish between news writing and editorial, but he sure is working hard to earn that $30,000 payoff from the Mafia. … Read more

Hearne city manager lobbies for reprimand of city councilman

You already know about the resignation of Hearne PD Sgt. Stephen Yohner, a.k.a. “Sgt. Tallywacker,” so let’s shift the spotlight to one of the knuckleheads who helped make that fiasco possible: Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron.

On Saturday I wrote about Boy Wonder’s fraudulent efforts to recall Mr. Jackson from the council, as well as the city’s efforts to railroad the councilman on a bogus criminal charge, but evidently Boy Wonder was undeterred. In response to an email from Mr. Jackson on Tuesday suggesting that Boy Wonder and Mayor Ruben Gomez had mishandled the Sgt. Tallywacker fiasco, Boy Wonder popped a cork and called for the council to reprimand Mr. Jackson. As you can see from his email below, Boy Wonder wants even more control over the information that comes out of city hall (and city hall was not particularly transparent in the first place).

That’s bizarre enough by itself, but Boy Wonder’s email could also be a criminal violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act if Boy Wonder and his Booger County Mafia allies were polling votes prior to a public meeting. Boy Wonder sent the draft email to the Mayor McCrooked, Councilman Emmett Aguirre, and Councilwoman Margaret Salvaggio, all of whom support Boy Wonder and have repeatedly blocked the council from firing him, and he also sent the draft to Councilwoman Martha Castilleja, who has repeatedly voted in favor of firing him. … Read more

Suspended Hearne PD officer still wearing gun and badge

A suspended Hearne police sergeant still works an off-duty security job in uniform while he is paid to not work for the City of Hearne, according to a local club manager.

Sgt. Stephen Yohner, a.k.a. “Sgt. Tallywacker,” was suspended with pay on March 31, 2017 for sending photos of his gonads to “one or more female employees” of the City of Hearne and carrying on extramarital affairs while he was supposed to be supervising a patrol shift, according to court documents. But Sgt. Tallywacker still works as needed at a private club in Bryan where alcohol is served, according to the manager of that club.

I’ll omit the name of the club and the manager for now, but the manager told me this morning that Sgt. Tallywacker worked in uniform as recently as Friday night. I could not reach Hearne Police Chief Thomas Williams for comment, and Mayor Ruben Gomez and Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron have not yet responded to my emails.

Has anyone at city hall considered the potential legal problems that could arise if the city allows a suspended officer to work private security? Hearne has an unusually high rate of police shootings for a city its size, and Sgt. Tallywacker was involved in such a shooting in 2012. Just imagine what would happen if he had to use his weapon off duty, even if it was a clean shoot. … Read more

Anthony Weiner, make way for Hearne Police Sgt. Stephen Yohner

A Hearne police sergeant was suspended because he texted photos of his gonads to “one or more female employees of the City of Hearne” and because he “carried on extramarital relationships with one or more mistresses while he was supposed to be supervising a patrol shift,” according to a court document that I filed over the weekend.

Mayor Ruben Gomez previously confirmed on April 4, 2017 that Sgt. Stephen Yohner (or “Sgt. Tallywacker,” if you prefer) had been suspended with pay, but he did not give a reason for the suspension. Interim City Manager John “Boy Wonder” Naron, City Secretary Linda Pecina, and City Attorney Pro Tem Tangerlia Felton have since fought to keep the information from becoming public, and the attempted cover-up may be a bigger story than anything that Sgt. Tallywacker has done.

The sexual misconduct revelations are found in a motion that I filed in State of Texas v. Rodrick Jackson, where I represent City Councilman Rodrick Jackson against a bogus assault charge filed by Hearne PD. The lead investigator on the case was none other than Sgt. Tallywacker, and we are set for a jury trial on May 4, 2017. My motion asks the court to order city officials to turn over the records concerning Sgt. Tallywacker.

That would be a routine request under normal circumstances, because state and federal courts ruled long ago that prosecutors must share exculpatory evidence with criminal defendants, including evidence related to the credibility of anyone that the government intends to call as a witness. These, however, are not normal circumstances. … Read more

Robertson County News endorses Booger County Mafia

I owe Robertson County News publisher Dennis Phillips a debt of gratitude. I wanted to blog about the upcoming elections in Hearne, but Dennis lit a fire under me yesterday, forcing me to hurry up and git ‘er done. So grab some Lysol, gather the wife and kids around the iPhone, and get ready for another excursion into small-town corruption and cronyism.

In this week’s edition of the News, Dennis endorsed Mayor Ruben “The Godfather” Gomez and Councilman Emmett “Mankiller” Aguirre for re-election, as well as challenger (and former Councilwoman) LaShunda White, a.k.a. “LaShunda Sellout.” In other words, Dennis endorsed the Booger County Mafia candidates.

Normally you would expect a journalist (or someone purporting to be one) to oppose corrupt politicians, and normally you would be right, but then Booger County isn’t exactly normal. For that matter, neither is Dennis.

Back in 2015, I reported that Dennis and his employer accepted $30,000 (or 30 pieces of silver, if your prefer) from city officials for the alleged purpose of remodeling the headquarters of the newspaper.  Ever since then, Dennis and the News have been dutifully supportive of the corrupt ruling class, i.e., the Booger County Mafia, and harshly critical of the reformers on the city council. Where I grew up, we would call that a payoff. In Booger County, it’s called business as usual.

According to Dennis, the Mafia candidates are the best choice for economic development and “progress” in Hearne. I suppose that’s true if you define “economic development” as giving taxpayer money to Dennis and his employer.

Seriously, what self-respecting editorialist would endorse Ruben Gomez for mayor? Gomez’s name is synonymous with corruption, and for good reason. Just Google “LawFlog” and “Gomez” and read for yourself.  On September 9, 2015, for example, I reported that the mayor’s sister, Sylvia Montelongo, had written nearly fifty thousand dollars worth of hot checks to the city for utilities, but her electricity had never been turned off. … Read more