McLennan Commissioner Will Jones’ motion created a second class of elected official with no obligation to disclose financial facts
Six Shooter Junction – BE IT REMEMBERED: After local officials sent Tax Collector Buddy Skeen, the next to last Democrat in the McLennan County Courthouse, to the pen for his dealings in vehicles, the Commissioners’ Court made all department heads and elected officials file financial disclosure statements.
When that policy began to chafe, the all-GOP tribunal yearned for a more liberal policy, so they had the law firm of Haley & Olson draft a proposed change in the rules. This would have required appointed department heads to merely file an affidavit of possible or de facto conflict of interest, either potential, or actual.
They discussed the matter for more than an hour on a day in May back in 2015, then voted to defer their action. On May 26, they voted on a motion by Will Jones to adopt Subchapter A of an ethical statute in the Texas Local Government Code that requires justice court judges, county commissioners, and the County Clerk to reveal their financial worth and obligations. That expensive piece of legal work wound up on the cutting room floor. Only Commissioner Kelly Snell opposed all this tap dance. He was the lone hold-out on the Court.
In a vague colloquy, Commissioner Jones said the department heads should file a statement of conflict of interest.
We are unable to find the formal order.
Nevertheless, the action created a two-tiered system of classification of elected officials that exempts from financial disclosure such officials as the Tax Assessor-Collector, the Sheriff, and others who have direct jurisdiction over foreclosure and seizure of real property and valuable personal property.
It’s a genuine bird’s nest sitting on the ground for mortgage lenders, derivative hedge fund operators, bankers, mortgage brokers, and other land hustlers who took everyone to the cleaners in the 2008 burst of the “housing bubble.”
Someone should have put a yellow tape around Wall Street while the detectives picked up the pieces and analyzed the DNA in the blood and feathers found on the trading floors and in the back offices of counting houses coast to coast.
After all, since they were too big to fail, it became the obligation of We The People to “bail” them out. Tsk. Tsk.
Only through action of public information law were we able to obtain the documentation of what has occurred here, again, where it can’t happen. No way. No how.
Good luck with negotiating the rapids of foreclosure the next time the prime starts jumping around like a rattle snake in the final throes of its death agony. There is no way you can get your case in court if you miss the extremely narrow deadlines of the non-judicial foreclosure State of Texas. If the folks at the Sheriff’s Office file a notice of foreclosure sale before you know you’re in trouble, you get no chance to make the lenders prove up their allegations of chain of title – something they might not have.
Very slick. So mote it be.
This is the order that didn’t make it into the record…