Last week, Somervell County Commissioners Court went into executive session and then came out and the majority voted to fire Dwayne Johnson. Commissioner Richard Talavera made the motion, Jeff Harris seconded. When it came time to vote Danny Chambers voted with those two and Tammy Ray and Wade Busch voted against.
No secret that I have had reservations about Dwayne Johnson for a long time, including when he was Precinct 2 commissioner. I was surprised that after he lost his commissioner election to Talavera that he was then hired in some position of authority over the Somervell County Expo Center in Glen Rose. Some items previously I found concerning.
4. Voted to okay Hidden Valley Ranch Subdivision without much pushback on potential problems (until later when the commissioners held another meeting about this due to community ire)
All that I knew. What I did not know is that there were two criminal investigations into him this last year. 2023_06_05_13_43_23.pdfIn the first one, from February 2023, Johnson was accused of Theft of Property >=$750<$2500. The complainant said she had evidence of mishandled funds within the county.
Notice that the Show Barn was apparently built without any plans. Wade Busch didn't know of any and Danny Chambers said "county maintenance workers built the show barn so there most likely were not any permanent building plans (which would of course, IF they existed, would presumably show where the lighting would go instead of a fly by night seat of the pants install
A few comments on this. Ooopsie, Johnson said he did not realize he had been overpaid by over $1400 (Really inspires confidence that Johnson was being a good steward and careful with taxpayer money, doesn't it -/s) Also, more generally, how is it that there are elected people that are just running out to do things without any kind of plan, using their buddies for a service (and maybe getting a kickback, who knows?) and aren't trying to be fair with competing services in the county. The commissioners decided, because the case was punted to Hill County DA which refused to look at the case, to just make Johnson pay back the money. As a side note on checks and balances, going to pull out again the fact that we have a felon who is the head of payroll. If this somehow missed through at least 3 levels of checks and balances, what confidence is there that a person doing payroll can't also escape notice should that person decide to commit theft. Also, because the commissioners kept it quiet, no one really knew about this double overpayment of funds.
So, this first investigation was kept quiet. I don't know if this was discussed in an executive session after April 24th, but probably on the 5/8/2023 regular session.
Somebody named MaKayla D'nell decided to go post about selling pallets, that Somervell County owns, on Facebook, taking cash. This isn't like you or me or a private business selling pallets, heck, I've gotten pallets for various projects. No, these are government property and not there to be taken for some unaccounted cash. Somebody must have tipped off the Sheriff who asked Trey Brown, the County Attorney to begin a live investigation, which then included Investigator Green. This was in June 2023. The investigator gave $250 cash (marked bills) to some guy named "Randy" with exchange of pallets.
This last part of this was the reason why this case was not charged, because there was a difference between the money in the drawer and the money the investigator had given Makayla, since it went through a third person.
That brings us to the 7th of November when the commissioners went into a special session and then came out and voted-Note who voted for and against.
How many times did Johnson apparently lie?