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SET Political Review
Up and down Highway 69 - land owners are furious with the Jefferson County Commissioners Court. Why? Well it seems friends of the Jefferson County Commissioners Court cut a deal. And it was a great deal. They sold acres off of Highway 69 between Beaumont and Nederland for cheap.
Like how cheap? Well around $15,000 an acre. Not bad huh? Prime Highway 69 property for $15,000. Right?
Well, it seemingly is gong to come back and screw the county (imagine that) as the appraisal district has property up and down highway 69 on the books for around $60,000. This has created a bunch of phone calls between land owners saying it is time to lower the price of their property. After all - the county sells theirs for cheap - why can't they price their property for the same amount?
And we like this. Why? Well who in the hell put it on the auction or sale for that cheap? We like the idea of getting property back on the books. But we sure don't like screwing the county? Right? Giggle.
And on the serious side - landowners use their appraisal for loans and building. The lower the....well you get it.
Here is our point - when you have people running a place that has no idea how to run a business - and they do bone headed things like cut deals with politicos to .... well....give them a good deal. You have to expect that the real thing guys will go after the same kind of deals.
We are told that you the taxpayer that may own property on Highway 69 need to file your appeal as soon as possible. And we mean as soon as possible.
And when they turn you down - which they will - you have case law on your side. After all if the government that taxes you sells land for about a third of what they say the value is - well the value is what the value is? Right?
And it is just another day....
There is only one word to describe Lamar University right now - and that is "Shattered" as two major investigations begin as president Jimmy Simmons now leaves Lamar University under a cloud of suspicion.
Sources close to the Texas State University System and a source close to the Attorney Generals office confirm that emails, financial statements and "other communications" are being "reviewed and obtained" regarding Simmons and a false scholarship fund that is being called by investigators as a "slush fund." As well, two other sets of allegations by both current and past students regarding a cover up of crimes that were committed on campus and were shut down by the administration for fear of "bad press" leaving the victims without recourse.
Further, the Review has learned of some financial questions regarding funds that were dedicated for projects on the campus - but then not used for the projects they were intended as directed by Simmons.
In a lawsuit filed two weeks ago - a story was told of corruption and cover ups that has garnered the attention of the Texas State University Officials - and as well an offer to the former employee for her job back - after Simmons leaves the campus in six days.
"I think they are waiting till Simmons leaves campus and then they will be able to speak with those on campus freely. If it is what we think it is - it will be up to the Attorney General if he wants to pursue a criminal probe. Right now it is internal with help from investigators from the Attorney General. We are not ruling out asking for help from the Texas Rangers," said the source very close to the investigation.
Simmons, who has been touted as the president that brought back the University from near closure, announced his retirement from the University this past year. Saying he wanted to spend more time with family. However, in a lawsuit filed this past week by civil rights lawyer Larry Watts, it tells the story of the Chancellor of the Texas State University System and Simmons in a closed door meeting over possible misappropriation of funds, coming out of the meeting and Simmons leaving the University.
After the story broke, the Chancellor made the strange gesture of saying that Simmons was leaving in good standing and his departure was a result of a mutual agreement. This garnered the attention of the AG's office which wondered why they were even called if everything is okay?
"It is typical of that place where you live down there. Bad things happen and then all of a sudden they are exposed and everything is back to good. It is a very strange place you folks have down there," said our source with the AG's office in Austin.
Okay - Simmons did a bunch of good. But it seems to us he got the OPM syndrome. Being the Other Peoples Money Syndrome. You know - big dog on campus and nobody can touch and forgetting where you come from. The power scoops you up and you are bullet proof. You blur the lines between right and wrong to benefit you or the project you want.
We have also been leaked that there is another investigation that may be launched regarding a food service contract that Simmons oversaw in which elegant dinners were prepared for Simmons while president and a food budget scam for free dinner and expense groceries being delivered to the presidents residence. Again - more living like a king on the taxpayers dime.
And we want to know a couple of things - being why did the TSUS Chancellor do the shuffle and we want to see Simmons deposition. Our guess is Watts' client is getting her job back with big time pay and bonus. And that will drift that lawsuit to sleep.
In the end - Simmons leaves with the scarlet letter on his red jacket. All the good that may have been done is now overshadowed by....greed, corruption, cover ups and employees that have simply had enough and are willing to tell all. They have nothing to loose now. The hammer over their heads is gone.....or is it?
As sad as it is - maybe it is really good at the same time. If these allegations are true - Simmons needed to go.
So - there it is. Another day in Jefferson County Texas. Where......(tune up and here we go and let's sing it together) we all live in the most corrupt county in Texas.
End of story.
Mitch's Big Decision
There are a bunch of people watching this one. And the spin that might come out of it. So let's get you the base line facts first - then give you the political implications.
Jefferson County Sherriff Mitch Woods is making a decision today. As many of you know - he is not running again for sheriff (wink wink) and many are lining up already to take his place in four years. In fact, if Woods does a mea culpa and runs again, the GOP has a candidate already in the can and ready to run with state and federal experience to take over the top cop job in Jefferson County.
So - Woods has an assistant deputy. Her name is Zena Stephens. Some like her. Some don't. But everyone agrees that Zena's current woes are unfounded. Those woe's come from Judge Layne Walker.
According to sources in the courthouse that works in non-law enforcement, tell us that Walker hates Zena Stephens. Walker, who has gone through six deputies over the last however many years, wanted a new deputy to be a bailiff. As the story goes, Stephens told the deputy to be careful and to watch their back according to one court coordinator with knowledge to what is going on. Well, Walker pulls in the newbie into his court and corners her. She tells what Stephen's says and he goes off and runs down to Woods. And guess what? Woods gives Stephens time to...well...go on a little vacation while he "thinks" about the situation.
Rumors are running wild this morning that a commander named Miller will take over for Stephens and Stephens will be moved to the jail. Why? Well because that is what Judge Layne Walker wants. And what Layne Walker wants - he gets. As we asked the question why Layne Walker has such a hold over Woods.
Well, the black community is not real happy with Woods this morning - as once again, Woods has made himself a part of the Walker family who the political black community hates. According to sources very close to law enforcement, Woods thinks that the Review is talking to Stephens. And of course we laugh because Stephens is loyal to Woods and does not talk to the Review. However, others do in the courthouse as the talk is there could be a revolt of the officers making Woods job even harder.
So again - like last week we ask - what in the hell is going on? We like Mitch Woods. Really - we do. He is good at his job, he has done some things like the navy we think is silly and we think that there needs to be many more street cops on midnights. But who are we? Like we know how to run a cop shop? Further, the courthouse security is a joke, and political headstringing is about as silly as it comes. But that is Jefferson County.
Woods, however, has kept himself away from the fry by just being a cop. Yes - there are very serious questions about the jail and the continued issues with rumors of problems coming out of the place - including an inmate that hung himself last Friday and the media missed it - or was not told - or maybe just didn't do their job (sigh), but overall the question is could it get worse. And if the employees revolt - or in cop talk make the big dogs job harder, then what does Woods win?
So again - all eyes on Woods this week.
Ya know - and this is us girls talking here to all of you that read the Review. It is amazing for us to see good politicos self-destruct. It is like a dream sometimes for us - we just get more and more hits - but for the politicos it is like it is the same thing over and over and over again.
The question? Why?
We don't think we will ever know the answer. Never.....
We will let you know what happens...gezzzz are we really talking about this?
GOP Eyes District Clerks Office
There is only six months left until filing begins for the mid term races in Jefferson County. One that is being already watched by the GOP and being recruited for is the District Clerks office in Jefferson County.
Now many of you are wondering why this is such a big office. And there is one real reason - it is the gateway to the district courts and the jury pool. In the old days (wink wink) attorneys who knew the district clerk and were friends could get a good jury and even get a lawsuit in their favorite judges bench. The GOP seemingly has figured out that the keys to the courthouse might just be in the district clerks office - as some have suggested that this office might be right behind two of the district courts seat that is being eyed by the GOP this fall.
According to sources close to the GOP - there is a list of names being "visited" with - and those names will get serious financial backing. Further, the democrats have begun their quest in the progressive democrats are putting up a candidate to insure their stake into the district courts.
We think two things.
First, we would dream to have the district clerks office in the hands of the GOP. Could you imagine the inlay to the courts in the GOP's control. Then it would be the tax assessor, the treasure and the courts. Slowly drifting the county into transparency.
Second, we think the democrats and the lawyers will throw thousands of dollars into the pot to get their person in. Could you imagine again what would happen with a loss of control of the district courts?
Oh hearts be still.
But we have some advice to those of you out there in the GOP - get started NOW. Get your game faces on - get your money together. If you are really serious to take over this county - you are going to have to have a great candidate with some good pockets and some backing.
Oh.....and let's not forget - the hat trick. Rumors run around that current District Clerk Lolita Ramos might step down early so that commissioners court can put in their hand picked person and seize the office?
Na - we don't think Ramos would do that. We like her - we know her - we respect her - and ya we get that she is democrat as they come - but we think that to her the office is more important than politics.
We might be wrong - but we doubt it.
So summer is going to warm Jefferson County UP UP UP! Let's get it on!
We for one are ready!
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