By BOB PALMER
A criminal complaint by Jefferson City Administrator Kevin Huckabee against Mayor Bubba Haggard and former alderman Richard Turner now rests in the hands of District Attorney Angie Smoak.
According to the offense report obtained from the Jefferson Police Department by the Jimplecute through a Texas Freedom of Information Act request, Huckabee accused the two city leaders of bribery.
“An investigation has been turned in and I have not reviewed it, yet,” Smoak said.
The DA noted the complaint was “in the review stack.”
Smoak declined to speculate on whether the complaint would be referred to the Marion County Grand Jury.
Huckabee accuses Haggard of appointing Turner to the Jefferson Economic Development Corporation board in exchange for Turner’s support in the recent municipal election.
“I can’t comment anything right now on advice of counsel,” Haggard said.
Huckabee’s complaint alleges Haggard told Huckabee “he would be appointing former Alderman Richard Turner to the Jefferson Economic Development Corporation Committee (JEDCO) at that night’s meeting.”
Huckabee complains the appointment came as the fulfillment of an election promise.
“Haggard further explained to Huckabee early in the mayor’s campaign Richard Turner informed Haggard that he would not be seeking re-election to his alder seat but would support Haggard in the Mayor’s election if he (Haggard) would appoint him as his JEDCO appointment,” the police report states.
“I outright supported Bubba from the very beginning, way before we even started discussing the issue of JEDCO,” Turner said Friday. “When I did speak to Bubba concerning JEDCO, all I said I would like to be considered for this appointment.”
Huckabee provided Officer Jason Carroll with a written statement and a recording of a conversation between the city administrator and the mayor.
The oath of office for elected public officials requires them to swear that they have not promised any consideration in exchange for votes.
Bribery under the Texas Penal Code occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly offers, confers, or agrees to confer on another or solicits accepts or agrees to accept from another any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s vote.
“Texas Penal Code Chapter 36: Bribery and Corrupt Influence, Definition of ‘Benefit’ Anything reasonably regarded as a ‘pecuniary gain’ or a ‘pecuniary advantage’, including benefit to any other person…’Pecuniary Gain’ refers to a gain of monetary value, such as compensation (Black’s Law Dictionary).
“This appointment is a non-paid position. Even if the facts as pled are true, it does not constitute a criminal offense. Somebody should have done their research before jumping to conclusions,” Shaw wrote.
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