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Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Another Flaky Kerrville Loan by Jack "Rambo" Pratt from Cailloux Foundation

On Feb. 25, 2014 the City of Kerrville entered a squirrelly deal with the Floyd A. and Kathleen C. Cailloux Foundation to borrow $1,279,881 to buy a aerial platform ladder truck for the fire department. The documents look like they were drafted by someone not in full control of their faculties. The first page of the Security Agreement names Cailloux Foundation Properties, LLC as the secured party.

But the signature page names The Floyd A. and Kathleen C. Cailloux Foundation as the lender:

The Promissory Note names Cailloux Foundation Properties, LLC as the lender, to be paid back the $1.28MM.

So, why is a nonprofit tax-exempt foundation loaning over a million and a quarter dollars to the City, who will pay it back to the profit making arm of the Cailloux organization?

How does Cailloux explain this to the IRS? Money comes from a non-profit, goes to the city, who then gives it to a for-profit company. I'm not a tax lawyer so maybe it's perfectly legitimate.

Something else that is interesting - only Jack Pratt, Jr. signed for the city. There's no attestation, no witnesses, no nothing, except his signature. Did council approve this? Was it voted on?

Jack Pratt and Stephen Fine - Ever Hear of Conflict of Interest?

The Kerrville Daily Times' lead article this morning is captioned "City ponders $8.5M loan from KPUB." Next to the headline is a picture of Stephen Fine with a quote, "KPUB doesn't have anything to do with the pond itself, but it's still utility related. KPUB is just loaning money to the city, and the city is going to pay us back." Fine is chairman of the KPUB board. He's second from left below, and Rambo Pratt is on the far right.

Throughout the article, Fine brags about what a good deal it is for KPUB. "Fine said instead of finding a place to invest the funds for almost no interest, the money can stay local and be used now.... KPUB is just loaning money to the city, and the city is going to pay us back."

Why is Fine allowed to vote as a council member when it's clear he is motivated by what's good for KPUB? Jack "Rambo" Pratt is also on the KPUB board, so he should also recuse himself.

Fine's position is that KPUB can make more profit on the interest rate it will charge the city than it could in other investments. Does this mean the city could get a better interest rate somewhere else?

It sounds like this is a done deal? If so, when and where was it done? Was the Open Meetings Act violated? Why are the meeting upstairs tonight instead of in the council meeting room?

Monday, March 21, 2016

Latest Scam by Kerrville Mayor Jack Pratt and Accomplices - City to Borrow $8.5 MM from KPUB

Mayor Jack "Rambo" Pratt  has cooked up another scheme to shuffle money around. He has tried to schedule a special meeting for 5:30 p.m. tomorrow evening (March 22), meeting jointly with the Kerrville Public Utility Board - KPUB - so the latter can loan up to $8.5 Million to the City. The KPUB board consists of Stephen Fine, Jack Pratt, Phillip Stacy, and Fred Gamble. Fine and Pratt are both on city council. Isn't this a blatant conflict of interest?

Why the rush? Why not handle this in a regular council meeting? Will the meeting be held in the regular council room, or upstairs in the "Taj Majal" ?

If KPUB is a public utility, why isn't it giving its customers a rate rebate instead of playing banker?

Why do the voters let Pratt and his cronies spend and borrow like drunken sailors? Why is Pratt even still mayor? He's a proven liar and disgrace.

This stinks to high heaven.

Friday, March 18, 2016

City of Ingram puts sewage line next to drinking water line

Kerrville Daily Times has a good article today by Sean Batura about the ongoing incompetence of the city of Ingram administration, "TCEQ tells Ingram to fix sewer problems." It's behind a paywall, but the essence is this - the city got an easement from Jerry Stephens, who owns about a block of property with a cedar yard, ATV sales and repair store, and hookups for RV's. In exchange, the city let him connect his commercial properties at the residential price of $25 per lot, total about $125. Other businesses are supposed to pay $5,000!
I believe James Salter was mayor at the time.
The city administrators knew there was already a freshwater line in the same easement, but put a sewer line in only two feet away. State regulations require at least 9 feet. Does mere incompetence explain this?
A Pennsylvania lawyer accused of robbing a Wells Fargo Bank last October has been disbarred by consent.
The disbarment for 58-year-old lawyer Steven Cormier of Nesquehoning will take effect on April 10, report the Standard Speaker, the Morning Call and the Legal Profession Blog. He is awaiting trial on charges of bank robbery, making terroristic threats and possession of an instrument of crime.

D.C. chief district judge resigns after sex abuse lawsuit is filed
The chief U.S. district judge for Washington D.C. suddenly resigned Wednesday as news surfaced of a sex-abuse lawsuit filed against him by a Utah woman.

The lawsuit filed in Salt Lake City by Terry Mitchell accuses Judge Richard W. Roberts of repeatedly raping her when she was a witness in a 1981 federal trial and he was a federal prosecutor handling civil-rights cases.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Pervert Judge and Pervert Priest of the Week

Pervert Judge: 

Smith County Judge Joel Baker resigned from his position on the State Commission on Judicial Conduct on Monday after allegations surfaced that he sent a woman several sexual text messages as he was serving on the commission at a meeting.

Pervert Priest:
Medical examiner: Father Virgilio Elizondo committed suicide
Elizondo has denied accusations made in a 2015 lawsuit of sexually abusing a boy decades ago.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

GritsforBreakfast asks: Are Texas Rangers incompetent to confront corruption, or just disincentivized?

GritsforBreakfast has a short but effective article that asks a legitimate question: Are the Texas Rangers incompetent to investigate government corruption?

"Observing the slew of corruption cases in Texas, Grits has been struck by the fact that they typically are only ever prosecuted when the federal government steps in. Is this because the Texas Rangers are incompetent to the task? Clearly they blew it in Crystal City.

"Reported the Express-News, "The FBI in San Antonio also has seen a sharp increase in corruption cases, rising threefold to 64 open cases, between 2012 and 2014." But corruption is illegal under state law, too, and these are local officials, for the most part, catching these cases.

"Why isn't Texas law enforcement able to identify and prosecute corruption? Is it because Texas DPS's enforcement and spending priorities are focused on patrolling the border region, which ironically is the safest area in the state, instead of on officials who violate the public trust? Or might Texas fail to confront corruption even without competing priorities, simply leaving the task to the feds because it's easier, and you get to blame Obama if things go bad?"

From my own experience, when I was trying to expose the rotten state of the 198th Judicial District a few years ago the Rangers either ignored me or told me I should mind my own business. I personally think that they are too close to the local officials, especially in law enforcement, they are supposed to investigate.

In my humble opinion, the Rangers are one of the most overrated law enforcement agencies in the country. 

The Bullock Museum in Austin currently has an exhibit about some of the violence the Rangers inflicted on Mexican-Americans in the early part of the last century, Life and Death on the Border: 1910-20. 

Friday, March 11, 2016

Is Ingram TX another Chrystal City? South Texas Border Corruption?

I've been publishing a series of pictures of properties in Ingram that the mayor and his administration allowed to connect to the new wastewater system for only $25 because the city classified them as "residential" properties. The city is supposed to charge $5,000 for a business. Many thousands of dollars have been lost, which of course the taxpayers have to cover. Today's features:

This is Gems of the Hill Country. And here's a picture of the ribbon cutting ceremony for this "residence"

And  here's another "residence," the Copper Cactus:

This picture doesn't do it justice - it takes up about a city block, full of knickknacks, a bar-b-que stand, etc.

Each owner paid $25. The City demanded my client pay $5,000 and filed a criminal charge (Class C misdemeanor) against him, which the City lost. Now what could possibly explain a city letting scores of businesses connect for $25 instead of $5,000 ?

The city has claimed in both the municipal court case and in civil case in federal court that its general contractor connected several businesses before Oct. 2012, charged the owners the connection fee of $5,000 or $8,000 (the number changes), and kept the money. The project was funded by the USDA when the city got itself classified as a colonia, like the ones on the border. It seems they brought in some of the good old South Texas ways of misusing federal money. I wonder if the same unit from the US Attorney that indicted most of the officials in Chrystal City have looked at Ingram?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Another Ingram "Residential" Property that paid $25 to connect to wastewater system

These are pictures of some of the property owned by Jerry Stephens. He operates a cedar yard with all that entails, and sells and services ATV's and chain saws. The City of Ingram, led by Mayor James Salter, let Stephens connect at the residential rate of $25 per lot, for total of about $125.

In a federal lawsuit where I represent a businessman that the City has threatened to shut down if he doesn't pay $5,000 to connect far less space that the lumber yard/ATV/chain saw business, the City's lawyers claim that Stephens also got a big discount because he gave the city an easement for its sewer line. The geniuses at the city didn't know or didn't care that there was already an easement for a freshwater line, with a fresh (drinking) water line. The city installed the sewer line right next to the drinking water line, and TCEQ is making them dig it up. 

City of Ingram TX - Incompetence or Something Worse??

The next few posts I'll show pictures of some of the "residential" properties that the City of Ingram, TX allowed to connect to its new wastewater system at the residential rate of $25.00. The City's owns ordinances and regulations classify commercial properties as those which house businesses, and apartment buildings with three or more units. The connection fee for a commercial property is $5,000. So, if the City connect a business for $25.00, the taxpayers lose $4,975.

Here's a property that Ingram only charged $25 because it is a "residence" -

Monday, March 7, 2016

City of Ingram Texas - Incompetence or Malice?? Update on the Heights of Kerrville Stalker

There's a good quote, source unknown: "Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence."

I've been working for several months on a lawsuit involving the City of Ingram's mismanagement of its wastewater system. I represent a local businessman that the city singled out for prosecution last year for not applying to connect to its new wastewater system. The city would charge him $5,000 for the connection fee, but it has allowed dozens of other businesses to connect for $25.00. The city's excuse, made in a federal lawsuit, is that those are not really businesses, they are something called "USDA residential." Well, here are pictures of some of those "residences" :

There are literally dozens of businesses the city has allowed to connect for free. That is costing the city thousands and thousands of dollars.  So - is it incompetence or malfeasance? 

Update on the Heights of Kerrville Stalker

The retired prick lawyer (some would say that's redundant) who thinks he and his shrill harridan of a wife own all 300 acres of the Heights of Kerrville have now begun harassing people outside their exclusive enclave. They accost people - especially women - on Coronado, and tell them they better not dare cross into their precious territory. They told one lady that "they" are now shooting dogs there. Not sure who "they" is. That is a dangerous thing to do in Texas.