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BELTON T E X A S

White previously listed his way of handling the municipal judge position as the “Little River way.”
Longtime Little River-Academy figure Ronnie White out as mayor, municipal judge Thursday, June 9, 2016 11:15 pmLittle River-Academy Mayor Ronnie White resigned Thursday night as municipal judge and quit as mayor during Thursday night’s City Council meeting.

White denies mayoral resignation, but plans to quit
Monday, June 13, 2016 10:13pm
Ronnie White told a Telegram reporter on Monday afternoon that he never said Thursday night that he was quitting the town of Little River-Academy as mayor and that he only resigned as municipal judge. However, the City Council has a special called meeting at 7 p.m. tonight to discuss Ronnie White’s verbal resignation last week as mayor, Interim Mayor Drew Latham said.

After Ronnie White gave his verbal resignation as mayor Thursday night, Little River-Academy’s interim mayor, Drew Lanham, said Friday the decision-making will no longer be done by one person.  Instead, it will be six people and community’s input that will make decisions that are best for the community, Lanham said.

Another police chief resigns

Friday, August 7, 2015 9:43 pm

Mike Hoyt turned in his resignation effective Friday to Mayor Ronnie White after only four months on the job, leaving Little River-Academy once again without a police chief. Hoyt was hired in April and officially started the job on April 21. Two weeks ago Hoyt, also the Calvert Police chief, originally told the City Council he would stay until the end of August, but White said Friday Hoyt told him he couldn’t handle both jobs anymore.

Little River-Academy situation embarrassing

Thursday, May 19, 2016 4:00 am

Per Temple Telegram news coverage in reference to Little River-Academy — it can’t get any more redneck than that — and I thought my mayor was useless.

Little River Academy, TX mayor

Judicial inquiry: Little River-Academy mayor faces investigation for misconduct as judge
Friday, May 13, 2016 8:31 pm

Little River-Academy Mayor Ronnie White, who also serves as the municipal judge, admitted Friday he is under investigation by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct after Police Chief Frank Poole filed a complaint against

  1. Police chief calls for help with mayor  Saturday, October 24, 2015 5:59 pm  Deputies from the Bell County Sheriff’s Department responded with lights on and sirens blaring to the request for emergency help from Little River-Academy Police Chief Frank Poole.  The Wednesday night call indicated Poole had an alleged disturbance with Mayor Ronnie White, Lt. T.J. Cruz, a sheriff’s spokesman, said.  Police scanner traffic indicated deputies initially sped toward the community until they were told to proceed but not with the same sense of urgency.  Poole was heard yelling on the scanner that the mayor was going crazy and was pulling on his steering wheel, Cruz said.
Bell County Attorney - Former Coryell prosecutor charged with family violence

Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2016 2:22 pm

BY DEBORAH MCKEON | TELEGRAM STAFF

Posted on Feb 11, 2016 - by Deborah McKeon

Ryan Lawton, 41, currently an attorney in Bell County and a former Coryell County assistant district attorney, was arrested Friday and charged with continuous family violence against a family member, a third-degree felony.

Temple PD halts investigation in former officer’s case Sheka was indicted Dec. 10 by an El Paso County grand jury for one count of deadly conduct-discharge of a firearm, a third-degree felony, and two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a first-degree felony.

No one admits liability in settlement agreement

Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 10:16 pm

BY DEBORAH MCKEON | TELEGRAM STAFF


In a settlement reached between the city of Temple and two of its police officers with Elsa Martinez and her son, Lorenzo Martinez, the city and the officers denied all liability for the occurrences and damages alleged by the Martinezes. Lorenzo Martinez is the Temple teenager whose collarbone allegedly was broken May 18, 2013, by Temple Police officers Daniel Amaya and Jeremy Bales during an incident at the Temple Walmar

Use of force never reported in Martinez incident

BY DEBORAH MCKEON | TELEGRAM STAFF


None of the five Temple Police Department officers involved in the May 18, 2013, incident involving Lorenzo Martinez followed the department’s procedures for reporting use of force, according to an internal affairs investigation. Martinez, who was 15 at the time, was originally a theft suspect, but was later cleared. Two Bryan men were arrested that day by Temple Police in connection with the theft of laptop computers from the Temple Walmart. The arrest report said a loss prevention officer thought someone outside the store alerted the men that police were there, and officers reportedly suspected it was Martinez.

GRITS FOR BREAKFAST

WELCOME TO TEXAS JUSTICE: YOU MIGHT BEAT THE RAP, BUT YOU WON'T BEAT THE RIDE.


Sunday, April 14, 2013
TCLEOSE licensed felon who allegedly took cartel bribes, LE agencies faked training

If you've never heard of the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, with its awkward acronym TCLEOSE, you couldn't be blamed. They're the licensing agency in Texas for state and local cops and enforce police training criteria, but their activities rarely enter the public eye. Lately, though, the agency's oversight or lack thereof has been getting more attention.

Bell County
In February it was reported that the Bell County Sheriff's Office had allegedly faked test results from its training program on a wide scale. TCLEOSE's own inspectors hadn't caught the discrepancy and the agency only took action after receiving an independent report.



Sunday, April 14, 2013
TCLEOSE licensed felon who allegedly took cartel bribes, LE agencies faked training

If you've never heard of the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education, with its awkward acronym TCLEOSE, you couldn't be blamed. They're the licensing agency in Texas for state and local cops and enforce police training criteria, but their activities rarely enter the public eye. Lately, though, the agency's oversight or lack thereof has been getting more attention.

Bell County
In February it was reported that the Bell County Sheriff's Office had allegedly faked test results from its training program on a wide scale. TCLEOSE's own inspectors hadn't caught the discrepancy and the agency only took action after receiving an independent report.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2013

Bell County Sheriff Office allegedly faked training results, TCLEOSE oversight failed to catch it
An investigative report by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education (TCLEOSE), which regulates peace officers' licensure and training, alleges that the Bell County Sheriff's Lt. Danny Kneese, the department's training coordinator, provided training for deputies and even officers from other agencies by letting them take materials home instead of sitting in a classroom, then faked test results that were sent to TCLEOSE. A local TV station reported that the agency "revoked the Bell County Sheriff's Department’s training license for two years," but looking at the full report (pdf), that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Just-elected Sheriff Eddie Lange first reported the problem to TCLEOSE last fall, but from the beginning investigating officer Mike Hobbs was "suspicious of his motives" and "his actions." Lange had allegedly promised Kneese a position as Jail Administrator and Kneese, anticipating Lange would become Sheriff and need the training hours for his license, allowed Lange to take the training materials home for credit. But Lange's role allegedly extended beyond that of a supposed whistleblower.

Upon interrogation, Lt. Kneese admitted to not holding classroom trainings as he'd reported to TCLEOSE but initially refused to give a written statement, instead requesting a lawyer. After consulting with Lange, who was then a county commissioner but at the time was running for Sheriff, Kneese came back later with a typed statement in which he took full blame and insisted Lange "did not know that being given a packet to learn core courses was illegal." However, wrote Hobbs, "it was clear to me that it was not a truthful statement but one that had been well thought out and prepared by either a legal team or someone other than Kneese." He also expressed the belief that Lange "is not being honest with me during this investigation. It is clear to me that he his coaching" Lt. Kneese, said the report. "It is clear to me at this point that Eddie Lang (sic) contacted TCLEOSE knowig that we would find issues with the training and that if we found issues we would have to investigate." Wrote Hobbs, "It is likely that Lang (sic) and Kneese were working together." He surmised that Lange, "became afraid of his campaign being affected" and "let Kneese take the fall for the entire incident." Kneese has since surrendered his peace officer's license.

The reasons behind the revocation of training authority are flat-out startling, particularly the allegations of faked course examinations:

Almost all the examinations and evaluations were typed on the same computer and were all exactly the same. In almost every case I found a typo on the examinations and evaluations and all of them had the same typo. That means every student would have had to type the same typo. This is highly unlikely and with Kneese admitting to teaching courses by packets it is clear that the test and evaluations are made up on his computer and completed by him all at one time.

That's the sort of thing that could get somebody indicted - you'd think the local TV news coverage might have mentioned it! People were getting credit for physical fitness training by signing workout logs in the gym. Indeed, the scope of training-related misconduct was so great that TCLEOSE decided to limit its investigation so the results wouldn't impact the training hours of "every Jailer and every Peace Officer working for Bell County." Again from Hobbs' report:

As I continued my investigation I realized that every Jailer and every Peace Officer working for Bell County could be affected by this illegal training and could end up losing hours.If this were to occur then the most likely scenario would be that none of them would have time to catch up on hours. After discussing this with Deputy Director John Helenburg it was decided that we would focus only on Intermediate Courses and two other courses that Bell County reported to us. Those courses are 3512 Health and Safety, and 6012 Health and Physical.

So TCLEOSE is protecting the probably improper training hours of most of the Bell Sheriff's uniformed staff through essentially a "don't ask, don't tell" approach. If they dug deeper, it's possible few if any jailers or deputies or jailers would have sufficient training hours to justify their licensure. That decision seems problematic, though as a practical matter it's understandable as an alternative to, say, shutting down the jail while everyone retakes all the training they missed. If all or most of the training was faulty, how could the department ever make it all up? What a mess. Grits won't be surprised if defense counsel down the line begin challenging the legal  status of Bell County Sheriff's deputies based on failure to meet state training requirements.

One wonders, would TCLEOSE have ever discovered this if Lange hadn't contacted them? Are there other agencies doing the same thing, and if so, could TCLEOSE even tell? ¿Quien sabe?
5 COMMENTS:
Anonymous said...

It would be nice if TCLEOSE would go after officers for lying under oath. But, then that would make the DA's mad and, well, you know,....politics.

2/20/2013 11:02:00 AM
Robert Langham said...

The rules are just for the little people.

2/21/2013 08:24:00 AM
Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits, before I add FAKE law enforcement training to the PNG FAKE-ASS Listing, I just have one Q.

Does this FAKE training equate to a Falsified Peace Officer Licenses ring requiring a mandatory Federal investigation from the top down going back as far as possible? Any internal investigation would invite more cover-ups. Thanks.

2/21/2013 01:47:00 PMSkifool said...

Sounds like a real cluster ----. I can think of some criminal allegations that would fit, including perjury, tampering, fraud.

I am sure the DA does not want to touch it -- maybe he will call in a special prosecutor (AG's office to the rescue, again) to do an investigation. Or maybe the DPS would want that job. The leg. is in session, maybe they can start a round of hearings and handle it.

This is what defense attorneys are for, to brazenly go where elected officials are afraid to venture!

2/21/2013 02:14:00 PMAnonymous said...

So a NAACP client is arrested and investigated by someone who is not a real police officer because he is not properly licensed?

3/27/2013 05:33:00 PM

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 07, 2010

'Nuther empty jail, built on spec, can't find contract prisoners
Another speculative county jail facility, this time in Bell County, can't find contract prisoners to fill it now that the project is complete,reports a local TV station:
More than $5 million has gone into remodeling a Bell County jail that remains vacant and may not have a need for inmates for at least two years.
The Central Jail on Central Avenue in Belton has undergone extensive renovation since inmates were transferred to the new Justice Complex in 2009.  However, the county had hoped the new-look, $5.7 million facility would bring in inmates from neighboring counties, and more revenue, but those counties are making other plans.
The reason for building a second jail instead of just rehabbing the old one was so the county could generate revenue from outside contracts, but that strategy has clearly (and predictably) backfired.

This is becoming repetitive. Just a few years ago counties across the state were seeking to build extra jail space, believing it would become a profit center through which they could compete with the private prison market for contract beds. Now, though, the incarceration bubble is beginning to burst and many of those facilities built on spec are sitting empty, with counties losing money hand over fist.

If it weren't such a catastrophe for taxpayers, I'd say it served them right.

INJUSTICE for The Michael Arena Family, by the Good Ol' Boys of Bell County, Texas

Regarding KDHnews story 12/27 Miller plans to ‘disappear into the mist’ after retirement; Raised on spaghetti westerns - that explains it all. How about Miller use his 'passion of writing' to publish a book on how a Harker Heights family lived a nightmare in Bell County, Texas through “half-hearted” justice? Their nightmare resulted in huge losses of their home, their business, transportation, livelihood and one of America’s most important assets created by God - “Family.” The self-described bibliophile Miller should scrap his Belle Starr project and write about the failures that destroyed this family during his tenure. Include the officials involved, the frauds, the so-called experts, outlaws - the good, the bad, the ugly. County Attorney Rick Miller once wrote in a letter to "20/20" that all of these matters were thoroughly vetted on appeal after appeal, and the evidence remained what it was: convincing. Oh really Mr. Miller? Well, I’m not convinced and believe the truth disappeared into the mist. I’ve taken liberty to even help Miller with a bibliography:

  1. Jimmie Ferguson, Killeen Daily Herald, 2003; Family fights for son's freedom
  2. 20/20 – “The Arena Story” 7/23/11
  3. ABC 20/20, 1/6/06, Texas Girl Says Abuse Claims Were Coerced by Mom
  4. Lauretta Matthews; 5/31/03 False Sexual Abuse and Questionable Expert Witness
  5. ABC 20/20, 1/6/06, Texas Girl Says Abuse Claims Were Coerced by Mom
  6. Lauretta Matthews; 5/31/03 False Sexual Abuse and Questionable Expert Witness
  7. http://childcustody.org/childabuse/_disc82/000007c7.htm
  8. Criminally Innocent 11/5/10
  9. Inmate challenges pedophilia test as junk science 3/23/12
  10. One Last Visit for Mother and Son? 7/15/11
  11. Michael Arena hopes to see his dying mother…
  12. Sex Abuse Appeal Goes to Texas Supremes 7/2211
  13. WRIT NO. 222074-C EX PARTE ) MICHAEL PRINZ ARENA ) 169th ...
  14. A. STATEMENT OF THE CASE....
  15. fact, manipulated in the first instance into falsely accusing Michael...
  16. ARENA CASE FILE



The Temple Daily Telegram is reporting that last night Belton Police Officer Sidney Post was clearedin the shooting death of a neighbor's Labrador mix, ...

Jan 27, 2009 ... That's according to the Temple Daily Telegram, whose Harper Scott Clark is closely following the case. The Belton, Texas, Police Department is ...

The Temple Daily Telegram is reporting that last night Belton Police Officer Sidney Post was clearedin the shooting death of a neighbor's Labrador mix, ...

Jan 22, 2009 ... According to The Temple Daily Telegram's Harper Scott Clark, Lillie's owner described the shooting this way: She said on the first shot Lillie ran ...

The Temple Daily Telegram is reporting that last night Belton Police Officer Sidney Post was clearedin the shooting death of a neighbor's Labrador mix, ...

Jan 31, 2009 ... The Temple Daily Telegram is reporting that last night Belton Police Officer Sidney Post was clearedin the shooting death of a neighbor's ...