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The district clerks’ indictments were announced yesterday at 5:00 PM. The Collin County Observer is linking the indictments and the details of the charges as follows:
Hannah Kunkle, the former District Clerk who retired last December after 33 years with the county. She has been indicted on two counts.
The first charge is of “Abuse of Office”. The grand jury has detailed the charge as:
“between on or about December 15, 2009 and/or about June 3, 2010… Hannah Kunkle, being a public servant, to wit, the elected District Clerk of Collin County, did then and there, with intent to obtain a benefit, namely services and labor in support of the campaign of the elected office of Collin County District Clerk of Patricia Crigger, and to defraud another, namely the public and the Collin County Commissioners Court, did intentionally and knowingly misuse government property, services and personnel, of an aggregate value of $20,000 or more, by engaging in an constituting an ongoing scheme and the course of contact in which employees of the Collin County District Clerk’s Office were awarded time off from their employment, known as quote “‘Blue Book’ Time”, in return for engaging in campaigning activities on behalf of Patricia Crigger's … in violation of section 39.02(a)(2) of the Penal Code.”
This charge is a 3rd degree felony, which can result in no less than 2 years and not more than 10 years in the Texas Prison and may also include a fine up to $10,000.
In the second count against Hannah Kunkle, the grand jury charged,
“between on or above December 15, 2009 and or about January, 2010, and before the presentation of this indictment, in the County of Collin, State of Texas, Hannah Kunkle, a public servant, named the elected District Clerk of Collin County, with the intent of a felony be committed, did enter into an agreement with one or more of Patricia Crigger, Rebecca “Becky” Littrell, and Sherry Bell, all of whom were public servants at the time… in violation of section 15.02(a) of the Texas Penal Code.”
This second count is of a “Criminal Conspiracy”. The second charge is a state jail felony which calls for a punishment in confinement in a state jail for no less than 180 days and no more than 2 years that could add a $10,000 fine.
The elected District Clerk Patricia Crigger and Chief Deputy District Clerk Rebecca Littrell were indicted on the same two charges with Hannah Kunkle.
Clerk Sherry Bell was also indicted, but only on an alleged conspiracy along with Kunkle, Crigger and Littrell.
The grand jury itemized specific alleged conspiracy acts caused by the four defendants:
- That Hannah Kunkle authorized the ‘Blue Book’ to grant paid time off used in return for engaging in campaigning activities for Crigger's campaign.
- That Patricia Crigger authorized Rebecca Littrell to grant time used by the ‘Blue Book’ for activities for Crigger's campaign.
- That Crigger and Littrell held campaign organization meetings during county hours.
- That Kunkle, Crigger, Littrell and Bell encouraged District Clerk’s employees to engage in campaigning on Crigger's campaign and were told to expect ‘Blue Book’ time in return for campaigning.
- Rebecca Littrell maintained records of Crigger's campaign activities of District Clerk employees.
- Littrell maintained the records of the ‘Blue Book’ time granted to employees in return for campaigning for Crigger.
- Sherry Bell maintained records of campaign activities for Crigger's election campaign by employees of the District Clerks office.
- Sherry Bell transmitted lists of polling employees to Littrell for the Crigger's campaign.
- Sherry Bell coordinated the schedules of District Clerk employees for facilitating the employees campaign activities.
- Littrell transmitted a “Crigger walk list” to Sherry Bell and that Littrell created the ‘precincts.xls’ document on her company computer for the campaign.
Arrest warrants for Kunkle, Crigger, Littrell and Bell were delivered today to the Sheriff’s Department. No court hearings have been posted on the county website. The Collin County Observer is posting the indictments of the District Clerk’s defendants below.
Dismissal, Patricia Crigger that dismissed older charges three weeks before the new indictments.
Indictment, Hannah Kunkle, former elected District Clerk
Indictment, Patricia Crigger, current elected District Clerk
Indictment, Rebecca "Becky" Littrell, appointed Chief Deputy District Clerk
Indictment, Sherry Bell, employee of the District Clerk's office
"The District Attorney, John Roach, is using exactly the same type of duplicate books as Kunkle's, instead calling it "High-Five." The same allegation - falsifying official documents - could potentially be applied to this program as well."
Call me if you'd like to do more about Collin County Corruption other than just talking about it.
Part of the strategy in many cases like this is to drag the case out over a period of years. Then when it finally does come to trial, it's been so long ago that the public don't care any more and the notion of prosecution looks more like a vendetta that the pursuit of justice which it really is.
Thanks again, Bill. Keep reminding us.
We should remember that this is the third indictment against these people. The first two fell apart as having no basis. Perhaps this one will also. It is clear the game is to keep getting indictments until something sticks. That is an abuse of power to which we are all vulnerable and against which none of us are safe.
We also have the issue that what the district clerks have been charged with, some incumbent judges have also done. That certainly is mitigating and ought to be brought forth.
"We also have the issue that what the district clerks have been charged with, some incumbent judges have also done. That certainly is mitigating and ought to be brought forth."
Sounds like, let us go play in the road, every one else is doing it. No Judge was caught, that I know of. If you dance , you got to pay the fiddler. Once caught just say other did it or have done it. That is a get off free pass. Right?? LOL
Documents and the nature of the suit are here: http://www.elliscountyobserver.com/2011/07/17/rico-lawsuit-filed-against-county-district-clerks-assoc-of-texas/
Joey G. Dauben
The Ellis County Observer
(no relation, other than name)
Bill does one exist .?
SHE POSTED BOND,,WARRANT EXECUTED
HANNAH KUNKLE had first appearance in court alrready.
WHY ARE YOU NOT KEEPING UP WITH THIS CASE???????/
The Observer replies
It is indeed odd that there is no mug shot in the District clerk's files.
I think you will see a story in a day or so.
I have been ill, and in treatment. Right now writing is very difficult, but only difficult... so articles happen, but slowly. I am sorry for the dearth of posts.
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