Covering Their Asphalt

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We’re on the road Tuesday to Lufkin to join local watchdogs trying to bring transparency to Angelina County. Frustration is growing about the condition of far too many roads after millions has been spent on asphalt.

Bet you’ve never heard of Harley Golden Road, even if you live in Angelina County.

You’ll find it off of Highway 103 on the way east to the Angelina River.

Only a handful of folks even live along this 4.8-mile stretch of country road.

As you drive down, you’ll pass by the Rocky Hill Cemetery. So why are we here?

In a county where 48 percent of the roads are in very poor condition, this freshly paved road of oil, sand, and asphalt piqued our curiosity. Because what they did here wasn’t cheap.

“What we found by looking at expenditures invoices and work orders Angelina County spent as much as $251,000 on the paving on Harley Golden Road,” stated Brian Collister.

With labor we calculate Angelina County taxpayers spent about a half a million dollars here just in the last few months, on one country road.

But wait a minute, of all the roads that desperately need help in Angelina County, why was Harley Golden Road chosen?

That should be a real easy question for the guy taxpayers pay to run the roads.

“Mr. Dolcefino if you have any questions, I suggest you call Keith Wright, he’s the county judge. He can answer any questions that you have,” said James McMullen.

The county judge says Harley Golden was one of the roads damaged by an oil company. They paid 300,000 in damages, but we don’t know how much of that if anything was damage to Harley Golden.

But we are still going to kick some of our own asphalt, shall we?

In the recently released 80,000 dollar Angelina County road report, Harley Golden was rated mostly poor or very poor, except for a small stretch of just 600 feet of asphalt rated fair. Which isn’t good either.

But that’s weird, because just three years ago, June 2020 in fact Angelina County Commissioner Terry Pitts told taxpayers he was going to spend 190,000 dollars in borrowed money for asphalt to pave 3.2 miles of Harley Golden Road.

With labor that’s about 400,000 dollars put on the road back then.

In fact, Harley golden was the very first road Commissioner Terry Pitts chose to pave over.

So, why would a county in such bad shape spend more money repaving a road they just recently paved?

“No doubt about it. Why in the world would they have come back and put that much more asphalt reworked that they done three years supposedly before?  The only reason was to hide the first work that was done,” said Bob Flournoy.

District attorney Janet Cassels has ignored Angelina’s asphalt anomalies, but we went back to those 2020 Harley Golden records.

“Back in 2020, they spent as much as 191,000 dollars to pave that road,” stated Brian Collister.

That means in three years more than 880,000 dollars has been spent on this one little country road.

That’s if you believe all the asphalt Commissioner Pitts claimed he put here, really was put here. Flournoy doesn’t.

“It was pretty obvious to everyone who looked at it, included the engineer that he did not put 190000 worth of asphalt on that road,” said Flournoy.

When the former Angelina County engineer measured the work on Harley Golden Road after that first paving job, he measured just 1.6 miles of road done, about half. But all the asphalt bought was gone.

Angelina County officials clearly don’t want to explain where all the asphalt has gone and that has only fueled the growing public distrust.

A local watchdog group is holding a town hall at the Pister Garrison Civic Center.

Expect the Harley Golden Road mystery to be front and center.

“Now this really is a smoking gun. It tells the whole story of incompetence, of corruption, of coverup and its all locked in the 4.8 miles of road,” expressed Flournoy.

The D.A. might learn something at that town hall, but she’s been busy getting ready for trial.

There was tons of public reaction when we detailed the 938 felony cases pending in Angelina County.

Among them the murder case against Christopher Marriott, charged with cutting his wife’s throat fifteen long months ago.

Her brother reacted to our investigation on Facebook.

“The evidence is overwhelming as he butchered her,” wrote Bobby Walker on Facebook.

No, Janet Cassels won’t be bringing accused murderers to trial. Janet Cassels has been getting ready to prosecute another political enemy, for a class C misdemeanor violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act.

“This sure looks like a case where the local D.A. may have to used the Rangers for a political investigation,” said Wayne Dolcefino.

 “Oh, I think that’s absolutely correct,” responded Rodney Paulett.  Do you think that’s what happening Rodney. Yes, I certainly do))

Former Angelina County Commissioner Rodney Paulette wants a jury trial, the D.A. has identified 32 potential witnesses.

But at the last minute that case has been postponed by the D.A.

Former county judge Don Lymbery was found guilty of one misdemeanor count by a visiting judge, but maybe he doesn’t know that none of the rare criminal convictions has ever survived appeal.

“Why is this case go on trial and is a criminal case.? It’s just mind boggling to me and I’m sad about it,” expressed Flournoy.

Flournoy says this is really about asphalt. Every single public official prosecuted by Cassels in the last two years wanted to end the days when asphalt could be used by a county commissioner to pay favors.

We looked to see if that’s why Harley Golden Road was so important to Commissioner Pitts that it was the first road, he paved three years ago.

We found the property of a big personal injury attorney Mike Love and a lot of land owned by the Golden family. The local constable Chad Wilson was married to a granddaughter.

They paved over Harley Golden Road, but we’d like to dig deeper. Bob Flournoy smells a rat.

“What you know we call in the law of spoilation which is destruction of evidence, and that’s what they were doing no doubt about it,” concluded Flournoy.

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