Hush Up Little Taxpayers

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Hush little baby is a famous nursery rhyme, but here’s a new twist: the Angelina County Judge who brags about his transparency is mad that you little taxpayers found out about a county cluster and wants you little taxpayers hush up, because the politicians know how to spend your tax money.

“We’ve had tremendous amounts of videos and I’m going to say that Wayne Dolcefino does a great job with his videos,” said Judge Keith Wright.

Thanks Judge Wright!

We love a shout out here at Dolcefino Consulting because it’s great for business.

“Man, I love me some Wayne Dolcefino,” said Melanie Hughes.

You’ve always told me transparency is what you’re all about.

“You can ask anybody that I’ve always told the truth, I’ve always told them to do what’s right in the eyes of the law,” Judge Wright said in an interview.

Great! So, why were you so mad the other day that we showed taxpayers the resume of a public official?

Who cares?

Everyone in Angelina County pays his darn salary.

It should have been public record before he was even hired.

And you even accused County Commissioner Kenneth Jeffrey of being our snitch.

I’ve never met the guy.

“That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. That’s not transparency, Judge,” Commissioner Kenneth Jeffrey said.

“That is transparency,” Judge Wright replied.

“It is not,” Commissioner Jeffrey responded.

“What is wrong? Are you the one giving information out?” Judge Wright asked.

“No. I did not, but I sure talked about it,” Jeffrey answered.

“Did you give his resume out?” Wright asked.

No, but it’s on there. I’m sort of glad it’s out there because that’s transparency,” Jeffrey answered.

It was the resume of James McMullen: the county road administrator who violated state bidding laws trying to buy some used tractors from a company whose owner was a reference on that resume when he got the county job as road boss.

“But, you know not going out for a bid is illegal. Why did you do it?” Reporter Brian Collister asked.

McMullen is part of what amounts to a broken promise to taxpayers.

Who voted years ago to stop county commissioners from picking road projects, thinking a full-fledged engineer would end the obvious political corruption and asphalt favoritism.

McMullen isn’t an engineer, but that wasn’t a secret—even before our big resume leak.

“And then, someone in the county decided they were going to share that information and they sent that information out in order to stir up, I guess, some type of chaos in the county,” Judge Wright said.

The Angelina County Watchdog Group are now asking real tough questions.

“Who was responsible for the road and bridge oversight?” Watchdog Tracy Pinkerton asked the commissioners.

McMullen has been in the county two years and doesn’t even know how to buy stuff.

When we confronted him a few days ago, he was hardly reassuring for a guy who operates a $4.8 million budget.

“Yeah, we’re learning on this as we go along. I’m not a county guy. I’ve never worked for county government,” McMullen told us in an interview.

“Let me tell you something: there an appearance to be a coordinated effort to get rid of the road administrator. They want to get rid of the road administrator because they want to be proven right,” Judge Wright said.

Maybe you folks in and around Lufkin shouldn’t be complaining that more than 70 percent of your roads are poor or very poor.

Judge Wright says it’s like that everywhere in Texas.

“I can take you to 254 counties, that’s how many counties are in this state, and I could show you the same problems. I could show you a drainage problem. I could show you bad roads,” Judge Wright said.

“We’re not talking about roads. We’re talking about tractors, the bidding process,” Commissioner Jeffrey said.

“How many roads have you bid…” Wright asked.

“I’ve driven down 700 miles of county roads,” Jeffrey replied.

“I think he said enough right there,” said Commissioner Kermit Kennedy.

“Okay. I told you I got about half of it,” Judge Wright said.

The tractor bid the county issued to try to clean up the mess, and the cover up of McMullen’s screwup, was finally passed—even though it was wrong too.

So, they’re basically saying, “you folks need to just hush up because the politicians, they really know how best to spend your money.”

“We need to stop being offended and causing chaos in the county. And I would appreciate if you wouldn’t do that,” Judge Wright said to Jeffrey.

Like, questioning how a county commissioner got brand new paved roads around his house right after he switched his testimony in a case.

Other streets in his neighborhood got nothing.

Or, how County Commissioner, Terry Pitts, claimed he used all the asphalt he bought, but only paved half the roads he said he would.

And how records explaining it all just appeared out of nowhere.

That’s why we came to Angelina County in the first place—to kick some asphalt.

“We built 20 miles of road last year. That’s hasn’t been done in 18 years. This next year, our goal is to build 40 miles of road,” Judge Wright said.

But many of those roads aren’t being paved with asphalt anymore.

Are they being paved to last?

Stay tuned…

You’re not the first public official whose accused us of causing chaos.

We’ve been called a lot worse names, like media terrorists.

We’re especially popular with politicians.

“I’m not going to talk to you,” Commissioner Terry Pitts said.

“I’m not going to answer any of your questions, Mr. Dolcefino,” said La Marque Mayor, Keith Bell.

“I don’t have time to fool with you,” Commissioner Terry Pitts said.

Lawyers love us too.

“I think you are a horribly unethical man,” an attorney said.

But it’s helped us really grow our company’s when investigative journalism, to be honest, is dying.

We have tens of thousands of followers on Facebook page and other social media.

And, it’s good to know deep down inside, Judge, you’re a fan too and really want to see more.

“Y’all do a great job. Keep it up. Try to keep Wayne in line,” Judge Wright told us.

That, Judge, well it’s not likely to happen.

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