Wells mayor arrested on perjury, falsifying charges

Photo courtesy of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office
Photo courtesy of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office

RUSK, TX (KTRE) - Wells Mayor Corbitt Doss has bonded out of jail following an arrest for perjury and tampering with a government document charges, Sheriff James Campbell said.

According to Doss, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office contacted him at 5 p.m. Wednesday and told him they had a warrant for his arrest.

Doss says he frustrated and angry about the way some city officials are handling the push to get him out of office.

"I think the people need to know how chicken crap the way they're doing this," said Doss, angrily.

Doss bonded out of jail at 11 a.m. for $3,000, immediately following his arraignment.

Both charges are misdemeanor offenses.

According to the Cherokee County sheriff, the Wells Police Department issued the warrant for Doss' arrest and it was signed by Municipal Judge Forrest Phifer.

KTRE spoke with Cherokee County Attorney Craig Caldwell to find out why the warrants were issued. He released the following statement, " I discussed the situation with Chief Starnes and reviewed the information and reviewed the affadavit by Judge Forrest Phifer. I suggested to the chief he arrest Mr. Doss."

Meanwhile Doss believes his arrest is a case of the chief and city municpal judge taking matters into their own hands.

"They {Wells police chief & Wells city judge} couldn't wait on the district attorney office to make a ruling on this. I'm just trying to serve my community and I'm getting shoved down the crapper over it," Doss adds.

Attempts to reach Police Chief Barry Starnes and Phifer were unsuccessful, as representatives of both offices said they were not working today.

The residents of Wells are still standing behind their mayor.

Wells resident Danny Carter said, "I just think it's something that's vengeful and spiteful, and to me it's a sad situation. "

Another resident and Doss supporter said, "It's a big disappointment that we have these kind of sour grapes, I don't think he should have been arrested. I think he should be able to be our mayor."

Doss said he thinks the arrest was a collaborative effort between Starnes and former mayor Jim Maddux.

Wells City Attorney Robert Flournoy said he was not aware of the arrest and could not comment on it unless he was asked to by the Wells City Council.

Doss found himself in the center of controversy after Maddux brought to light that Doss was a convicted felon.

The state law states a convicted felon may run for public office if they have been "released from the resulting disabilities" of the conviction.

In a previous interview, Doss said he understood that statute to mean he was eligible to run for office since he had served his probation.

In a city council meeting held Monday, Wells City Attorney Robert Flournoy told Doss his only options were to resign or appeal. Doss said he would remain in office and fight the decision.

Doss' current status as mayor following the arrest is unclear. Caldwell said he has been having discussion with Doss' attorney and he hopes to reach a resolution before the next city council meeting.

"There is some time to get that situation clarified," Caldwell said.

Doss said his arrest maybe a knockdown but the fight's not over.

"Any of those who are against me and against the city that are listening, I want them to know we {are not} backing down, ever. So if I have to sit in jail, I guess, I have to sit in jail, but I'm going to defend my seat," Doss said.

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