NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) – For over a week now Bill Plunkett, Nacogdoches County Exposition Center Manager, has been on paid suspension following allegations not in his favor. Those specific allegations have not been released, however, a letter requesting a special prosecutor to review the findings from an internal investigation conducted by Texas Rangers has been drafted.
"I emphasize allegations only. But I think the government has a responsibility to investigate allegations when they're made," said John Fleming, Nacogdoches County Attorney.
Just the mention of special prosecutor is daunting. Fleming says it is wrong to draw conclusions based on who is asked to review the case. "The request for a special prosecutor should not be misinterpreted. It's not a suggestion that there's been any validation to the allegations that have been made. Just so when the investigation is complete a special prosecutor can review those findings to determine whether or not charges, if any, could be pursued."
Plunkett, a retired Houston police officer, is said to be well liked in the community and has widespread respect. Nevertheless, the county has a duty to investigate the allegations. "It's caused some concern within the community that there's impropriety and we want to avoid that appearance," said Fleming.
Meanwhile, the construction continues on an emergency center-convention hall at the expo center. And, several events are scheduled for the next three months, including a circus, motorcycle rally and fair.
So far, no interim manager has been named or deemed necessary. The staff is handling operations in Plunkett's absence.