JASPER, TX (KTRE) - Ever since the Deep EastTexas Council of Governments Regional office in Jasper was raided by FBI officialson Feb. 5, many residents in the 12 county coverage area have been worriedabout services they receive. DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles agreed tosit down with the East Texas News for a one on one interview.
"We encourage thepublic to know what we are doing because we always want to be as transparent aswe can," Diggles said.
Diggles said he was in Austinfor a meeting with other councils, but told staff members to stay calm.
"It was kind of asurprise; not knowing that something like that was coming to the agency,"Diggles said. "My instructions to the staff were to be as corporative andopen to the officials as they come in and do their job," Diggles said.
The FBI has been silent asto what their business was in the office as well as Diggles home and church, buthe tried to answer that question.
"It is my understandingthat they were looking at inner-party transactions that may have someimpropriety," Diggles said.
Diggles added that he is confidentin his employees.
"As far as DETCOG isconcerned and myself, I have full confidence in the operations we have done, bothat the church and at DETCOG that there is no impropriety what so ever."
DETCOG helps residents in12 counties and will distribute $22 million a year to help those in need ofassistance, and will continue despite the investigation.
"It's unfortunateinto the incident that has led to the investigation, but we will go ahead andcomply with what they ask us to do," Diggles said. "At the same time we aregoing to keep serving the general public with the program and services we dohere at DETCOG."
The East Texas Newsreached out to the legal team with DETCOG, but did not receive a response.Katie Chaumont with the FBI field office in Dallas said that at this time thereare no details that can be released.
Diggles said that by lawDETCOG is required to undergo audits by both the state and outside groups sincethe amount of state and federal funding goes beyond the minimum.
On Wednesday, they were actually undergoing aaudit and had more scheduled but those have been put on hold right now.