Goodrich mayor accused of theft, tampering with government records forced to step down

Goodrich mayor accused of theft, tampering with government records forced to step down
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

GOODRICH, TX (KTRE) - After a concerned citizen's attorney filed a motion for partial summary judgment in a pending theft case against, the mayor of Goodrich was forced to step down Monday.

Attorney John Stover, who is representing Earlene Williamson, said he filed a motion of partial summary judgment in the case that asked the court to remove Goodrich Mayor Jeremy Wayne Harper from office.

District Judge David Wilson approved the motion, and it went into effect on Monday, Stover said.

Stover said state law enables an individual to challenge the authority of a person who holds public office.

The Goodrich city attorney has filed a response and objection to the motion. The city attorney argued Harper's felony convictions weren't in the state of Texas.

Authorities in San Jacinto county arrested Harper, 45, on two state-jail felony theft and two state-jail felony tampering with government record charges back in December of 2016 in connection to a Polk County grand jury indictment.

He was released from jail after he posted a collective bail amount of $12,500.

According to the text of the indictment East Texas News obtained Tuesday, Harper is accused of stealing less than $2,500 worth of road base material from the City of Goodrich on April 1.

The theft charges were upgraded to state-jail felonies because Harper was convicted of theft greater than $500 in Louisiana's Natchitoches Parish on June 14, 1999. He was also convicted of issuing a worthless check in Louisiana's Rapides Parish on Dec. 5, 1994.

The indictment for the tampering with a government record charges states that on Feb. 25, 2015, Harper fraudulently stated on his election application that he had not be convicted of a felony on his application. Count Two states that he made a false statement under oath with the application.

"We intend on fighting this tooth and nail, because this is more politically motivated and driven than it is anything," Harper said in a previous East Texas News story.

As for the other two indictments, including lying about felony charges, his attorney will be addressing these questions in court. But for now, his message remains the same.

"I would certainly not do anything to harm this community and these citizens know that and if you talk to those people they will tell you," Harper said. "Good always prevails, and people know my heart here."

The next hearing in Harper's criminal case is scheduled for May 16.

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