LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Multiple witnesses were brought to the stand today in the federal government's case against former Director for the Deep East Texas Council of Government -- Walter Diggles along with his wife and daughter.
A 2015 indictment was brought against the Diggle's on the accusation that HE conspired to funnel money from the federal government, through DETCOG, and into the church that Diggles was currently leading.
Due to the type of case we're dealing with, questions asked of witnesses today dealt heavily WITH financial SPECIFICS.
Two of the witnesses employed by DETCOG recounted events that caused them to be in need of money.
In both cases, DETCOG used funds from the Social Services Block Grant to supply these people with money.
Attorney representing the U.S. government pointed out that both applications for funds didn't fit with the usual targeting for the grant.
One of those witnesses, Danielle Sells, also applied for money for her trucking business to buy a new vehicle.The request was made through the Deep East Texas Foundation. She received $10,000.
In the request to DETCOG, the foundation asked for thirty thousand dollars worth of money for a job creation program, that was not backed up with evidence of the program and was not asked for or received by Sells.
Another two witnesses were questioned as to their time as paid employees at the foundation's 21st Century Learning program. The U.S. government's attorney focused on the amount of money these two employees were paid, to which they responded ten dollars an hour.
But, the foundation would ask DETCOG for teaching salaries that added up to $44 an hour.
The trial is expected to last at least through the rest of the week.