Walter Diggles continues his second day on the stand - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Walter Diggles continues his second day on the stand

Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff Source: KTRE Staff

Walter Diggles continued his witness testimony Wednesday, with the examination beginning with his defense attorney, Ryan Gertz.

Gertz started by asking multiple questions, pertaining to the search of Diggles’ office at the Deep East Texas Council of Governments, his office at the Lighthouse Church of God in Christ, and his home.

“How did it feel to have strangers in your home?” Gertz said.

The prosecution objected to this question, saying that the question was irrelevant to the case. Judge Ron Clark agreed with the prosecution, and asked Gertz to rephrase his question. Gertz, instead changed his line of questioning.

The new line of questioning focused on  Walter Diggles' belief, and practices related to that belief, that any money awarded to a group for performing a service is then their business and can be used in whatever way they see fit. 

Rosie Diggles’ attorney questioned Walter Diggles next, concerning the amount of money she had spent on a women’s ministry, called Heart to Heart, using a Chase card. It was mentioned that she also used this card for personal expenditures.

Then, Anita Diggles’ attorney questioned Walter Diggles. He asked Walter Diggles if, as the director of the Deep East Texas Foundation, he knew if there were any other people who examined the reimbursement packets, before they were sent to DETCOG. Walter Diggles replied that there were many people who examined the packets.

Anita Diggles' attorney also asked Walter Diggles whether his daughter had been injured while working at the 21st Century Learning Center. He responded that she had, and the initial injury turned into a lasting condition. Walter Diggles said that she was given money, from the learning center, through the foundation, to pay for the medical expenses. 

The U.S. government’s attorney then cross-examined Walter Diggles. They brought up a memo from Walter Diggles to R.C. Horn, the previous president of the foundation. The memo pertained to funds from the Social Services Block Grant, given to the foundation, through DETCOG. Walter Diggles, in the memo, was advising Horn on how to use the funds.

The prosecution then questioned Walter Diggles as to whether or not he had hired a man named Harold Caully. Caully had testified the previous day, regarding his employment at DETCOG, and his volunteer work at the foundation. He said that Diggles had hired him, to which Walter Diggles replied in court Wednesday that he hadn’t.

“I guess he assumed I hired him,” Walter Diggles said. “People assume a lot of things about me.”

The government also brought up a document from the Texas Health and Human Services that, the day before, Walter Diggles had testified to having relied on, while using the money from the SSBG. In that document, it states that fixed rates can only be enacted for a vendor, if that vendor has shown that they’re actual cost is close to the cost they are requesting.

Last week, two witnesses were questioned as to their time as paid volunteers 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 $10 an hour.

But, the foundation would ask DETCOG for teaching salaries that added up to $44 an hour. 

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