LIVINGSTON, TX (KTRE) - After he pleaded guilty to a tampering with a government record charge Monday morning, former Goodrich mayor Jeremy Wayne Harper was sentenced to five years of probation.
Polk County District Attorney William Lee Hon said that Harper pleaded guilty to the state-jail felony tampering with a government record charge in Judge Tom Brown's 411th Judicial District Court. Brown sentenced Harper to five years of community supervision, or probation.
"The takeaway from this unfortunate situation involving former mayor Harper is that we expect public servants to be transparent and accountable in their actions," Hon said. "The public has a right to expect honesty and integrity on the part of their elected officials. The citizens of Goodrich are certainly entitled to that."
If Harper violates the conditions of his probation, he could face a two-year term in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice state jail facility. He will also have to pay a $2,000 fine and perform 120 hours of community service.
Hon said the charge against Harper stemmed from a sworn statement he made on his 2015 application for a place on the Goodrich mayoral election ballot. Harper swore under oath that he had never been convicted of a felony offense, Hon said.
However, during a 2016 investigation by the Polk County Sheriff's Office that Harper was using electricity from the Goodrich City Hall in conjunction with the construction of his home, investigators discovered that Harper had been convicted of a felony worthless check charge in Rapides Parish, Louisiana, in 1994, and felony theft of greater than $500 in Natchitoches, Louisiana, in 1997, Hon said.
In the press release, Hon also said that Harper had obtained water and sewage services at his home without paying the required installation fee.
"The Sheriff's Department investigation also led to an allegation that Harper, in his official capacity as mayor, had caused road materials belonging to the City of Goodrich to be delivered to a private driveway," the press release stated.