Angelina County Judge Lymbery says county business wasn’t part of discussion under investigation
LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - “This thing has just been blown completely out of proportion,” Lymbery said.
The Texas Rangers are investigating Angelina County Judge Don Lymbery and Commissioners Rodney Paulette and Steve Smith for the meeting held August 9th in Lymbery’s office. Lymbery said a person from his office sent in a tip about the meeting, which led the district attorney’s office to file a complaint to the Texas Rangers.
“Oh I was shocked. There was absolutely nothing… I would never ever ever violate the trust for this office and I know the rules. And in my way of looking at the rules the way they’re written we had not violated anything because I explained to them that there would be no county business discussed while I was in here,” Lymbery said.
A spokesperson with the Texas Rangers said they’re examining whether the meeting was in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act. The act states that a quorum is defined as a simple majority of members in a governmental body.
“There was nothing there there was no violation but their job as with the da is once a complaint is filed you have to follow up on it. What really shocked me is this all went on in the office here and that the other commissioners were walking around in the hallway…congratulating the new commissioner that had just been sworn in,” Lymbery said.
Lymbery said Tuesday’s Commissioner’s meeting was moved because of preparations for the upcoming election. The meeting could not be streamed due to the lack of technological equipment but was still open to the public. Notes regarding meeting information were recorded and posted to the Angelina County website.
“My commissioner court has been the most open commissioner court that we’ve ever had. Don’t forget I’m the judge that got the public forum added back to the commissioner’s court after it’d been taken out for a number of years. I was always against removing that public form but the public form is still in there,” Lymbery said.
Lymbery said he was not present part of the meeting and had to leave for an interview. He said the door was open and that he allowed the new sworn in commissioner to use his office since their office was not ready yet.
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