Former Angelina County road engineer indicted for offenses while employed with City of Lufkin

An Angelina County grand jury has indicted the former county road engineer for alleged offenses during his time as a City of Lufkin employee.
Published: Oct. 20, 2022 at 11:57 AM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - An Angelina County grand jury has indicted the former county road engineer for alleged offenses during his time as a City of Lufkin employee.

Online judicial records show Charles Norman Walker Jr., 53, of Lufkin, is charged with misapplication of fiduciary property and theft of property. He was indicted on Oct. 13.

Walker has other criminal charges pending from his time as road engineer with the county. Walker filed a lawsuit on June 3, alleging he was wrongfully fired after he reported criminal behavior by Pct. 3 Commissioner Terry Pitts.

Before he was hired as unit road engineer in October 2021, Walker was employed with the City of Lufkin and was fired in November of 2020.

KTRE received documents on disciplinary actions against Walker after submitting an open records request to the City of Lufkin.

The misapplication charge lists offense dates of Jan. 14 to Nov. 16, 2020. According to Walker’s termination letter, Walker used city funds to pay Lufkin Aftermarket Solutions, which was a company owned by Walker.

Lufkin Police Cpl. Kevin Jackson wrote in a memo he was asked to investigate multiple invoices from the street department showing funds paid to Lufkin Aftermarket Solutions. Jackson writes he learned Walker was possibly associated with the company.

“Charles welcomed me into his office and spoke with me freely. I asked Charles to verify the information I obtained from the Comptroller’s office and Charles said all the information was correct. When I questioned Charles about obtaining three written bids for the separate invoices, Charles could not provide them to me. I specifically pointed out the invoice on 11/16/2020, P.O. 36582 for $4,248, billed by Lufkin Aftermarket Solutions LLC. Charles told me he called around and got prices to places like contractor supplies, but ultimately ended up going with Lufkin Aftermarket Solutions LLC because they were lower. Charles showed me an Excel spreadsheet that had several different numbers spread about the page, but no names or organization to them. The title of the Excel sheet was not labeled. While Charles was trying to explain to me how he went about calling other places, Charles was typing in ‘contractor supplies’ into the Excel spreadsheet. I stopped Charles and told him he did not need to populate the Excel fields now, given the invoices had already been generated and processed.

I questioned Charles about his involvement and affiliation with Lufkin Aftermarket Solutions LLC. Charles said he “worked with those guys”. I asked Charles who the guys he was referring to was and he named [Redacted]. Charles spoke about working at Lufkin Industries with them in the past. I specifically asked Charles again what his affiliation with Lufkin Aftermarket Solutions LLC was and Charles said he was an “owner or part owner in the company”. I asked Charles if he profited from the business and Charles said at this point there is no profit being made in the company, rather staying afloat during the oil/energy crisis. I asked Charles if the money coming in from the City of Lufkin, specifically the invoices he approved, were benefiting the company he owned. Charles said ‘yes sir’. I asked Charles if he cashed checks, deposited checks, or was affiliated with the financial accounting aspect of the company. Charles said he does deposit, cash, and is listed on the Commercial Bank of Texas account for the company. I asked Charles if he was listed on the tax permit for the company. Charles said he did not know if he was or not. I told Charles, according to the Comptroller’s PIR, he was listed.”

The theft charge states Walker stole dirt from the lufkin Economic Development Corporation on June 10, 2020.

In a memo from June 2020, Arnold states Walker had dirt and clay removed from a Lufkin Economic Development Corporation-owned property on State Highway 103 east of Lufkin, commonly referred to as “the race track.” The dirt and clay were hauled to repair seepage from the Ellen Trout Lake dam. Walker admitted to removing clay from the property and at first estimated the total number of loads to be between 20 and 30. Walker at first denied the removal affected the value of the property. Walker later estimated $2,100 worth of dirt was removed from the track.

A few days later, Arnold says Walker increased his estimate to 100 loads.

“I asked about the significant difference between the two estimates and Mr. Walker insinuated he was misinformed. As a result, I requested Mr. Walker refer to the daily driver logs for an accurate number. Upon arrival at Mr. Walker’s office, I was provided with a handwritten tally sheet indicating that over the course of four days, his staff transported 149 loads, therefor removing 2,016 cubic yards of dirt and clay. I estimate the total to be worth $18,748.80 to the Lufkin Economic Development Corporation.”

In the memo, Arnold again uses bulletpoints to describe the trouble of the incident.

“Removal of the dirt and clay without permission is theft,” Arnold wrote.

Arnold wrote he was instructing Walker to use funds within his department to pay LEDC a fair market price for the dirt.