Wells mayor arrested on perjury, falsifying charges

RUSK, TX (KTRE) - Wells Mayor Corbitt Doss has bonded out of jail following an arrest for perjury and tampering with a government document charges, Sheriff James Campbell said.

According to Doss, the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office contacted him at 5 p.m. Wednesday and told him they had a warrant for his arrest.

Doss bonded out of jail at 11 a.m. for $3,000, immediately following his arraignment.

Both charges are misdemeanor offenses.

According to the Cherokee County sheriff, the Wells Police Department issued the warrant for Doss' arrest and it was signed by Municipal Judge Forrest Phifer.

Cherokee County Attorney Craig Caldwell said he reviewed the situation with Police Chief Barry Starnes and he also looked at the affidavit.

"I suggested to the chief he arrest Mr. Doss," Caldwell said.

Attempts to reach Police Chief Barry Starnes and Phifer were unsuccessful, as representatives of both offices said they were not working today.

Prior to being booked in jail, Doss said in a telephone interview he was "nervous and pissed off."

In an interview after the arrest, Doss said he was very angry with Starnes, saying he should have waited for the district attorney's office to make a decision on the investigation.

He said he thinks the arrest was a collaborative effort between Starnes and former mayor Jim Maddux.

Wells City Attorney Robert Flournoy said he was not aware of the arrest and could not comment on it unless he was asked to by the Wells City Council.

Doss found himself in the center of controversy after Maddux brought to light that Doss was a convicted felon.

The state law states a convicted felon may run for public office if they have been "released from the resulting disabilities" of the conviction.

In a previous interview, Doss said he understood that statute to mean he was eligible to run for office since he had served his probation.

In a city council meeting held Monday, Wells City Attorney Robert Flournoy told Doss his only options were to resign or appeal. Doss said he would remain in office and fight the decision.

Doss' current status as mayor following the arrest is unclear. Caldwell said he has been having discussion with Doss' attorney and he hopes to reach a resolution before the next city council meeting.

"There is some time to get that situation clarified," Caldwell said.

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