More Details Emerging On Smith County Theft Case - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

06/10/08 - Tyler

More Details Emerging On Smith County Theft Case

KLTV 7 has new details on two Smith County road and bridge workers, now facing criminal charges.

Roderic Edwards and Ronald Williams bonded out of jail overnight. They're each charged with misdemeanor theft and abuse of official capacity. Both Edwards and Williams had only worked for the county for less than a year.

Judge Joel Baker told KLTV 7's Danielle Capper that officials first heard of the alleged incident on Friday. A citizen in the Jackson Heights area called, saying that two workers in a marked county vehicle were doing patch work in the area. She believed they were being paid to dump the county's asphalt on her neighbor's driveway.

Under county regulations, the men are required to use any extra materials they have after a job for other county roads in the area, something the road and bridge administrator says takes just a few minutes to find.

Judge Baker told KLTV 7 that this case is not so much about the materials improperly used, but the precedent that any theft of county property will not be tolerated.

"It was on county time, using county equipment, using county labor and using county materials...The cost was around $500, but we want to send a message that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated. While we hope this is an isolated incident we are still investigating. We would ask any citizens who are aware of incidents like this to contact the sheriff's department."

KLTV 7 found out today that both former employees had criminal histories: Edwards for an assault causing bodily injury charge and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and Williams with 3 DWI charges and a failure to report to a police officer charge.

Judge Baker also said that in light of the criminal histories, the court may consider changing the county's hiring policy so that background checks are required.

Danielle Capper / dcapper@kltv.com

 

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