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Accusations still rife in Palmer

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Council votes to request an investigation by the Texas Rangers
Mark Varsel
The Ellis County Press
PALMER - Accusations of all sorts are running rampant inside and outside of Palmer City Hall.

Item four on last week's specially called meeting agenda stated, 'Discussion and possible action regarding contacting the District Attorney requesting the Texas Rangers for review of City Operations'.

This comes on the heels of last month's investigation of Police Chief Scott Lynch, who sat conspicuously in the audience wearing civilian clothes.

Also absent from the gallery was the City Attorney, Larry Jackson.

'Mr. Jackson makes all the council meetings. It's quite unusual, considering the extreme nature of the agenda that legal counsel would not be present. You would think that the council would want to seek the advice from its attorney on any matter as dire as the allegations being levied here,' remarked former mayoral candidate Greg Penny.

Also absent from the agenda was the public forum. An open invitation for the public to openly address city council was removed under Mayor Mike Greenlee, only to be restored under the mayoral administration of Don Huskins.

'If this is any indication of precedence, Mayor Lance Anglin does not wish to hear from his constituents, either,' remarked former Councilwoman Carol Moore.

Although lacking an invitation to speak, some citizens were heard. Former Councilman John Hancock spoke up saying, 'Like Mr. Vick and Mr. Bateman (Councilman Jeff Vick and Kenneth Bateman) we're tired of it. Every meeting you're going after someone. It's not what anybody up there was elected to do.'

Local resident Jim Bradley criticized council for its repeated lack of response to citizen's inquiries saying, 'Council doesn't explain (its actions).'

Anglin committed to be more forthright and responsive in the future, apologizing for his oversight in this regard.

Local businessman Charles Landrith was ejected from the meeting for speaking without being duly recognized.

Councilman Jeff Vick and Mike Greenlee both admonished Landrith for speaking because 'he doesn't even live within the city limits.'

This was quite an unusual position for council to take considering the lengths to which the city has gone in recent years to extend its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction for miles into the surrounding countryside, giving many non-residents an interest in the future development of the city, considering one day they may well be Palmer residents, explained a resident of Palmer, a person who was a staunch advocate for expanding Palmer's boundaries.

Regarding the accusation about specific wrongdoing within city operations, neither the mayor, nor council, had much to offer in the way of additional information.

Councilman Mike Greenlee would only say, 'There is evidence.'

When put to a vote, Vick and Bateman both voted

Councilwoman Joice Price abstained, saying, 'All I have is hearsay, and I'd like to know why we're doing it'.

Greenlee and Councilwoman Dianne Drewery both voted 'Yes', causing a tie.

At which point, Anglin cast the deciding vote in favor of appealing to the District Attorney to have city operations investigated by the Texas Rangers.

No timeframe was given as to when this might occur.

The district attorney's office has declined such an invitation in the past due to the absence of compelling evidence.

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