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Greenlee answers to taxpayer-funded trips, bars, strip clubs

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The Ellis County Press

                PALMER–Mike Greenlee’s mayoral past is once again creeping up, this time in his re-election race to the city council.

                Greenlee, one of six candidates running for the May 10 local election, said he has had to face repeated questions about past spending of a city-issued credit card on hotels,restaurants and strip clubs, as well as purchases on guns and ammunition.

                The Ellis County Press “has been known to be the untruthful paper in town,”said Greenlee, one of two incumbents running (Councilmember Joice Price chose not to seek re-election).

    According to hundreds of documents obtained by the ECP, city auditors told Greenlee and the Palmer City Council that “Mr. Greenlee has evidently acknowledged using the city’s charge card for personal reasons.”

    In notations written by former Mayor Wallace Hughley on city auditor documents from the early 90s, one statement read, “Expensive!”

    Greenlee, who served as the city’s mayor in the early 90s,at first denied being issued with a city credit card, but when pressed further,he said “a long, long time ago I had one issued by the city but it wasn’t acity card.”

                The councilman then asked rhetorically, “if these charges were true, why didn’t they prosecute [me]?”

    According to former mayors and councilmen who served with Greenlee, local prosecutors with Joe Grubbs’ office agreed not to pursue legal action in exchange for Greenlee “never running again” and city auditors making arrangements with Greenlee to have the expenses paid back. These allegations were confirmed by a successor to Greenlee and current city council candidates.When reached for comment about the city auditor reports and the receipts, Hughley– one of the former mayors – noted he sports a Greenlee re-election sign in his yard.

                “That was in the past, so why bring it up,” Hughley said. “I’m darn glad he is on the council.” When asked about the local prosecutors’ agreement, Hughley said he was “always misquoted in papers.”

    Greenlee, whose name also appears on the signs with candidates Shannon Conger and Linda Harper, maintained that he “never, ever spent taxpayers’ money” on the items he’s accused of spending money on.

                However, in bank statements and receipts signed by Greenlee to places such as Skaggs All-Star Bowl in Ennis, the receipt lists the account number for the “City of Palmer.” The signature of Sandra Lynch also accompanied certain purchases.

    In a memo dated August 19, 1991, the city auditors listed dozens of “possibly questionable” expenses from a City of Palmer MasterCard.

                Many of the expenses match Greenlee’s credit card receipts. A $154.50 charge on the City of Palmer card was spent at Sugars,a Dallas strip club. A notation written beside the charge makes mention of a“public work.”

                “I've been in city politics for a long time and have always done what's best for the community,” said Greenlee, a member of Palmer’s Fundamental Baptist Church. “It's very difficult to clear your name these days on items that are not factual but continue to be published.” 

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