Perception of Corruption and Collusion Looms Over Waller County

Rumor has it that Waller County Commissioner’s Court Judge Glenn Beckendoff is considering resigning from his position as Waller County Judge citing personal reasons. It may be a little too late.

It is reported that Waller County Judge Glenn Beckendoff and County Commissioner Frank Pokluda attended a secret meeting with Green Group Holdings LLC and a Pintail LLC lobbyist ( Ralph Marquez) before officials at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to discuss a deal to sell out the citizens of Waller County for Pintail’s financial gain. The presence of the Pintail lobbyist (rather than Waller County citizens or the law firm of Allison Bass hired by WC ) leaves many Waller County citizens feeling they have no representation. While Beckendorff and Pokluda have said they don’t want the landfill, their actions are not reflecting their words. It seems appears that they are working more closely with the Pintail Landfill.

Frank Pokluda has suggested that he’s no crook! Sound familiar. Pokluda claims that he did not know that the man who accompanied them to the meeting was Pintail’s lobbyist until half way through the meeting. Well, that did not stop Pokluda from meeting with Pintail for a reported seven hours in a subsequent meeting without the public present.

You have to ask: Why was a lobbyist in the meeting and the lobbyist arrange for the meeting? Some have answered: Follow the money.

Commissioner Stan Kitzman stands by his original position against the ordinance, however Commissioner Kitzman say he is not in favor of a dump in Waller County. Kitzman further acknowledges that this is not the right place or time for a landfill in Waller County. Kitzman has expressed disgust and disappointment with the nasty politics, the manner to which some have approached this matter and he is concerned about the perception of improprieties.

So what else has happened?

The Waller County Commissioners Court hired the law firm of Allison Bass and Associated. Mr. Allison spoke the public at the WCCC meeting prior to his engagement about the need to file a lawsuit to enforce the Waller County Landfill siting ordinance( 2011-001) and his firm’s assistance in dealing with the proposed landfill. Allison Bass issued Waller County’s “Request For Determination And Denial Of Permit Application and Registration Application” to the TCEQ. Those who have followed this issue have expected a lawsuit to be filed when timely and continued efforts by the Waller County Commissioner’s Court to oppose the proposed landfill and to protect the citizens they were elected to represent. Instead , the citizens found out that WC Judge Beckendorff and Commissioner Pokluda met for about 7 hours with Pintail attempting to negotiate a Host Agreement. It was certainly not the appropriate time for Waller County to negotiate, but good for Pintail. What was the outcome? Is this what the Allison Bass law firm recommended or simply what these two individuals decided to do? Was this discussed with the other Commissioners and did they approve and have input? Was the timing strategic? Were these two individuals well prepared?Where is the research and documentation? Was there any forum to discuss the Host Agreement and obtain input?

At the Waller County Commissioners’ Court meeting on 11/14/12, Commissioners Styers and Cedillo made a motion to consider passage of a resolution to oppose the Pintail Landfill and enforce the Waller County Landfill Siting Ordinance. Judge Beckendorff, Commissioner Kitzman and Commissioner Pokluda, voted to table the motion because their outside legal counsel, Allison Bass, had not had the time to review the resolution. The resolution was submitted to Commissioner Styers 10 days prior, had been reviewed by Waller County Elton Mathis and presented to Judge Beckendorff 6 or 7 days prior the CC meeting and was distributed to all Commissioners days prior to the CC meeting. Why would they not be prepared to discuss all items that have been placed on the agenda? Could it be that would harm Pintail Landfill if the resolution was passed the day before the TCEQ public meeting? Shouldn’t the public expect more? Is it incompetence, collusion, or corruption?

Obviously there is a lot of dissatisfaction given the number of people who were signing petitions asking for the recall of Judge Beckendorff , and Commissioner Frank Pokluda.

Click HERE for a printable version of this letter.

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