2017 in Review: Parr pleads no contest, resigns

By Messenger Staff | Published Wednesday, December 27, 2017
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Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wise County Precinct 3 Constable Doug Parr on Aug. 9 pleaded no contest to theft of property greater than $2,500 but less than $30,000 before Judge Roger Towery in the 271st District Court.

It was one of nine felony charges for which he was indicted March 16 and would have faced in a criminal trial Sept. 19.

The other charges – abuse of official capacity and seven counts of tampering with government record defraud/harm, all state jail felonies – were dropped as part of the plea deal offered by District Attorney Greg Lowery. All of the charges related to Parr’s use of a county gas card and county vehicle between April 17, 2013, and June 28, 2016.

Conditions of the deal included Parr paying $7,500 restitution, paying a $1,000 fine, serving four years probation, and serving 40 consecutive days in the Wise County Jail sometime in the next 12 months. Sheriff Lane Akin Tuesday confirmed Parr completed the jail time Oct. 5, after being booked in Aug. 28.

Parr also had to resign as Wise County constable, effective immediately, and within 14 days had to turn over his license with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE). He won’t be able to get another TCOLE license for 30 years.

“By pleading no contest, (Parr’s) not saying he didn’t do it, he’s just not saying anything,” District Attorney Greg Lowery said at the time of the plea deal.

Between the indictment and plea deal, Akin filed a petition for the removal of Parr, a civil case that was dismissed upon Parr’s plea.

County commissioners decided at the end of August not to appoint an interim constable and instead have Precinct 4 reserve constables, sheriff’s deputies and the constables in Precincts 1, 2 and 4, pitch in to serve Precinct 3 papers until someone is elected to the post in 2018.

Four Republican candidates are running in the March 6 primary. They include Charles Applewhite, Cary Mellema, Terry Terry and Tony White. There is no Democratic opponent, so whoever wins the primary will fill what remains of Parr’s unexpired term, which started in January 2017.

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