Wise County Precinct 3 Constable Doug Parr was indicted Thursday on nine counts, including a third degree felony and multiple state jail felonies.
A grand jury indicted Parr of theft of property greater than $2,500 but less than $30,000, a third degree felony; abuse of official capacity greater than $2,500 but less than $30,000, a state jail felony; and seven counts of tampering with government record defraud/harm, state jail felonies. All of the charges relate to Parr’s use of a county gas card and county vehicle between April 17, 2013, and June 28, 2016.
According to the indictments, the theft and abuse of official capacity charges stem from Parr using fuel purchased with his county gas card for “non-governmental purposes.”
The theft charge would normally be a state jail felony but was enhanced because Parr is an elected official. If convicted, the punishment range is two to 10 years in the state penitentiary and a fine up to $10,000.
The punishment range for abuse of official capacity is six months to two years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.
The indictments state Parr tampered with government records by knowingly making false entries in the fuel mileage log for his county vehicle by regularly entering his mileage as “1.”
The dates associated with these actions are April 12, 2014; Aug. 15, 2014; March 24, 2015; Aug. 9, 2015; Dec. 18, 2015; Feb. 12, 2016; and May 24, 2016.
Each count carries potential jail time of six months to two years and a fine up to $10,000.
MONTHS OF QUESTIONS
The Texas Rangers opened an investigation on Parr in the fall of 2016 after questions arose about his workload and related expenses.
According to information obtained by the Messenger through open records requests of multiple county offices last summer, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office served almost all of Precinct 3’s civil papers on behalf of Parr from Jan. 1, 2014, through June 30, 2016.
Of the 271 cases filed in the Precinct 3 court during that time, records indicate Parr served only 35 sets of papers, yet continued using the county gas card, spending $14,045.05. That’s almost $6,000 more in gas than Precinct 4 Constable Kevin Huffman, $10,223.09 more than Precinct 1 Constable Dennis Hudson and $10,324.54 more than Precinct 2 Constable Larry Short spent on gas during the same time frame. During that time, the other three constables served all of their own papers with the sheriff’s office assisting only once in Precinct 1; five times in Precinct 2; and three times in Precinct 4.
Parr’s county charge accounts were frozen in mid-June because he was not coming into the office of county Auditor Ann McCuiston to sign invoices, and he had failed during recent audits to produce several items for Asset Manager Diana Alexander, including a light bar, permanent markings for his vehicle and a GPS unit. The registration was also out on his county vehicle but county Treasurer Katherine Hudson couldn’t renew it because Parr had not produced proof of inspection.
Parr promised fellow county officials he would have the light bar and permanent markings installed while he was on vacation in July, but he did not.
It took several months, but Parr finally took care of everything, leading the county to re-activate his charge accounts on Oct. 14.
In November 2016, he ran unopposed and was elected to a third term in office. Parr has more than 20 years experience in law enforcement, having started his career in Wise County at the Bridgeport Police Department and then serving as a deputy sheriff. He was first elected constable in 2008.
He also worked at Farmers Branch PD, serving as a field training officer, detective, corporal and sergeant.
For more details, read previously published Messenger stories at wcmessenger.com.