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Parr pleads no contest, resigns

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, August 12, 2017
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A Cutting Deal

A CUTTING DEAL – Doug Parr waits for his hearing to begin Wednesday in the 271st District Court. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Wise County Precinct 3 Constable Doug Parr Wednesday afternoon 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 he faced in a criminal case set to go to trial Sept. 19.

Doug Parr

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.

“I personally did not have an objection to him pleading no contest [as opposed to pleading guilty] if it helped move the case in that I knew what the final result would be anyway,” Lowery said. “We spoke with Judge Towery, and he was amenable to doing a no contest so that’s what we did.”

Parr’s attorney, Mike Carrillo, chose not to comment on the case.

Conditions of the deal include 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.

He also had to resign as Wise County constable, effective immediately and within 14 days must 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,” Lowery said.

Because Parr pleaded no contest, stipulations outlining evidence in the case had to be presented to the judge.

“Since he’s not saying ‘I’m guilty,’ the judge has to have some evidence,” Lowery said. “The judge looks at the stipulations, and if there’s enough evidence to find you guilty,” it results in the deferred adjudication.

Court Proceedings

COURT PROCEEDINGS – Doug Parr and his team of attorneys stand before Judge Roger Towery Wednesday in the 271st District Court. Parr pleaded no contest to a theft charge. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Parr signed paperwork that stated the following:

“I stipulate that on or about April 17, 2013, I received a Ford F-150, 8-cylinder, 5-liter gasoline-powered engine, 6-speed transmission vehicle owned by Wise County for the purpose of performing county business.”

The stipulations note that the odometer reading on the pickup was 3 miles when Parr received it, and then it outlines a handful of inspections when the mileage was documented.

They include:

  • May 17, 2014 – 4,317 miles, Karl Klement Ford
  • April 7, 2015 – 8,235 miles, H-3 Oil Pad
  • June 24, 2015 – 9,031 miles, James Woods Body Repair Shop
  • March 17, 2016 – 11,228 miles, James Woods Maintenance Shop
  • June 28, 2016 – 11,584 miles, H-3 Oil Pad

The statement continues: “I stipulate if Ann McCuiston, Wise County auditor, was called to testify as a witness at my trial, she would testify that I used the county gas card between April 17, 2013, and June 28, 2016, to purchase a total of 6,269.42 gallons of gas for a total cost of $17,945.80.

“A total of 11,581 miles divided by 6,269.42 gallons of gas equals 1.847 miles per gallon. The U.S. Department of Energy reports the Ford F-150’s … combined city/highway miles per gallon is 17.”

The stipulation says McCuiston would also testify that on June 9, 2015, “I purchased 30.17 gallons of diesel and on Aug. 9, 2015, I purchased 32.78 gallons of diesel. These purchases were made with a county gas card.”

Parr’s county-issued pickup does not use diesel. It uses regular, unleaded gasoline.

The final stipulation outlined how little work Parr did during the same time period in which he made the gasoline purchases in question.

“I stipulate if Lane Akin, Wise County sheriff, was called to testify … he would testify that between Jan. 1, 2014, and June 30, 2016, 271 cases requiring my service as constable were filed in Precinct 3 and that the sheriff’s office had served 236 sets of papers out of Precinct 3 on my behalf during that same time period.

“Thus, 35 sets of papers were possibly served by me during said time period.”

Parr was re-elected to another four-year term in November 2016 and was indicted on felony charges in March 2017. Lowery said the conditions of Parr’s plea are more severe than what he would normally offer a citizen who is a first-time offender charged with the same crime.

“The plea offer was more harsh than what we would offer a citizen because he’s a public servant,” Lowery said. “When he took office, he told the people he would look after their best interest, and he didn’t.

“When a thief steals a four-wheeler from your barn, they never promised to take care of your things,” Lowery said. “That’s why this is worse. When he took the oath of office, he made a promise.”

Lowery said Parr’s crime will be considered a “prior bad act” and will not prevent him from running for office in the future.

Next week county commissioners will begin the process to name his replacement. The agenda for Monday’s meeting includes formally accepting Parr’s resignation and discussing the appointment process.

The interim constable will serve until someone is elected in 2018 to serve the remainder of Parr’s unexpired term.

2 Responses to “Parr pleads no contest, resigns”

  1. Well, well! Seems like Wednesday was a “blue-plate” special for Doug Parr. Here we have an elected official, Precinct 3 Constable, who had to resign; who did not have to admit guilt; and who will only serve a little over a month in county jail having nine (9) felony charges against him. However, courts are now a business entity which allow the defendant what’s called a plea bargain -and what a bargain he’s getting! Not only that, the District Attorney states Parr’s crime is considered a “prior bad act” and he will not be prevented from running for office in the future, maybe even District Attorney. Now, that’s what I call “justice”.

  2. Laura Valero says:

    I am sorry to say the system has failed us once again…By being so lenient to an elected official Precinct 3 Constable. WHO swore to protect the public interest… What a JOKE!

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