Parr pleads no contest, resigns

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By Kristen Tribe

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 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.
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.
“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.
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.
Lowery said the conditions of the plea are more severe than what he would normally offer a citizen who is a first-time offender charged with the same crime because as an elected official, Parr is held to a higher standard.
“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.”
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.
Judge Roger Towery presided over Wednesday’s hearing.
Read more in the weekend Messenger on newsstands Saturday.

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