Confirmed victory

Vote to further investigate the PEDC on misuse and mis-managed taxpayer money using an entity with subopena powers, and no conflicts of interest

This petition made change with 37 supporters!

Recently, the Paris Economic Development Commitee was investigated by Defenbaugh & Associates, Inc. for inappropriate and inproper practices. A report was given by Danny Defenbaugh, and through much debate, the comittee decided it would not take any further action on the matter. However, the report specifically states:


"Every indication of fraud, definite waste, and definite abuse were found during the investigation. Sloppy and inaccurate bookkeeping, negligence, poor business practices and possible ethics violations as well as potentially fraudulent type activities associated with a number of the above projects abound. Errors and improper record keeping including negligent accounting of funds, splitting expenditures into more than one account, or omitting from recordation into the proper designated account have resulted in the PEDC financial records to be of no intrinsic value in evaluating the effectiveness or efficiency of PEDC operations. Excel spreadsheets did not have simple summations or end values to assist in error identification/correction. Bookkeeping errors gave every appearance that the PEDC, a 4A development corporation, was gifting public funds in direct violation of the Texas Attorney General's Opinion 97-061. Lack of fiscal oversight and the lack of having policies and procedures in place regarding expenditures, and the tracking thereof, have resulted in the PEDC staff utilizing Type A sales tax proceeds for what appears to be no legitimate purpose with regard to economic development activities as provided by the Development Corporation act of 1979. PEDC has negligently failed to maintain clear and separate funding of various projects as mandated by grants or Type A tax proceeds and they have intentionally or fraudulently comingled these funds."


There are many concerned citizens of Paris that would like to see a vote by the city council to pursue further investigation by a group with subopena powers, that does not have a conflict of interest (i.e. the D.A.), and for individuals to be cited for their misuse of taxpayer funds and fraudulent waste. This petition is calling upon Benny Plata to take into consideration his district's desires when voting. Benny Plata is the district council member for District 3. Please encourage your district to do the same. If you would like to email your concerns to your city council member, please do not hesitate. Below you will find a link to a map that indicates who your city council member is:


 and their email's are as follows:


District 1- Aaron Jenkins:


District 2- Billie Sue Lancaster:


District 3- Benny Plata:


District 4- Dr. Richard Grossnickle Mayor Pro Tem:


District 5- Matt Frierson -Mayor:


District 6- Edwin Pickle:


District 7-Dr. Arjumand Hashmi:


By signing this petition, you are asking Benny Plata to please vote YES when asked if this matter should be further investigated and action be taken upon those that misued or mis-managed taxpayer money.

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Latrel Smith needs your help with “Benny Plata (City Council Member, District 3): Vote to further investigate the PEDC on misuse and mis-managed taxpayer money using an entity with subopena powers, and no conflicts of interest”. Join Latrel and 36 supporters today.