Tell the truth long time residents of this county. When you found out former county commissioner Todd Fontenot had charged repairs to his own personal vehicle to Liberty County, didn’t you expect him to take some kind of action that would be followed by excuses and law enforcement to drop it all.
Well, if you thought that, you were right about Fontenot. But there is a different Sheriff in town and his buddies like Lee Groce and Phil Fitzgerald are no longer in power. True to what some of us predicted, Fontenot has offered up a reimbursement to the county. He did offered the reimbursement after Liberty Dispatch posted a story telling the public that he committed a crime when he charged repairs to his vehicle to the county. But it gets worse.
While Fontenot was trying to plant evidence to influence law enforcement to either keep from charging him for his crime, or could to influence a jury if he goes to trial. But let’s set the record straight. A timeline of events reveals Fontenot was told what he had done was illegal back in November 2012 while he was still commissioner. He did nothing until Liberty Dispatch’s story appeared before the public.
His second effort to sweep this under the rug is to lay something out there for the good ole boys to call this a simple mistake with no criminal intent is just as lame as his waiting six months to try and reimburse the county. Fontenot is claiming he does not remember the rules governing county commissioner vehicles changing. He has wondered allowed whether he was absent for the meeting in which that took place. Records of the minutes of county commissioners’ court clearly show Todd Fontenot was not only present in January 2011 when the rules were changed, Fontenot is the commissioner who seconded the motion.
What difference did it make whether this man remembered the rules change when he was caught red-handed and still did nothing to correct his wrongdoing?
Worse than that, it is mind-boggling to know that until about three years ago Fontenot, Groce, and others had rules that allowed them to charge repairs to their personal vehicles and reimburse the county. It may cause all of us to wonder how many times they never got around to reimbursing the county over the years. And the policy stands out because most of us are employed at places that would ever allow such a practice. But not Todd Fontenot… he works for the taxpayers and this is what they allowed themselves to do for years.
No one should be surprised that this unusual policy stopped soon after Craig McNair was elected County Judge. It appears that Fontenot is expecting that he can claim to have been in some kind of Neptune fog and charged hundreds of dollars to the county just like he did in the good ole days and we will all just sigh and say that is okay.