Local man with tiny amount of meth
gets 2 years
Monitor Staff Reports
ATHENS–A Henderson County jury found Dylan Don Oliver, 29, of Mabank
guilty of possession of a controlled substance charge, a state jail
Oliver pled not guilty to the Nov. 27, 2008 charge, stemming from a
traffic stop for not wearing a seat belt.
The jury sentenced him to two years, the maximum allowed for the drug
charge. There is no parole for the state jail felony, so Oliver will
serve the entire time.
Oliver was stopped by Texas Highway Patrol trooper Jose Gomez on State
Highway 198 near Payne Springs, when the trooper passed him and noticed
that he was not wearing a seat belt.
When the trooper had turned around, pulled Oliver over and approached
the vehicle, he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car.
Oliver was ordered out of the car and patted down. During the pat-down,
a syringe was found in Oliver’s pocket.
A search of the car turned up methamphetamine and marijuana.
The jury viewed the in-car video from the trooper’s patrol car showing
the whole incident.
The jury also heard a DPS chemist testify that the amount of
methamphetamine was weighed at .13 grams.
Under cross-examination by assistant district attorney Nancy Rumar,
Oliver finally admitted it was his drugs.
“This certainly is not the biggest meth case of the year,” Henderson
County District Attorney Scott McKee said. “They are all important, and
sometimes we have to fight this war on meth one gram at a time.”
Jeb Hensarling resigns from overseeing
Monitor Staff Reports
WASHINGTON–A Dallas attorney has replaced U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling on
the congressional panel that oversees the $700 billion financial bailout
The Dallas Morning News reported J. Mark McWatters was appointed this
week by House Minority Leader John Boehner, who selects one of the
group’s five members.
McWatters, 55, has been an advisor to Hensarling since May on matters
related to the panel.
Hensarling recommended him as his replacement, the Dallas Morning News
He called McWatters an accomplished lawyer who “wanted to spend some
time of his life in public service.”
McWatters recently worked for Dallas-based investment firm HBK Services
LLC and was a partner at the Patton Boggs law firm.
Since its creation this year, the panel has tried to track how the
Treasury Department distributed its $700 billion bailout fund, also
known as TARP, the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The fund was created
by legislation in the fall of 2008.
The panel also tried to divine whether the monies helped the economy or
Hensarling often dissented with the panel’s findings.
He resigned after deciding the panel wasn’t a good use of his time. He
said a special inspector general for TARP, Neil M. Barofsky, had
accomplished more significant oversight than the panel could.
Barofsky charged the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with overpaying
American International Group’s trading partners when it bailed out the
insurance giant last year.
“I hope that Mark will continue to ask the tough questions, demand
rigorous oversight and hopefully bring more attention to the matter than
perhaps I did,” Hensarling said.
Hensarling, a Republican voice on fiscal matters and a critic of the
bailout said a recent decision by the Treasury Department to extend the
program for nine months and use some of the $200 billion in leftover
funds to promote job creation showed that it was a “program that defies
“An emergency piece of legislation designed for financial stability is
now $700 billion of walking-around money for the administration,” he
Court costs going up in 2010
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
ATHENS–The cost of going through probate, filing civil cases and being
convicted of a crime are going up in the new year.
The Texas State Legislature passed a number of bills into law increasing
or adding fees to the cost of going to court.
Henderson County Commissioners found themselves directed to set fees,
within certain parameters, see they are collected, recorded and
forwarded to the state.
Commissioners were so offended Tuesday by the mandates that three of the
action items died for lack of a motion.
Of course that doesn’t mean that the citizens of Henderson County get to
ignore the new fees or increases. The fees will be collected by the
court clerks regardless of the commissioners’ action or inaction.
For each civil case filed with the County or District Clerk:
• a Court Records Preservation fee of $5 will be collected, also
• $5 as a Court of Appeals filing fee (this applies to every court in
the county), also
• $10 for the Indigent Legal Services fee, an increase of $5, and
• $42 fee for Judicial Support, up from $37.
These changes, in addition to other fees that have not been changed,
such as a $5 fee for Records Preservation, Records Management and
Archiving, totaling another $15.
For all criminal cases filed after Jan. 1, 2010, an additional $4 fee
for educational or technology purchases by the district or county
clerks, $6 fee upon conviction, (an increase of $2) with 60 cents
retained by the county and $2 court cost on all criminal convictions for
Indigent Defense, which goes into effect immediately.
Indigent Defense fees are retained by the county and are never enough to
cover the expenses involved, County Auditor Ann Marie Lee said.
To help the County Clerk’s Office keep up with the collection of fines
and court costs, commissioners authorized the County Attorney’s Office
to assist by performing the collection duties in coordination with the
In other business, commissioners:
• accepted a contract with Sprint for two air cards for the Sheriff’s
Office. The $119-monthly cost was designated from the Law Enforcement
The service will allow investigators on the scene of a crime to access
the Law Enforcement Database, Maj. Kevin Hanes explained.
• awarded a bid to Seven Points company K.K. Maintenance to demolish the
Stowe Building, opposite the courthouse at 103 E. Tyler St.
The work is expected to begin early next week and take seven to 10 days.
K.K. offered the lowest bid of $7,800, purchasing agent Sherrie
• awarded the bridge construction contract to Leyland Construction.
• awarded the culverts supply contract to Morris Supply, with S and S
Sales and Municipal Waterworks as backup.
• extended the fuel contract to Beckat Oil out of Tyler.
• paid two sets of bills, totaling $127,816.71 and $17,135.50.