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Ivanhoe City Marshal under investigation for alleged oppression

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By Chris Edwards
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IVANHOE – The City of Ivanhoe and its mayor are standing behind its City Marshal after an allegation of oppression.

Terry Riley, who serves the city as City Marshal, turned himself in last Tuesday and charged with Official Oppression, a class A misdemeanor. He was subsequently released from the Tyler County Jail on a $500 personal recognizance bond, and Ivanhoe Mayor Cathy Bennett said there is “no reason [the city] would even consider” putting him on administrative leave.

“The city supports him 100 percent,” Bennett said. “He has done a wonderful job for the City of Ivanhoe, and all of this will be cleared up when he goes to trial.”

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers were appointed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, who are handling the prosecution of the case, to conduct an investigation into allegations of official oppression by Riley. On June 7, the completed investigation was submitted to a Tyler County Grand Jury.
The indictment handed down by the Grand Jury alleges that Riley intentionally subjected Raymond Harrison to “detention or seizure or dispossession that [Riley] knew was unlawful” on Feb. 16, 2018.

The indictment further alleges that within the capacity of City Marshal, he took the described action against Harrison.

According to the Texas Penal Code, the charge of Official Oppression entails any public servant who intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he knows is unlawful.

Bennett said the charge is “absolutely bizarre” and the city will continue to support Riley. Riley has served in the role of City Marshal for two years, and oversees law enforcement for the city, which includes one other full-time officer and three part-time deputies.

When news of the allegation and arrest broke via the Booster Facebook page, many page followers expressed a large degree of support in their comments. Riley has served in various capacities throughout Tyler County, both paid and volunteer, and was recently honored by Bennett and the Ivanhoe City Council at an appreciation dinner in May.

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Lake Amanda dam finished

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Lake Amanda’s namesake Amanda Haralson cuts the ribbon on Saturday morning to usher in a rebirth of the lake. The rebuilding of the dam was recently finished, and the lake is full and welcoming once again to weekenders, anglers and for residents to enjoy its beauty. Haralson is pictured with members of the Lake Amanda Property Owners Association, various dignitaries and other individuals who make the dam project possible. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB PHOTO)

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McCulley named Woodville police chief

Mike McCulley receives the oath of office from Municipal Judge Judith Haney to become Woodville’s new chief of police. McCulley’s wife Betty (center) was on hand, along with several other family members, to help him celebrate his new title and to hold the Bible used for the swearing-in. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB PHOTO) Mike McCulley receives the oath of office from Municipal Judge Judith Haney to become Woodville’s new chief of police. McCulley’s wife Betty (center) was on hand, along with several other family members, to help him celebrate his new title and to hold the Bible used for the swearing-in. (CHRIS EDWARDS | TCB PHOTO)

 

By Chris Edwards
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WOODVILLE – Long-serving Woodville Police Department Captain Mike McCulley was appointed to serve as the department’s new chief.

McCulley will replace Scott Yosko, who led Woodville PD for 40 years. Yosko recently announced plans to retire. McCulley’s appointment was unanimously approved by the Woodville City Council at its regular monthly meeting on Monday night.

McCulley said he is glad to “embrace the opportunity to do the job” after he was sworn-in by Municipal Judge Judith Haney.

“I’m humbled to take on this challenge,” he said. “Our department has accomplished so much under Scott’s leadership.”

McCulley said he plans for Woodville PD to continue to be as efficient as possible in the 21st century.

Another law enforcement appointment was announced at Monday’s meeting. Steven Hoke will replace Bubba Sheffield as the on-campus school resource officer at Woodville ISD. City Administrator Mandy Risinger said the package of salary and benefits for the position was re-evaluated and adjustments have been made for compensation. These adjustments are pending approval by the Woodville ISD Board of Trustees.

Haney congratulated Hoke on his pending appointment and called Sheffield “someone who really cares about the kids,” a quality she said Hoke also embodies.
Resolution passed in support of HR 759

Mayor Paula Jones introduced a resolution for the city of Woodville to support the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe and the efforts for HR 759 to pass.

The bill, filed by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Woodville) intends to clarify the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe’s right, under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, to offer electronic bingo gaming at its Naskila facility.

Jones spoke of several ways in which the tribe has contributed to the Woodville community, and of how the Naskila Gaming venue has proven beneficial for the local economy as well as with job creation. The resolution was passed unanimously.

Horse ordinance passed
An ordinance pertaining to the riding of horses within the city limits was passed on Monday night. The ordinance states that riding horses is prohibited, with exceptions granted for events such as Western Weekend.

The ordinance was created following consideration by a committee formed last fall to address the issue after an initial ordinance was deemed insufficient for the city’s needs.

Mobile home park expansion approved
Council approved an application for the expansion of Cedar Ridge Mobile Home Community located on Cobb Mill Road.

The expansion, which Ballard Johnson, the president of Castle Pines Mobile Home Community MHC LLC, said will include 14 additional units, will help further meet the need of affordable housing within the community. Currently there are 37 sites at the location.

Other Business
Approval was made to appoint Jones as the city’s representative to the Deep East Texas Council of Government’s Board of Directors.

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Reflection Garden dedicated Friday at Nursing school

A reflection garden was dedicated on Friday morning at Tyler County Hospital in memory of, and to honor of all the veterans who served and/or lost their lives in combat. (JIM POWERS | TCB PHOTO)A reflection garden was dedicated on Friday morning at Tyler County Hospital in memory of, and to honor of all the veterans who served and/or lost their lives in combat. (JIM POWERS | TCB PHOTO)

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