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False Allegations – Sheriff’s Race

This information comes from Mr. Green’s own words – either spoken at various candidate forums, in his interview with the GAWTP Board, or in his written statement given to a leader of Hide-A-Way Lake Grassroots (name withheld to protect privacy of a private citizen; however, we have e-mail records to back up the transmission of said document). This leader forwarded Mr. Green’s multi-page complaint to GAWTP’s Executive Director. It is attached for the Grassroots America Board’s review.

Allegation #1: Mr. Smith violated Texas Ethics Commission rules and possibly the Hatch Act because he voiced that he had an intent to run for office before he actually retired. Mr. Smith responded that he had spoken with an attorney with the Texas Ethics Commission to make sure he was reporting his campaign activities correctly. Smith advised the TEC attorney stated that the purchase of a domain name does not represent an official campaign because the domain remained dormant (not activated) until after Mr. Smith met all the requirements of becoming an official candidate. As to the Hatch Act violation, Mr. Smith believes that since his retirement paperwork was in progress long before he ever made a statement about being a future candidate for sheriff at a Republican Club meeting, he is not in violation of the federal Hatch Act. Mr. Smith has been cleared by party administrators (reporting to the Secretary of State), and as far as we can determine, he is a legal candidate.

Allegation #2: Various allegations regarding whether or not Mr. Smith reported Mr. Green to the Ethics Commission for having allegedly violated rules regarding campaigning in uniform, etc. Since last fall, Grassroots America’s Executive Director JoAnn Fleming has received numerous calls from people purporting to have witnessed this campaigning on state time on the part of Mr. Green. Without evidence, this is hearsay. It is the recommendation of Mrs. Fleming that we call these duelling allegations a draw on this matter. The fact is – we cannot prove that Mr. Smith did or did not ask people to file complaints against Mr. Green. We cannot prove that Mr. Green did or did not talk about running for sheriff while wearing his state uniform.

Mrs. Fleming received numerous calls about the alleged illegal raffle Mr. Green was conducting to raise money for his campaign. In fact, Mrs. Fleming had photos e-mailed to her from the various pawn shop/gun shop locations where these raffles were being held. It is our understanding that after DA Matt Bingham looked into it, Mr. Green stated he had no knowledge it was going on and the alleged raffles ended.

 Allegation #3: Mr. Green alleges Mr. Smith is saying negative things about Mr. Green while he is campaigning. Again, this is hearsay that we cannot prove nor disprove. The same allegations (not from Mr. Smith), but from Mr. Smith’s supporters are saying the same thing about Mr. Green. 

Allegation #4: Mr. Green alleges Mr. Smith takes credit for solving the church fires and the pipe bomb cases. We have gone back to view public statements made by Mr. Smith. We have reviewed Mr. Smith’s documentation provided to the GAWTP Board. While Mr. Smith is very clear on what his job was in these investigations and provides great detail about those cases, we do not find that Mr. Smith has at any time made himself the focal point. Quite often, Mr. Smith has used terms such as “team of investigators,” “a lot of teamwork,” and “multi-agency cooperation.” According to official documents provided to GAWTP, Mr. Smith is known as a specialist in his field. Smith’s documents list him as a Criminal Investigator/Specialist in Fire, Explosives and Forensic Mapping – a Task Force Team Leader and National and International Response Team Member. Records indicate he was asked to play a key role in these local investigations because of his record and his credentials.

Mr. Smith also provided GAWTP with copies of the official commendations he received as the result of his work on the arson church fires and on the pipe bomb case (along with his other commendations). We do not find Mr. Smith to have stretched the truth on his role nor do we find that he has taken unfair credit for the solving of these two cases.

Allegation #5: Mr. Green alleges Mr. Smith has a very bad relationship with Tyler Police Chief Gary Swindle. In very strong and inappropriate language (which varied from Green’s written description to his oral description during our 4/20 interview), Green describes a situation whereby Larry Smith has such a bad relationship with Chief Swindle that Swindle refused to assist with a SWAT team allegedly requested by Smith on the pipe bomb investigation and used extreme language to terminate the call from Smith. A GAWTP board member has spoken with Chief Swindle. Chief Swindle flatly stated that the profanity-laced conversation Green described as having taken place between Swindle and Larry Smith never happened. Swindle stated that his policy is to speak only with upper law enforcement management regarding investigations and not the investigators themselves. From our interrogation of Smith, we learned that he never requested a SWAT team from Swindle and stated Chief Swindle has never cursed at him. Smith said his superior would have made such a request for a SWAT Team as it would not have been Smith’s proper role to make such a request of Swindle. We conclude this allegation to be false.

Allegation #6: Mr. Green alleges that “those who work around him” report that Larry Smith’s favorite sayings are: “It’s better to ask forgiveness, than ask permission,” and “It’s Larry’s way or the highway.” A review of Mr. Smith’s evaluations, commendations, etc. do not reflect such. During the course of the campaign, GAWTP Exec. Director Fleming has been contacted by officers from various law enforcement agencies who have volunteered just the opposite opinion about Larry Smith. We conclude this allegation is at best hearsay without specific names of folks willing to provide a bad report on Mr. Smith.

Various Allegations #7: This section from the PDF document provided by the HAWL Grassroots leader as authored by Mr. Green makes several allegations about when Mr. Smith joined particular organizations as motivated by his campaign for sheriff. People running for office join civic organizations – that is nothing new. The three points of real concern for GAWTP are the following: 1) The allegation that Larry Smith just started going to Green Acres Baptist Church and sitting on the front row. When questioned, Mr. Smith stated he and his family have been members of Green Acres Baptist Church since 1989. This has been backed up by numerous members of GABC – many who are members of Grassroots. Mr. Smith’s location in the sanctuary is due to a position of responsibility he holds. We find this allegation to be 100% false. It is also 100% disappointing that any candidate would so distort the religious exercise of a fellow candidate. 2)Smith tells everyone Sheriff Richard Mack is endorsing him. Mr. Smith states he has never said such a thing, has never even had a conversation with Sheriff Mack – Mack never even interviewed any of the other sheriff’s race candidates before he endorsed Mr. Green. We have no evidence this allegation from Mr. Green is true.  3) Smith tells everyone GAWTP is endorsing him. Mr. Smith states he has never said such a thing. Mr. Smith has consistently attended GAWTP meetings for over a year, including the all-day US Bill of Rights training course. We have no evidence to back up this claim from Mr. Green. Any candidate would have to be completely clueless to say such a thing since GAWTP Exec. Director Fleming makes it abundantly clear at the meetings, on the website, in e-mail blasts and in media interviews how and when we make endorsement decisions as a Board.

Allegation #8: During candidate forums, Mr. Green has accused Mr. Smith of only going to homicide scenes because his DPS and Ranger buddies call him. We have no way of knowing the relationships between Mr. Smith and various agency supervisors. We do not know if he is friends with them or not, and frankly find that immaterial to the discussion. Mr. Smith’s documented training, experience, record, and commendations present a picture of a man who is considered to be a subject matter expert in the field of crime scene investigation and forensic mapping. It appears that he is called upon due to the value he adds to an investigation – not because he is friends with agency brass or field supervisors; therefore, we find this allegation makes no valid point.

Allegation #9: During candidate forums, Mr. Green has made repeated allegations that Mr. Smith has spent his career taking guns away from innocent citizens. See CBS 19/TMT debate, short clip contains this quote:  When asked to provide specific names of innocent citizens, Mr. Green had none. Mr. Green expressed concerns about Mr. Smith as a former federal agent, which cannot be translated as specific evidence to back up his claim about Mr. Smith. In February, Smith issued a signed pledge to the citizens of Smith County, which he sent to the GAWTP Board. This pledge can be found on Mr. Smith’s website.

Mr. Smith has stated numerous times in forums, and again to the GAWTP Board, that after the Brady Bill passed, he requested a transfer out of the firearms division of ATF to the explosives division because he was not comfortable with what he saw coming down from the Legislative and Executive branches.

Attached find a letter provided by Mr. Smith written by local gun shop owner and gunsmith Dexter Jordan (Rinel Company – Tanglewood) who testifies in this letter how Larry Smith actually helped him get in compliance with documents the feds were requiring of him.

While all of us are wary of an out-of-control federal government (and do not trust the current Justice Dept. and its top brass of ATF, it is not fair to say that everyone who works for federal law enforcement is a liberty-stealing tyrant.) There is indeed a legitimate purpose for law enforcement as expressed by our Framers in the US Constitution. For an important reminder about the legitimate purposes and restraints on federal law enforcement authority, see this interesting article published by The Federalist Society. It is important to remember that if not for honest, whistle-blower federal law enforcement men in the trenches, we would never know about “Fast and Furious.”  We have no evidence before us on which to conclude that Mr. Smith is an enemy to the Second Amendment or other liberties.

Allegation #10: Various allegations under this topic: 1) Per Mr. Green’s conjectures regarding secret meetings between JB Smith and Larry Smith in which Larry Smith allegedly promised to not audit the Sheriff’s Dept should he be elected. Mr. Green could provide no evidence. Mr. Smith emphatically denied it and said an audit would be the first thing he would do. 2) Mr. Green’s allegation that Mr. Smith fabricated and instigated the investigation into Constable Rust’s office as a means to undermine candidate Donn Rust. There is no evidence of this, and in fact, GAWTP Exec. Director has knowledge of this case because of issues she dealt with while on the Commissioners Court. Her subsequent knowledge stems from an inquiry made to the Commissioners Court regarding budget issues and the use of taxpayer assets by an elected official to allegedly perform private security work. Larry Smith was not in the picture at the time of the initial inquiry. 3) Mr. Green’s announcement his campaign office had been bugged because he is a “threat,” and “they” don’t want him elected. Upon direct questioning by the GAWTP Board, Mr. Green said he did not report illegal surveillance to any law enforcement authority. When asked why, he first responded that he would be charged with making the claim to call attention to his race and would perhaps be blamed for planting the devices. He later changed his story to say that the bugs could have been on the phones when a supporter gave the phones to him out of storage. [This interview was video-taped.]

Allegation #11: During the last GAWTP candidate forum on 4/17/12, Mr. Green strongly challenged Mr. Smith and essentially called him a liar regarding a case Green said Smith never worked on.   Mr. Green stated in public – in the law enforcement forum (See GAWTP forum at point 30:32 on this YouTube Audio– that Larry Smith did not work on the Cobb capital homicide investigation in New Harmony, when in fact, Larry Smith testified at the trial as an expert witness to very pertinent information regarding the case. Mr. Smith provided GAWTP Board members with actual official court transcripts of the Cobb capital murder trial, including Smith’s sworn testimony at the trial. On this matter, there is incontrovertible evidence that Mr. Green’s attack on Mr. Smith in this regard is false. Why he would make such an allegation in a public law enforcement forum when the facts are so easily checked out is troubling, and quite frankly shows a rather reckless disregard for the truth.

Allegation #12: Green alleges to GAWTP Board member Joey Coker that Larry Smith was not a key investigator in the Casino Bus Hijacking case. Again, there is undeniable evidence in Larry Smith’s portfolio of commendations that he was indeed a key member of the team called in to investigate this crime. Official documents describe Smith’s role along with record of his commendation for the successful investigation of the Casino Bus Hijacking case.

Allegation #13: Green & his campaign made statements to former GAWTP Board members and to a current Board member that alleges Larry Smith was captured in a compromising photo with a female officer posing “with the merchandise” at an adult novelty/video store. It was stated that Texas Ranger Brent Davis possessed the photos and the female officer was afraid to come forward. An investigation into this claim was made by the Grassroots Executive Director. She learned that Smith worked a homicide investigation in Kilgore at an adult video store – the scene of a January 2011 homicide. We spoke with law enforcement officials who worked the case, including Kilgore PD officials. There was only one female officer who worked the scene at the same time as Larry Smith. Kilgore PD officials and other law enforcement officials flatly deny that any such prank photos were taken. When she learned about the allegations, the Kilgore PD female officer called GAWTP Executive Director Fleming to discuss the matter.

The female crime scene specialist was highly offended by the allegation. She stated that she would never have been in such a place if it were not for the fact that it is her job to work to get justice for the victim and the victim’s family. She also stated that she is a committed Christian and would never, ever pose with merchandise in such an establishment, and certainly not with former agent Larry Smith. The female Kilgore PD officer stated Agent Larry Smith was called in because of his expertise in crime scene investigations. She said she also called in two Smith County investigators for assistance.

The officer stated that she does not make light of crime scenes and homicides. The officer wanted to send a written statement and said she would ask her superiors with Kilgore PD to grant her permission, but also stated that the case is still an open investigation. She called back later in the afternoon and stated that her superiors would not allow her to send us a written statement at this time because it is an open case; however, she expressed her desire to make sure the allegations were known to be false.


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Green’s Name-calling escalates

The Sheriff’s Race: Desperation on Parade

Sheriff’s Race: More Evidence