Texas Rangers investigating Waller County town's finances

By Robert Arnold - Investigative Reporter

HEMPSTEAD, Texas - Officials with the Waller County District Attorney's Office tell KPRC the Texas Rangers have opened an investigation at their behest, involving the City of Hempstead.

Few details were released as to the exact nature of the investigation, only that it involved “some city officials.”

Council member Charles Tompkins, Jr. spoke with KPRC but said he's in the dark, too. Tompkins said he only heard an investigation was ongoing. 

“Have you been given any information?” Channel 2 Investigator Robert Arnold asked.

“No, sir,” Tompkins said.

We tried to reach other council members, but have not yet received a response. KPRC also tried to speak with Mayor Michael Wolfe Sr.

We called the Mayor’s Office, sent an email, went by an address listed as the mayor’s house and visited City Hall. Our messages to the mayor have not yet been returned and a city employee only said the mayor was not in at this time.

Sources familiar with the investigation told KPRC part of the investigation deals with utility payments to the city. An investigation, our sources say, was triggered by a recent audit of the city's finances.

We tried to review that audit on the city’s website, but the only one available was for fiscal year 2017.

We contacted the District Attorney's Office and received the following statement:

"The Waller County District Attorney has received information regarding the potential misapplication of government resources by some city officials in Hempstead.  The district attorney, Elton Mathis, has requested that the Texas Rangers conduct the investigation and they have agreed to do so," wrote First Assistant District Attorney Warren Diepraam.

The DA's Office did add that any findings from the investigation will be presented to a grand jury.

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