• November 27, 2014

Investigation of former HELP center director complete

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Posted: Tuesday, February 11, 2014 4:30 am

TEMPLE — Although the sheriff’s investigation is complete, Bell County Attorney Jim Nichols has not revealed if charges will be filed against former HELP Center Director Judy Morales for allegedly using county resources during her 2011 campaign for a Temple City Council seat.

Lt. Donnie Adams of the Bell County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division was complete, and the results were delivered to Nichols’ office by 5 p.m. Feb. 4. The investigators didn’t make any recommendations to Nichols, Adams said.

Neither Nichols nor Morales responded to requests for comment by press deadline Monday. Under the Texas Election Code, using a governmental entity’s internal mail system, including emails, or using public funds for political advertising are separate Class A misdemeanors.

According to emails obtained by the FME News Service under the Texas Public Information Act, Morales used at least one HELP Center employee, Mari Paul, as a campaign worker. Records showed most of the campaign emails were sent during weekday business hours from March 2011 through the May election, when Morales won her seat on the Temple council.

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