Polk County mayor accused of lying about felonies, stealing electricity

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Goodrich Mayor
Goodrich mayor accused of stealing electricity from the city, among other things.

GOODRICH, TX (KTRK) -- A mayor in Polk County is being indicted on a number of charges, including one allegation he stole electricity from the city.

Jeremy Harper is the mayor of Goodrich.

Harper is building a house across from city hall, according to multiple residents. But now, he's facing a charge of stealing electricity from the city to help build that house.

It's a town with fewer than 300 residents to start and the charges against Harper are no small crimes.

Three felonies to be exact, all related to his duties as a public servant.

Shirley Murphy, 81, tells ABC13 Jeremy Harper came to town about four years ago and was elected soon after.

"It's just utter chaos, whatever he says goes," Harper said. "They've kind of given him ultimate power to do as he pleases."

Harper was arrested for allegedly stealing electricity from the city, as well as road materials.

"He hooked up to the city electricity to build [a] house," Murphy said.

A Polk County grand jury also found reason to believe Harper lied on his application to run for mayor. According to court documents obtained by ABC13, "the defendant swore that he had not been convicted of a felony."

He has at least two convictions from Louisiana, documents show.

In June 1999, he was convicted of theft. Before that in 1994, he was convicted of issuing a worthless check, court documents show.

"I want him to know that I would like him to pack his bags and leave Goodrich forever," Murphy said. She served as mayor of Goodrich back in the 90's and in light of Harper's alleged crimes, she has an announcement of her own to make: "I'm going to run for mayor."

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