WACO- Former McLennan County Tax Assessor Collector A. F. "Buddy" Skeen is out of jail while he appeals his sentence of 180 days in a state jail.
Skeen pleaded guilty on Tuesday to misuse of fiduciary property, and a jury on Wednesday sentenced him to probation. Judge Matt Johnson accepted the jury's recommendation but ordered Skeen to serve a 180-day jail term as a condition of his probation.
Thomas West, one of Skeen's defense attorneys, filed the appeal before a bond hearing on Friday morning and explained why state law allows Skeen to be released.
"Anytime you file a notice of appeal, the terms of probation stop until the appellate court can look at it and decide if everything was done correctly or not," West said, "and once they've made their order, the terms of probation will begin at that time."
Judge Johnson ordered Skeen to pay $4,500 in restitution.
Skeen traded in a county pick-up truck in 2008 at Greg May Chevrolet in West for $10,000 - far less than what expert witnesses estimated the value to be. Car salesmen who took the stand valued it to be worth $4,000 to $5,000 more.
Skeen set up his employee's son to buy the truck and benefit from the deal, instead of the county.
Skeen posted a $50,000 bond and was released from McLennan County Jail at 2:00 p.m. on Friday.
News Channel 25 caught Skeen as he left the jail, but he would not answer any questions.
As a condition of his bond, Skeen will have to abide by a curfew. He is not allowed to leave his house after 9:00 p.m. or before 7:00 a.m.
He is also forbidden from leaving McLennan County and was ordered to check in with a probation officer on the second and fourth Monday of each month.
Skeen is still facing seven more charges. His next trial is set to begin Oct. 8, and a status hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28.
Saturday, May 25 2013 12:04 AM EDT2013-05-25 04:04:15 GMT
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