Mayor of Kempner, John Wilkerson, announced Tuesday, July 27, that city staff discovered all emails from a previous city-funded email account used by former Mayor Keith Harvey had been deleted.
Mayor Wilkerson defeated Keith Harvey in the May 1st election, receiving 127 votes in comparison to Harvey’s 28 votes.
Currently, under Texas law deleting one email is a criminal violation of the Texas Government Code under section 552.351, and punishable as a Class B misdemeanor.
"The preservation of public records is vital to the transparency of any government, regardless of the size of the Governing body," said Wilkerson in the announcement. "Fraud scandals in the early 1970’s led to reform in Texas, resulting in the Legislature enacting laws that require governing bodies to disclose most of the information they possessed to the public when requested."
The Mayor's office said it will be ensuring this incident will be investigated by law enforcement, and that questions regarding the investigation can be directed to the Kempner Police Department.
"When a crime has been reported to me, perpetrated by a Governmental Official, I will demand the city law enforcement personnel investigate the matter and submit the findings of the investigation to the appropriate prosecutor for disposition, without influence or persuasion," said Wilkerson. "Personal vendetta’s or 'witch hunts' will not be a part of this administration’s legacy."