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Veteran and city councilmember face theft charges for replacing damaged U.S. flags

Posted at 10:00 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 23:00:55-04

KEMPNER, TX — A veteran and city councilmember in Kempner are facing legal trouble for what they say was a good deed.

This after the veteran replaced torn and tattered U.S. flags caused by recent storms.

The Veteran reached out to Kempner city councilman John Wilkerson for permission to remove and replace the American flags, but Wilkerson did not have authority to do so.

Wilkerson says he gave the tattered flag to the mayor pro-tem over the weekend, but Kempner Mayor Keith Harvey did not learn about the exchange until Monday.

"I didn't know who were the players, i didn't know was involved, the only thing i know is the park was missing flags," says Kempner Mayor Keith Harvey

Mayor Harvey says he nor the park supervisor had been notified about the missing flags so he contacted police.

"Granted we want the flags to fly, we want them done right, but there's a process, and that process was circumvented, deliberately not accidentally, but intentionally," says Mayor Harvey

Mayor Harvey claims councilman Wilkerson didn't have the authorization to allow the veteran to remove the flags, and because those rules were broken they both could face theft charges.

On Monday he released this statement on Facebook:

"The citizen is real upset because he was just simply trying to right a wrong, and this is something that should not have gone this far," says councilman Wilkerson.

Meanwhile people in Kempner say this issue isn't about the flag... but bad blood between the mayor and councilman Wilkerson. Now, a veteran appears to caught in the middle of a ongoing feud.

"You know we have our differences with the way that the city government goes, lets put this behind us, bury the hatchet, put this behind us and move on to the problems that need to be addressed," says councilman Wilkerson.

Mayor Harvey says the city had already ordered new flags to replace the ones damaged in the park.

For now the city is still looking into the matter, and will make necessary steps once more information is gathered.