Commissioner Roy Brooks Sanctioned for Ethics Violations
Tarrant County Commissioner Roy Brooks was recently sanctioned by the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC). The TEC stated in their Order and Agreed Resolution that they found “credible evidence of a violation of Section 255.003, Election Code.” They went on to state that Commissioner Brooks used “public funds for political advertising.”
The Commission investigated the violation due to a sworn complaint submitted by Direct Action Texas in February. Several Facebook posts had shown Brook’s Executive Assistant, Leon Polk, driving and posing with a county vehicle with campaign signs attached. Several photos showed the vehicle in the MLK Day Parade in Downtown Fort Worth.
Public funds cannot be used for campaign purposes. Taxpayer dollars cannot be used for political advertising, which is what Brooks was doing when he placed campaign signs on county vehicles. The signs clearly said “Re-Elect” and/or had his campaign website. Brooks reported to the TEC that he had reimbursed the county for the gas used, but it is still a violation. That vehicle is the property of the county, the taxpayers, and should never have campaign signs attached to it.
Commissioner Brooks acknowledged the violation and waived his right to a hearing. The commission imposed a $200 civil penalty, as he has no known previous violations. Although the violation and penalty seem small, this is a big victory for the taxpayer. All public officials must know that the taxpayers are watching. Friend or foe, they must know that they will be held accountable for their actions. It is human nature; a small violation today could become something much larger in the future. Taxpayer dollars must never be used for personal gain.