The Ellis County Press has a front page story today on the growing scandal surrounding an ex-Police Chief for the tiny town of Bardwell, Texas (pop. 580). Former police chief, Michael Chase Meissner is under investigation by local authorities, and is being interviewed by the Texas Rangers about possible criminal violations.
The Press is reporting that: "Meissner’s past hires and the current chief’s hires were found to be writing citations while not "appropriately commissioned." The article went on to report that the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Education could enforce fines, "some as high as $100 per day for each violation."
TCLEOSE Director of Enforcement and Licensing James Heironimus said that:
"If these officers did not get council approval, they are inappropriately commissioned," he said, paraphrasing his letter. Heironimus said if his agency found out the officers were writing citations while not commissioned, he would "go after" the police chief.
The story goes on to get reaction from Meisnner:
When first approached by another Ellis County Press reporter for comment, Meissner contacted a local high school and a school district superintendent claiming the reporter was trying to lure him into making "sexual harassment" allegations, according to this local district’s officials. Meissner has been the subject of numerous media reports on his past arrest history and employment with other agencies, and has been on County Attorney Joe Grubbs’ radar screen for quite some time. Grubbs also said his office is "well aware" of the investigations into the situation in Bardwell, but until those outside agencies’ investigations are complete, his office couldn’t interfere.
In the second to last paragraph of the lengthy article, Meissner is linked to John McCain for President ally, supporter and sometimes Texas spokesman Ali Akbar:
Meissner, whose entire past spans several Internet websites documenting WFAA-TV (Channel 8) interviews and radio transcripts, recently teamed up with a web developer from Fort Worth, Ali Akbar, to get those prior arrest records, news media reports and interview transcripts taken offline. Akbar, a staffer on the John McCain campaign, who is on probation for credit card abuse and theft, did not return requests for comment.
However, last Friday, one of the Internet sites was accessed and was deleted. Akbar, admitting to deleting one website earlier this month, has denied involvement; Meissner would not answer any questions related to the deletions. Included in that material were several pieces of information relating to Meissner’s criminal investigations stemming from Bardwell and his employment with a Henderson County police department.
Akbar is now trying to distance himself from the McCain for President campaign, and is claiming that he has no official role. Though, he is still listed at Bloggers for McCain, as one of the site's Authors.
He is also under fire on another front. Texas Libertarian Party activist and former 2-time Waxahachie City Council candidate Joey Dauben has accused Akbar of endorsing voter fraud tactics on a conference call with one other political operative. Akbar is strongly denying the charges.