On Friday Lubbock County Constable Gary Newburn resigned after allegedly stealing $24,000 from the county. And Constable Norman Padgett is expected to resign next week. Together, both elected officials are accused of stealing more than $30,000 from Lubbock County.
The Texas Rangers have been investigating both men for theft for the past eight months. On Friday, Newburn handed over his resignation and the keys to his county owned vehicle in order to avoid going to jail.
Sources say the Texas Rangers have a mountain of evidence against both men. Newburn and Padgett were serving warrants and then allegedly pocketing the money paid to them by the Lubbock Police Department and other agencies. That money should go to the county.
In addition to Newburn's resignation, he paid Lubbock County back today, $28,000, and he was forced to surrender his peace officer's license for life.
District Attorney Bill Sowder explained why he won't prosecute. He says he could have filed criminal charges, but the legal process may have taken up to two years. During that time, Newburn could have stayed in office. And, according to Sowder, Newburn hasn't been cooperative with the investigation, and has been slacking on the job.
Padgett is expected to resign September 19th.