Report: Olton city manager is "away from city offices" but not p - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Report: Olton city manager is "away from city offices" but not placed on leave after indictment, arrest

Marvin Tillman (Source: Lamb County Sheriff's Office) Marvin Tillman (Source: Lamb County Sheriff's Office)
OLTON, TX (KCBD) -

Officials with the City of Olton released a statement Monday morning about City Manager Marvin Tillman, who was arrested after being indicted by a Lamb County Grand Jury on Friday. 

The statement was released to the citizens of Olton and said:

Announcement to the citizens of the City of Olton

City Manager Marvin Tillman will be away from the City offices for a two week period beginning May 8th. The City's employees and personnel will work and perform their job responsibilities to assure normal operation and continuity of municipal services to our citizens during this time. Mayor Mark McFadden and City department heads will handle routine daily administrative matters for the City.

According to the Olton Enterprise, Mayor Mark McFadden told them the city manager has not been placed on leave. When asked why, the mayor said, "He wanted to go on vacation." He also told the Olton Enterprise, "A man is innocent until proven guilty."

Tillman was arrested by a Texas Ranger around 11:30 a.m. on Friday at his farm south of Olton after a Lamb County Grand Jury indicted him on two charges of theft of property.

Tillman was bonded out of the Lamb County Jail.

According to the indictments, Tillman is accused of taking control of a 72.4-acre tract of land, owned by the City of Olton, for approximately 10 years, without the consent of the city. He is also accused of stealing water from the City of Olton for approximately three years. The indictment says Tillman did not make a deposit or monthly payments for the water.

Tillman's bond was set at $5,000 on each indictment.

A felony complaint has also been filed against Tillman for impersonating an officer after he was accused of driving an official, marked police vehicle and activating the emergency lights to get another motorist to slow down. 

A misdemeanor complaint was also been filed against Tillman, accusing him of stealing automobile tires from the City of Olton.

Tillman has not been officially charged for either complaint.

Meanwhile, this situation is the talk of the town in Olton.

"Everywhere you turn, everywhere you go, that’s what’s being talked about. Said about...what’s gonna happen? What’s gonna happen with our town? IS there going to be any change? I mean, we really don’t know," lifetime Olton resident Anabel Esquivel said.

Esquivel was one of several residents we spoke with who say they are ready for more answers following the arrest of City Manager, Marvin Tillman.

"I’m not sure why it’s taken this long or them to figure out why all this has been happening?" Esquivel said. 

Esquivel says she isn’t happy about Tillman not being placed on leave. 

"I think that as of Friday when they picked him he should have been on a leave of absence or something until things got figured out. I don’t like that’s something right that they’re doing. And I’m not sure why they’re doing it," Esquivel said. 

Resident Laura Garcia says she feels the same.

"I think I would just really prefer somebody else to take over his job if he’s really, if it is all really true," Garcia said. 

Esquivel says it’s disheartening to see this unravel in her hometown.

"I feel like we’re kind of drifting apart because of social media. And everyone has their own opinions and their own voices. I just hope that like, we can like come together as a community and understand what’s going on," she said. 

It was standing room only during Monday night's city council meeting - as many residents showed up in hopes of hearing some sort of discussion about Marvin Tilllman.

But, when city attorney Lanny Voss stood up to let residents know council members would not be speaking about him, or his current city employment, a handful of residents got up and left.

Olton City Attorney Lanny Voss says the reason council members could not discuss Tillman during tonight's meeting - is because of when the council agenda was originally posted.

We spoke with several residents who actually got up and left the meeting after hearing Voss' statement. 

While they didn't go on camera for fear of losing their job in speaking out against Tillman publicly, they did tell us they're disappointed the council didn't call a special session, before Monday's meeting, or in the coming days to start a dialogue with residents.

Shortly after speaking with those residents - we were given a letter that is reportedly from a former city councilwoman which was written in April of 20-11.
The letter alleges during her time in office, Tillman used the city credit card without permission from the city.

We did reach out to Tillman earlier in the day and he spoke to us about the allegations against him, saying he had no further comment about the investigation other than he is innocent until proven guilty.

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