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 March 22, 2004
Colleyville City Council Candidate Mark Jones Has a Criminal Record
DWI Arrest and Arrest for "Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun by a licensed holder-intoxicated" not revealed on sworn disclosure filed with city under misdemeanor crime of "moral turpitude."
by Staff  LNO Writers

In a search of public records regarding candidates for local offices (Click Here to See Candidates reviewed), a total of 43 candidates were reviewed from Colleyville, Grapevine, Keller, Hurst, and North Richland Hills for municipal positions, as well as, GCISD and Carroll ISD for Board of Trustee positions. Out of 43 candidates only one  was discovered to have any criminal record. Current hold-over Colleyville P&Z Commissioner and Colleyville City Council Candidate for Place 5 Mark Jones,  seen below in a  Bedford Police Department mug shot, was arrested around 5 PM on March 23, 1999 for DWI (Driving while Intoxicated) and Unlawful Carrying of a Handgun by a licensed holder-intoxicated.


A Bedford Police Officer witnessed Jones in a black Suburban crashing into a parked vehicle in the Chili's parking lot at 4:54 pm according to the Bedford Police report. The police officer's report stated that the Suburban, "remained attached for several minutes."  Jones was then able to get his black Suburban detached and left the scene of the accident at 2400 Airport Freeway.  Jones was pursued by a Bedford Police officer who writes in her report that, "...the vehicle finally yielded to lights and sirens in the 1800 block of Park Place. The driver drove the vehicle upon the grass in the 2400 block of State Hwy 183. The vehicle then struck the curb at 1800 Park Place."

Jones had crashed into and damaged the sixteen year old Buick of 78 year old Nelson Walraven of Euless. Jones was witnessed smashing into Walraven's vehicle and  then leaving the scene by Stacey Warner of North Richland Hills who flagged down a Bedford Police officer as well.

At 4:54 pm Jones was leaving the Chili's Restaurant at the 2400 Block of Airport Freeway. When Jones was pulled over, according to Euless Police Officer Michelle Rodela, Jones "smelled of alcoholic beverage" and was given a sobriety test. Jones "failed each test," and was taken into custody, "handcuffed, doubled locked and seated in patrol unit 22."


A fully loaded semi-automatic Glock Pistol, similar to the one above, was found in Jones' suburban with 3 clips and a total of 23 rounds of ammunition with a "speed loader".
When a computer check reported Jones to have a license for a concealed weapon the officer asked him if he had a gun.  Jones first stated he could not remember, maybe he had "left it at home," but later stated the gun was by the driver's seat.

Texas Law states that anyone arrested on a DWI violating the concealed weapons law loses the right to carry a weapon for a minimum of five years.

To read Bedford Police Officer Michelle Rodela's police report on initially arresting Jones, Click Here ( in PDF format).

The Tarrant County DWI report stated that Jones's clothes were "disorderly," and that he "swayed" and "slurred his speech." The report also said there was an 8 ounce cup of "whiskey."  Jones was written up as "staggering" out of the vehicle and "slow in speech."  Click Here to see the DWI report (in PDF Format) 

Jones was transported to the Euless Police Department for a Intoxilyzer test and showed more than twice the current allowable level by Texas law.

Jones was later given an Intoxilyzer breath test at the Euless Police Dept.

Jones' alcohol content was more than twice the current level allowed by Texas law.

An .08 is the current maximum allowable and Jones was certified as having .191 and a .182 level.

Jones was released the evening of March 23, 1999, "pending further investigation." According to police reports, on March 24, 1999 at 12:15 pm Jones came to the Bedford Police Department to "take possession of the holster" and received a copy of a citation.  He was given a copy of "Notice of Suspension" (of permission to carry), along with the citation.

On March 25, 1999, Bedford Police Investigator R.S. Hagler presented an affidavit to the Magistrate Judge that in part stated that Jones, "committed the offense of Unlawful Carrying of Handgun by Licensed Holder-Intoxicated, to wit; Defendant Mark Anthony Jones intentionally or knowingly or recklessly carried a handgun while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle.."  A warrant was  issued for the arrest of Mark Jones of Colleyville, Click Here to see a PDF copy of the Arrest Warrants and statement by the Bedford Police Investigator.

The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that Jones was sentenced on September 23, 1999 for a "Class B Misdemeanor" to 90 days in jail.  Jones was given the option to pay a fine or confinement. The records report that, "Subject has been found guilty of a criminal charge, either upon a criminal trial,  a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere."  Click Here for Public Safety Report.

Jones was also placed on 24 months probation until October 1, 2001. CLICK ON FORM TO ENLARGE......

Jones has been the center of controversy surrounding the veto of Colleyville's Planning and Zoning appointments by Mayor Joe Hocutt.  Mayor Pro Tem Ginny Tigue has refused to consider any compromise to settling the impasse that did not include Jones remaining on the Planning and Zoning.  At the last work shop Councilman Mark Skinner announced that he would continue to support Hocutt's veto of appointees because he was not comfortable with them being the "gate-keepers of the city."  The result of the Hocutt, Tigue and Skinner coalition has been to block new appointees to the P&Z and allowed Jones to remain as a Commissioner well past his expired term of September 2003.


Mark Jones above as he appeared serving on the P&Z. He continues to serve seven months past his expiration of term because of vetoes.  Recently, Jones made appearance changes, apparently upon his determination to be a city council candidate.

Campaign photo provided by Jones campaign in March 2004. Ads appeared in the Arp owned local paper touting his Colleyville Chamber and other service since 2000.

    
Mayor Joe Hocutt has continued to veto the appointed replacements to Mark Jones on the P&Z. However, the same night he vetoed Jones' replacement for the 6th time, the mayor offered a resolution condemning the Super Bowl performance of Janet Jackson.

       
Mayor Pro Tem Ginny Tigue has insisted Jones remain on P&Z, he is now a candidate to replace her on city council. Joe & Ginny Tigue and Jones were overheard Feb. 18th, on live council TV, discussing Jones' campaign and PAC monies.  Tigue said she "didn't want to waste the money."

   
Councilman Mark Skinner has voted for the council appointees but has not crossed his close ally and friend Mayor Hocutt by voting to overturn his veto. He has said he was concerned about the P&Z as "gate-keepers" of the city.

Skinner has nominated two of the three candidates that he later failed to support by not voting to overturn Hocutt's veto.

The veto support coalition of Hocutt, Tigue and Skinner has prevented the replacement of Mark Jones on P&Z by appointees from the council majority of Elaine Dolan, Rich Hendler and Jon Ayers.  Jones,  has named Janice Cole as his treasurer. 

During last year's election it was reported by LNO that Cole appeared to have utilized PTA lists for a political email campaign in support of Hocutt. Cole denied using the list and was witnessed making verbal threats to LNO's Editor, that "you better not put anything about that up again." Cole was leaving a council meeting after she had just spoken in favor of Hocutt's veto action.

Jones was appointed to the P&Z in September 2001, actually one month before his 24 month probation period expired.  Jones made no disclosures concerning the criminal offense on his P&Z application.

After Jones filed for city council to replace Ginny Tigue in February ads immediately began appearing in the Donna Arp owned local newspaper.  The ads tout Jones' accomplishments since 2000 and highlight his Colleyville Chamber activities.  Jones continues to occupy a seat on the Colleyville Planning and Zoning Commission now with only five members.  Other than Jones, two members, Earl Swift and Jeff Wall have been embroiled in ethics hearings concerning their attitude and actions on P&Z in matters pertaining to developer David Bagwell.  Bagwell has testified that Swift and Wall held up his projects based on personal bias and their claims that another Bagwell project somehow caused siltation problems in the pond in Monticello where Swift, Wall and Mayor Hocutt live.


Gasper, in middle between Jeff Wall and Earl Swift.  The ethics hearings testimony has revealed at one point that Swift was overheard saying that Bagwell should, "have his ass run out of town."
Of the three complaints that have been filed with the Colleyville Ethics Commission, two were filed against other P&Z members Jeff Wall and Earl Swift and one filed by two-time council candidate Jo Ann Gasper against her opponent former Mayor Richard Newton.  Gasper claimed Newton had committed "moral turpitude" for failing to reveal on his council application that Gasper had filed a complaint with the Texas Election Commission against Newton.  The complaint was dismissed by the Election Commission and the Colleyville Commission.  Gasper, previously appointed to P&Z, withdrew her name from consideration when it was revealed she failed to report a financial contribution she solicited from developer David Bagwell.

Jones filed for Colleyville City Council on February 24, 2004 and his application was notarized by City Secretary Cynthia Singleton.  The Affidavit states, under oath that the applicant has completed the application providing all information as required.

The  Affidavit filed by Jones includes Form 6.  Jones checked the box that he has had a Personal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, however the bottom of the form requires disclosure of  any Misdemeanor, "involving moral turpitude."  The definition of "moral turpitude" appears to be a very subjective issue.  For example, two-time council candidate Jo Ann Gasper filed a complaint based on "moral turpitude" because Richard Newton failed to disclose her complaint against him with the Texas Election Commission.  

Jones did not disclose the DWI conviction on his recent applications for either P&Z or as a city council candidate under the "moral turpitude" section. To see a copy of the pertinent pages of Jones' application for Colleyville City Council, Click Here for PDF

The definition, per the city council packet provided to candidates, is that "Moral turpitude" means the quality of a crime involving grave infringement of the moral sentiment of the community.  

Concerning the concept of "grave infringement of the moral sentiment of the community," Sunday March 21, 2004, The Missourian reported on the struggle in Missouri concerning citizens with concealed licenses to carry guns and alcohol.

Missouri's new concealed weapons law doesn't take effect until Oct. 11, but Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle is already telling residents "guns and drunks don't mix -- safely or well." 

"Driving while intoxicated is a very dangerous activity," he said. "But possession of a firearm while intoxicated is even more dangerous. That's why I've informed law enforcement that we're going to aggressively prosecute these cases." 

He expects many people will seek permits to carry concealed weapons, and believes it is important to public safety they are not intoxicated when they carry them. 

"When they're making plans to go out, people need to take their guns out of their holsters and leave them in a desk drawer if they're going to drink that night," Swingle said. 

"Drunks who carry weapons, concealed or otherwise, in Cape Girardeau County will be charged with felonies and my office will seek jail time," he said. 

Lt. David James of the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department said raising possession to a felony was "probably a good move." 

"They're probably trying to keep weapons out of the hands of those who are too intoxicated to have the mental capacities to make good judgments," he said of the legislature's choice. 

There is an obvious link between gun violence and alcohol, as well as the tragedy suffered by thousands of families each year due to drunk drivers.

If no action is taken by Colleyville City Council in the Jones matter, the definition of "moral turpitude" is likely to be considered a very elusive matter. Consider, a complaint about a political opponent's sign to the Elections Commission was considered "moral turpitude" by some, versus the serious crime of being arrested for both drunk driving and having a weapon while intoxicated, as described above. If  these offenses do not rise to "moral turpitude," then citizens are likely to ask just what offense will reach "moral turpitude involving grave infringement of the moral sentiment of the community? 

Click  Here to read a column concerning this article.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports over the past 20 years that 40% to 60% of all killed in automobile crashes are alcohol related.
Calendar Year Total Killed in
Alcohol Related Crashes
Total Killed in
All Traffic Crashes
Number Percent Number Percent
1982 26,173 60% 43,945 100.0%
1983 24,635 58% 42,589 100.0%
1984 24,762 56% 44,257 100.0%
1985 23,167 53% 43,825 100.0%
1986 25,017 54% 46,087 100.0%
1987 24,094 52% 46,390 100.0%
1988 23,833 51% 47,087 100.0%
1989 22,424 49% 45,582

100.0%

1990 22,587 51% 44,599 100.0%
1991 20,159 49% 41,508 100.0%
1992 18,290 47% 39,250 100.0%
1993 17,908 45% 40,150 100.0%
1994 17,308 43% 40,716 100.0%
1995

17,732

42% 41,817 100.0%
1996 17,749 42% 42,065 100.0%
1997 16,711 40% 42,013 100.0%
1998 16,673 40% 41,501 100.0%
1999 16,572 40% 41,717 100.0%
2000 17,380 41% 41,945 100.0%
2001 17,400 41% 42,196 100.0%
2002** 17,419 41% 42,815 100.0%

*Source - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration FARS data
**As of July 17, 2003

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