TCOLE recommends 10-year penalty for Henry Jackson

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A recommendation was made last week by the executive director of the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement regarding the possible license suspension of suspended Smith County Precinct 1 Constable Henry Phillip Jackson.

According to a petition filed in May, TCOLE executive director Kim Vickers recommended a 10-year suspension of Jackson’s peace officer’s license.

First elected to the Precinct 1 position in Smith County in 1999, Jackson began serving a six-month sentence in federal prison at the Seagoville Unit near Dallas in October 2017 after pleading guilty to four counts of willfully failing to pay his federal income taxes in September of the same year. Jackson was also sentenced to a year a probation in the case.

He was released from the Seagoville Unit in April and placed in a halfway house and into a residential re-entry program until the end of his original sentence, which expired Wednesday, April 25.

Jackson entered a guilty plea to the charges in May 2017, as he was presented with the information and decided to plead guilty rather than having the case brought before a Grand Jury.

He was handed down the six-month federal prison sentence during a sentencing hearing in front of Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Along with his wife, Jackson failed to pay federal taxes in a three-year span from 2010 to 2013 totaling $157,489 before additional fines and penalties. Jackson has since filed the federal tax returns for those years and now owes over $160,000 in back taxes.

Jackson potentially could have faced up to a year in federal prison on each of the four counts at his sentencing, according to federal statutes.

Despite the guilty plea, Jackson was initially allowed to continue to carry firearms while on supervised release and continue in his elected role as Smith County Constable, according to a ruling from a federal judge.

If Jackson’s peace officer’s license is suspended by TCOLE, he will not be able to have any kind of TCOLE-held license “unless and until such time as he demonstrates compliance with the requirement of applicable TCOLE rules,” according to the petition.

Jackson has chosen to respond to the petition sent by TCOLE, rather than agreeing to the action by signing a waiver attached to the petition. According to his response, Jackson is denying all allegations made against him.

As of print deadline, Jackson’s hearing with the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings has not been set.

In a letter dated Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017, Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran called on Jackson to resign his office and waive his right to the pay and benefits associated with the office of Smith County Constable, stating that he had asked Jackson for his resignation privately, an offer Jackson declined.

“As you recall,” said Moran, in the letter, “I made this request to you privately and face-to-face in my office weeks ago. I did so privately in an effort to avoid embarrassing you publically with the request. At the time that we met, I made two requests of you. First, I requested that you resign outright. Second, and in the alternative that you decided not to resign, I requested that you waive receipt of any compensation from Smith County while you were incarcerated. I acknowledged at the time that under state law neither I, nor the Commissioners Court, had any authority to force you to take either action. But, I urged you to do so in the best interest of the citizens of Smith County and for the purpose of preserving the integrity of your office you currently hold.”

The decision was made in December 2017 by visiting judge Richard Beacom in Smith County’s 7th District Court to suspend Jackson from his position and appoint Bobby Garmon as the replacement to run the constable’s office on a day-to-day basis in his absence.

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