Feds remain mum on DETCOG investigation
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
As Houston County hosted the monthly meeting of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) at the First United Methodist Church in Crockett on Thursday, Feb. 27, by all appearances it was business as usual after the raid by federal officials on the DETCOG offices in Jasper just a few weeks ago (Feb. 10). Officials also served search warrants at the home and church of DETCOG Executive Director Walter Diggles. After giving a report on DETCOG's Hurrican Ike Disaster Recovery Housing program, Diggles thanked board members, DETCOG staff and friends for their prayers and support over the last month. "As you can see from today's meeting, DETCOG is open for business and carrying on the agency's duties and responsibilities," Diggles told the audience. He also said that DETCOG staff retrieved all of its fiscal files (42 boxes) from the FBI's Lufkin office in the past week. Both DETCOG President Wes Suiter and Diggles stated nothing new has been disclosed by officials involved in the federal investigation. Suiter suggested DETCOG may never know why the FBI, IRS and ICE (Homeland Security) is investigating Diggles, DETCOG and Diggles' church. Diggles reiterated his continuing confidence in the agency's accountability and internal controls, its audits – both from independent auditors and state and federal agencies – and that DETCOG looks forward to receiving a report from the investigation. In other business, the DETCOG board approved the Alrea Agency on Aging of Deep East Texas plan for 2015-2016 that shifts resources to older senior citizens in the region and a restructuring of its budget. Diggles told the Houston County Courier after the meeting that the Houston County Senior Citizen Center may actually see a slight increase in funding.