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Monday, September 9, 1996

Failed dairy's PIF application probed at trial

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 9, 1996 - Pecos River Livestock borrowed $28,000 from
Reeves County's revolving loan fund to purchase 80 acres of land from
Dr. Elvia Reynolds to establish a goat dairy, county auditor Lynn Owens
testified this morning.

Reeves County is suing the corporation and its shareholders for $131,000
advanced to them in 1993, plus interest accrued since.

Owens testified about county financial records introduced by John
Stickels, attorney for Reeves County.

Under questioning by Michael Morgan, attorney for the corporation and
several shareholders, Owens said that a loan application submitted by
Randall W. Reynolds for the group showed $11,900 budgeted for land

The land was described as "a desirable location 10 miles south of Pecos
on U.S. Highway 285," Morgan said.

It showed a three-foot drop, good drainage, a 600 gpm well with good
water and a six-inch pump with motor, plus a smaller well with two-inch
submersible pump that would provide water for goats and the milk barn,
he said.

"Did you know Elvia Reynolds had a test done on that well and learned it
was barely good enough for livestock?" Morgan asked Owens.

"No, I don't know," Owens said.

"Is there anything in the application that lets the world know this
desirable location was owned by his (Randall Reynolds') own father?"
Morgan asked.

"No," Owens said.

"Did anyone determine if this was a bogus price?" asked Morgan.

"No," Owens said. He earlier noted that the application was submitted to
other Pecos Industrial Foundation, who recommended that the county loan
the money.

That application also had resumes of prospective shareholders attached,
Morgan said. Of those, only Tacy and Mark Ellis had any experience with
goats, and they did not become a part of the corporation.

"The others were a painter, working folks, a saddle maker," Morgan said.
"Those are the only ones showing goat experience in the last decade."

Owens was excused until 2 p.m. so that county attorney Bill Weinacht
could testify regarding attorney fees. Stickels was employed by Reeves
County to file the suit, he said. He is being paid an hourly fee.

Danny Reynolds, who became manager of the goat farm project, and his
father, Elvia Reynolds, were present at the defense table this morning,
along with Roger Simmons of Carlsbad, N.M.

Other stockholders named in the suit are John F. Teague, Rosemary
Wilkie, David Kidd, Mark Wilkie, Wiley B. Kidd, Roger Simmons, Louis
Lively and Trevor Teague.

Randall Reynolds is not a defendant because he has an agreement with the
county to pay his portion of the debt.

Randall and Elvia Reynolds filed a $100,000 damage claim against other
stockholders who wrote a letter to Reeves County complaining of alleged
improprieties in handling of funds and management of the goat dairy. It
is carried as part of the original suit.

Commissioners approve RCH tax collection pact

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 9, 1996 - Reeves County commissioners approved a
contract for the assessment and collection of the Reeves County Hospital
District taxes by the County during at this morning's regular
commissioners court meeting.

The contract is for $14,000 with the stipulation that the hospital
district will be allowed to obtain their own attorneys for the
collection of delinquent taxes.

The action was among the few items commissioners dealt with during this
morning's meeting. They plan to reconvene Tuesday at 10 a.m. to discuss
the other five items on the agenda, including a new Chief Executive
Officer for the Reeves County Detention Center and RCDC employee pay

Along with the tax collection pact with the hospital, commissioners also
listened to an update on the effective tax rate for the county from
county tax-assessor collector Elfida Zuniga. No action was needed on
this discussion.

The effective tax rate has been calculated and published at .67525,
according to Zuniga.

Commissioners approved the hiring of early election workers for the
November elections. Nora Briceno and Debbie Thomas were both approved as
early election workers at the rate of $6 an hour beginning Oct. 16
through Nov. 1.

An order regarding the Nov. 5 special elections concerning the unexpired
term of District 28 Senator John Montford and an order of general
elections were approved.

An order regarding the rate to be paid to election workers was approved
with 42 election workers including judges, to receive $6 per hour, the
same rate as last year.

Commissioners agreed to hire Mari Maldonado as grant administrator of
two grants the county is currently working on. The grants had been left
in limbo following the resignation of grant administrator Nick Granado.

"Maldonado has been doing this every afternoon and she's been doing a
really good job," said Weinacht.

Weinacht's recommendation came following some concern from the state on
whether a public official should be taking over this project.

"I told them it wasn't up to me, but the commissioners court, even
though they didn't make a big deal about it," said Weinacht.

Weinacht and his staff were hired to administer the two grants dealing
with septic tanks and housing rehabilitation.

"I hired Ms. Maldonado and she has caught us up with a lot of the
reports," said Weinacht.

Weinacht told the court she has been receiving most of her input from
the state and that she has been doing an excellent job.

Commissioners agreed to a contract for Maldonado at $14,000 for both
grants until both grants are completed.

"This is for both projects, until they are both completed," said

The county will be saving $41,000 in hiring Maldonado at this rate and
the monies can be used elsewhere, according to Weinacht.

In other business, under the advisement of county auditor, commissioners
agreed to keep the same health care provider, Blue Cross, Blue Shield.

Jury chosen in ADA suit by Flores against


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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 9, 1996 - Jury selection began this morning in a civil
damage suit filed by Elizer G. Flores against Reeves County, charging
hiring discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Flores claims he applied for a job at the Reeves County Law Enforcement
Center on Mar. 1, 1994. During the interview, he was asked if he could
do the job of a correctional officer despite his disability - missing

His attorney, Allen Shroder, «MD120»Column 1: vj expansion of 0.55
points at lines, 0.55 at par«MDNM»
asked potential jurors this morning if they believed a man with missing
fingers should not apply for a job as a correctional officer. None

Numerous prospective jurors said they have worked at the LEC or have
relatives or friends working there.

Sheriff Arnulfo Gomez and several present or former LEC employees are
among the witnesses expected to testify.

Richard Bonner of El Paso represents the county.

Judge Bob Parks is presiding.

Former deputy Villalobos appointed to police force

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Staff Writer

PECOS, September 9, 1996 - Former Reeves County sheriff's deputy Felipe
Villalobos said he is, "grateful to back in law enforcement," on
Thursday, his first day as an official police patrolman after serving as
a reserve officer for the force.

Villalobos has a long history in local law enforcement, starting as a
jailer for the Reeves County Sheriff's Department in the early 1970s
under Reeves County Sheriff A.B. Nail.

In 1980, Villalobos was promoted into the criminal division of the
sheriff's office as Deputy Sheriff by then-sheriff Raul Florez.

Under Florez's direction, Villalobos continued to climb the law
enforcement career ladder, filling various supervisory positions within
the department, during which time he served as Captain and then Chief

A Barstow native, Villalobos was appointed to serve as monitor for the
Reeves County Law Enforcement Center (now the Reeves County Detention
Center) which houses prisoners for the United States Bureau of Prisons.
At this post, he was in charge of overseeing the security aspects of the

He began serving as a reserve officer in 1993, one year after leaving
the Reeves County Sheriffs Department, after Florez was replaced in
office by Andy Gomez.

Villalobos ran for sheriff earlier this year, but was defeated in the
March Democratic primary for Reeves County Sheriff by Gomez.

Villalobos had been working in recent months as a substitute for the
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD prior to his Pecos Police Department assignment.
He replaces Sgt. Frankie Hernandez, who resigned to continue his college


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PECOS, September 9, 1996 - High Sunday 91, low last night 66. Weekend
rainfall .01 inch. September rainfall .04 inch. Year-to-date 7.98
inches. Tonight, clear. Low 60-65. Light east wind. Tuesday, sunny. High
in the mid 90s. Southeast wind 5-10 mph.
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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