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4 Tarrant County Deputy Constables Charged In 'Double Dipping' Investigation

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Four Tarrant County deputy constables are criminally charged in a double dipping scheme exposed by CBS11 News. A months-long investigation shows how some Precinct 8 deputies worked private security jobs while apparently on the clock for the county, allowing the men to earn two paychecks at once.

Deputy Keith Johnson and Deputy Jason Lockett turned themselves into Tarrant County Jail on charges of Theft by a Public Servant and Tampering with Government Documents. Both men immediately posted bond and are awaiting court hearings.

Keith Johnson
Keith Johnson (photo credit: CSB 11 News)
Jason Lockett
Jason Lockett

Deputy Hayward Charles and Chief Deputy Arnold Holmes made deals with the DA and have offered to testify against the others. Charles pleaded guilty to one count of Felony Theft. Under the agreement he'll serve two years deferred adjudication, surrender his peace officer license, pay $9,993.29 in restitution, and testify in future trials. In return, court documents show the state agreed to not prosecute him on "any other offenses in this criminal episode."

Chief Deputy Arnold Holmes was the first to sign a plea agreement. He pleaded guilty to one count of Felony Abuse of Official Capacity. Holmes will serve five years probation, surrender his peace officer license, pay $6,660.50 in restitution, and testify for the prosecution if necessary. In court documents Holmes admitted to assigning deputies to work at Fiesta while they were being paid by the county, from January 2016 to September 2017.

Deputy Constables
Fired Tarrant County Deputy Constables

Tarrant County spokesman Marc Flake says Johnson and Lockett were fired Wednesday, while Charles and Holmes retired.

 Holmes' attorney says the former chief deputy "handled things honorably," and was "dealing with the situation up front." CBS11 reached out to Charles' attorney but we have not heard back. Attorney information for Johnson and Lockett has not been made public.

All of the men reported to Constable Michael Campbell. Our 2017 investigation rarely found him at the precinct, but we did see him working at Fiesta. As an elected official Campbell can set his own hours and go where he pleases. In September, Campbell told us the deputies were off-duty while working at the grocery stores. "They are not charging the county." In November, he gave us a statement stating that he had gone over the records and found nothing wrong, and said "the deputies [CBS11] investigated were granted prior approval to work at the designated locations in which [they] were filmed by Ms. [Andrea] Lucia and her Investigative Team."

CBS11 reached out to Campbell for a statement about Wednesday's criminal charges; we have not heard back.  Tuesday, he told CBS11 he was unaware of any charges against his deputy constables.

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