In effort to clear his name, a Santa Fe veterinarian charged with rape and sexual battery in Louisiana has submitted a DNA sample to law enforcement and has passed a polygraph test, his attorney said.
Meanwhile, officials with the Allen Parish District Attorney’s Office said Friday they still hadn’t received probable cause affidavits for the cases and that the documents wouldn’t be public information until officially filed in court.
Todd Michael Glover, 37, of Hitchcock, has been charged with one count of first-degree rape and three counts of sexual battery in the 33rd Judicial District Court in Allen Parish, court records show.
Aside from the charges, little information has been publicly released about what, exactly, Glover is accused of doing.
Paul Darrow, the attorney representing Glover, this week said he already is combating false information spreading about the case, namely the age of the complainants in question.
Glover’s charges on the Allen Parish Sheriff’s Office website briefly appeared as rape of someone younger than 13, but that was a filing error and the two women in question were 17, Darrow said.
A person can be charged with first-degree rape in Louisiana if he is accused of sexually assaulting someone younger than 13, or if the complainant was incapacitated because of drugs or if extreme force was used, according to state law.
“The jailer didn’t know how to properly input the charges into the computer system,” Darrow said.
Glover voluntarily provided a DNA sample to the Texas Rangers and passed a polygraph test, Darrow said.
Defense attorneys still haven’t seen the affidavits and declined to say more about the accusations, Darrow said.
“All I can say is we are looking forward to our day in court and aggressively defending this case,” Darrow said.
Texas Department of Public Safety officers arrested Glover on Dec. 26 at a Hitchcock residence at the request of the Coushatta Tribal Police Department. Glover was briefly held in the Galveston County Jail as a fugitive from justice before he waived his right to an extradition hearing and was taken to Louisiana, his attorney said.
The Galveston County District Attorney’s Office received documents from Louisiana asking for peace officers to arrest Glover because of pending charges, records show.
Glover was booked into the Allen Parish Jail on Dec. 28, where he stayed through the holidays until a judge gave him a bond during a short court appearance, court officials said. Glover was then released from jail on $90,000 bond, records show.
Glover owns and operates The Animal Hospital of Santa Fe.
When Lynn Ray Ellison lived in “The Rectangle” — the area of Texas City where the city’s African-American community lived and thrived in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s — life was different, he said.
More than 500 black families lived in a 10-block radius between the borders of Texas Avenue to the north, Bay Street to the east, 10th Street to the west and Fourth Avenue to the south. They owned and operated businesses, attended Booker T. Washington School, which closed in 1967, and worshipped at the six churches that lined the block.
“That was our city,” said Ellison, a former Texas City commissioner and one of the city’s first African-American elected officials. “That was where black people had to be in that time, and we made it our own.”
Now The Rectangle and the residents who lived there have been replaced by the refineries of the oil and gas industry, but a memorial to that era is under construction less than a mile away in Sanders Park. The Texas City African American Cultural Park, a 12,000-square-foot brick memorial to the African-American community in Texas City, is a decades-old effort by Ellison and others that’s finally paying off, he said.
“We’ve been working to see this through for more than 12 years,” said Ellison, who served on the commission from 1978 to 2000. “It really is a dream come true to see it happening now.”
Concrete was poured this week for the project, which the city budgeted $250,000 for at a council meeting in December. Construction will continue over the next couple months for an expected mid-March completion, Texas City Parks and Recreation Director Dennis Harris said. The cultural park will be a strong addition to the historical resources the city already has, he said.
“This is the perfect location,” he said. “It’ll be a great complement to our current park system.”
The specifics surrounding what will go inside the memorial haven’t been finalized yet. Officials from the six churches and the Booker T. Washington Exes group are supposed to meet next month to decide.
But the idea behind the project — to memorialize the residents and institutions of The Rectangle, the history behind the African-American community in Texas City, as well as how the explosion in 1947 that killed more than 400 people affected the area — is well defined, Ellison said.
The churches are all donating pieces of their history — bricks, cornerstones, church bells — and the sign that formerly hung on the front of Booker T. Washington will be there too, along with a life-sized statue of Martin Luther King Jr. A wall surrounding the memorial and a gazebo next to it will feature photos of the residents and businesses that used to be in The Rectangle, Ellison said.
“I’ve had people digging through their cedar chests for photos for this,” he said.
For Jasper Victoria, who lived on First Avenue South from the 1934 to the 1950s, right in the middle of The Rectangle, until he graduated high school from Booker T. Washington, the memorial fills an important void in the city.
At that time in Texas City, people didn’t trust each other, Victoria, 84, said. Black people couldn’t cross Ninth Street without being harassed by police or others, he said. The memorial will help to address that time, and remind people of good times as well, he said.
“It’s a good memory,” he said. “When you’re just thinking and you walk by and look, you think of those people who lived in that time. My old principals and friends and pastors — gigantic people in that time. It reminds you of that.”
An anti-drug operation that began last year has resulted in charges against 27 people, according to the La Marque Police Department.
The department on Thursday released details about “Operation Cracked Streets,” while also releasing names and pictures of nearly 30 men it said were arrested as part of the program and of other men who have been indicted but not yet arrested.
The arrests are meant to serve as a warning to drug dealers in the city, a department spokesman said.
The arrests were part of an effort to curb drug sales in La Marque, said La Marque Police Department Lt. Chad Waggoner. The department’s narcotics division targeted low-level crack cocaine sales and people conducting street-level sales, the department said.
Indictments included in-court records related to the arrests showing that many of the men were indicted for drug sales last summer, but were not arrested and charged for the crimes until December. Most of the arrests announced Wednesday were made over a 10-day span in December, Waggoner said.
The charges against the men include manufacture or delivery of a controlled substance, delivery of marijuana and unlawful delivery of a simulated controlled substance. The charges are related to crack cocaine, methamphetamine and prescription drugs, according to the police department.
The indictments were made as a result of the efforts of the police department’s two-person narcotics investigation team, Waggoner said.
The department started the anti-drug operations last year as a way to “improve the narcotics problem in the city,” Waggoner said.
“I think it’s important for the community to know that we’re taking this action against narcotics dealing in La Marque,” Waggoner said. “I think it’s important for the narcotics dealers to know that if you’re dealing dope in La Marque, you’re going to be looking over your shoulder.”
Some of the men are still listed in custody at the Galveston County Jail, according to jail records.
Police said they are still looking for eight men who were indicted as part of the investigation.
A barbecue joint prepares to fire up the pit and there’s confirmation about Conn’s. Read all about it in Laura Elder’s Biz Buzz.
As the city prepares to ask voters in May to raise seawall parking fees, the Galveston City Council also wants to leave open the option to raise fees again later on.
The city council drafted ballot language to continue paid parking along Seawall Boulevard for 10 years and to raise the fees from $1 to $2 an hour, but council members wouldn’t be opposed to raising rates again.
“Two dollars an hour is pretty cheap,” District 5 Councilman John Paul Listowski said. “When I go other places to park, I’m not paying $2 an hour.”
The proposed language caps the hourly rate at $2 an hour, but the council might want to change that later, District 3 Councilman David Collins said.
“If, five years from now, we decide that the $2 is not going to cut it, we could go back to the people and ask for the flexibility,” Collins said.
The seawall parking program is set to expire in the summer of 2020, unless voters agree that it should continue. As city officials plan for the so-called sunset referendum, they also have pushed for a higher rate, saying the fee increase could pay for more amenities such as bathrooms, landscaping and lighting.
Most city council members would rather charge a fee higher than $2 an hour, but want voters to be comfortable with the proposal, they said.
“I want the citizens of Galveston to get more comfortable voting on this,” District 4 Councilman Jason Hardcastle said.
A committee tasked with reviewing the program recommended the fee change, and proposed raising the price of an annual pass to $45 from $25.
The city council wasn’t interesting in raising the price of the annual pass beyond $45.
“The thing I keep hearing about is the residents want the tourists to pay for what they do here,” Listowski said. “That’s why I don’t think they care as much about the hourly rate as they do the annual pass.”
City staff gave the city council the option to put two questions on the ballot — one about continuing paid seawall parking, and the other would authorize the fee hike.
Council members preferred one ballot measure and one question that addressed both issues.
“Given all these options, people are getting confused and it’ll rapidly reduce your chances of success,” Mayor Jim Yarbrough said.
There shouldn’t be a problem with getting voters to approve the fee hike, Collins said.
“I don’t think there’s a great risk in it not passing,” Collins said. “I like what I’ve seen out there. I like what we’ve done. The seawall looks infinitely better than it did 10 years ago.”
The seawall parking program has generated about $3.4 million since its inception in 2013.
Much of that money has been spent on personnel expenses, materials and supplies, according to city records. In fiscal year 2017 to 2018, that accounted for $574,402, or 70 percent, of the $828,101 collected, according to city records.
The many improvements along the seawall have bene paid for mostly with grant money.
More than $1.3 million is in a fund that’s accumulated since 2013, a fund dedicated to future improvements, city officials said.
The city council aims to put the question before voters in May and will vote on the finalized ballot language during its Jan. 24 meeting.