► Burnt Orange Report - 03/15/08 - Texas Chief of Staff Scams Watchdog Print E-mail

Burnt Orange Report - 03/15/08 - Texas Chief of Staff Scams Watchdog


Sen. Bob Deuell's Chief of Staff, Todd Gallaher, was caught redhanded doing some really stupid and potentially illegal things this week. It is being reported that Gallaher used state computers for campaign work, impersonated a state representative via email, tried to blackmail a sitting Sheriff and lied to an ethics watchdog group who filed a complaint against his boss by claiming to be Dallas Morning New reporter.
Todd Gallaher had been on leave from Republican state Sen. Bob Deuell's office since last month, when he used an e-mail address that looked like it belonged to a Democratic lawmaker to send out embarrassing photos of a South Texas sheriff up for re-election.
As recently as Thursday night, however, he was back in Dr. Deuell's Capitol office, apparently identifying himself as a Dallas Morning News reporter in a phone call with a California ethics watchdog.
I am curious whether being "on leave" from the Senator's office was because he did something wrong or it is just code for taking time off to work on the Sheriff election.
1. Don't use state computers for state work - it's not what the taxpayers would want and it's illegal.
2. If you are going to impersonate someone, don't have a lame excuse when you are caught.
Dr. Deuell of Greenville said Mr. Gallaher told him he wasn't impersonating Garcia when he sent out the photos, which Sheriff Gilliam says were taken at a raucous New Year's Eve police party in 1989. Dr. Deuell, who has apologized profusely for his staffer's actions, said Mr. Gallaher told him the personal e-mail address stands for "Republican Jaun Garcia," a super hero-like caricature Mr. Gallaher created long before Mr. Garcia ever took office.
I don' t know what is worse: the sorry excuse for an excuse or that Sen. Deuell seems to believes him. And it continues:
If the e-mail address on the South Texas sheriff photos was truly just a coincidence, Rep. Garcia said, it's one that's "beyond comprehension." His office has asked for evidence that Mr. Gallaher has used the alter ego before – a request that Dr. Deuell said has produced cartoon sketches from the 1990s. In those sketches, Mr. Gallaher points out, "Juan" is spelled "Jaun," a sign that the character is in no way linked to Mr. Garcia. In the e-mail address, however, it was spelled "juan."
Also, it appears that Gallaher was on the payroll of the Sheriff's opponent who won the race. That candidate "has paid $11,000 since July 2007 to an Austin-based consultant – one that lists Mr. Gallaher's post office box as its address."
The outgoing Sheriff, Gilliam, is asking the Attorney General to open an investigation on Gallaher. "He says before the photos were released, he received two e-mails from a different address, telling him to "back off" of his opponent or risk public embarrassment. Those e-mails both traced back to the Dr. Deuell's office, Sheriff Gilliam said."
Of course, this isn't the first of Gallaher's indiscretions. "He was deeply involved in a messy state tug-of-war over privatizing the state's specialty license plate business in 2006 – drawing allegations of meddling from transportation department officials."
I wonder who is going to be dumb enough to hire this kid. Free advice to Republicans: stay away from him.

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