The Lampasas County Sheriff’s Department said they have been asked to investigate County District Clerk Cody Reed over a credit card. A deputy told Channel 6 Lampasas County District Attorney John Greenwood asked for the investigation after the Lampasas Commissioners Court put an item on the agenda to cancel an unauthorized county credit card.
Records for credit cards used by elected officials, for official business, should be public. So Channel 6 News set out to verify if Reed was actually using a card he should not be.
To do so, Channel 6 News reached out to the Lampasas County Treasurer Nelda DeRiso, Lampasas County Auditor Chris Munn, and Cody Reed’s Attorney, James Stapler.
After calling DeRiso’s office Friday, February 16, Channel 6 learned DeRiso had gone on vacation. Office staff was not willing to discuss card statements and DeRiso did not call us back.
Channel 6 News was, however, able to contact County Auditor Chris Munn about the issue. Emails obtained by Channel 6 indicate Munn had put the item to cancel the card on the Commissioners Court agenda.
Munn did not want to comment on the situation. When Channel 6 asked Munn who managed the county credit card that Reed used, Munn stated, “Nobody handles unauthorized credit cards.”
When asked what office handles county credit cards in general, Munn said: “the only authorized county credit card is in the county auditor’s office."
Munn is the county auditor, so Channel 6 asked Munn if he had any billing statements for the credit card Reed used without authorization.
“You are going to have to request open records,” Munn said.
He did not claim to have any knowledge of a billing statement from a card Reed used.
Finally, Channel 6 News reached out to Cory Reed through his attorney, James Stapler. Stapler said he was not able to have Reed go on the record, but Stapler was able to show Channel 6 several documents for the card he believed the county had a problem with.
The credit card had Reed’s name on it and had a Lampasas County address for the District Clerk’s Office. Stapler said it was a personal card Reed had obtained for county business and also said it was tied to Reed’s social security number.
The card’s billing statement showed an address for the District Clerks Office where Reed works, not the County Auditor’s Office which Munn stated handled county cards.
Stapler was also able to show Channel 6 a receipt for a hotel room tied to the card, and an approved expense report Reed sent to the county for the same amount and purpose. He said he didn’t know how the county expected to cancel the card, as it doesn't have any control over the account.
Considering Lampasas County was not able to produce any records, or make any claims on the record, of a county card Reed used, and with the documents provided for a personal card Reed did use for the same stated purpose of county business, Channel 6 News finds no evidence that District Clerk Cody Reed is using a county credit card in an unauthorized way. The claim is FALSE.
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