Wednesday , 26 October 2016

McKinney City Council Candidate’s Unlawful Past Surfaces

The Candidate for McKinney City Council District 4 that garnered the most support during the first round of voting has a criminal history that includes driving while intoxicated, public intoxication and a hit-and-run.

Charles (Chuck) Branch, 47, owner of McKinney based Valiant Services and board member of the McKinney Economic Development Corporation is running on the issues of being a public servant – not a politician, improving the City’s tax base and preserving quality of life.

In the first of many misdemeanors that began in 1990, Branch entered a plea of guilty for failure to leave id — the charge given to those that are involved in a car accident and flee the scene. According to Dallas County Court records he was sentenced with probation of 30 days that began January 18, 1991.

Within the next seven years Branch appeared in court twice for misdemeanor accusations of public intoxication and driving while intoxicated. The charge of public intoxication was later dismissed.

The timeline of charges is as follows:

  • 7/12/1990 – Fail to Leave ID
  • 5/6/1993 – Public Intoxication
  • 7/6/1994 – Speeding (58/40)
  • 10/6/1994 – Speeding (56/40)
  • 3/6/1997 – Driving While Intoxicated

“An isolated youthful indiscretion is one thing, but this candidate’s criminal history seems to show a repeated pattern of personal and financial irresponsibility,” said Laura Kayata, President and Founder of the general-purpose Political Action Committee McKinney Watchdog. “Coupled with that is the blatant attempt to hide it (or not disclose it) during the vetting process. Also troubling is the fact that he apparently thought the public wouldn’t find out. The citizens demand accountability, ethics, honesty and transparency in our elected officials. Going forward, if this candidate is elected, I question his ability to govern after this blow to the public trust.”

In a Dallas Morning News voter guide released earlier this year, Branch declined to respond with answers to the questionnaire.

Town Square Buzz also got no answer from the candidate to questions sent in April.

Collin County Sheriff Terry Box has endorsed Branch for the run at District 4.

When asked how he felt about the recently surfaced charges and if it would affect his endorsement Sheriff Box said,

“Chuck Branch shared with me items in his background prior to asking me to endorse him for City Council.  Those unfortunate situations happened nearly 20 years ago. Chuck has learned from them and, as a result, has become a man of great faith and one with high integrity.  He is a strong example of redemption.  I continue to be honored and proud to endorse Chuck for election to the McKinney City Council, Place 4 position.”

Branch could not be reached for comment.

By Sawyer Erickson

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