It has been an extremely productive week for the City of DeSoto and the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Board in terms of delivering on follow-up actions requested by residents of DeSoto concerning the Jeremiah Quarles Case (State of Texas vs. Jeremiah Quarles; Cause No. F18-00136-Q).
On Monday evening, September 16, 2019, a Town Hall Meeting was held featuring a presentation by DeSoto Police Chief Joseph Costa concerning the investigation and criminal prosecution of the former DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Jeremiah Quarles. Also taking part in the discussion of the issues were DeSoto Mayor Curtistene S. McCowan and DeSoto Economic Development Corporation Board President Perry Holloway.
The meeting was so well attended that additional seating had to be brought in throughout the course of the evening. All audience members requesting to ask questions were able to do so and the questions asked were extremely direct. Some centered about criticisms that detailed information about the criminal investigation was not provided during the investigation. This was addressed during the meeting and was also an important part of Mayor McCowan’s Opening Statement. Said Mayor McCowan, “I have been a public servant for over 47 years, either by profession, elective office or as a volunteer. I am a retired senior investigator with over 30 years of investigative experience with the Federal Trade Commission. I would never allow anyone to convince me to jeopardize or compromise the integrity of a criminal investigation or to ignore the legal advice of the City’s legal counsel or the Assistant District Attorneys handling a case forwarded to them by the City for prosecution. Some people might not know better, but I want you to know because of my training, my experience, and my personal integrity I know better.”
Mayor McCowan noted that while the subject matter of the meeting was not at all pleasant, it was a discussion that needed to take place. The Mayor observed, “Learning the facts of investigation and prosecution of our former Economic Development Corporation’s CEO is extremely important because much of the information that had been circulating previously was neither complete nor objective. The facts that were presented at the meeting are critical to the understanding of the case and I encourage everyone to watch the on-demand rebroadcast of this Town Hall Meeting via the City of DeSoto’s website at http://desototx.swagit.com/play/09162019-1119/#2 .”
Listening to the voices of our residents was also the driving force behind the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation’s (DEDC) Board of Directors recent unanimous vote to move forward with a forensic financial audit of DEDC finances related to the Jeremiah Quarles Case covering a period between 2012 and 2018. On Monday evening September 16th the DEDC Board President formally signed the contract for the forensic audit with Dallas-based Nelson Forensic & Advisory Services, LLC. The auditing consultant’s team will be led by Alan Nelson and William Brown. Alan Nelson is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an expert who has more than 20 years’ experience in computer forensics. Bill Brown is also a CPA as well as a licensed attorney and former FBI Special Agent with more than 35 years of forensics experience. You can read more about them on their website: https://www.nelsonforensicadvisory.com/
“We will continue to take the necessary actions to keep moving DeSoto forward, but those actions must include coming together so that our city can start to heal,” noted Mayor McCowan. “Our residents and our city deserve nothing less.”