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Texas Taxes Spent on DCJ Luxuries

Cosmetic improvements were made on a state-owned house in Huntsville - home of a Texas prison official - at public expense. The house is one of the 870 prison houses that the state owns and provides for Texas Department of Criminal Justice executives and employees.

The house was occupied by William C. McCray when the remodeling was done. McCray, who paid no rent or utilities, had to vacate the house by the end of July after being fired in June from his $90,000 a year job for his involvement in the VitaPro scandal. McCray was one of three TDCJ officials who lost their jobs over the VitaPro scandal.

Some of the $9,000 home improvements on the house that McCray requested and had done shortly after he moved in, paid for with tax money, was for converting a living room closet into a bar, refinishing wood floors, and for roll out shelving in the kitchen. These requests, as well as structural repair requests, were made in October 1994.

In May 1995 McCray even requested that wiring for a hot tub be installed at public expense. He later withdrew the request when the warden would not approve it. Approval for all repairs and remodeling must be made by the warden.

A TDCJ spokesman said that the repairs were not excessive because it had been 12 years since any repairs were made on the house.

Source: Palestine Herald Press

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