A former small-town Texas official's crime spree may have finally come to an end: Former Anahuac City Administrator Stephone Taylor, currently the mayor of Ringgold, Louisiana, has "pleaded no contest in
Anahuac, Texas, to theft by a public servant."
Chambers County prosecutors had charged Taylor with taking a $7,000 lawnmower owned by the city of Anahuac (in 2007, when he was still mayor) and using it at his home.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. Apparently, Taylor's lust for power knew no bounds: According to a 2008 Houston Chronicle investigation, Taylor was suspected of stealing a computer in the late '90s, when he was a Hunt County official. In 2008, he was alleged to have pilfered an Anahuac city golf cart.
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His trail of wanton greed and destruction began to crumble in 2008, when he was charged with felony theft for Lawnmowergate after a "long and tedious investigation," according to the Anahuac Progress.
Taylor was hired by the City of Anahuac in 2003. At the time, unbeknownst to those who hired him, Kaufman County authorities were investigating Taylor in connection with "financial irregularities" when he was the city administrator for Kemp. He had been fired from the Kemp post after working less than a year.
Taylor had been the subject of other theft charges, which were ultimately dropped due to an expired statute of limitations.
the no-contest plea, Taylor was "ordered to do community service and placed on deferred [adjudication] in lieu of jail time," according to Bossier City, Louisiana TV station KTBS. After three years, if his record stays clean, "the conviction will be removed from his record." He was also fined $1,000 and ordered to perform community service. We hope, for Taylor's sake, some of that will involve cutting grass with that kick-ass lawnmower.