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Gainesville man accused of impersonating police chief

A candidate for the Gainesville ISD School board is out of jail, accused of impersonating the...
A candidate for the Gainesville ISD School board is out of jail, accused of impersonating the Police chief on a Go-fund me account.
Published: Mar. 4, 2021 at 6:26 PM CST
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) - A candidate for the Gainesville ISD School board is out of jail, accused of impersonating the Police chief on a Go-fund me account.

The fundraiser is linked to PRO Gainesville- a group of local community members who promote racial equality. It’s the same group that’s had run-ins with the Gainesville Police Department in the past.

In September, leaders of the organization PRO Gainesville were charged with obstructing a highway or other passageway during a demonstration held at the county courthouse, in response to confederate monuments they want removed.

“Whether or not you want to debate they were sufficiently told to get back on the sidewalk is one case,” said Joel Najera. “The thing is how quickly the leaders were charged with obstruction of passageway or highway, whichever charge that is.”

A GoFundMe page was created for legal fees, and that’s when Joel Najera donated under the name ‘PC Kevin Phillips.’

A candidate for the Gainesville ISD School board is out of jail, accused of impersonating the Police chief on a Go-fund me account.

But Gainesville Police Chief Kevin Phillips said in a statement to News 12, the online donation in his name made it appear he was working against his own Department, and that 1st Amendment freedom ends when it causes harm to someone else.

The Texas Rangers have now completed their investigation, and it’s been filed with the Cooke County Attorney’s Office.

“I did issue a letter of apology to Chief Phillips, and insist that we resolved this in a different way, I acknowledged yes, this could be considered juvenile, I know you may have been offended by this, can we resolve this in a way that doesn’t waste the resources of our community,” Najera said. “He’s responded only by saying that he will submit this in my case file- did not acknowledge the apology at all. That being said, I will fight this case, because I am innocent, I am not guilty of doing anything illegal.”

Najera says he is not a member of PRO Gainesville, and still plans to run for Gainesville school board.

“If this does not get dismissed I intend to take this to the furthest level needed, in order to clear my name, of what I believe was my first amendment right.. I apologize for what I did, but I do not believe I should be punished in this fashion” said Najera.

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