It has been more than 12 years since two former Comal Independent School district administrators were allegedly involved in the embezzlement of district funds for personal gain.
The trial for Thomas Joseph Bloxham, former Assistant Superintendent of Support Services, begins Monday in Judge Bruce Boyer’s 22nd Circuit Court.
Bloxham, now 55, and former Superintendent Marc Walker, 67, were charged in 2016 and 2018 with theft of property by an officer, money laundering and misappropriation of trust property – each allegedly totaling between $20,000 and $100,000.
Bloxham’s attorney, Scot Courtney, said his client was only being tried on the first charge, theft by an officer, a second-degree felony and not the other two, both third-degree felonies.
Courtney said Bloxham’s case has been separated from Walker, who is scheduled to appear in court on August 22.
“(Prosecutors elected theft and changed those charges in the (new) indictment (issued May 2018),” Courtney said.
We’re happy to have a jury to sort this out,” he added. “It’s long pending and hanging over my client – I think he’s very interested in resolving it.”
Charges against both defendants indicated that work and materials on their New Braunfels properties were allegedly performed by or subcontracted by companies paid for with Comal ISD funds. The alleged wrongdoing came before Walker retired and Superintendent Andrew Kim was hired and requested an investigation after Bloxham resigned from the district in late 2012.
Investigations by the Comal County Sheriff’s Office and the district indicated payments to Temple-based construction company Baird Williams, which was responsible for the district’s bond building projects in 2005 and 2008.
An audit found that Comal ISD overpaid the company for these projects by $7.1 million but recovered $5.9 million in a settlement. In 2013, voters rejected a $451 bond proposal that would have built six new schools, leaving the district with facility improvements that continue to this day.
Deputy Superintendent for Communications and Government Relations Steve Stanford said the district had no comment Friday.
Jury selection begins Monday morning, with the trial expected to begin later in the afternoon or Tuesday morning. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.
Current case dispositions
District Attorney for Criminal Cases Jennifer Tharp announced the recent rulings of cases by plea bargain and jury verdict that resulted in prison sentences for defendants in district courts.
On April 13, Michael Rodriguez, 39, of Spring Branch, was found guilty of the November 26, 2019 aggravated robbery in which an elderly man was stabbed four times with a sword during a physical disorder at an apartment building on the 200 block of Cimarron im spring branch.
CCSO MPs found a 77-year-old male victim identifying suspects who fled in his red Honda Civic. He was treated by Canyon Lake Fire & EMS, flown by AirLife to University Hospital in San Antonio and eventually recovered.
Bulverde Police Department units located the Honda on US Highway 281 South near Casey Road, which was occupied by Rodriguez and the victim’s daughter, Amy Louise Elliott, now 44, also of Spring Branch. Smith said BPD made the arrests but turned them over to CCSO MPs. Both were taken to the Comal County Jail and held on $100,000 bail.
On November 23, 2021, Elliott pleaded guilty to grand robbery, elder theft, and fraudulent use and/or possession of less than five elder identifying information and was subsequently sentenced to five years each by 274th Circuit Court Judge Gary Stahl. Rodriguez, who faces five to 99 years in prison, is scheduled to be sentenced June 1 by 466th Circuit Court Judge Stephanie Bascon.
Tharp recognized CCSO investigators and Assistant District Attorneys Daniel Floyd and Lauren Cole for their work on the sentencing, and jurors, judges and ADAs Sammy McCrary, Jessica Frazier, Jacqueline Doyer, Jennifer Barry and Tiffany Hartman for their work on cases that also include the following included:
• Vivian Pena, 33, of New Braunfels, guilty of assaulting emergency services workers by biting, spitting and scratching an emergency room technician. Pena, who faces 2 to 10 years in prison or probation, will be sentenced later by 433rd Circuit Court Judge Dib Waldrip. “In the swift verdict of guilty, the jury sent a message that abusive behavior towards first responders will not be tolerated in our community. Thank you to all the EMTs, ER doctors, nurses, firefighters and law enforcement who are first on the scene and always ready to answer the call for help,” Frazier said.
• Israel Martinez, 40, of Austin, was found guilty of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, Penalty Group 1, between 4 and 200 grams and was sentenced to 50 years in prison by Judge John Phillips. On February 23, 2017, New Braunfels Police patrolling the Days Inn and Motel 6 parking lots noticed Martinez sitting in a vehicle with a gloved hand on his left hand. As the officer approached, Martinez tried to hide his hands and bowed his head when the officer finally learned that Martinez had two active Travis County warrants and a glass meth pipe in the vehicle.
A search of the vehicle found gloves, a ski mask and burglary tools, several bags of methamphetamine and digital scales. Martinez was upgraded to a repeat offender because of his criminal history, including a prison sentence for aggravated robbery in which the victim was shot while committing the crime.
“Thanks to the diligent and proactive policing of NBPD Officer Airola and the jury’s careful review of all evidence and verdicts, a violent drug dealer was taken off the street,” Tharp said.
In March, more than 375 cases were settled in the district courts and circuit courts of the county, including 134 felonies, including:
• Dustin Mugrage, 36, of New Braunfels, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to deliver a Class 1 controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams (methamphetamine) and was sentenced to 25 years in prison as a common offender by Judge Steel .
• Robert Thompson, 29, of New Braunfels, pleaded guilty to possession with intent to supply a controlled substance, Penalty Group 2, between 4 and 400 grams. Upgraded to a repeat offender based on Florida criminal history, Judge Jack Robison Thompson sentenced him to 15 years in prison.
• Gregory Deloach, 36, of Corpus Christi, pleaded guilty to two counts of home burglary and was sentenced to 15 years in prison by Judge Robison.
• Ezequel Reyes, 35, of Canyon Lake, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 25 years in prison as a repeat offender by Judge Bascon.