Olton city manager terminated at special council session

Olton city manager terminated at special council session

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Photo: Phillip Hamilton, Olton Enterprise Photo: Phillip Hamilton, Olton Enterprise

UPDATE: The Olton City Council, during a closed special session, terminated its city manager, Marvin Tillman.

The termination, effective immediately, follows grand jury indictments charging Tillman with theft and impersonating a public servant. 

PREVIOUS: Olton City Manager Marvin Tillman was arrested by Texas Rangers Friday on two counts of theft of property. A Lamb County Grand Jury indicted Tillman Thursday on two separate charges of theft more than $2,500 and less than $30,000. 

Tillman is accused of "acquiring or otherwise exercising control" of a 72.4-acre tract of land owned by the City of Olton without the consent of the city. According to the indictment, Tillman failed to pay lease payments on the land. The second indictment alleges theft of city water, "namely by failing to make a deposit payment and monthly payments."

Complaints filed in the 154th District Court accuse Tillman of impersonating a peace officer - a felony - and a misdemeanor theft charge for "acquiring or otherwise exercising control over" tires owned by the City of Olton. 

District Judge Felix Klein set bonds at $5,000 for each indictment - a total of $10,000. No attorney was listed for the city manager. 

Olton Enterprise publisher Phillip Hamilton says he's not surprised by Tillman's arrest. He says the community knew Tillman was under investigation and it was only a matter of time. 

"For a long time we have heard a lot of things," he said. And best we could is look at things, but we don't have the resources of small town newspaper to do that."

Hamilton also recently reported on shake-up in the police department. He said a number of officers left. He said the Police Chief Joe Banda was placed on leave. Banda's name is mentioned in one of the complaints.

"The police chief, to my understanding, was placed on leave for about a month or more," he said. And quite frankly we don't know what his status is to this day. We don't know if he is chief on leave, or not employed."

According to a statement, "The City of Olton has received no official notification of any legal matter involving City Manager Marvin Tillman."

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