By Anton Riecher
Two-term Medina County Precinct 1 Commissioner Timothy Neuman submitted his resignation July 10 effective immediately. Several days later, the Medina County Criminal District Attorney confirmed that a criminal investigation involving Neuman is being conducted by the Texas Rangers.
Margaret Swyers, assistant criminal district attorney, confirmed the investigation, referring all further comment to the Texas Rangers, the investigating agency.
“What we can say is that we are aware of an investigation and to my knowledge there has not been an arrest made,” Swyers said. “Because it is a pending investigation it is not something that we could elaborate on besides that.”
Nothing official has been filed with the Medina County Criminal District Attorney at this point, Swyers said.
The Texas Rangers is the investigation arm of the Texas Department of Public Safety. DPS media representative Erika Miller stated, “Thank you for your patience. The Texas Rangers are investigating. As this is an active and ongoing investigation, no additional information is available.”
The letter of resignation from Neuman was read aloud by County Judge Keith Lutz during the July 13 Commissioners Court meeting in Hondo.
“I am in receipt of a resignation letter from him from July 10 and it says ‘I, Timothy Neuman, resign as commissioner of precinct 1 for personal reasons, effective 7-10-23,” Lutz read.
On a motion by Precinct 3 Commissioner David Lynch, seconded by Precinct 4 Commissioner Danny Lawler, the commissioners voted to accept the resignation by a 3-0 vote.
Lutz then designated Precinct 2 Commissioner Larry Sittre to handle “anything to do with subdivision information” in precinct 1.
“Sittre has agreed to take those responsibilities to help us continue through that process,” Lutz said.
All other precinct 1 matters (not involving subdivisions) were delegated to Lynch, he said.
“Commissioner Lynch has been gracious enough to watch over the day-to-day operation and he will be doing that,” Lutz said. “Commissioner Lawler, down on that end of the county, said if there is anything he can take care of, he said he would like to help as well.”
During the court members announcement segment of the agenda, Sittre elaborated on the importance of county processing subdivision applications, referring to earlier court action involving the San Antonio Trust subdivision, Hunter’s Ranch subdivision and Megan’s Landing subdivision.
“You all just witnessed probably about $850 million worth of subdivisions, okay,” Sittre said. “The subdivisions we are building over there, some of them had 20-year build-out – they built out in 10. Some of them have 15, they built out in five.”
“All I want to say is the work going on in precinct 2, the majority of it, this is what this (indicating the new county courthouse annex) came from. That’s where the new jail came from.”
As much as 80 percent of the funds coming into the county originated with projects in precincts 1 and 2, Sittre said. He noted that Neuman “was probably on two-thirds of stuff with me,” referring to subdivision approvals.
“Every subdivision I put through, he wanted to learn how to do the job,” Sittre said.
Judge Lutz outlined the procedure by which a replacement for Neuman will be appointed. The cutoff date for applications will be August 11.
“Qualifications for the position are the same qualifications it would take to run for that position which is, first, they have to live in the precinct,” Lutz said. “They have to have been in the precinct for at least six months and that they have to have lived in the county for a year.”
Lutz said that information about where those interested in the opening can go to apply would be posted to the county website within several days.
“My intention is not to do anything or talk to anybody about a job for the next couple of weeks,” he said.
Precinct 1, extending from the county seat in Hondo north to the Medina-Bandera county line, represented the largest of the four Medina County precincts by far.
Neuman’s resignation came one day before passage of a Texas Senate resolution proposed by State Sen. Pete Flores congratulating Neuman on graduation from the state’s Commissioner Court Leadership Academy.
Neuman was absent from both the July 6 and 13 commissioners court meetings.
By Anton Riecher