Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas Page: 86 of 94
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On November 9th Governor-Elect Connally announced that he deplored the
slant-well scandal and hoped to help prevent its recurrence. "I am going to strongly
support any step toward strengthening our laws and regulations to prevent a recurrence.
On November 20th the Investigating Committee voted to cite former Gregg
County Judge Earl Sharp for contempt of the legislature for failure to appear in
answer to a subpoena.
On November 27th the attorney general filed 52 civil penalty suits, alleging
violation of the RRC rules and drilling slanted holes. 67 individuals and 9 companies
in Gregg, Rusk, Upshur and Wood Counties were sued. This brought to 57 the total
number of penalty suits filed, seeking total penalties of $25,000,000. Among the
defendants in the latest suits were District Judge David Moore of Longview and
former Gregg County Judge Earl Sharp.,
By December 11th slanted wells had been found in nine fields.
On December 12th a blue-ribbon Gregg County Grand Jury returned 209 indictments
against 44 defendants. Indicted for the first time was District Judge
David Moore. Indicted again was Judge Earl Sharp.
The change in climate had now become total as indicated by the Gregg County
Grand Jury's scathing report, stating:
. deplored a society where the "fast buck" has replaced
business integrity and where "corruption or theft is regarded
by increasing numbers as smart operating.
Both through innuendo and pointed accusation we, the people
of Gregg County, stand indicted in the eyes of the nation as
a community which has abandoned its civic righteousness...
Individually and collectively we well may ask of ourselves:
"What has happened to the old-fashioned concept of sin?
Have the Ten Commandments been repealed?"
. . . While alleged bribery of officials in responsible
positions of public trust is unconscionable, to be overly
concerned with assessing blame is to take a negative
approach. The positive approach is to move in the
direction of preventing a recurrence of such actions.
This grand jury, to a man, takes the position that illegal
drilling must be eliminated forever by whatever means
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas Legislature. House of Representatives. General Investigating Committee. Official report to the House of Representatives of the 58th Legislature of Texas, book, 1963; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5869/m1/86/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .