Plum Grove city council erupts in argument after Dolcefino releases findings of phone records for mayor, county officials

Plum Grove City Councilwoman Barbara Norris (pointing pen) tells Mayor Mary Arrendell that she doesn't trust her after being told that the mayor allegedly is in communication with Colony Ridge developer Trey Harris. The information was shared by Wayne Dolcefino during the April 12 city council meeting.

A Plum Grove City Council meeting on Monday, April 12, turned into a heated discussion between Mayor Mary Arrendell and members of council after private investigator Wayne Dolcefino shared findings of an open records request that included phone records for Arrendell and county officials.

Dolcefino Consulting, owned by former news reporter Dolcefino, is the hired gun the City contracted several months ago to look into alleged problems with the Colony Ridge developments that many Plum Grove residents believe are responsible for flooding their neighborhoods and breaking down city streets. The six Colony Ridge subdivisions have added tens of thousands of residential lots to the Plum Grove area, which was ill-equipped to handle the thousands of vehicles traveling city streets each day.

The argument erupted when Dolcefino shared that the mayor’s phone records show she is in regular communication with Colony Ridge developer Trey Harris. Currently, Plum Grove City Council members, with the exception to Arrendell, are embroiled in a lawsuit with Colony Ridge.

A Liberty County sheriff’s deputy attempts to escort Wayne Dolcefino from the April 12 Plum Grove City Council meeting.
Wayne Dolcefino with Dolcefino Consulting (right), during the April 12 Plum Grove City Council meeting, shares findings of an open records request for phone records between city and county officials and Colony Ridge developer Trey Harris.

“The mayor, at the time of this ongoing litigation, is talking to Trey Harris all the time. I got the phone records. A lot, a lot, a lot,” Dolcefino told the council.

Dolcefino said the phone records show that Arrendell is communicating with Harris sometimes just minutes after she has spoken to City Attorney Carl Alred, suggesting that she might be sharing privileged communication with the developer that could put the City in an adverse position in the lawsuit.

“Now look, I’ve even thought about it, maybe she is working back channels,” Dolcefino said. “Maybe she is trying to work it out with Trey Harris, and that’s fine, in my view, as long as the city attorney knows, as long as the city council knows. You can’t, especially in lawsuits, and the last thing lawyers will tell you is never talk to the other side in a lawsuit.”

Arrendell explained that her communications with Harris were with the City Attorney’s knowledge. Alred was not present at the meeting to confirm or deny this claim.

The mayor said her phone calls with Harris were in an attempt to work out an interlocal agreement to help fix the roads in Plum Grove.

“I’ve known the man. Everyone knows I’ve known the man. I’ve had people call me and ask me to talk to him about certain things. I have never hid that. I have been out there and ate lunch. I’ve looked at the maps over and over,” she explained.

“Multiple times a week though?” asked Councilwoman Carly Sager.

Councilwoman Mary Graham Smith told Arrendell that if Harris had information he needed to share with Council, it should be with the entire city council, not just the mayor.

“If he wants to talk, he has to talk to all of us,” Smith said.

Sager suggested that the Mayor’s alleged friendship with Harris may be what prevented her from being part of the lawsuit, a point the mayor denied.

“It looks sketchy. That makes no sense. All of us, not you very conspicuously, were sued for $1 million. It’s concerning because Colony Ridge found grounds to sue us, or they thought they had grounds to sue us. Where did they get whatever information they have?” Sager asked.

As tensions escalated, Dolcefino continued talking, prompting the mayor to tell him his time was up. When he continued to speak, she asked that he be removed by law enforcement personnel at the meeting. However, he was allowed to remain at the council’s insistence.

Dolcefino then explained his efforts to get soil sample reports, drainage studies and hydrology reports from the County related to the first Colony Ridge subdivision, but he has so far had no success. If the records are not produced, Dolcefino suggested that residents should sue the developer and Land Plan Engineering, the engineering firm used by Colony Ridge.

“I ain’t a lawyer. Okay? So I am going to give you some Wayne advice. Those of you who think they were flooded, not the city, you regular folks, you ought to sue them. At the very least, it will force them to produce the records. In my view, if they want to get rid of guys like me, the quickest way is to say, ‘Here are all the records, have a good time, have a field day.’ They won’t do it, which means to me that maybe they exist and they are all fine and they are just being jerks. Maybe they don’t have them. Maybe they never did the soil samples. It’s time for the citizens of Plum Grove to find you a lawyer and take them to court in a way the government cannot do,” he said.

Regarding the phone records Dolcefino shared with Council, they also allegedly showed communication between Harris and Pct. 2 Commissioner Greg Arthur.

“I don’t know what they are talking about. It could be hunting, their families, you never know that. I do know he talks to him an awful lot,” Dolcefino said.

When asked about the phone calls on Thursday, Commissioner Arthur said Dolcefino is skewing information to make it appear more sensational.

“I’ve had a handful of phone calls with Trey Harris over the last year and a half. Most of them were when I was trying to help him get ambulance service there. I was putting him in touch with Liberty County EMS, which didn’t work out in the end,” Arthur said.

Dolcefino admitted during the Council meeting to having less-than-friendly exchanges with Arthur after commissioners court meetings.

“He said I twist everything and I am a big liar, blah, blah, blah,” Dolcefino said.

In other business, the City authorized the purchase of desks, chairs and tables for the new City Hall, located on Plum Grove Road at Paul Campbell Loop, the site of the former city hall that was damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Construction of the new city hall is complete, giving the City just enough time to get ready for the May 1 election.

The City is planning a May 8 grand opening event for the community that will include free food and drinks and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The gathering will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. with the ribbon cutting taking place at 1 p.m.

Council also moved forward with hiring a CPA to conduct a 2020 audit, which is critical for some grant applications the City is currently pursuing to fix roads and infrastructure.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Did Mr. Dolcefino ask for any council members, secretary, or ex mayors phone records? I thought he was hired to investigate the sewage and drainage for the attorney’s who were hired to sue the developer. All Mr. Dolcefino is doing is stirring the pot, he picked up where LeeAnn Walker left off. The council has not cooperated with the new mayor at all. All of that at the last council meeting was nothing short of a witch hunt, attacking our current mayor in hopes she would resign. It is appalling how mean and vindictive this council and ex mayor are. If they want a witch hunt why didn’t they pursue it back before November, they certainly would have bagged their prey then.

  2. I find it extremely concerning that our new mayor’s words never match up with her actions… just like her really LARGE “Re-elect James Boo Reaves Pct 3 Commissioner” sign in her front yard last year that was “just a joke, for fun” (as she told me personally when I pointed out to her that “that’s not going away anytime soon you know this right?”). Yeah, right.. tell me another good one Mayor Arrendell!

    Mr. Dolcefino is doing an amazing job at getting to the truth, hiring his company was the best thing this city has done in a LONG TIME hands-down! I’ve noticed the only people that don’t like Mr. Dolcefino generally have things they want to keep hidden (relationships with that developer who is destroying Liberty County mostly); Mr. Dolcefino isn’t being paid nearly enough in my opinion. This Mayor has acted more like a dictator, failing to include the council members in anything she does making back-room deals with the developer that would primarily just benefit the developer’s non-border “Colonias”…. she should resign or else be removed! We need a mayor who will fight for us, the RESIDENTS of the City of Plum Grove TX… we don’t need a mole-rat mayor giving the developer William “Trey” Harris III inside information on the city’s efforts to fight his malicious lawsuit against our city council members our former Mayor Lee Ann Walker and private citizen / sometime city contractor Donald Enloe!

    ps. The only reason Mary Arrendell became mayor is because her opponent succumbed to cancer last summer…. not exactly a mandate her “election” was, she was the only candidate for the position left with a pulse people! Now would somebody please get me a rope! 😐 (Drops mic and walks away….)

  3. Plum Grove is a joke. Hiring Mr. Dolcefino to investigate wasn’t a bad idea but he needs to dig further into the city council members past and present along with the crooked Ex Mayor Leigh Ann Walker Penton. Ex mayor was a dirty bitch even approved her kin folk for new chief of police job who currently is still under indictment. Further more, just because phone records show people are talking doesn’t mean anything, assumptions makes asses out of both of y’all. New mayor came into office with a shit sandwich waiting and she’s having to clean up Ex mayor and city councils bullshit from years past. Look at history folks, General Santa Ana said his people will get their land back without firing a single shot and that’s exactly what’s happening. Mic drop…………….

    • It’s Mrs. Lee Ann Penton Walker to you Podunk Cowboy! If you can prove I was corrupt about one thing, I’ll buy you a new rope and help you use it 🖤 Please explain how I’m related to the new Police Chief of PGPD? Remember it’s a Liberty county indictment, those are pretty worthless. I love that you can’t resist talking about me! Say my name! But “spell” it correctly! You’re so afraid of me that you hide your real name. That pleases me. You must know me. You know to be afraid! It lets the other little minions know to be afraid too.

      • You were worse, and that comment you posted telling people they should be afraid of you only proves further that you are not the type of person to ever be in ANY position of authority or power or decision making ever again. I don’t think anyone could trust you to flip and serve their burgers after that comment. There’s an old saying that if you give people enough rope, they will hang themselves with it. How was that long drop and short stop for you???

      • She is vile to say the least. She was jumping on others for misspellings, but can’t even spell “awful” herself. Her comments are disgusting. She has no place of power anywhere.

  4. WOW!!! Most of the comments here just make me so proud to be from Liberty county. It is just so refreshing to see adults acting as adults.

  5. My advice to Plum Grove is annex the whole subdivision, establish strict ecological and building codes thus becoming in the near future the largest town in Liberty County.

  6. Who cares how your names spelt. And I do know who you are and definitely not afraid of you and neither are my minions. You retired or got ran out of office, either way your worthless ass is gone. You never did anything worthy for the citizens of Plum Grove anyway but run your mouth. And I don’t see how hiring another crooked family member as Chief of Police is gonna do Plum Grove any good either. Good luck in your future

  7. LeeAnn PENTON WALKER , you serve no justice in that Town and caused your own Tower to fall ….
    You’re curse was broken and you have nothing but a exit of Plum Grove waiting .
    Insulting this City with your childish Witch games makes me laugh in your face.
    I gave you those Wicca books when we were young .
    I gave you my Real Estate books and all my maps I want back that you stole out if my office when I was with your Brother , god rest his soul ….
    You claim every thing is all you and you do nothing but make the world miserable by bullying .
    Now .. you lost by the People .. I must of been a damn good at something and that was picking out evil criminals and so glad I separated from you after you family died off .
    I understand your Mad .. but you do drugs and it’s not a place to mix the two in politics .
    You know the rules .
    You didn’t retire .you were asked to submit a hair follicle to stay as Mayor. Or re run .

    You know I could care less about fighting you but my children’s lives future have been cursed by you and now that curse is broken …I’m putting it right back on you for ever and watch you become who you always been …money hungry and poor scavaging threw life acting like your the brains behind your zillions when you ain’t nothing but a high paid joke that runs Avalon’s business more then profits .. why who cares but I know the truth ..
    And you better keep them spells to your own ..I binded your magic years ago on your back porch Sweetheart , your luck has failed since your Brother left that morning you were such a bitch ..you made him loco ..he himself out and was a nervous wreck leaving texas .
    Don’t excuse yourself from the truth .
    Do not threaten witch craft amongst these Citizens or Residents of Plum Grove if you want your blessings and children’s future to be successful because your crippling them Everytime you do spell work .. in private or in public .. you’re babies pa for your evil .

    Good luck raising that flag today
    Shame your not clean and use your very best intelligence in your home town .
    It’s embarrassed me to watch you act like a demon in plum grove …sad you could be the developer like you insisted and failed .

    Mirror shining on you 24/7 waiting on you .

    Good luck with whatever you’re going to be doing …find love ..find peace ..quit sewing people to make it in this life …go make your own life peaceful .

    Shame you turned on everybidy over guit of your own actions ..
    It’s just sad .
    I remember when Plum Grove was proud to have you as Resident only but that’s faded now ..
    Sad sad .

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.