Rangers say Potter official abused tax exemption

Rangers say Potter official abused tax exemption

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The criminal complaint against Potter County's head of information technology department says he used the county's tax exemption certificate to buy materials for a job he had on the side.

It alleges Jason Patrick, 43, made the purchase on September 14 according to video surveillance footage.

NewsChannel 10 could not contact Patrick for comment.

A post on Patrick's website amarillopianoman.com, which he uses to promote his music career, says he did nothing wrong, and the case involves a vendetta involving his firing of a friend of another Potter official.

Texas Rangers arrested him Friday, and he posted a $5,000 bond to get out of the Potter County Detention Center. The Potter Commissioners' Court suspended Patrick indefinitely with pay on the same day.

As head of the technology department, Patrick had access to the county's computer system and other systems, but the county has tried to keep him from using them.

"Clearly he has the capability. That is a concern," said 47th District Attorney Randall Sims who will likely prosecute the case if a grand jury returns an indictment. "We have taken the steps we can take to protect our assets."

The charge of abuse of official capacity is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $4,000 fine.

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