Wichita GOP Explains Why it Hadn't Paid for 2010 Primary

The Republican Party of Wichita County is talking about why the group took so long to pay for the 2010 Primary Election. It was prompted by the issue making it to the agenda of the Wichita County Commissioners.

Under General Business it listed, "Receive explanation from Tom McCorkill, Wichita County Republican Chairman, for reason in delay of payment for 2010 Primary Election."

Before today's commissioner's meeting, we got this statement from Danny Breegle, Vice Chair of the Wichita County Executive Committee.

"When the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of Wichita County was alerted almost a year ago that an outstanding bill to Wichita County for the 2010 Primary Election remained unpaid, we shared our concerns then with Chairman McCorkill and Wichita County officials. The Executive Committee continued to work tirelessly to remediate this situation, and have done everything within the powers dictated by the State Election Code to encourage the Chairman to writ/submit a check covering this long overdue bill. Because TX State Code gives the Party Chairman sole power to sign checks from this account, it has always been Chairman McCorkill's responsibility to rectify this problem."

McCorkill was expected at the Commissioners' Court meeting, but told Judge Woody Gossom he had a medical appointment to keep and would be unable to attend. While the meeting was still going on, McCorkill arrived with a check for the County Treasurer to pay the balance in full.

Still, it wasn't enough for County Judge Woody Gossom. "The money is paid and I am glad to see that done, but I still feel he owes and explanation for all this delay which I think falls on his shoulders," said Gossom. Gossom plans to subpoena McCorkill to appear before the court and explain his actions.

Party leaders are upset with McCorkill. They have passed several resolutions asking for him to step down. They say he has refused to do so. "I hope he realizes the executive committee, who he has to work with, does not support him. We have no confidence in him we voted no confidence in him and we voted unanimously to ask him to resign," said Breegle. "He needs to resign and let the people of Wichita County move on and let the Republicans of Wichita County move on with a new leader," said former Chairperson Bruce Harris.

McCorkill was reluctant to answer questions, exiting the back door of a county office. Newschannel 6 Reporter Paul Harrop followed him through the courthouse, lobbing inquiries before he finally gave some explanation. "Why did it take so long," Harrop asked. "Because I had not received the money from the State," said McCorkill. "When did that money come in," Harrop followed. "Just in the last few days," said the Chairman. Breegle said the check had come though several weeks prior.

Breegle said there have been several questions raised about the misuse of funds by McCorkill. Newschannel 6 has submitted a formal request for information about an investigation Breegle claims is underway into the matters by state officials. McCorkill refused several requests to discuss the matter with Newschannel 6.

Paul Harrop, Newschannel 6