The Ector County District Attorney’s Office has issued an ultimatum to Tommy Ervin, the president of the Ector County Utility District.
If Ervin does not provide evidence he was pardoned in a 1970s-era cocaine case or resign by Oct. 19, District Attorney Dusty Gallivan will file a civil petition to have Ervin removed from office by a judge.
“The bottom line is Mr. Ervin is holding office illegally,” Gallivan said Tuesday afternoon.
According to state law, convicted felons are unable to hold public office and Gallivan said he was recently presented information that proves Ervin was convicted of possession of cocaine on Oct. 6, 1976, and there’s no indication Ervin was ever pardoned.
Ervin insists he was pardoned in 1987. He believes the proof was lost when several boxes disappeared after the Texas Board of Paroles and Pardons moved from Huntsville to Austin and back again.
A lawyer he hired also discovered the Texas Board of Paroles and Pardons doesn’t even have a log showing who applied for paroles and pardons, Ervin said.
Ervin was unaware of the district attorney’s letter until a phone call from an Odessa American reporter Tuesday night. He’s confident the pardon isn’t going to be found within the 10 days he was given.
He’s not sure if he’ll resign or not.
“I probably won’t make up my mind until the last minute,” he said.
Gallivan said he was provided the information by Jeff Russell, the publisher of Odessa Headlines and the Odessa Development Corporation vice president.
Russell has been trying to get someone to investigate Ervin since last year.
The Texas Rangers declined to launch an investigation stating “the merits of the allegation did not rise to a level of Texas Ranger investigative involvement.”