A Texas Attorney General investigation led to the indictment and arrest of the Bandera County Republican Party’s chair and treasurer last Friday.
“We can confirm that OAG investigated this case but have no further comment at this time. The Bandera County District Attorney presented the case to a grand jury,” said Brent Dupre, Director of Law Enforcement of the Office of the Texas Attorney General.
Bandera GOP Chair Conrad Streigl and Treasurer René Leith turned themselves in to the Bandera County Jail on Jan. 13 following indictments from the 198th District Court filed with the Bandera County District Clerk’s office. The two were indicted for fraudulent securing of document execution regarding an amount between $2,500 and $30,000. According to the Texas Penal Code, this is a state jail felony. Leith is listed on the indictment as Cari Renae Leith.
A March 2022 complaint filed last year with the Bandera County Sheriff’s Office contended then-Chair Lynn Haueter was unlawfully removed from three GOP Bank Accounts after Wells Fargo Bank was presented with a document claiming Haueter had been censured.
Cat Parks, who was at that time the Vice-Chair of the Republican Party of Texas, called the censure groundless and unenforceable.
Streigl, elected unopposed to replace Haueter, told the Bulletin in an email last year he knew the “censure had no teeth because the [Republican Party of Texas] had routinely failed to strengthen Rule 44,” but the action was done on principle. Rule 44 refers to the censuring process as outlined by the state party.
Streigl’s term would not begin until June.
“[Haueter’s] term of office does not end until 11:59 p.m., June 12, 2022,” Jennifer Hall, Organizational Director for the Republican Party of Texas, wrote in a letter last year.
“She was replaced by 3 individuals with equal access and a new dual signature requirement was imposed when before there was no such requirement,” Streigl emailed the Bulletin when confirming Haueter’s removal last year.
Lynn Haueter told the Bulletin last year there were three party accounts totaling over $13,000, one of which was funded by the Texas Secretary of State to compensate election workers for their services during the March 1 primary.
A check delivered to Robert Haueter for his time as an election/poll worker in March 2022’s primary features signatures from both Streigl and Leith.
“They had no authority to issue that check, which is why I didn’t cash it,” Robert Haueter told the Bulletin.
The check was accompanied by a letter urging people to cash the check since Wells Fargo had elected to terminate their relationship with the party.
That letter was signed by Streigl, Leith, Laura Briscoe, Darcy Hasty and Deanna Skoglund (whose name is misspelled on the letter), then-members of the party’s executive committee, whose signatures also appeared on the Haueter censure document.
The check and letter appear in the slideshow above.
Lynn Haueter said she was “sad and embarrassed” for the Bandera community.
"This never had to happen and should not have happened. I’m glad that justice is being done and all the bad actors are being revealed for who they really are,” she said. “My hope is that the community can move forward in selecting people with integrity and honor to lead our Republican Party.”