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Smith Co. Judge candidate facing lawsuit over military service

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SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -

Major General John Furlow, who's challenging Joel Baker for Smith County Judge, is facing a lawsuit with the state over money he earned during his military service.

For several years Furlow ran the Texas Army National Guard. in 2010 the Adjutant Generals Department teamed up with the Texas Attorney General's office to demand nearly $130,000 dollars in wages back from Furlow.

That's money the Major General took home between 2003 and 2008.

At the time Furlow was earning state and federal paychecks based on a complicated arrangement involving time spent switching between state and federal service.

Now the state says he was illegally double-dipping and wants the money back.

CBS 19 spoke to Furlow by phone Thursday and he said the lawsuit is political payback for refusing a request from Governor Rick Perry to manipulate $30 million in state money. He has also filed a counter-suit.

Baker issued the following statement:

 

"I have recently received numerous questions regarding information that my political opponent is accused of wrongfully issuing orders to receive compensation... essentially "double-dipping" while serving as commander of the Texas Army National Guard.  It is my understanding that he is being sued by the State of Texas to collect approximately $130,000 in excess compensation and that both the FBI and the public integrity unit of the Travis County District Attorney's Office have been investigating this matter.

At this point, it is a pending civil lawsuit and a possible criminal investigation that has not yet gone to trial.  Therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on the merits of the case until there has been a final resolution of these matters."

 

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