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Romei Trial, Day 3 + Courtroom Blog

Bookkeepers and past board presidents highlighted the third day of testimony in the P. David Romei trial.

The morning portion of the day's proceedings featured Kellie Tubbs and Amie McCoy, a pair of former arts council bookkeepers. According to testimony, Romei, the former arts council director, kept credit card records in his office, while all other financial records were kept with the bookkeeper.

Further, both testified it wasn't until late in Romei's tenure that the bookkeepers saw the credit card statements. Previously, they said they only saw pay stubs.

Romei is accused of using arts money for personal expenditures, such as vacations and campaign contributions. He pleaded not guilty to the felony charges of theft and misappropriation.

Under cross examination, McCoy -- who became the interim arts council director when Romei retired in 2005 -- said Romei would inform her when expenditures on arts council cards were personal, so she assumed all other purchases were business in nature. She also said Romei was meticulous in keeping receipts.

The afternoon portion of testimony featured three former presidents of the Arts Council board: Bobby Bisor, Netta Simek and Jimmy Loup. They were the presidents at the times when the alleged crimes took place, and each said they did not authorize the uses of arts money alleged by the state.

The past presidents told the defense they had never filed written complaints against Romei.

In an odd moment, Simek was presented with what the defense said was a signed letter of resignation from the arts council board, a letter she said she had never seen before.

The day wrapped up with testimony from Anna Jones with First National Bank, which had a checking account for Romei. Jones reviewed checks from Romei's account.

In one instance, the jury saw two checks, one numbered after the other, one for $5,000, the other for $1,000, both made out to the Texas A&M Foundation. Jones testified that the $1,000 check showed to have gone through a number of banks, but that the $5,000 check had not been deposited.

One of the charges is that Romei reimbursed himself $5,000 for a $1,000 donation to the A&M Foundation.

Testimony continues at 8:30 a.m. Friday, and the proceedings for the week will end by noon, according to the judge. The state is expected to call its final witness, who will be the state's investigator in this case.

In cross examination, the defense has asked almost every witness about contact with the investigator, and interviews he conducted with them.

For a recap of the second day, click here.

For a recap of the first day, click here.

Live Blog - Follow the Trial as it Happens w/ Steve Fullhart


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