A Broad View by Jerry Hogan: An unexpected surprise

ROCKWALL, TX (Nov. 13, 2022) The Rockwall City Housing Authority is a government agency that operates and maintains public housing in Rockwall, Texas. The organization is controlled by a six-member board appointed by the Mayor of Rockwall. The Housing Authority overseas low-income housing, including the application process, eligibility guidelines, and related resources. About 85 housing units are controlled by the board for this low-income housing in Rockwall City

Last year, 2021, a long-time resident of one of the units, Mr. Gerry Caldwell died. You may have seen Mr. Caldwell in your travels around Rockwall as he was disabled and used either a small type of scooter or a roller type board where he used his arms to push himself along the sidewalk or road. He lived alone and was somewhat of a fixture in the area.

As is custom, when he died, the housing board takes on the task of cleaning, repairing, and painting the unit for the next occupant. One of the Board members, Mr. Joe Lynch, volunteered to help the housing director, Mr. Tony Rios, in this task.

According to Mr. Lynch, when he was in the process of cleaning the bedroom of the unit, he noticed a corner of the room that seemed to be out of place. It was not square with the room nor was it extended to the ceiling. When he investigated it further by knocking on the wall, it seemed to be hollow and totally “added “ on to the room.

When he pushed on the wall, it collapsed inward showing an empty area filled with several small containers. When these containers were pulled out and opened, they contained many $100 bills along with other denominations.

Further investigation of items in the bedroom turned up an additional container like the ones found in the false wall.

When all the discovered money was counted, the total was $123,000.76.

The District Attorney was immediately notified, and her instructions were to have the money placed into an account at a local bank until the investigation was done as to where the money came from or who might be entitled to the funds.

An extensive investigation was then started where all applicable agencies were contacted that could possibly have information on the source of the funds. No information was provided nor were any claims made by any agency for the funds. Additional tracings were attempted on possible family members and again no success.

The only feasible, but remote, explanation for the funds was an old story that suggested that some relative of Mr. Caldwell had long since died and willed their home to him. He allegedly then sold the home and that resulted in the money. No confirmation of this explanation could be found.

The finders of the funds, Mr. Lynch and Mr. Rios, suggested to the Housing Board that these funds be used to add features to the existing “Gloria Williams” park which is located in the area of the low-income homes. (This area, for the old timers, was called “The Flats”). The addition of benches and possible additional playground equipment was suggested.

To date, according to a current board member, no decision has been made on what the funds will be used for, but since Mr. Caldwell was such a long-time resident of that area, the funds would be expended in that area.

A strange but believable story that could happen any time or any place. Guess it might be a lesson for all of us to make sure our plans are complete….. whatever might happen at any time!

Submitted Letter to the Editor/Guest Column contributed by Jerry Hogan, a former Rockwall County Judge. He can be reached at jerryhogan@sbcglobal.net or 214-394-4033.
 

 

 

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