Fraud Charges In Jonestown Wind Energy Project
A wind energy project in Jonestown is on hold after Charlie Malouff Jr., the founder of CM Energies and a former staffer at the state comptroller's office, Mary Jo Woodall, were arrested amid fraud allegations.
The arrests stem from $2 million in federal stimulus money given to the local wind turbine manufacturer to build turbines in Jonestown, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Of the eighteen planned turbines, only two have been completed.
Brooke Botello, a spokesperson for the Comptroller's office, says the City of Jonestown is ultimately responsible for the actions of CM Energies.
“The City of Jonestown signed an affidavit stating that everything in the application, all the items outlined in their application as it related to CM Energies was truthful, and accurate. And that was not the case," Botello told KUT News.
Malouff and Woodall were charged with securing execution of a document by deception. If convicted, the two could face a sentence of life in prison.
In an official statement, the Comptrollers office expressed alarm about the proceedings, but again deflected blame.
"We are extremely concerned about the facts uncovered in the investigation that are in the court documents regarding the city, CM Energies and our former employee. The City of Jonestown did not ever contact us during the application process or since its approval, with any concerns upon which the grant was based," the statement read.
Neither the City of Jonestown nor the Travis County District Attorney’s Office would comment as the case currently remains under investigation.