By Johnnie Belle Reagan



Clearing the air…

Texas Area Fund Foundation has played a big role in the happenings in and around Palestine.  It has many prominent members/officers.  I am going to name some but not all here for you and you can decide for yourself if they may or may not have something to do with what has happened to Laza:


Jackson Hanks


David Barnard



Jean Mollard – took ownership of Laza’s original property in “old town”.



Steve Presley – Current City Mayor and Council member for over 15 years



Allyson Mitchell – County DA



Phil Fletcher



Ahnise Summers



Cecil Staples


Alex Patel



Alan George


Josh Liles


Greg Laudadio – Palestine Economic Development Corp.


Freta Parkes


Jeffrey Robertson


Jeff Watson


Jo Ellan Walley


Carolyn Booker


It is common knowledge a member of the TAFF and family members of City Staff contacted Jerry Laza, working behind the scenes, to make a deal with him on the 1101 W Oak property one month before the Civil Suit was filed in June 09, 2016.  And while they might not have had anything to do with initiating the actual “Suit” they were in a position to make sure it was lawful, just and fair. Doing the right thing is such a struggle.

I definitely see where TAFF receiving thousands and thousands of dollars in grant money awarded by the City of Palestine could be construed as a conflict in some member’s ability to be neutral.


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