Pena Arrested For First Degree Felony Theft by a Public Servant

The Austin County Sheriff’s Department issued the following press release this afternoon:

Former Austin County Tax Assessor-Collector Marcus Pena, 39, was arrested January 17, 2017, for first degree felony theft by a public servant.

Pena was elected to office in November 2012 and lost his reelection bid in 2016.  His term ended December 31, 2016.

County officials discovered discrepancies in the office funds when the new assessor-collector took office.  District Attorney Travis Koehn notified the Texas Rangers, who led the investigation.  The Austin County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.

Austin County Sheriff Jack Brandes said that Pena was booked into jail Tuesday morning, January 17, 2017.  His bond is set at $500,000.00.

District Attorney Travis J. Koehn requested that the Texas Attorney General’s Office handle the prosecution of the case.

“Mr. Pena was a fellow elected official,” Koehn stated.  “To avoid any appearance of conflict, we have turned this matter over to the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Unit so they can proceed in prosecuting this case.”

We will update this story as more news becomes available.

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