Silence: Liberty County, Colony Ridge, Landplan Engineering Remain Mute on Missing Documents

Wayne Dolcefino titles his latest video “The Sounds of Silence.” It’s about the Colony Ridge problems in Liberty County and the response of officials.

On December 26, 2020, I reported about missing drainage reports for the Colony Ridge development in Liberty County. The post also discussed the mischaracterization of soil types in the reports that did exist. The mischaracterization let the developer overestimate the infiltration of rain and thus underestimate runoff. That meant he needed fewer detention ponds and smaller ditches. And that, in turn, meant the developer could sell more lots. But then the flooding started. Coincidental?

Sounds of Silence

On January 4, 2021, Liberty County Attorney Matthew Poston launched an investigation.

But four months later, the documents are still missing. Without explanation.

Either they got lost or were never developed in the first place. And no one will defend or explain the soil sampling in the documents that were produced.

Neither will anyone talk about how large parts of Colony Ridge got approved by the County without the required engineering documents certifying “no negative effect” on drainage upstream or downstream from the development (see page 5). Note: Plum Grove Road has been washed out since Harvey and keeps getting worse. Neither will they talk about whether conditions at Colony Ridge comply with Liberty County regulations.

  • Jay Knight, the Liberty County Judge, won’t talk.
  • Greg Arthur, Liberty County Precinct 2 Commissioner, won’t talk.
  • David Douglass, the Liberty County Engineer, won’t talk.
  • Louis Bergman, the former Liberty County Engineer, won’t talk.
  • Trey Harris, the developer of Colony Ridge, won’t talk.
  • Earnest Bailes, Liberty County’s state rep won’t talk.
  • Phil Struble, CEO of Landplan Engineering, won’t talk.

Enter Wayne Dolcefino, Investigator Extraordinaire

Wayne Dolcefino, formerly one of the country’s foremost investigative journalists and now a private investigator for the Plum Grove City Council, picked up the scent of a coverup. And he’s running it to ground…all the way to the Liberty County Courthouse and the headquarters of Landplan Engineering in Kansas. Landplan served as the engineering company for the Colony Ridge developer.

Merry Christmas from Colony Ridge. Photographed December 7, 2020. On August 11, 2015, Trey Harris, Colony Ridge Developer, told Liberty County Commissioners he “would work with the County to assure his subdivisions were ones Liberty County could be proud of.” (See top Page 5).

Simon and Garfunkle’s 1965 hit The Sounds of Silence became the theme song for Dolcefino’s latest exposé. In the 13-minute video, Dolcefino asks officials difficult questions about persistent problems that have driven off half of tiny Plum Grove’s population in the last few years.

I never get tired of watching Dolcefino wave his microphone in front of people who walk away to avoid answering questions.

From Dolcefino’s latest video on Colony Ridge. Trey Harris turns his back to Dolcefino and walks away rather than answering questions.

For those who enjoy hard-hitting investigative journalism that speaks truth to power, this is a must-view video.

When it’s all over, you’ll ask yourself the biggest question of all: “Are these officials protecting the people who elected them or each other?”

We may soon find out. I interviewed Dolcefino this afternoon. He told me that his company, Dolcefino Consulting, is filing criminal complaints against State Representative Earnest Bailes and Commissioner Greg Arthur for failure to produce records requested under the Texas Public Information Act.

Keep your eye on this one. It has the potential to affect cozy relationships between developers and officials throughout the state.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 4/23/2021 based on a video by Wayne Dolcefino

1333 Days after Hurricane Harvey

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.