DeSoto Council Member Denies Wrongdoing, Refuses to Step Down

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Candice Quarles DeSoto
DeSoto council member Candice Quarles held a press conference Thursday. Photo by Rita Cook

Candice Quarles DeSoto Council Member Refuses To Resign

DALLAS – When there are rumors and you are a city councilmember it is a good thing to make a statement. DeSoto council member Candice Quarles did that Thursday amid stories that she knew about her husband Jeremiah Quarles’ misusing thousands of dollars belonging to taxpayers in DeSoto.

Quarles addressed the recent allegations, but she declined to comment on the case involving her husband.

She did say however, that she will not be stepping down from her Place 6 city council seat, which she has held since May 2016.

“It’s been a really tough past couple months with the incessant articles about this closed case,” Quarles said. “Now it is time to address my constituents. The residents of DeSoto are also fatigued with the attacks on our community.”

There have been calls for months for Quarles to step down from her seat.
A recent forensic audit conducted by forensic auditor William Brown with Nelson Forensic & Advisory Services revealed as much as $140,000 might have been misused by Quarles’ husband.

Quarles says she will not be stepping down

Quarles read her statements Thursday as the media and supporters from her church looked on.

“Representing you is an honor even in uncertain and difficult circumstances,” Quarles said as she told those in the audience about the positive work she has done while sitting on the city council. “…with this being said I will not be stepping down. I will continue to serve and collaborate on continuing the best for DeSoto.”

Quarles said she intends to fight to regain the trust of her constituents.

Ever since her husband’s fraud has come into question people have been wondering how much Quarles knew of her husband’s business dealings. She told police early on that she did not know anything.

Auditors said they found no evidence or emails to implicate her for any knowledge or wrongdoing regarding her husband’s work with the Economic Development Corporation board. She has also never been charged for any misconduct.

Attorney says that Quarles has passed three polygraph tests

Quarles’ attorney Anthony Lyon said his client had also taken a polygraph test, which he read aloud. That test came into question as he told reporters “I am going to give you all copies of the polygraph… polygrapher for your benefit.”

He said the results were that after three test charts were evaluated it was determined Quarles was being truthful about her husband’s business dealings while in his position of CEO of DeSoto’s Economic Development Corporation Board from June 2013 to October 2016.

“It was my decision the results of that polygraph would not be disclosed at that time,” Lyon said. “Nor that she would have any statement prior to the investigation being complete.”

All pertinent questions were asked of Quarles, Lyon said of the polygraph test his client took.

At the end of the press conference Lyon did not supply the polygraph test, only information concerning the polygrapher.

Town hall meeting cancelled last week

It didn’t look good when the scheduled town hall meeting in DeSoto to discuss the Jeremiah Quarles forensic audit was cancelled last week.

DeSoto Mayor Curtistene McCowan said the cancellation was due to the need for additional review of the audit and to undertake the necessary legal redactions. That town hall meeting was supposed to release the results of the forensic audit.

A statement released by the EDC board read “Due to legal concerns arising as a result of receiving an unredacted audit report which contains personal information contained in the financial audit (CC#’s, addresses, SS #’s, etc.), the DeSoto Economic Development Corporation has postponed the Town Hall Meeting scheduled for this evening. Once all personal information has been redacted and the audit receives approval to be distributed publicly by the attorneys for the EDC’s and the City of DeSoto, a new public meeting will be scheduled.”

Mayor points out that Jeremiah Quarles was not on council

McCowan also said in a statement last week that she and the council are working to do whatever they can regarding the situation. She also reminded the community Quarles’ husband was not a part of the city council. He worked for the Economic Development Corporation.

Jeremiah Quarles was indicted by a grand jury last year on grand larceny charges. At that time, he pled guilty and received a misdemeanor charge. Also, he paid $9,073.08 and received two years of probation.

There is no news when the Town Hall meeting will be rescheduled.
The preliminary auditors’ presentations to the EDC Board and the City Council are available on the city’s website:

Dec. 16, 2019 DEDC Board Meeting:
https://desototx.swagit.com/play/12182019-1292
Jan. 7, 2020 City Council Work Session:
https://desototx.swagit.com/play/01082020-1329

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