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Former general manager cleared of theft charges

A former Dripping Springs Water Supply Corporation (DSWSC) general manager accused of stealing company property, vehicles and money was acquitted of criminal charges earlier this year.

The decision, rendered by 428th District Judge Bill Henry, nearly ends seven years of vitriolic sparring between Doug Cones and the company he once worked for.

“My reputation was ruined,” Cones said. “They accused me of stealing company vehicles and other property, all which had no merit. Try finding a job with criminal charges to your name. For 25 years, this was my trade. I knew nothing else. And they took that away from me.”

On the September 18, 2011, the DSWSC board of directors voted 3-2 to fire Cones, which negated his retirement contract. In addition, the DSWSC turned over its investigation to the Hays County District Attorney’s office, which later brought two felony counts against Cones.

In response, Cones filed a counter-suit in 2014 for unpaid wages and attorney fees, citing that he had been wrongfully terminated.

In December 2017, Cones won a civil suit against the DSWSC for $1,438,454.20, which did not include attorney’s fees. The felony charges were later dismissed in March of 2018.

Henry, who presided over both the civil and criminal cases, awarded Cones $1,115,846.40 as part of his final judgment, which was less than what the jury awarded.

Henry has not signed the final judgment of the court ruling at this time, but Joe Pool, attorney for Cones, said he anticipates the District Judge will do so.

If signed, Cones would receive less money than what was outlined in his contract with DSWSC.  Cones is currently awaiting the settlement for the retirement promised in his contract with DSWSC. His contract included an annual salary of $46,761.16 for 20 years for his retirement.

“At this point my goal is to retire with the money I was promised in my contract,” Cones said. “I missed out on a lot of things in my life these past seven years. I couldn’t support the people I loved because of the money I did not have. At my age, I want to retire and support my loved ones.”

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