Diggles, wife, daughter set for 2017 trial

November 8, 2016

The former executive director of the Deep East Texas Council of Governments is scheduled to go on trial with his wife and daughter in February on charges they stole more than $1 million in government funds.

Walter, Rosie and Anita Diggles all have pleaded not guilty.

Their attorneys have called the allegations “sensational, but unsubstantiated.”

The Jasper family is scheduled to appear before Judge Ron Clark on Feb. 6 in Lufkin. The trial was originally scheduled for Feb. 9.

Federal prosecutors gathered information in a series of raids in February 2014 and spent 22 months preparing a case. According to the criminal indictment, Diggles and his family used a foundation to funnel federal grants to Lighthouse Church in Jasper for their own personal use.

Diggles is the pastor at Lighthouse. He resigned in January as executive director of DETCOG, which operates on behalf of an association of city and county governments.

As DETCOG’s executive director, Diggles had access to federal grant money and authority over who received it. The money his family is accused of stealing was intended for hurricane assistance, according to the indictment.