(Editor’s note: Reporter Theresa D. McClellan wrote State Rep. Ron Reynolds, who is serving time in the Montgomery County Jail on a conviction for barratry, or ambulance chasing, requesting an interview. He wrote her a letter in reply and the complete text is as follows.)
I received your letter yesterday. Thanks for reaching out to me.
I write this response to you with no computer to spell check, no Internet to research, nor Google.
First of all, I’m in great spirits. My faith has never been stronger. What the devil meant for evil, God is using for good.
To put things in perspective, I was convicted of misdemeanor – Solicitation of Professional Employment in Montgomery County. There is absolutely no evidence that I knowingly permitted Robert Valdez to contact accident cases within 30 days of an accident.
I appealed my case and lost. My attorney is currently working on the last two legal challenges to my case. Unfortunately, Montgomery County has a long history of racial discrimination and disparities within their criminal justice system. You can look at the case of Clarence Brandley for one of the cases that made national attention.
To add insult to injury, I was sentenced to the maximum of 1 year in jail. Even though I had NO criminal record and a strong record of public service.
While there are numerous Anglos convicted of violent felonies that receive probation and less time than me. It’s a fact that African American and Hispanics receive more harsh sentences and punishment than Anglos for the same crime.
My faith in God is strong, but my faith in our criminal justice system has diminished.
My faith teaches me that “all things work together for the good of those that love the Lord are called according to his purpose,” Romans 8:28.
“I’m encouraged knowing that many of God’s most faithful servants were wrongly imprisoned including the Apostle Paul, Joseph, Peter, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. eloquently stated, “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands during moments of comfort and convenience, but during times of challenge and controversy.” I am more determined and committed than ever to fight for my constituents and those unjustly treated within the criminal justice system.
I decided to surrender my appeal bond so that I could serve my time and be out before the start of the 86th Legislative session. I get out on Jan. 4, 2019, and the session starts on Jan. 8, 2019.
I also chose this period because the holiday season is November and December and things slow down so that I wouldn’t miss much in my district.
My constituents have been extremely supportive of me during this difficult time. Many have written, posted on social media and called my family to express their support. I’m so blessed to have such a supportive family, friends and constituents. They know that I’m a strong man of faith that has been a dedicated, faithful public servant for our community for decades.
Despite the naysayers who have always tried to smear my name, I remain confident, positive and committed to being an humble servant doing God’s will! I have a renewed spirit and sense of purpose to be a change agent. I will continue to speak truth to power and fight to have affordable healthcare, adequate funding for our public schools, gun control reform, jobs, equal pay for equal work and criminal justice reforms.
The fate of my law license has not been determined and is still in jeopardy. Regardless of the outcome, I will continue to be a voice of the voiceless and for the least, last and lost.
I believe that “a setback is a setup for a comeback.”
I’m not bitter, I’m better. My outlook on life has never been greater. I’m blessed to have my health, strength, a sound mind and the most supportive wife, children and constituents.
I intend to use my experience to highlight the continued racial inequities within our criminal justice systems. This will make me a stronger advocate and provide hope to others through my testimony.
I believe that God is not finished with me yet and the very best is yet to come!