Bandera County GOP leaders indicted, accused in fraudulent document scheme

Conrad Striegl and Cari Rene Leith charged with fraudulent securing of document execution

Cari Rene Leith and Conrad Striegl. (Courtesy: Bandera County Jail)

BANDERA COUNTY, Texas – Two top officials with the Republican Party of Bandera County were arrested Friday, days after the pair was indicted in connection with a fraudulent document scheme.

Conrad Striegl, 73 and Cari Rene Leith, 62, were each charged with fraudulent securing of document execution between $2,500 and $30K, 198th Judicial District Court records obtained by KSAT show.

Recommended Videos

The pair, which is accused of presenting a forged document to cut off the bank access of another GOP official, was booked into the Bandera County Jail Friday on the state jail felony charge.

Striegl is listed as the current Bandera County Republican Chair, while Leith serves as the organization’s treasurer, multiple people associated with the investigation told KSAT.

The criminal case, spearheaded by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, was launched last year after then-chairperson Lynn Haueter was locked out of accessing the group’s bank accounts.

Haueter told KSAT on Tuesday that she ran into issues while preparing payroll taxes for election workers.

After contacting the bank, she was told she no longer had access to any of the group’s accounts.

She described the money in the accounts as a mix of donations and state funding totaling around $13,000.

Haueter learned that the bank had been provided a conditions-of-censure document bearing five signatures, including those of Striegl and Leith, barring her from having any organization-related duties, including control of the group’s financial accounts.

Investigators believe the March 2022 document, which was signed months before Haueter’s term was set to expire last summer, was fraudulent.

Striegl was held on a $7,500 bond while Leith was held on a $5,000 bond, Bandera County Jail records show.

Both defendants have since bonded out of jail, a source familiar with the investigation told KSAT on Tuesday.

“We can confirm that OAG investigated this case but have no further comment at this time. The Bandera County District Attorney presented the case to a grand jury. Please reach out to them for more information,” Brent Dupre, Director of Law Enforcement for the Texas Attorney General’s Office said via email Friday.

Striegl did not respond to phone and email messages seeking comment Tuesday.

Leith did not respond to a phone message seeking comment Tuesday.

A call to the Bandera County Republican Party went straight to voicemail Tuesday afternoon and the mailbox was full, preventing KSAT from leaving a message seeking comment.

About the Authors

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.

Recommended Videos