Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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October 3, 2012

Funeral home facing loss of license

December hearing could decide fate of Griffin-Roughton

Corsicana — A Dec.12 court date has been set in Austin as the Texas Funeral Services Commission is recommending revocation of Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home’s license, and the funeral director licenses of William Roughton and William “Billy” Roughton II.

The December hearing is an appeal of a 2008 recommendation by the Texas Funeral Services Commission, which at the time sought some $100,000 in fines and penalties, according to a Daily Sun review of tapes of the hearing.

In the filing for the December appeal, the Commission is seeking $65,000 in penalties against the Roughtons in connection with a 2007 charge of selling prepaid funeral plans without a required permit from the Texas Banking Commissioner and not putting the money in a trust account or submitted to a licensed pre-need insurance company.

The Funeral Services Commission in its court filing is now seeking a total of $65, 000 in penalties against Roughton, Roughton II and the funeral home, and the revocation of Roughton and Roughton II’s funeral director licenses and the revocation of the funeral home’s license.

The court filing says the Roughtons agreed to pay restitution of $340,522.91 and penalties of $37,500, resolving the case involving the Banking Commissioner of Texas.

“Griffin-Roughton Funeral Home and its principals look forward to their day before the Administrative Law Judge when they finally will have an opportunity to share their view of the events made the basis of the Texas Funeral Service Commission’s complaint,” said Steven Grubbs, attorney for Griffin-Roughton. “The Roughtons are eager to show how they fulfilled their commitments to their customers, as they have done for more than 60 years. They will not allow personal attacks by ‘anonymous’ sources affect their commitment to this community.”

The 2007 investigation began with an anonymous phone call and a package of information, also sent anonymously, to the commission, a banking commission official said in the 2008 hearing.

The hearing before a state administrative judge, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Dec. 12, 2012, and last for two days. It is scheduled to be held in the W.P. Clements Building, 300 West 15th Street, Fourth Floor, in Austin.

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