The Field Review - Local

A Hays County Notary Public May be in Trouble After a Fabricated Document Complaint was Filed on Him

A man that has been trying to clear his name, filed a complaint with the Secretary of State (SoS) related to the suspected actions of a Hay’s County Constable’s Office, Public Notary. The Notary, Matthew Wesley Farris, was accused on or about July 31, 2020, of fabricating a signature of an individual who did not appear before him to sign a notarized document.

The man? Gary Griffin, a previous employee of Ray Helm’s, the disgraced Hays County Constable for Precinct 3. Previously, multiple District Attorney’s Offices (DA) have declined to prosecute Griffin.

The Hay’s County Public Court Portal still shows the cases to be unresolved; even with the declination of the two DA’s. This may be a matter of oversight.

However, in July 31, 2020, the following was alleged by Griffin of Farris (the notary for the Hay’s County Constable, Precinct 3 Office):

TPIA received from the SoS
TPIA received from the SoS
TPIA received from the SoS
TPIA received from the SoS
TPIA received from the SoS

There are a few or more documents within the Texas Public Information Act (TPIA) which have “magistrate,” crossed out and handwriting of “notary,” instead. Below is just one of the many documents in the released information:

TPIA received from the SoS

The interesting thing about this item, may tie into another matter with a Justice of the Peace within Hay’s County; especially with how, it appears, warrants are issued above the level of fine only, when such role is not assigned to County Magistrate duties.

As of November 17, 2020, the SoS sent a letter to Farris about his options related to surrendering his Notary License:

TPIA received from the SoS

There are no further updates at this point, but we suspect there will be some kind of decision made by the SoS in the near future. We are also, not sure if this may prevent criminal charges to be filed for the forgery or not and if this means Hay’s County needs to do a more through review of matters involving Farris. Are there others which could have been impacted?