Congressional candidate hides felony from voters

Jefferson County Arrest Record

Immigrant, businessman, criminal, congressional hopeful – Southeast Texas’ Mohammad Tahir Javed has been called many a thing since he arrived in the U.S. from Pakistan in the late 1980s. “Tahir Javed has lived the American Dream,” his campaign literature reads. “He came to the U.S. as an immigrant and according to Tahir took any work he could find."

But janitorial duty and repairman side-jobs weren’t Javed’s only activities while he resided at the No. 12 mobile home in the trailer park at 6590 College St. in Beaumont, and Javed’s public campaign for office fails to mention a stint on unadjudicated felony probation for theft, and admonishments for peddling carcinogens to minors.

According to public data that was not subject to expunction, Javed was sentenced to serve five years of deferred probation beginning in January 1992 for felony theft dating back to September 1990. Despite the half decade deferred adjudication order, Javed only served a little more than two years of the court-ordered supervised release.

Even after only serving a fraction of the time felonylevel thieves normally endure on supervised release – adjudicated or otherwise – Javed continued to thwart the effects of his criminality by additionally having the records sealed behind a veil of “nondisclosure.”

“Our office has no information responsive to your request,” Jefferson County District Clerk Jamie Smith advised after futile attempts to view the court’s records for the lone case file. Cause Nos. 56390 through 56469, all indicted Nov. 15, 1990, were easy enough to view, with the only exception being that of the newly minted politician. Cause No. 56447, charging Javed with theft by receiving, no longer remains a publicly searchable file at the Jefferson County Courthouse.

Information from Texas’ Office of Court Administration defines nondisclosure agreements as having the ability to “free” those who have been awarded the agreement from the necessity of admitting “criminal history in response to questions on job applications.” In practice, not only have future employers been kept in the dark about such acts, but so have state licensing offices, according to filings obtained by The Examiner.

In response to questions posed by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy when acquiring licensure for Winnie Community Hospital, LLC dba Riceland Surgery Center, Javed checked an unequivocal “no” on queries related to, “For any criminal offense, even those on appeal, have you ever: Been arrested? Been charged with a crime but not arrested? Pled nolo contendere? Pled guilty? Received deferred adjudication for a misdemeanor? Received deferred adjudication for a felony? Been convicted of a misdemeanor? Been convicted of a felony?

No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

Although Javed may not need to disclose his record to the state licensing board, according to an attorney general opinion on the subject Javed’s criminal history would be subject to revelation upon garnering federal office clearance – perhaps like that necessary when one becomes a Congressman.

“Although an individual whose information is subject to the nondisclosure order does not have statutory authority to waive the order, information subject to the order may be disclosed to certain entities,” Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott opined in September 2004, “including a non-criminal justice agency authorized by federal statute or executive order or by state statute to receive criminal history record information, such as the United States Office of Personnel Management.”

Despite what would appear to be a concerted effort to hide the details of his criminal conviction, in his run for Congress, Javed approved an ad titled “Transparency At Its Best.” 

Riceland Health owns and operates a hospital, medical center and behavioral health center in Winnie, surgical and imaging centers on 11th Street in Beaumont and clinics in Crystal Beach, Hull, and Anahuac as well as Riceland Hospice and Riceland Home Health.

But what some might consider a contradiction can be seen when Riceland Healthcare’s mission and Javed’s claims are held up alongside the products that support his other business ventures.

By July 2017, fresh off a failed Riceland Farms slaughterhouse pitch alongside former Congressman and current candidate for Jefferson County Judge Nick Lampson, Javed was controlling his own smoke shop, Royal Smoke LLC, which serves as an online purveyor of tobacco and tobacco-related products. And in the summer of 2017, Royal Smoke was also subject to governmental intervention.

“FDA has determined that Royal Smoke … products are misbranded… because you sold these products to persons under 18 years of age,” a Food and Drug Administration warning letter directed to Javed states. The letter further states that the named instances of non-compliance were not exhaustive, and Javed was additionally cautioned against labeling and advertising outside the scope of the law, and barring corrective measures, the candidate for Congress could face monetary penalty, seizure, injunction, or criminal prosecution.

Less than four months after receiving the FDA warning about his smoke shop servicing minors, Javed filed to run for Texas District 29’s Congressman on a platform that included, “Healthcare for all. Period. 

Questions posed to Javed press liaison Hermella Tekle were not answered as of press time, and a call to Javed’s cell phone went unanswered as well.

Javed is seeking to replace Democrat Gene Green, who has served as the Texas District 29 rep since the district was created in 1993. In addition to Javed, other candidates for the Congressional seat include six other Democrats, and four Republicans vying for their party nomination in the Primary Elections on March 6. Early voting for the primary races begins Tuesday, Feb. 20.