GUADALUPE COUNTY, Texas – The felony theft trial for the husband of the Guadalupe County District Clerk has been moved to a new venue, after his attorneys successfully argued it would be difficult for him to have a fair trial if it remained in Guadalupe County.
Josh Balk, 41, will now be tried in Caldwell County, court records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.
Balk, the husband of Guadalupe County District Clerk Linda Balk, faces second-degree felony charges of misapplication of fiduciary property between $150,000 and $300,000 and theft of property between $150,000 and $300,000.
A grand jury indicted him on the two felony theft-related counts in September 2019, after a lengthy investigation by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
The state handled the investigation, which included criminal allegations against Balk in Hays, Comal, and Guadalupe counties, due to a number of conflicts of interest.
In a motion to move Balk’s trial to another county, his attorney said the case involves allegations of theft and fraud against multiple victims and Guadalupe County businesses, and that changing venues would allow for a jury to be picked that has no familiarity with the case.
A Defenders investigation in January 2019 revealed that Linda Balk accepted more than $30,000 in campaign contributions from her husband’s construction company even as he hurtled toward bankruptcy.
In all, from November 2017 to April 2018, Balk Construction Services made 11 contributions to Linda Balk’s campaign totaling $30,143.27.
The dates of the contributions were within the window Josh Balk had been accused of criminal wrongdoing.
Mutiple people came forward to law enforcement claiming that Josh Balk accepted money to complete construction projects, then abandoned the jobs and failed to pay subcontractors who performed work for him.
A copy of the two-count indictment states that Josh Balk victimized at least 15 people, mostly small business owners, dating back to February 2017.
Linda Balk has previously said the felony charges against her husband are frivolous, without merit, and politically motivated.
No trial date for Josh Balk has been set.