Granite Shoals councilor arrested on felony criminal mischief charge

Granite Shoals City Councilor Phil Ort

Granite Shoals City Councilor Phil Ort was arrested Dec. 14 on a charge of criminal mischief stemming from a 2021 incident in which he is accused of keying a car and causing over $2,500 in damages. File photo

Granite Shoals City Councilor Phil Ort was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 14, on a felony charge of criminal mischief. He is accused of keying a car in the Marble Falls H-E-B parking lot in October 2021. His case was raised from a class A misdemeanor to a state jail felony when prosecuting attorneys determined damages to the vehicle exceeded the $2,500 felony minimum.  

At the time of this story’s publication, Ort was in custody at the Burnet County Jail on a $5,000 bond. His arraignment is set for Feb. 15, 2023. A status hearing is April 14.

Ort is officially charged with state jail felony-level criminal mischief with damage to property between $2,500 and $30,000, which carries a sentence ranging from 180 days to two years in jail and as much as $10,000 in fines.

Granite Shoals police arrested Ort at about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, less than two hours after he attended the City Council’s regular meeting.

“We went out like we do with any other case and served the warrant,” GSPD Capt. Chris Decker told 

Ort’s original misdemeanor charge was dropped on Nov. 14 after prosecuting attorney Debbie Early referred the case to the 33rd and 424th District Attorney’s Office because damages to the car reached felony status. 

The DA’s office took on Ort’s case and presented it to a grand jury on Dec. 6, at which point, he was indicted. A certificate of indictment was filed by Dec. 12 followed by the 33rd District Court issuing a warrant for his arrest.

The original criminal mischief charge stemmed from Ort allegedly keying a Mercedes-Benz in the H-E-B parking lot in October 2021. He turned himself in to the Burnet County Jail in December 2021 after an investigation from the Marble Falls Police Department named him as a suspect.


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