Running on a platform of “Real Texas Values,” a man who lived in Utah until fairly recently has launched a Republican primary challenge to Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan in Texas House District 21. An investigation by The Texas Voice into the background of Phelan’s opponent, Shilo Platts, has uncovered several legal and ethical controversies involving Platts.
In 2012, Platts applied for a license from the Utah State Insurance Department that would have allowed him to work as an insurance agent. Platts’ application was denied. An administrative hearing involving the denial of Platts’ insurance license application was subsequently held, which set forth a litany of findings upholding the rejection of the license.
Subscribe to The Texas Voice
Have every new edition of The Texas Voice sent direct to your inbox
According to the findings of fact outlined in the ruling upholding the denial of Platts’ insurance license, the Utah State Insurance Department denied Platts’ application on the basis that Platts committed “an act that is a ground for a denial of a license” failed “to meet the character requirements for licensing,” failed to pay a final judgment rendered against him in Utah, and found that Platts was “unqualified for a license.”
As a basis for the ruling, the administrative law judge hearing the matter cited a civil lawsuit where a judgment for $1,769.27 had been entered against Platts, and that had not been released at the time of the administrative hearing involving Platts’ insurance license application.
The administrative law judge also noted that Platts “has had at least one (1) criminal misdemeanor class “B” (Theft) conviction entered against him in June 2011, which was affirmed on appeal as of January 2012 as a result of withdrawal of a pending appeal.”
In the conclusions of law portion of his ruling, the administrative law judge found that Platts’ “relatively recent past history indicates a lack of respect for the rule of law and thereby a lack of being “trustworthy” as required by the character qualifications” of Utah law, that Platts “does not meet the character qualifications for licensing” under Utah law, and that the issuance of an insurance license to Platts would be a contravention of “the practice of good public policy and the protection of public welfare” by the Utah Insurance Department.
At some point after being denied an insurance license, Platts became involved in the vaping industry. That, too, was marred by allegations of misconduct.
On April 1, 2017, Chris Vince, the owner of the “Vapors Dream” store in Girard, Ohio, posted a video to his business’s Facebook page where he alleged that Platts had scammed him. In a description of the video, Vince posted, “SCAM ALERT—PLEASE SHARE
THIS IS NOT AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE. SHOPS BEWARE— IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO OWNS A SHOP BE SURE YOU SHARE THIS SO THEY CAN BE ALERT AND NOT FALL FOR THIS SCAM. SHILO PLATTS @ CAPO CONSULTING IS PRETENDING TO HAVE AMAZING PRICES, THEN YOU ORDER AND HE PULLS A BAIT AND SWITCH, YOU DO NOT GET THE PRODUCT ORDERED.”
Several comments in response to Vince’s video make allegations that Platts had engaged in unethical business practices with others besides Vince.
In a follow-up video posted by Vince on April 3, 2017, Vince alleged that he had heard from others about Platts’ “scam,” claiming that Platts had “scared them” by describing himself as a “self-proclaimed mafia member.” Vince then showed the website for Platts’ business, Capo Consulting, which prominently featured what Vince described as a “mafia-style video” on the homepage.
Despite allegations from Vince that Platts had “scammed” small business owners, including himself, Platts’ campaign website proclaims that he is “Pro Small Business Owner.”
Platts is also portraying himself on the campaign trail as a social conservative, claiming to be “Pro God,” “Pro Church,” and “Pro Family.” The Texas Voice reviewed Platts’ social media accounts before the announcement of his candidacy and discovered that Platts had “liked” many sexually suggestive and pornographic posts on Twitter. While The Texas Voice captured screenshots of these “likes” by Platts, the content of the posts is so sexually explicit that they cannot be published on this website. Platts has since scrubbed his Twitter account of these “likes.”
In addition to expressing vocal opposition to Phelan on social media, Platts has shared and promoted content from the Texas Nationalist Movement, which advocates for Texas to secede from the United States. Platts first cast a vote in Jefferson County, Texas, in November 2018 and currently serves as a Precinct Chair in the Jefferson County Republican Party. He is set to hold a campaign kickoff event this Saturday at a restaurant in Beaumont.
UPDATE: Platts has released a statement confirming the accuracy of The Texas Voice’s reporting in this article. The Texas Voice can confirm that Platts “liked” sexually suggestive content on Twitter as recently as last month.
UPDATE #2: Less than 24 hours after The Texas Voice originally published this article, Platts ended his campaign for State Representative citing a desire to spend more time with his family.