The County Counstable for Precinct 5 in Hockley County, Michael Lance Scott has filed a lawsuit against the State of Texas and Anna Hord as County Attorney. He is questioning the constitutionality of a statute in the State Law.
The suit states that the statute in the law that allows for removal of a county official is unconstitutional. Section 87 of the Texas Local Government Code allows for an elected county official to be removed from office on the basis of incompetency, official misconduct or intoxication. The lawsuit is specifically challenging the statute on the matter of intoxication.
The suit says their is a direct conflict between the statute and Article V of the Constitution. It goes on to say the constitution says “the law states in Article V Section 24 of the Texas Constitution that a county official can be removed from office by District Court Judges for incompetency, official misconduct, habitual intoxication, and other causes set forth by law and the found to be truthful in a trial by jury.” The suit also alleges that Section 87 also violates the due process of the elected official by threatening removal from office for reasons which have no bearing on their qualifications to serve or discharging of their duties.
The suit requests declared judgement for temporary and permanent injunction stating that the law is void because it does not clearly set an objective standard. The suit claims that Scott has served the citizens of Hockley County faithfully and honorably since his election in 2012.
Scott was arrested in November of 2018 for driving while intoxicated and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle. The suit notes that Scott was not on county business and not in a county vehicle at the time. Scott was also arrested at his home in January of 2019 for public intoxication and various other charges including resisting arrest. He also arrested following a grand jury indictment on charges of stalking and abuse of official capacity. These charges stemmed from a Texas Rangers Investigation.
A date for a hearing on the petition of the County Attorney to remove Scott from office has not been set.