First, just the facts…
On June 11,2011, in Bowie County, Texas, County Judge Sterling Lacy addressed the member of the County Commissioners Court regarding removal of reference to prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance that are standard activities of the court just prior to the business activities of the day. Judge Lacy claimed that the minutes left out “the opening ceremony of devotional, Prayer and pledge”, prompting Nichols to say “that’s not true…the Pledge and Prayer are most certainly there”. Judge Lacy attempted to silence Ms. Nichols, to which she responded “but you’re lying”. Nichols immediately apologized for the public outburst, but not for her stance.
On June 13, 2011, while Ms. Nichols was away at a training conference, Judge Lacy and two other members of the Commissioners Court voted to remove the Pledge of Allegiance and the prayer from the court documents prepared by Nichols, and even went so far as to mark through the items on the official records. Why? Nichols said that County Judge Sterling Lacy told her that he “didn’t want some group like the ACLU to come in and sue.” There is one problem for Lacy, it was caught on tape.
Under Texas law, the authority to amend court records is delegated solely to the Clerk of Court. On June 23, Nichols confronted the court about their actions and stood her ground, refusing to remove the Prayer and Pledge from the records.
Now, Judge Sterling Lacy has asked the Bowie County Sheriff, James Prince, to “investigate whether actions by Clerk Natalie Nichols at Monday’s meeting constitute disrupting a public meeting,” the Texarkana Gazette reports.
Disrupting a public meeting in Texas is a class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine. If convicted of official misconduct, it results in an automatic, immediate REMOVAL FROM OFFICE!
Nichols, who was only informed of the investigation by the local paper, has not been contacted by the Sheriff. This same Sheriff, according to the latest article, has already made the decision to give his future findings to the District Attorney Jerry Rochelle and “request it be sent to a grand jury.”
Here is Ms. Nichols response…
“I’m already being warned of rumblings of attempts to remove me from office,” says Nichols. “What Judge Lacy seems to have done is underestimate the capability of a patriot to know full well the possible consequences of going against the political establishment and being A-OK with whatever consequences may result. Those who came before me pledged their lives, fortunes and their sacred honor to ensure that we had the freedoms we hold so dear. I will not dishonor them, regardless of any threat made against me. I didn’t seek office to gain a career. I ran for office to make a difference.”
Mr. Nichols has been quoted as saying, ““Is this what we are to now expect when we dare take a stand? Directed toward a public official, no less? Retribution for some trumped-up mess? Prayers, please! Right now, she is alone in this here.”
There is a petition that has been started by the Moore County (NC) TEA Citizens group, and I hope those reading this will take the time to check it out.
Also, those wishing to contact Ms. Nichols may do so at this link.
UPDATED: The Grand Jury review of this case has been set for July 28, 2011.
h/t to biggovernment. com