Hearing scheduled for petition to remove Grayson County Judge Bill Magers from office

Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 6:42 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - The petition to remove Grayson County Judge Bill Magers from office will have its day in court.

Back at the start of December, John Palmer filed a petition against Bill Magers because he was arrested for DWI while in office last year.

He filed the petition citing Section 87 of the Texas Local Government Code, which states a county officer may be removed from office for intoxication caused by drinking an alcoholic beverage on or off duty.

Since then, the case has been tossed back and forth between judges.

They can’t tell say why they recuse themselves, but the court document from Judge James Fallon recusing himself of the case said, “there is a conflict with any Grayson County district judge handling this case.”

The case was first filed with the 397th district court.

Judge Brian Gary recused himself of the case and sent it to Judge Ray Wheless, who presides over several counties, including Grayson, as the 1st administrative judicial region judge.

Wheless didn’t take the case either, so he tried to send it to the 15th District Court in Grayson County, but Judge James Fallon recused himself, too, so it got sent back to Wheless.

On Friday, Wheless recused himself again and sent it back to the first court, the 397th.

Twenty days after John Palmer originally filed the case, he got the news Monday afternoon that Judge Wheless would hear the case.

“I think it’s a relief to this entire county,” said John Palmer. “If you look at the support that this petition, both publicly and privately, Grayson County citizens want change. That change starts at the top, and that change starts with Bill Magers.”

The hearing will happen in the 15th judicial district court on January 14th, 2022.

The outcome of this hearing will decide whether or not a citation is issued, which would advance this case to a trial either by jury or judge.

Here are Bill Magers’ attorneys’ responses to the lawsuit, published in full.

“Between Joe Brown and I, we have almost 30 years of bi-partisan experience as elected district attorneys of Grayson County. We have never seen a case like this – where one individual is trying to take away the public’s ability to choose their County Judge. If someone wants to run against Judge Magers, they should sign up, pay the fee, and begin their campaign. They can debate Judge Magers on the job he’s done. They filed this case because they can not win on their own merits.”

-Bob Jarvis, former elected District Attorney of Grayson County

“This is all politics. In reality, I don’t believe this is John Palmer bringing this case “pro se”, on his own. This is the political opponents of Bill Magers using unrelated events to try to score cheap political points. Judge Magers has taken responsibility for the mistakes he made. Why is this suit being brought right now, in the middle of the filing period for political office? It could have been filed any time in the last two years since Judge Magers’ arrest. It is obvious to me that there is a ghost-writing lawyer with a grudge writing a lawsuit at election time taking advantage of the Palmer family’s tragedy. The suit is frivolous and we are going to contest it and let Judge Magers keep his focus on the business of the County.”

-Joe Brown, former United States Attorney and elected District Attorney of Grayson County

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