Judge denies issuance of citation in suit to remove Grayson Co. judge from office

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 1:27 PM CST
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - A judge has denied issuing a citation in a suit filed by a citizen to remove Grayson County Judge Bill Magers from office, meaning the case is dismissed and will not advance to trial.

John Palmer initially filed the suit against Magers in December.

Palmer and his wife Katie were hit by a truck in 2020.

Katie died from her injuries, and John broke his back.

The man who was driving was given a breathalyzer that showed there was alcohol in his system, but he was under the legal limit when he took the test.

He was never charged with anything.

Since then, Palmer said he wants to take action against drunk drivers, including Magers, who was arrested for a DWI nearly two years ago.

But on Friday, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers walked out of court free from the lawsuit seeking to remove him from office.

“This was a political attack, and it didn’t have anything to do with Judge Magers performance,” said Joe Brown, an attorney for Bill Magers.

John Palmer first filed the suit in December asking for Magers to be suspended as county judge, another person to be appointed in his place, and a trial by jury for the removal of Magers.

Judge Ray Wheless denied issuing a citation, which would have advanced the petition to trial.

“I’m not surprised,” said Palmer, who filed the petition. “Grayson County operates in a way that if you’re in the good ole boy’s system, you get taken care of.”

“The judge followed the law, and he’s not a judge from around here,” said Bob Jarvis, an attorney for Bill Magers. “He’s from out of town, so to claim he’s part of some good ole boys system, he just isn’t.”

Wheless said Section 87 of the Texas Local Government code, which explains an elected official can be removed from office if they are intoxicated at any point during their term, is unconstitutionally vague.

“Even though, again, Judge Magers pled guilty to and admitted to being intoxicated,” said Palmer.

Wheless said in his ruling that if he issued this citation, any official seen intoxicated in public, whether arrested or not, could face a citation and removal.

“They should be happy,” said Jarvis. " The constitution was upheld. We keep skipping this, well ‘gosh that’s not really fair,’ well now that’s the way the system is set up, the system for everybody. So if you’re going to complain about the constitutionality or the not well-written statute, then you need to talk to your legislature.”

For Magers, this door may be shut, but for Palmer...

“I’m not going to stop,” said Palmer. “I’m never going to stop. In fact, my next step might be Austin.”

Magers’ term as Grayson County Judge is coming to an end this year, but he is seeking re-election.

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