According to statements published in the Cross Timber Gazette on July 2, 2020:
Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree said the sheriff’s office WILL NOT enforce the new mask mandate issued by Gov. Greg Abbott the same day, an order meant to protect all Texas residents by slowing the rapid spread of COVID 19 across the state and issued as a result of the mass lack of participation already under way in the state.
Murphree further acknowledged that he has "instructed deputies specifically to not enforce the mask order," as the sheriff’s office is "too busy working other cases" and he "believes the Governor overstepped with the order."
According to Sec. 87.011(3) of Texas Local Government Code, a County Sheriff can be removed from office by residents with a simple petition for trial when an officer acts with "official misconduct” defined as an “intentional, unlawful behavior relating to official duties” or “the execution of the law.” This “includes an intentional or corrupt failure, refusal, or neglect of an officer to perform a duty imposed on the officer by law.” Additionally, Sec. 87.015 makes it clear that this petition for removal is as simple as filing a written request to a district court by “any resident of this state who has lived for at least six months in the county in which the petition is to be filed and who is not currently under indictment in the county…” As such, concerned residents of Denton County are already in the process of seeking legal council and currently writing this petition for file.
As a Denton County Resident, I am fundraising to cover any necessary legal fees associated with the court petition for a trial to remove the Sheriff who refuses to do his job. This includes attorney fees, filing, and court costs.
***Any unspent funds accumulated here will be donated to the legal fund of the Stowers-Jones family, as they still seek truth and justice for their son, Lermont Stowers-Jones.
- Linda Willis
- jennifer caputo
- Marshall Leininger