Hawkins Mayor speaks out about his arrest
POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 6:50pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 1, 2014 - 9:29am
HAWKINS, TEXAS (KETK) — We reported earlier this week that the Mayor of Hawkins was arrested and charged with "official oppression." In our interview, Mayor Will Rogers said he never told Candace Palmertree to cut her grass. According to him, he asked her about the concession stand in her driveway. He said the conversation was pleasant and left on a positive note. But, the arrest affidavit said otherwise. Mayor Rogers said his intentions are to clean up the city, and with citizens that agreed with him, are now turning their backs.
"This is nationwide news, they're out to hang the mayor, it's horrible," said Mayor Rogers.
Rogers took office about three months ago with the intentions of cleaning up this sleepy city.
"Correct the drug problem, be a good mayor and have people want to live here and bring their families here," said Mayor Rogers.
He cleaned up one street known for drug problems and his next move is to cleanup the neighborhood by the baseball park.
Mayor Rogers said residents complain that some of the trash and debris in those yards are an eye sore.
"I've gotten complaints from residents that these properties that surround the ballpark have had issues for years."
According to Mayor Rogers, he said he was driving around that neighborhood and stopped to talk to one of the residents. The resident, Rhonda Finney, KETK spoke with on Tuesday. He then saw Candace Palmertree pull up and went to go talk to her about her concession stand in the driveway.
"She said someone would clean up all the junk in her yard and she has a concession stand filled with mice, that's against our ordinance."
Mayor Rogers said he even suggested to both Palmertree and Finney he would bring people in to clean their yards and gave Palmertree advice about how to go about selling her concession stand for money.
"I know these people it wasn't abrasive in any way, we had a good conversation."
Mayor Rogers said this isn't the first time he's met Palmertree.
"I know Candace, she's been in my coffee shop, I've talked to her about the drug problem."
A couple weeks later, Mayor Rogers found himself in a jail cell being charged for official oppression.
"She asked if she could do anything for me, what happened between then and now? I went over there to help, how did that become official oppression?
According to the arrest affidavit, code enforcement officer Eileen Frazier went to Palmertree's house.
In the arrest affidavit, it said Mayor Rogers threatened to write Palmertree a ticket for her grass, and she was scared that he would take her concession stand for his own use.
"I never even mentioned grass. Why would I say I'm going to fine you $500 for your grass."
Back track a couple months earlier, Mayor Rogers asked Officer Frazier to step down as emergency management director to focus on her other duties as fire marshal and code enforcement officer.
Mayor Rogers said his intentions were to remind Palmertree of the nuisance ordinance and he will make sure the citizens of Hawkins know the truth behind what he's saying.
Mayor Rogers is getting the FBI and Texas Rangers involved. Also, when we interviewed Finney, she thought Mayor Rogers was writing Palmertree a warning for her concession stand.
Mayor Rogers said this isn't true. A renter stopped by and was dropping off his renters check and he was writing him a receipt.
Hawkins police said this is an ongoing investigation and they wouldn't speak to KETK about this case.