Hawkins residents speak out about mayor's arrest
POSTED: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 - 6:20pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 - 12:18pm
HAWKINS, TEXAS (KETK) — An East Texas mayor was arrested on Monday and charged with "official oppression." We're told this arrest is dividing the city in half.
According to the arrest affidavit, Hawkins mayor William Rogers went to a woman's house and told her to cut her grass and if she didn't, he would ticket her and fine her $500. The woman wouldn't speak to KETK on camera, but we talked to her neighbor and a similar situation happened.
Mayor Rogers went to Candy Palmertree's house on July 1, according to the arrest affidavit. Palmertree's neighbor Rhonda Finney was approached by the mayor with the same request.
"The mayor talked to me the same day about stuff being cleaned up on the properties," said Finney.
Finney said Mayor Rogers would fine her up to $200 if her yard wasn't cleaned up in 10 days.
"He would bring people over here if I needed help to get stuff hauled off, if not he fined me $200 a day and fine her $500 for her concession stand."
Finney said she saw the conversation between Palmertree and Mayor Rogers.
"He was over there for quite a few minutes and went to his truck and pulled out a clipboard. I didn't know what he was writing, but I'm assuming a warning."
Finney has lived in Hawkins most of her life and said she's never seen a mayor go door to door telling people to fix up their yards. But, she feels like the mayor has good intentions to cleanup the city but went about it the wrong way.
Other Hawkins residents agrees.
"I think there is a chain of command, you know if that's not your role then he should stay out of it."
"If somebody stepped in my yard and say hey I'm gonna fine you $500 cause your grass is an inch or two inches to high, he needs to find out what the whole story is about."
KETK will be speaking with the mayor and will give you his reaction.