E. Texas mayor arrested for official oppression - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

E. Texas mayor arrested for official oppression

William Rogers (Source: Wood County Jail) William Rogers (Source: Wood County Jail)
HAWKINS, TX (KLTV) - The mayor of Hawkins was arrested on a charge of official oppression on Monday.

According to the arrest affidavit, Hawkins Mayor William Rogers went to a woman's house in Hawkins to give her a ticket and fine her $500 because her grass was too tall. The woman told police that when Rogers arrived, he blocked her in with his vehicle.

Rogers admits being at the residence, but denies trying to issue a ticket or blocking the woman with his vehicle. 

"At the time this occurred, I gave them my business card as mayor and talked very nicely to the parties that we are speaking about," Rogers said.

While there, the woman said the mayor also asked her how much she was selling a portable concession stand stand that was parked in her driveway. When the woman told him the price, the mayor allegedly told her the amount was too high and she would have to remove it or risk a $500 ticket every day.

Hawkins code enforcement officer Eileen Frazier went to the home and found that the woman's grass was not over 18 inches high and she had a fence around her yard. The officer also said that the grass by the curb was on the city's right-of-way and was also in compliance with city ordinances.

Rogers said he visited another residence to discuss ordinances before this alleged incident occurred.

"It just doesn't make any sense to lock a mayor up for trying to tell somebody about our ordinances," Rogers said.

While Frazier was at the woman's home, the officer determined that the trailer was registered and not in violation of any city ordinances. Furthermore, Frazier said that all citizens must be given a 10-day notice before issuing any citations for code violations. She added that Rogers is also not authorized to write tickets.

Frazier said that Rogers committed official oppression when he used his position as mayor to illegally mistreat the woman by blocking her in with his car, then threatening her with a ticket and a fine. 

Rogers was booked into the Wood County Jail on Monday and subsequently released on a $1,000 surety bond.

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.

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