Clay County sheriff issues statement on charges

Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 11:27 AM CST
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HENRIETTA, Texas (KAUZ) - Clay County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyde shared a prepared statement from his attorney on his recent arrest for official oppression.

The statement comes after Lyde turned himself in on Monday around 7 p.m. on three charges of official oppression. He bailed out of the Clay County Jail shortly after.

At least two complaints have been filed against Lyde seeking to remove him from office. Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said there will be a hearing in about two weeks and the district court will decide if Lyde will be allowed to stay in office.

Campbell said the process to remove a sheriff is a civil lawsuit, and the district judge or a jury will decide if the sheriff should be removed.

Indictment documents released on Tuesday have revealed more details on why the indictments were issued. These can be found here.

Back in December of 2021, Lyde was also charged with official oppression in relation to a different incident. During a press conference, he claimed the county justice of the peace failed to magistrate two individuals within a 48-hour time period. The justice of the peace Lyde is referring to is John Swenson.

Lyde said that on Saturday, July 10, Sarah Johnson and Landon Goad were arrested and brought to jail for assault - family violence charges. Lyde said that same day, Swenson was notified about the arrest.

Swenson was reportedly then back at the jail on Sunday to magistrate two other people but not Johnson and Goad. Lyde said Swenson then came back on Monday, but again did not magistrate neither Johnson nor Goad once again. Lyde’s comments on these charges can be found here. Swenson was unseated in a runoff election against Lanny R. Evans in May 2022. Swenson told News Channel 6 there is no legal basis for Lyde’s accusations.

In October of 2022, Clay county commissioners met to remove the chair of the Clay County Memorial Hospital board. That position was held by Jeff Lyde. The hospital board was prepared to go through a full trial to get Lyde off the board, however the meeting ran short after he resigned. For more on that story, click here.