Clay County sheriff’s removal hearing postponed by 2 weeks

Clay County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyde at a hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.
Clay County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyde at a hearing on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023.(KAUZ)
Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 5:37 PM CST
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HENRIETTA, Texas (KAUZ) - Clay County Sheriff Jeffrey Lyde appeared in court on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, for a removal hearing with 97th District Court Judge Jack McGaughey.

The call for removal comes following the news that Lyde is facing three charges of official oppression. Due to a last minute motion that was filed by Lyde’s defense attorney, the hearing has been postponed for at least two weeks.

The court hearing was set for 1:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and Attorney Randall Moore filed a motion to recuse McGaughey due to information Moore said he received last night that could jeopardize the case.

The motion filed says “Judge Jack McGaughey might reasonably be questioned, he has personal knowledge of disputed evidentiary facts concerning the proceeding, and he is a material witness to the proceeding and he participated as an advisor to respondent.”

The motion was agreed upon by McGaughey, therefore no further action could be taken. Moore said his team is confident about the case moving forward.

McGaughey said the next court hearing will take place in two weeks with the expected date to be Jan. 31, 2023, and Lyde will continue to serve Clay County.

The hearing comes after Lyde was booked into jail on Jan. 2, 2023, for three charges of official oppression. Indictments have indicated forms of sexual harassment were the cause of the arrest. For more information on the indictments, click 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.