Texas

The indictment details the employees’ allegations against the Clay County Sheriff.

CLAY COUNTY, TX (KFDX/KJTL) — The indictments against Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde reveal details of his three most recent official harassment charges, including allegations of sexual harassment by several female employees of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

The KFDX newsroom received copies of the indictments against Sheriff Lyde, which were previously sealed before he was arrested Monday night. The indictments were filed on Thursday, December 29, 2022,

According to the indictment, Sheriff Lyde is accused of sexually harassing three female employees of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. The indictment states that two of the charges were for “sexual harassment through verbal behavior of a sexual nature” and the third charge was for “sexual harassment through physical behavior of a sexual nature.”

One indictment alleges that in September 2022, Sheriff Lyde discussed the breasts of a Clay County Sheriff’s Office employee, as well as “the breasts of another Clay County Sheriff’s Office officer that he claimed to have seen in person.” This indictment also alleges that Sheriff Lyde showed the complainant photographs of female breasts on his computer.

The second Clay County grand jury indictment alleged that in December 2022, Sheriff Lyde sexually harassed another employee by calling her “Star Trek” and telling her that he “wants to go where no man has gone before.”

In the third indictment, Sheriff Lyde is charged with punching a Clay County Sheriff’s Office employee in August 2022.

The cases were developed and presented to the grand jury by the 46th District Attorney, Staley Heatley of Vernon, with the assistance of the Texas Ranger. Heatley was appointed special prosecutor for these cases.

On Monday, January 2, 2023, Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde turned himself in to three new charges of official harassment. Clay County Judge Mike Campbell said Lyde met in jail with the Texas Rangers and new Justice of the Peace Lanny Evans around 7:00 pm on Monday, January 2, 2023, and posted bail.

Campbell said Heatley filed charges against Sheriff Lyde last week before a grand jury that returned three sealed indictments. No one knew what the charges were until Monday evening.

This case will be filed with the county clerk’s office on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, and Campbell said if another motion is made to remove Lyde as sheriff, Lyde will have five days to respond.

The case will then be heard by 97th Circuit Court Judge Jack McGaughey.

The three new allegations are the latest in a series of alleged disputes involving Sheriff Lyde since he took office in 2021.

The KFDX newsroom confirmed to 97th Judicial District Attorney Casey Hall through an open request on Friday, December 9, 2022, that Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde is one of three names on the list. Brady a list of law enforcement officers with known trust issues or misconduct allegations for the 97th District.

Prior to this, in September 2022, Clay County Commissioners voted 4–1 to remove Lyde from the Clay County Hospital Board and a hearing was scheduled for October 14, 2022. Lyde was given the option to resign, but chose not to do so until the morning of the removal hearing.

Just over a week before the hearing, on October 3, 2022, Lyde Sheriff was named the defendant in a civil lawsuit filed against Clay County alleging a violation of the Fourth Amendment in firing a former county employee.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiff, Ashley Calley, who previously worked as an IT administrator in Clay County, was arrested by Sheriff Lyde on a warrant “based on false affidavit, despite the fact that there was in fact no probable cause that she has committed any crime. ”

According to the lawsuit, Sheriff Lyde allegedly disliked Callie because of her sexual orientation, and her arrest on a “baseless criminal charge” resulted in her being relieved of her duties.

In November 2021, Sheriff Lyde was charged with two counts of official harassment. The indictment alleges that in July 2021, the sheriff deliberately kept two inmates in jail for over 48 hours without a judge finding a probable cause.

Following Sheriff Lyde’s indictment in May 2022, Special Prosecutor Staley Heatley was expected to file a notice that the prosecution planned to look into Lyde’s past misdeeds before he became Clay County Sheriff.

Among the additional allegations that could be brought in court, perhaps to try to prove that Lyde demonstrated a pattern of wrongdoing and should be removed from office, is that Lyde repeatedly submitted documents with false information between April 2010 and April 2011 in the County of Guadalupe.

The notice states that in June 2011 Lyd incorrectly contacted the witness, which was interpreted as an attempt to dissuade the witness from cooperating with the investigator.

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