County attorney issues explanation of law pertaining to coercion of public servants
Houston County Courier
By Lynda Jones
Houston County Attorney Daphne Session has released a statement regarding her review of the state law that pertains to coercion of a public servant or voter. She reviewed the law after Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace Clyde Black asked about Crockett Police Chief Jimmy Fisher’s comment at a Crockett City Council meeting saying he was “placing the city on notice” that he would file a lawsuit against the city if perceived attacks on him at council continued. “It is possible for a threat to file a lawsuit against a public servant, voter or witness to be a crime. The option to file a lawsuit is a legal, lawful means of recourse for any person,” Session stated. “Whether the threat to file a lawsuit rises to the level of a crime because the person threatened is a public servant is something to be determined on case by case basis,” she continued. “A full investigation by law enforcement would be necessary. Law enforcement’s investigation would then be reviewed and a decision made regarding whether the threat rises to the level of a crime under Penal Code Section 36.03 (Coercion of Public Servant or Voter). If so, the case would then be evaluated for prosecution,” Session explained. “I encourage anyone that believes a crime has occurred to notify the appropriate law enforcement agency. You may contact the County Attorney’s Office if you need further assistance,” Session concluded. Black originally asked the district attorney to review the law in reference to Fisher’s statement. Since a violation of that particular law is a misdemeanor offense, District Attorney Donna Gordon Kaspar deferred the question to Session.