Hawkins Mayor Will Rogers was arrested Monday on abuse of office charges after threatening a resident with daily fines if she did not cut her grass.
Rogers, who was elected to the office in May, was arrested and charged with the class A misdemeanor of official oppression and released on a $1,000 bond, according to the Wood County Sheriff’s Office.
The charge stems from a July 10 interaction Rogers had with resident Candyce Palmertree, according to an arrest affidavit filed by Eileen Frazier, the city’s fire marshal and code enforcement officer.
Rogers went to Ms. Palmertree’s home and came into her yard after blocking her car with his personal vehicle, the affidavit states. The mayor then told her she needed to cut her grass or he would fine her $500 per day until it was cleaned up.
Rogers also asked her how much money she wanted for a concession trailer she was working to repair to use for supplemental income, the affidavit states.
Ms. Palmertree said she wanted $15,000 for it, but Rogers claimed that was too much money.
Officer Frazier said the grass was not 18 inches tall, and therefore not in violation of a city ordinance. She said if the grass were in violation, Ms. Palmertree would be given a written 10-day notice to clean it up before she could be fined.
The concession trailer was also not violating the city’s junked vehicle ordinance since it was properly registered in her name.
“He is not authorized to write tickets, and used the color of his office when he identified himself as the mayor of Hawkins, thus detaining Candy by telling her he was going write her a ticket and fine her $500 a day,” Officer Frazier states in the affidavit. “Also, Candy could not leave because he had her blocked in with his personal vehicle. Therefore, he mistreated her with detention under the color of his office, and did not treat her fairly by not giving her a 10 day written notice of a violation as is given to everyone else.”
KYTX CBS 19 contributed to this report.