A political witch hunt or was the District Attorney really incompetent? If incompetence was the real reason for removal I can supply a list of many other elected officials in this state with plenty of verifiable reasons to remove.
A jury this week removed the Tyler County District Attorney from office amid accusations of incompetence and misconduct.
Anne Pickle will serve as interim district attorney until the Governor appoints a replacement
Lou Ann Cloy was elected to office in 2014. Her ejection began with a petition drive seeking her removal citing absence from work and neglect of an increasing backlog of cases. She was suspended in May and removed by the jury this week.
Tyler County Judge Jacques Blanchette had called for the resignation of District Attorney Lou Ann Cloy in July. Judge Blanchette shared the contents of an email that he sent to several elected officials on the local and state level – including Cloy herself – in which he said that Cloy has become derelict in her duties and is failing to fulfill her obligation to serve the citizens of Tyler County.
However, Lou Ann Cloy said that she’s not going anywhere. When asked if she has any plan to resign, Cloy said “Absolutely not. They’ll have to stick a stick of dynamite under me to get me out of this office”.
“In light of recent events, the time has come to call for you to step down from your position. I’ve had many visits from citizens as well as both elected and appointed officials over the last year out of frustration for your absence, avoid, stall, and delay actions. It’s thwarting the needs of all of the aforementioned as well as all of us who have needs for the services of the Tyler County Criminal District Attorney”.
Judge Blanchette said that he does not expect Cloy to resign, but he said, “it’s coming to a place where we’re going to have to have some relief”.
The situation in Tyler County follows a scathing report recently published online in Southeast Texas Political Review and written by Phillip Klein, which claimed that Cloy has been absent from the DA’s office for extended periods, and cases involving murder and sexual assault of children, among others, are completely lying dormant. Cloy was even accused of substance abuse.
This is a copy of the results of a drug test, provided by Lou Ann Cloy, which showed negative results for eleven different substances.
Judge Blanchette on Wednesday said that the information in the article is accurate, and he says the citizens of Tyler County deserve better; “We’ve gone weeks and weeks without her presence here, and the office is only going to do what they’re instructed to do, and if it’s dependent upon her actions, or her instructions to them to take action, then that’s what I referenced it’s thwarting the needs of citizens, as well as all of us as elected or appointed officials, from happening, and we’re just perplexed, she doesn’t answer to us, she answers to the public just as we all do, and it’s just perplexing.
Blanchette went on to say “I think the frustration with fellow elected and appointed officials, as well as many members of the community that are citizens, has reached a point to just request something happen”.
Cloy says the information in the article is simply not true, and she offered her own opinion of the writer, saying Klein “…is just an internet bully”.
When asked if she has been out of the office as claimed by the article and the county judge, Cloy said “That’s a lie. And let me give you this, I’m a salaried employee and I’m on call 24/7”. Cloy also pointed out that the Tyler County DA’s Office doesn’t have an investigator, so that means she falls into that role, which takes up a lot of her time.
The Phillip Klein article also strongly hinted at drug or alcohol abuse by Cloy, however, the article never named any sources.
Cloy said the accusations were so disturbing to her, she went to her doctor the next day and asked for a voluntary drug test. Cloy provided paperwork to KJAS News which was dated Friday, July 1st, 2016, and indicated that the tests were carried out by Dr. Paula Denson, and the results came from the lab at Tyler County Hospital in Woodville. The paperwork indicated that she was tested for eleven different types of drugs, all of which came back negative.
When asked if she has any problems with alcohol, Cloy said she has absolutely no problem with alcohol or drugs, and to back her claim she said that she plans to do a second drug test on Thursday which will test her hair follicles. Cloy said it’s her understanding that the results from that particular test usually takes 10-14 days to return.
According to Cloy, the situation boils down to politics which, she says, stems from her 2014 defeat of a candidate for the DA’s office, who was supported by Blanchette. Cloy said “It’s been a witch-hunt; Judge Blanchette has not liked me since day-one because his guy didn’t win”.
Judge Blanchette said that if Cloy does step down, he’ll then call upon the Governor to appoint a replacement to serve out Cloy’s unexpired term until the next election.
Of her detractors, Cloy said “I feel sorry that they’re believing what some troublemaker is trying to stir up for Tyler County. This is embarrassing for Tyler County. We ought to be concentrating on getting justice for people instead of bickering amongst ourselves”.
leaving this here to promote some ideas and “hope” for Leon County residents