MONTAGUE CO. (KFDX/KJTL) — The hearing in a petition to remove Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde from office started Thursday morning at the Montague County Courthouse.

On the morning of February 23, 2023, the judge presiding over a  hearing on a petition to remove Jeff Lyde as sheriff of Clay County denied a motion from Lyde’s attorney to remove 97th District Attorney Casey Hall as the petitioner representing the state.

The defense claims when Hall signed the petition she became a factual witness in the proceeding and she was a witness to the grand jury that returned criminal charges against Lyde.

Some dozen witnesses have been called to testify in the removal proceeding in the Montague County Courthouse.

The judge has yet to rule on the motion to temporarily remove Lyde and appoint an interim sheriff until a final ruling is made on the removal petition.  

The county auditor was called to testify on how much money it is costing the county after Lyde placed the Sheriff’s Office’s employees who filed complaints on paid leave.  The S.O. has had to hire part-time employees and it’s costing about $800 a day to pay the employees on leave and the part-time employees.  But the auditor said the S.O. is not yet over budget.