Lawsuit filed against Clay County and area commissioner

Local News

A Clay County commissioner charged with deadly conduct in October for allegedly pointing guns at county employees now faces a federal lawsuit by two employees seeking damages in connection with those alleged incidents.

The suit was filed by employees, Steve Crowley and Doug Stack against Precinct 4 Commissioner Richard Keen. The suit claims the employees’ rights under the 14th amendment to equal protection of the law were violated. It also asks for a preliminary injunction, prohibiting Keen from coming in contact with the employees or even coming within 500 feet of them. 

When Keen was charged with three counts of deadly contact in October, one condition of his bond was not coming in close vicinty of the employees. The suit alleges Keen’s intimidating conduct has continued since his arrest, and he continues to be in close contact with employees, and that he also had called in employees one by one to find out who reported him to Texas Rangers.

Wednesday morning, Keen said he was not aware of the lawsuit, which was filed on Tuesday, but denied he’s been in contact with any employees since October. He said he’d have no comment on the suit and would be in contact with his attorney.

The Texas Ranger, who filed the arrest warrant, said he determined Keen pointed a gun at the employees while at work and once pointed an empty gun at an employee and pulled the trigger.

The federal lawsuit claimed Keen routinely carries pistols and  has pointed them and threatened employees on numerous occasions  and even told one employee he was angry with said, “Don’t make me shoot you over it!”   It included photos allegedly showing Keen brandishing his guns.     

Keen was defeated in the primary election and the complaint requests an injunction be granted as soon as possible because Keen will remain in office until December.

The suit also names Clay County as a defendant.

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