CLAY COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Judge Gabriel appointed Constable Sidney Horton as the interim Sheriff pending the final trial of this case against Lyde. Clay County Commissioners Court met in an emergency session Saturday, to approve the bond for Horton. He was sworn in at that time. 

According to a release, Sheriff Horton served in the United States Marine Corps infantry as an Anti-Armor and Demolitions Assaultman. From 1994 through 1999, he was a Lead Choreographer and Contest Adjudicator for the Marching Auxiliaries of America. After leaving the Marine Corps in 2004, Horton attended and graduated from Midwestern State University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and from the Weatherford College Police Academy.

After Horton accepted the position of Sheriff, he vacated the Constable’s Office. The Commissioners Court appointed Josh Ferguson as Constable to take his place. Ferguson served in the Sheriff’s Office under Horton until he accepted the position of Deputy Constable. 

Clay County Sheriff Jeff Lyde was removed from office and a judge ruled to temporarily suspend him as sheriff.

Several current employees of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office testified under oath about their working conditions and the overall morale of CCSO employees, including two who were among the four Sheriff Lyde placed on administrative leave on January 17, 2023.

One witness testified that Sheriff Lyde made it a habit to frequently leave the CCSO facility and that he appeared to be making other things a priority over his role as the Sheriff of Clay County. The witness testified that Lyde has previously asked CCSO employees to do things that are either illegal or very close to it.