Ben, you should have called us
Nothing sickens us more than a respectable public official not giving us the full story, and for Precinct 1 Constable Ben Fry, who was re-nominated in the Republican primary on March 4 over Jim Pharr, his recent bout with the law is the prime example.
On April 5, it is alleged by Fort Worth area authorities that Fry, who was first elected in 2002, became angry at an eatery one night over a disputed bill.
Fry was reportedly out with friends when he was alleged to have made threats to shut the restaurant down using his status as a Texas peace officer and elected official.
Subsequently, an investigation ensued and just last week, Fry turned himself in, was released on bond and has deferred all comments to his lawyer.
Regardless of human mistakes of saying things we really don’t mean, Fry allegedly used his position to threaten to shut down a place of business. That’s not right.
But more importantly, Fry did the residents and voters of Ellis County a major disservice in not contacting The Ellis County Press when this situation unfolded. Had he done so, the controversy wouldn’t have flamed out over blogs, newspapers and news Web sites statewide like it did last week.
Fry not only owes the public an apology for his behavior, but he owes this paper an apology as well. We have treated Fry’s office tenure fairly, but this is one instance in which we can’t make it "Ok" for a public official to use their badge to berate and threaten people.
Fry would better be served if he were to resign from office.
Official oppression is a very serious offense, and regardless if Fry’s a nice guy or he just made a mistake, he’s an elected official and the public would benefit by not having someone of his temperament serving them.
November’s general election will see Fry run un-opposed barring a last-minute write-in filing. We’re confident Fry will do the right thing and make amends for his actions, but it’s his decision first, and perhaps the state laws on the books second.