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Officials to re-instate illegally suspended drivers license

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Ellis County Press

BARDWELL – During the May meeting of the Bardwell city council, it was learned Jacque Bailey, a Bardwell citizen will have his driver’s license reinstated, and all charges will be reportedly dropped against Bailey.

When asked about the issue during the citizen’s comments portion of the monthly meeting by Bailey’s father, Mayor P.W. Gentry said the city was dismissing all charges.

Gentry then referred further statements to Michael Spurgeon, Bardwell Chief of Police.

Spurgeon said Bailey should be receiving a letter from OMNI soon stating his license has been reinstated.

Gentry directed the police chief and City Secretary Shannon Spurgeon, to remove the ticket out of the computer system immediately.

This is after The Ellis County Press publically exposed the illegally appointed police officers and lack of municipal court, during a heated council meeting.

During that meeting, the mayor openly admitted there was no sitting municipal court in the City of Bardwell. He was also confronted about illegally appointed officers. Citizen’s demanded their immediate termination.

Since the public was informed of the illegal officers on April 7, the officers have failed to show up for duty, however, they are still appointed, illegally, according to officials with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. The officers must be separated on an "F-5" form, and that form submitted to TCLEOSE, according to state officials.

According to Lisa Block, Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Public Safety, a user agreement is signed by each city, prior to gaining access to the OMNI system, and agencies must adhere to the agreement .

The City of Bardwell is currently the subject of an investigation by DPS into misuse of the OMNI system, allegedly, by Shannon Spurgeon, the Chief Michael Spurgeon’s wife, as a result of the investigative report and complaint filed by The Ellis County Press against the city, on behalf of the persons who have received illegal drivers license suspensions or illegal citations.

Although one person whose license was illegally suspended is reportedly being reinstated by the city, possible countless others remain suspended, in violation of state law and the OMNI user agreement. Cities who misuse or abuse the OMNI system can have their access revoked by DPS, according to state officials.

In addition, the City potentially owes hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegally assessed traffic fines, in addition to reversing driver’s license suspensions that were not lawfully carried out. Persons who received tickets from any of the 26 illegally appointed officers, or who were assessed fines or fees by Shannon Spurgeon or the mayor, and without a sitting municipal court, potentially have a class action suit against the City, according to a former federal prosecutor, for a deprivation of civil rights, under color of law, a violation of 42 USC 1983. Records requests are pending with DPS to show the number of licenses suspended by OMNI.

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