Citys appointees illegal?
The Ellis County Press
PALMER – Members of city boards and commissions were not properly sworn into office, which could result in a Constitutional challenge, according to an analysis by The Ellis County Press legal counsel.
Texas Constitution Article 16, Section 1 states "All elected and appointed officers, before they enter upon the duties of their offices, shall take the following Oath or Affirmation…"
Palmer officials said members of the Planning & Zoning Commission, Buildings and Standards Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments have been appointed by the city council and have made decisions while not being sworn in.
The Constitution stipulates elected and appointed officers are also required to swear to an anti-bribery oath (Part B) before filling out the Constitutional oath (Part A), which states, "I, _____________, do solemnly swear (or affirm), that I will faithfully execute the duties of the office of _____________ of the State of Texas, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God."
Court rulings have made the decisions of unlawfully seated judges and other officials null and void before, according to defense attorney Rodney Pat Ramsey, who noted several court of appeals rulings in Austin and Dallas on the subject.
The Texas Constitution also states (Section C) that oaths of office for each public official be filed with a city secretary, or, in the case of state officials (agencies, legislators, senators), the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
Palmer’s commissioners and board members do not have oaths, according to city officials.
Full disclosure: this reporter resides in Palmer and has requested to be appointed to a city board on the condition, first, that it is legal according to the Texas Constitution.