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Citizen sues to remove jailed Smith County constable from office

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Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 2:27 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2022 at 6:47 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A private citizen has filed a petition asking for the removal of Curtis Traylor-Harris as the constable of Smith County Pct. 1.

According to state law, the process of removing an elected official from office must begin with a petition being filed by a private citizen in the district court where the officer resides, or where the alleged cause of removal occurred. The plaintiff is requesting Traylor-Harris’ removal from office pending a jury trial, as well as a temporary suspension of duties and salary for Traylor-Harris.

Citizen sues to remove jailed Smith County constable from office

The conduct of Smith County Pct. 1 Constable, Curtis Traylor-Harris, was first drawn into public scrutiny on Nov. 11, 2021. On that date, Traylor-Harris and two of his leading law enforcement officers within the department were arrested, accused of stealing makeup, ammunition, an Apple AirPods box, sunglasses , cash and other items from a home where they were serving eviction papers. They were charged with Official Oppression and Abuse of Official Capacity. The incident came to light when one of the three appeared to mistakenly turn her body camera on, while thinking she was turning it off at the time when the thefts were allegedly being committed. The cameras were later handed over to a separate law enforcement agency where the discovery was made.

In the six months since, Traylor-Harris has remained in office, collecting a $74,000 per year salary, while criminal charges remain active against him. Since May 13, Traylor-Harris has been in the Gregg County jail for violating bond conditions after the initial arrest.

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