Sheriff vs. Mayor in Wild West Fistfight
When you think of a sheriff and a mayor getting into a fight in a dusty western town, you probably conjure up images of the American Wild West. You probably don’t think about cases that happened in modern day New Mexico, but it appears that’s exactly what happened. This does seem like a civil case that might have taken place 120 years ago. Let’s take a closer look at how it all unfolded.
Showdown in Elida
The sheriff of Roosevelt County in NM is named Marlin Parker. Parker and the mayor of Elida, Durward Dixon, do not agree on everything, including how to enforce the law. According to reports, Parker interfered with the Elida police department, who had taken away a dog for killing chickens. Parker got the dog back and returned it to its owner because he said that chickens are not actually considered livestock. If it were livestock, he would have likely allowed the police department in Elida to have kept the dog.
Of course, the animals that fall into the category of livestock can vary based on location. Under the law in NM, it appears that if the dog was deemed dangerous or potentially dangerous, it could be removed from the property. Since it killed chickens, it appears the Elida police were justified in the removal of the dog.
Dixon was not pleased with the fact that the sheriff interfered and took the dog back, and he tried to speak to Sheriff Parker. At first, Parker refused to even talk to the mayor, and when he finally did, Parker challenged Dixon to a fistfight in the road. Apparently, that is the modern equivalent of a showdown duel on the street, so the mayor has filed a civil suit.
However, Parker says that’s not what happened. He says that neither he nor the deputies tried to prohibit the police in Elida from doing their job, and he says that he never challenged the mayor to a fight. He says that the accusations are false. For people in the town and the county, it all seems like quite an embarrassing mess. The county says they will be covering the cost of the case, since Parker was acting as an official when it all happened.
Of course, it might still be some time before we know what happened really, since both sides seem to have widely varying stories. It will certainly be interesting to watch develop and to get a better idea of what happened to the dog and who brought it back to its owner.
Officials Behaving Badly
This is certainly not the first time that officials of the government have said and done things that have embarrassed them and the people they represent. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be these types of altercations, but the world and the humans who inhabit it are far from perfect. Until everyone evolves to the point where disagreements and fight don’t happen, we can all just sit back and watch as the drama like this unfolds in the courtroom.