Jenny Hicks jailed this week after being indicted
Former Shelby County Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace Jenny Hicks has been indicted and arrested on separate charges tied to alleged abuse of office and theft while she was in office.
She was arrested Wednesday, Aug. 8, by Pct. 3 Constable Roy Cheatwood assisted by Pct. 1 Constable Zach Warr.
Hicks was taken to the Shebly County Jail where she was held on $7,500 bond on a theft charge and $5,000 for an abuse of official capacity charge.
A Shelby County grand jury indicted Hicks on Aug. 1. She was suspended from office in July based on allegations she failed to uphold the duties of the job.
The indictments charge Hicks with misusing city of Tenaha funds during the period she served as municipal judge. She is charged in one indictment with misusing $6,685 in city traffic fines on or before Jan. 1, 2017.
The other indictment charges her with exercising control over that same amount without consent of city officials. The indictments were handed down by the July term of the 123rd Judicial District Court.
The theft charge is a third degree felony because it is for a value greater than $2,500 but less than $30,000.
The indictment indicates Hicks was a public servant working in the capacity of municipal judge at the time of the offense and the property appropriated came into Hicks' custody, possession or control by virtue of her status as a public servant.
For the second indictment on the abuse of official capacity is a state jail felony. Hicks is allegedly misused government property, services, personnel or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into Hicks possession by virtue of her position or employment as a public servant by the city of Tenaha.
A petition for the removal of Hicks was filed in July by
County Attorney Gary Rholes.
In that petition, Rholes said Hicks should have been removed from her office because she was incompetent and has engaged in official misconduct.
He said she did not keep any kind of office hours, “making it impossible to file suits in Pct. 4, such as eviction suits, making it impossible for people to make any disposition of any traffic citations issued to them, and leaving citizens no means to regain the right to renew their licenses even after complying with all requirements to do so.”
The basic lack of a functioning justice of the peace is making a hardship on private citizens, other judges and law enforcement, Rholes said in the petition. He also recommended naming an interim JP.
In late July, Jackie Kirkwood was appointed to the position.
Kirkwood said initially the office will have tentative hours of 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Monday through Friday as he and an assistant begin the work of unraveling months worth of having basically no official operations at the office.
The office is located at 140 Ed Wall St. in Tenaha.