08-09-Judge-Johnston

Anderson County Judge Robert Johnson

Anderson County tow truck driver F. Lee Morris, who has a longstanding beef with Sheriff Greg Taylor, asked county commissioners Wednesday to put him back on the county's wrecker service rotation.

But Anderson County Judge Robert Johnston told the Herald-Press following the meeting that whether to put Morris back on rotation was Sheriff Taylor's call, not the county commission.

“We've had that discussion with Morris before,” Johnston said.

The tow truck owner and operator said he was ousted from the rotation in 2012 because Taylor had a grudge against him.

Contacted by the Herald-Press for comment, Taylor sent a text message stating he was on vacation and wouldn't answer the question.

In a federal lawsuit filed in 2016, Morris alleged Taylor violated his and his African American wife's civil rights by making disparaging and racist remarks about her. The lawsuit was dismissed in U.S. District Court last year, due to a lack of evidence.

Morris told commissioners he was “suspended without cause and due process. He said he is licensed and fully insured and meets all the requirements to operate in Texas and Anderson County.

Morris has also alleged Taylor and his deputies have harassed him and his family.

In August of 2017, Morris returned home to find a sheriff's deputy on his property. Morris video recorded the incident with his cell phone, and the Herald-Press posted it online.

When challenged, the deputy could not produce a warrant or an explanation for why he was on Morris' property.