By Chris Edwards
IVANHOE – The City of Ivanhoe and its mayor are standing behind its City Marshal after an allegation of oppression.
Terry Riley, who serves the city as City Marshal, turned himself in last Tuesday and charged with Official Oppression, a class A misdemeanor. He was subsequently released from the Tyler County Jail on a $500 personal recognizance bond, and Ivanhoe Mayor Cathy Bennett said there is “no reason [the city] would even consider” putting him on administrative leave.
“The city supports him 100 percent,” Bennett said. “He has done a wonderful job for the City of Ivanhoe, and all of this will be cleared up when he goes to trial.”
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers were appointed by the Texas Attorney General’s Office, who are handling the prosecution of the case, to conduct an investigation into allegations of official oppression by Riley. On June 7, the completed investigation was submitted to a Tyler County Grand Jury.
The indictment handed down by the Grand Jury alleges that Riley intentionally subjected Raymond Harrison to “detention or seizure or dispossession that [Riley] knew was unlawful” on Feb. 16, 2018.
The indictment further alleges that within the capacity of City Marshal, he took the described action against Harrison.
According to the Texas Penal Code, the charge of Official Oppression entails any public servant who intentionally subjects another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien that he knows is unlawful.
Bennett said the charge is “absolutely bizarre” and the city will continue to support Riley. Riley has served in the role of City Marshal for two years, and oversees law enforcement for the city, which includes one other full-time officer and three part-time deputies.
When news of the allegation and arrest broke via the Booster Facebook page, many page followers expressed a large degree of support in their comments. Riley has served in various capacities throughout Tyler County, both paid and volunteer, and was recently honored by Bennett and the Ivanhoe City Council at an appreciation dinner in May.