By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
The high-profile feud between two hostile San Marcos neighbors took another twist Friday when the Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) arrested a candidate for the Hays County Commissioners Court on charges of deadly conduct.
The HSCO arrested Nick Ramus, the Republican candidate for Precinct 1 Commissioner, after he allegedly approached the property of his neighbor and long-time adversary, Carolyn Logan, with a loaded gun.
Thus, a tale that has wound through the commissioners court, the courts of law and the political process took up temporary residence in the county jail before Ramus posted a $5,000 bond.
The HCSO said it received a call just before 11 a.m. Friday complaining about Ramus.
Ramus said he was cleaning his Remington 870 shotgun on his porch Friday morning when he noticed a backhoe operator on Logan’s property working near his property line. Ramus said he hadn’t fired the gun in about 12 years, the gun was rusted and corroded, and he had removed the shells, which also were corroded, when he noticed the backhoe.
Ramus said recent work on Logan’s property resulted in dirt being moved onto his property, causing a potential silting problem. So, said Ramus, he wanted to be sure the backhoe operator wasn’t pushing dirt onto his property.
“I just ran over to see if the guy was doing the same thing, which he wasn’t,” Ramus said. “The shells were on the porch. I didn’t want to leave the gun on the porch and have someone come up and take it, so I had it with me.”
Ramus said he and the backhoe operator had a brief discussion without cross words, and that he never pointed the gun at anybody. Ramus added that Logan shouted obscenities at him from her riding lawn mower about 100 yards away.
Logan could not be reached for comment.
Following the conversation, Ramus said, he went back to his porch and put the gun away, placing the shells back into the gun. Then, he said, he took a shower. About 20 minutes after he went inside, the HCSO was at his door.
“It was a complete shock to me,” Ramus said. “She had fabricated this story … This is more of the same false accusations, fabrications and character assassinations. It’s pure craziness.”
The HCSO said the gun was fully loaded. Ramus said the gun wasn’t loaded when he approached Logan’s property, though he returned the shells to the gun when he put the gun away.
Ramus goes on trial for the deadly conduct charge on Nov. 21, 17 days after the Nov. 4 election for the commissioner seat he is seeking. The HCSO said deadly conduct, a Class-A misdemeanor, comes with a punishment of up to one year in jail, a fine up to $4,000 or both.
“In hindsight, it’s easy to say that I shouldn’t have taken (the gun) with me,” said Ramus, who added that he thought at the time it would be safer to carry the gun than to leave it unattended on his porch with shells nearby.
Ramus is an aspiring restaurateur who has fought Logan and the county for years over his septic permit. Logan has argued that Ramus’ septic system is insufficient to protect her property, which is downhill from his.
A two-acre property on Old Bastrop Highway, which Ramus hopes to open as Texas Heritage Kitchen, was platted in 1977 with a 1,400-gallon septic system. When the county tightened its septic regulations under new development regulations in 1997, Ramus argued that his On-Site Septic Facility (OSSF) permit should be grandfathered under the old regulations.
In 2006, the county granted Ramus his permit. But a newly seated commissioners court, led by new judge Liz Sumter (D-Wimberley) revoked that permit in April 2007. The revocation raised eyebrows, considering that it was a pet issue of Logan and Dripping Springs political player Charles O’Dell, who supported Sumter’s election.
Precinct 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe (D-San Marcos) and Precinct 4 Commissioner Karen Ford (D-Dripping Springs) voted with Sumter in a 3-2 decision.
Last June, Ramus sued the county, arguing that commissioners acted illegally by revoking his permit. Earlier this year, Ramus filed to run as a Republican against Ingalsbe for her seat on the commissioner’s court in this November’s election. Ramus received no opposition in the primary and is on the ballot to oppose Ingalsbe.
On March 26, District Judge Robert Pfeuffer issued his ruling on the septic issue in a one-page letter to the attorneys for both sides, granting a summary judgment for Ramus.Email | Print