(Editor’s note: This story is revised and slightly written through on 09/11/08, 12:25 p.m., clarifying the difference between the sheriff’s report and Nick Ramus’ account.)
By BILL PETERSON
Editor at Large
The Hays County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) said Monday that the backhoe operator on Carolyn Logan’s San Marcos property fled last Friday, when Logan’s neighbor, Hays County Commissioner candidate Nick Ramus, allegedly approached him with a loaded gun.
The sheriff’s office arrested Ramus later Friday on charges of deadly conduct.
The sheriff’s office said the backhoe operator did not indicate that he felt threatened. However, neither does the sheriff’s report support Ramus’ contention that he and the backhoe operator had an uneventful conversation.
Ramus said he was cleaning a 12-guage shotgun Friday morning when he noticed a backhoe operator on Logan’s property working near his property line. Ramus said he took the gun with him when he confronted the backhoe operator to make sure he wasn’t pushing dirt off Logan’s property and onto his.
“The backhoe operator told us (Ramus) came over with a rifle,” HCSO spokesman LeRoy Opiela said. “(Ramus) never threatened him. (The backhoe operator) got off his backhoe and walked off the property because he did not want to have a confrontation with anybody.”
The sheriff’s office responded to a complaint about Ramus later that morning and arrested him on the deadly conduct charge, which carries a sentence of one year, a fine of $4,000, or both. Ramus is released on a $5,000 bond.
Ramus goes on trial on Nov. 21. The commissioners court election, in which Ramus is running for Precinct 1 commissioner as a Republican against incumbent Debbie Ingalsbe (D-San Marcos), is scheduled for Nov. 4.
Opiela said the sheriff’s department reported no testimony that the backhoe operator fled for fear of his life.
“What’s in the report is that the backhoe operator fled,” Opiela said. “There’s nothing in there that he fled for his life.”
Ramus and Logan, who both live on Old Bastrop Highway, have been at odds since Hays County granted Ramus a septic permit in 2005 for a restaurant he plans to open on his two-acres. Logan lives next door to and downhill from Ramus’ land. The issue has become a focal point in Hays County politics during the last three years.
With help from Dripping Springs political activist Charles O’Dell, Logan has argued that the septic permit was granted to Ramus improperly and that the system is insufficient under the county’s On-Site Septic Facility (OSSF) requirements passed in 1997. Ramus has argued that his septic permit should have been grandfathered under regulations in force when he purchased the property years earlier.
In 2007, the Hays County Commissioners Court revoked Ramus’ permit and he, in turn, sued the county. In March, District Judge Robert Pfeuffer issued a summary judgement in Ramus’ favor.
While waiting for a ruling, Ramus filed to run in the November election against Ingalsbe, who was one of the commissioners voting for his permit revocation in a 3-2 commissioners split. Ramus ran unopposed in the Republican primary, ensuring his place on the November ballot.Email | Print