Lubbock County Constable Carelton “CJ” Peterson filed a counter-lawsuit last week in a bid to keep his job.
Peterson was sued on June 1 by Lubbock County Republican Party Chairman Steve Evans for removal from office.
Peterson was arrested for drunk driving on May 6. A police report said Peterson crashed his truck in the 5200 block of 50th Street. There were no reports of injuries. Peterson’s truck damaged two parked cars.
In his counter-lawsuit, Peterson claims that Evans is potentially interfering with Peterson’s constitutional rights as both an office-holder and a defendant. Peterson seeks to delay Evan’s lawsuit while the criminal case is pending.
In addition to the courter-lawsuit, this week Peterson filed a response to Evan’s lawsuit claiming the court should not allow it to proceed because it would interfere with Peterson’s right to defend himself in the ongoing criminal case.
Peterson has the right against self-incrimination, but if he speaks up in defense of himself in the lawsuit, it could be used against him in the criminal case.
State District Court Judge Blair Cherry scheduled a July 6 hearing to decide if Peterson should be temporarily suspended as Lubbock County Constable.
As of Wednesday, the DWI criminal case was still pending.
Technically, Peterson’s court filing was an amended petition for declatory judgment and request for temporary restraining order. And technically Evan’s court filing was a petition for removal from office. Just for simplicity, we have called the court records a lawsuit and a counter-lawsuit.