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Hays County district clerk drops lawsuit against the county's district attorney

Gabriel C. Pérez
/
KUT

Hays County District Clerk Avrey Anderson has dropped his lawsuitagainst District Attorney Kelly Higgins, which demanded he be removed from office for "neglect of his duties."

Anderson claimed Higgins, a fellow Democrat, refused to prosecute cases of simple drug possession and low-level marijuana offenses, and where doctors have illegally treated transgender patients or performed abortions.

Higgins denied the allegations. He claimed Anderson hasn't been able to fulfill his duties as district clerk and has been "directly impeding the administration of justice in Hays County" since coming into office.

Both Anderson and Higgins began their terms in January. Anderson, who graduated from Dripping Springs High School in 2021, unseated a three-term incumbent at only 19 years old.

"Many within the Hays County legal community were concerned about Anderson's youth, inexperience, and failure to prepare for the role of District Clerk," said Higgins in a response to the lawsuit.

Higgins said Anderson would often be seen drinking tea and taking selfies during dockets and was also seen twirling in a district judge's chair.

He also claimed Anderson either terminated or replaced "a number of the most experienced people in the District Clerk's office and replaced them with less experienced persons."

Anderson's lawsuit cited House Bill 17, a state law that went into effect this month that allows courts to remove district attorneys for misconduct if they choose not to pursue certain types of crimes. Republican lawmakers said this law would help rein in "rogue" district attorneys in left-leaning counties.

Higgins argued he is not a "rogue" prosecutor and that Anderon's lawsuit was based on a "personality conflict and disagreements over campaign strategies."

Less than a day after Higgins filed his response, Anderson dropped the lawsuit.

Copyright 2023 KUT 90.5. To see more, visit KUT 90.5.

Maya Fawaz