Ellis County treasurer escorted from budget meeting as tensions boil over

Published: May. 15, 2020 at 10:45 PM CDT
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Thursday night's budget hearing in Ellis County got heated to a point where the county commission chair asked the sheriff to escort the county treasurer out of the meeting.

This happened after arguments broke out when the treasurer presented her budget to county commissioners.

Some contention began when Ellis County Commission Chair Butch Schlyer asked Ellis County Treasurer Lisa Schlegel why she was late completing her budget.

Tensions rose with subsequent questions about Schlegel's budget. During the meeting, Schlegel said her budget was late because she was waiting for bids. She argued about spending within her department.

One argument concerned whether Schlegel needed to fill an open position. The situation escalated after Schlyer asked commissioners to deny Schlegel's request for funding for a new employee.

The back and forth included accusations from Schlegel of name-calling, bullying, and "being disrespectful." Schlyer said she kept interrupting him and said he'd "appreciate it if (she) would "shut up for a minute.

Minutes after another contentious exchange involving a question about advertising, Schlyer asked for the sheriff to escort Schlegel out of the meeting.

That did not happen without a final exchange of words.

"You're going to escort me out?" Schlegel said.

"Because you're obnoxious," Schlyer replied.

"No, you are disrespectful, and let the record state that you told me to shut up," Schlegel fired back.

"Yes," Schlyer said.

"And you say I'm disrespectful," Schlegel replied.

As she left the room she told the sheriff not to touch her.

Schlyer says he had Schlegel removed because the commission wouldn't get anything accomplished with the way the meeting was going. He says the commission does not suspect Schlegel of illegal activity, they just question her spending.

Eyewitness News did reach out to Schlegel Friday, but as of 10 p.m. had not heard back with an expected statement.

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