Editor’s note: This news report was updated and corrected on December 12, 2019 to reflect the recent dismissal of charges against former councilman Ken Ferrara. We apologize for the error.
RUSK, Texas (KETK) – A former Rusk city councilman and his son were arrested for assault.
The incident happened just a few months after he and another councilman were recalled.
Jan Pate is a former councilman who was recalled during the last election.
He and his son are owners of Pate Family Investments where this assault allegedly happened with a 61-year-old customer.
This, however, is not the first time Pate has been in the limelight.
Everything started in October of 2018.
At the time many were already unhappy with Pate, when then-councilman Ken Ferrara allegedly made a racial and sexual comment to the city secretary.
Pate is accused of standing by and not taking any action to handle the situation.
What would ensue was several months of drama.
At the initial meeting in late October 2018, the issue of Ferrara’s comment was front and center.
After much discussion he read an apology.
“I apologize to Pam and Roselyn for making statements that could be interpreted as racial or sexual in nature,” was the statement he read off a piece of paper at the October 2018 meeting.
His brief apology did not have the impact he had hoped for.
Residents seemed to only become more enraged at Ferrara’s actions, and also Jan Pate’s negligence.
When the floor was open for public comment citizens expressed their frustration.
“Each one of you said you want to clean up Rusk, well what do you do when you want to clean something up? You take out the trash,” said one citizen.
“I, as a citizen, request Ken and Jan’s resignation tonight,” said another citizen.
A petition for a recall vote for Pate and Ferrara’s seats was called shortly after.
Pate then filed a restraining order and a lawsuit against the City of Rusk, in hopes, some say, of derailing the vote.
However, he and Ferrara were eventually recalled earlier this year.
Both recalled councilmen would eventually be arrested: Pate, for the alleged assault this month, and Ferrara for allegedly driving while intoxicated last August. The charges against Ferrara were dismissed in November.
People in and around Rusk say they are glad this chapter is over.
They say things have been a lot quieter since the recall, and they look forward to what the future holds in store.