John Oswalt has been appointed interim Justice of the Peace for Precinct 1, Harrison County Judge Chad Sims announced Monday.
Oswalt replaces Chad Graff, who stepped down as temporary JP last week, Sims said. Graff had been in the role since June, when he replaced Megan Pinson Grigsby, Precinct 1’s JP who was suspended from duty following an indictment and arrest on charges of theft and abuse of official capacity.
Oswalt is a member of the Greater Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce and the Marshall Elks Lodge. He has been a volunteer firefighter for more than 30 years. He is a reserve deputy in the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office and has an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He also works at Meadowbrook Funeral Home.
“Judge Nancy George is helping with all the duties of JP1,” Sims said. “We intend to get Mr. Oswalt trained as quickly as possible and get the JP office in Waskom reopened.”
The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct suspended JP Grigsby without pay on May 21, following her May 16 indictment, which charged her with one count of theft more than $2,500, but less than $30,000 and one count of abuse of official capacity. Both are state jail felonies.
The Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct said that the suspension shall remain in effect until the charges set forth in the indictment are dismissed, or until Judge Grigsby is acquitted of all charges in the indictment, or upon further orders of the Commission.
The indictments accuse the 33-year-old elected official of stealing funds in her capacity, starting around Oct. 31, 2017 and continuing until about July 31, 2018.