ELDORADO, Texas Bloggers have been alternatively praising and condemning Schleicher County Judge Johnny Griffin for refusing to sign the original search warrant that prompted the raid on the Fundamentalist LDS Church's YFZ Ranch.
But Griffin never got those search warrants, he told the Deseret News on Monday.
"I did not sign it because it was never presented to me," said Griffin. "It went directly to the district."
Griffin's title as a county judge is that of a chief administrator for Schleicher County. He is not a lawyer, and says he is only authorized to hear certain types of cases, such as a misdemeanor or a civil lawsuit up to $10,000. Any other types of cases are handled by the 51st District Court, which encompasses Schleicher County. The warrants were signed by 51st District Judge Barbara Walther.
"I wouldn't have signed it anyway," Griffin said. "Because anything of that magnitude goes to district court."
The FLDS Church first posted a report about Griffin on one of its Web sites, and it got a life of its own on various blogs chronicling the raid. In passing a resolution supporting Schleicher County's request to get Texas to pay its bill, Kerr County Commissioners also made mention of it. (A tip of the hat, though, to the blogger who tipped off the Deseret News.)