A Facebook comment that's getting international attention could now result in a reprimand against the man who wrote it.
On November 21, Burnet County Judge James Oakley commented "time for a tree and a rope" on a post from a San Antonio news station stating an arrest had been made in the shooting death of Detective Benjamin Marconi.
Oakley said the next morning, someone replied to his comment, stating they were offended so he erased it.
In addition to serving as the County Judge, Oakley serves as a Commissioner on the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the board of the Capital Area Council of Governments, the Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization and the Pedernales Electric Cooperative (PEC) Board of Directors.
"We are all here today in regards to a situation that occurred via a social media posting last week," said Emily Pataki, President of the Board.
The PEC called a special meeting Wednesday to discuss Oakley's comment.
"We're here because of me and I get that," Oakley said to the crowd.
"I did not mean to call for instant vigilante justice," he said.
"My point was in the comment, this crime should qualify for the death penalty, that's what I was trying to say. I did a poor job saying it and I understand that and I apologize for that. I apologized then and I apologize now. It was poor word choice. I own that."
Oakley went on to say his comment was about the crime, not the man and that he believes in due process. When he finished addressing the crowd, the PEC members, employees and public had their say.
"Time for a tree and a rope. For crying out loud I think we all know what that means. We're going to lynch someone," said Thomas Mitchell who indicated he wanted Oakley removed from the board. "Apparently Mr. Oakley doesn't understand or chooses to ignore the rule of law, due process and the fact that people are innocent until proven guilty."
"As a standing board of director he is supposed to build us up, guide us in a positive way and lead by a positive example. His actions have done the complete opposite," added Leslie West, an employee of the PEC for 18-years.
While many people at the meeting called for Oakley's removal, some defended him.
"He was using a figure of speech, poorly chosen, everybody gets that, but he wasn't talking about a lynching," said PEC Member A.B. Walters. "He was talking about old west Texas justice. Go watch a few western movies will ya?"
After public comment, the board went into an hours-long executive session where they decided to appoint a complaint committee to review their policy and Oakley's actions. The committee will present their recommendation to the board on December 9 and the board will meet again and vote of possible punishment January 17.