Crime

Landlord told lawyer that her marijuana leaf sign near the sheriff’s office had to go

A lawyer replaced a business sign that had a picture of a marijuana leaf on it after complaints reached her landlord that the sign was not wanted in Weatherford.

The bright green sign was at the law offices of Harmony Schuerman, located at 112 Hogle St., which happen to be right across the street from the Parker County Sheriff’s Office and jail.

Parker County Sheriff Larry Fowler said he did not complain about the sign.

“I don’t have any comment about that sign,” Fowler said. “Anything that went on was between her and the city.”

Schuerman, who has offices in Weatherford and Fort Worth, said the sheriff never contacted her directly, but numerous people reported to her that Fowler lobbied to have the sign taken down. The sign was erected about July 16 and was taken down a day later, Schuerman said.

A large percentage of her case load is composed of people accused of drug possession and the number of people charged with marijuana possession has been increasing in recent weeks, Schuerman said. Her business logo was changed to include a marijuana leaf and she wanted signage to reflect that logo upgrade, Schuerman said.

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A sign that advertised legal services in Weatherford was taken down after complaints about the marijuana leaf logo reached the attorney’s landlord Courtesy Harmony Schuerman

“I was told by some that the sheriff wanted the sign taken down,” Schuerman said. “I knew the sign was going to make a splash. I was later informed by my landlord that the sign had to come down the next day.”

Schuerman said she has had an office in the same building for years and had nothing but good things to say about her landlord, Joe Plumlee. The sign was taken down with the hope she can avoid losing her office location, Schuerman said.

Plumlee said he went to bat for Schuerman, telling officials with the sheriff’s office that the sign was legal. But Plumlee added that he was also a supporter of Sheriff Fowler.

“But it’s in your face right across the street, so it had to come down,” Plumlee said.

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A sign that advertised legal services in Weatherford was taken down after complaints about the marijuana leaf logo reached the attorney’s landlord. Harmony Schuerman

Schuerman said she did receive a visit from a city code compliance officer who said she did not have a permit for the sign. The picture on the sign did not violate any city ordinances, Schuerman said the official told her. A sign of identical size had been placed in the same location for years that was not permitted, Schuerman said.

Jeff Payne, Weatherford code-compliance officer, said an open records request would have to be filed before any information about contact between the code compliance office and Schuerman would be released.

A public information request was submitted Wednesday, but no information has been received from the city in response.

The sign may have caused less controversy in a larger city, but there was not a place to put the sign at her Fort Worth office, Schuerman said.

“I am really sad we had to change the sign,” Schuerman said. “I feel like we were going to get new business from it. People all were very positive about the sign.”

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Mitch Mitchell is an award-winning reporter covering courts and crime for the Star-Telegram. Additionally, Mitch’s past coverage on municipal government, healthcare and social services beats allow him to bring experience and context to the stories he writes.
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