City fires employee following arrest

  • Simons

City of Burnet assistant public works director Jonny Simons has been terminated from his position following his Aug. 27 arrest on a charge of aggravated assault of a family member with a weapon, a first-degree felony.

“Mr. Simons is no longer employed with the City of Burnet,” City Manager David Vaughn told the Burnet Bulletin Tuesday, Sept. 8. “The City of Burnet elected to terminate his employment on an atwill basis.”

Simons’ photo and listing as assistant public works director was removed from the city’s website later that morning.

“It is unfortunate that an allegation can cost someone a job they worked very hard to obtain,” said Austin Shell of Shell & Associates, Simons’ attorney of record. “Mr. Simons has not been convicted of anything and is not guilty in the eyes of the law.

“We’re defending Mr. Simons in every way we know how. His focus right now is on his children and his family. Mr. Simons has been extremely cooperative with my office from the beginning.”

Simons’ $75,000 surety bond was posted Aug. 28 by Shell & Associates.

According to the probable cause affidavit, police responding to a domestic disturbance at Simons’ home in the 1600 block of Hamilton Drive in Burnet at 10:54 p.m. Aug. 27 were met by a woman, identified as Simons’ wife, and two young children running from the house. One of the children told the officers, “He has a gun!”

As officers approached the home, Simons exited the house with his hands up and was taken into custody, the affidavit stated.

Simons’ wife told officers her husband came home appearing to be intoxicated, had confronted her about an alleged marital indiscretion, made obscene gestures towards his wife, and assaulted her by grabbing her wrist and her upper arms and pushing her into a chair, according to the affidavit.

The victim said she was able to take a child with her and get into bathroom to get dressed and call 911, but this allegedly angered Simons, who then took a loaded AR-15 rifle from his gun safe and stated he would “solve the problem for her,” according to the affidavit.

Officers searched the home and found the AR-15 leaning against the threshhold directly next to the door. The rifle had a bullet in the chamber and a full magazine of 30 rounds of 5.56mm ammo, according to the affidavit.

An emergency protective order was filed against Simons in Judge Allan Garrett’s 33rd District Court last week.