Webster County sheriff admits to illegally riding ATV along US 169

Stubbs: ‘Nobody’s above the law’

Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs admitted in Webster County Magistrate Court Thursday to illegally riding an all-terrain vehicle on the shoulder of U.S. Highway 169.

Stubbs appeared in front of Magistrate William Thatcher Thursday morning and pleaded guilty to one count of operating an ATV on a roadway or highway.

The incident happened a couple of weeks ago, he said.

Stubbs was riding his side-by-side ATV to look at some property his family had purchased on 150th Street.

However, he realized the address was actually on 160th Street, not 150th Street, so he rode his ATV on a small portion of 169 to get to 160th Street.

Stubbs said he was only on the shoulder of 169 for a brief time, but it was still a violation of the law.

“I did it and I hold myself responsible,” Stubbs said.

Webster County passed a new ordinance that went into effect May 8 that allows ATV travel on county roads. But 169 is not covered by the county jurisdiction.

Stubbs soon found a deputy pulled off on 169 and asked that deputy to write him a ticket for violating the ATV law.

It’s only fair, as he did break the law, he said.

“If I’m going to have people out giving citations, then I need to hold myself to that higher standard as well,” he said. “And nobody’s above the law.”

Had he broken the law and not gotten a ticket, that would have been hypocritical, Stubbs added.

“I want to make sure everyone’s equal as far as the Sheriff’s Department is concerned,” he said. “And that includes me.”

After the guilty plea, Thatcher told the sheriff that he appreciated his openness about what happened.

“I commend your honesty, your integrity, your ethics and your dedication to law enforcement in Webster County,” Thatcher said.

Thatcher accepted Stubbs’ guilty plea and ordered him to pay a total fine of $132.50.