MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Is a former Shelby County court clerk now an anti-government extremist? Otis Jackson is facing corruption charges stemming from his time as Shelby County General Sessions Court Clerk; now he's claims he is a "sovereign citizen".
That's the group of people who denounce the government and believe they don't have to follow the same laws as the rest of us.
Those following this situation wonder if it's a sign that Jackson is no longer stable.
Otis Jackson wouldn't answer questions about filing sovereign citizen paperwork, but his friend Jay Bailey had plenty to say.
"I consider him to be a close friend but it's obvious to me he is going off the deep end with this whole sovereign citizen thing."
Jackson is accused of forcing employees in the county clerk's office to raise money for his re-election campaign during working hours.
Truth is Jackson claiming he to be a sovereign citizen explains his bizarre behavior in court last month.
Just days after filing the sovereign citizen paperwork he refused to raise his right hand and be sworn-in. He eventually got mouthy with the judge.
It surprised the judge but the bizarre behavior didn't surprise former West Memphis Police Chief Bob Paudert.
Paudert's son Brandon was one of two West Memphis police officers shot to death by sovereign citizens, Joe and Jerry Kane, during a routine traffic stop.
Since then, Paudert has traveled the country teaching others about the dangers sovereign citizens pose.
"They won't swear under oath, they don't believe in our governments so they won't swear or take an affirmation to anything."
Truth is he's not exempt from laws; claiming he's a sovereign citizen won't stop his upcoming trial, and may give the prosecutors more ammunition.