Despite support from Gov. Greg Abbott, officials in Brewster County, TX, have agreed to ban the display of Christian crosses on sheriff's vehicles to settle a lawsuit from the national Freedom From Religion Foundation, reports the Austin American-Statesman.
Under the settlement, approved last week by county commissioners, Brewster County agreed to pay the foundation $21,970 in legal fees and $400 for court costs.
Two atheist residents of Brewster County who joined the foundation's lawsuit, Kevin Price and Jesse Castillo, also were awarded $1 each "for past constitutional violations," the consent decree said.
Greg Hudson, an Austin lawyer representing Brewster County and Sheriff Ronny Dodson, said the settlement reflected a county policy approved by the Commissioners Court in March that banned political, religious, commercial and personal symbols and messages from county vehicles. The ban was approved about three weeks after the foundation filed its lawsuit in Alpine's federal court.
The decals, foot-high depictions of a Latin cross with a thin blue line, were removed from the department's vehicles.