If Davis continues to turn them away, the couples’ attorneys can ask a judge to hold her in contempt of court, which can carry steep fines or jail time.
Dan Canon, an attorney representing the couples, said he hopes Davis will simply hand his clients licenses on Tuesday, and the controversy will end. Davis behind bars is not an outcome they are hoping for, he said.
“But if she continues to defy the court’s order, we cannot let that continue unaddressed,” he said Monday night. “It all depends on what happens tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, a couple that had been turned away went to Rowan County Attorney Cecil Watkins to ask that she be charged with official misconduct, a misdemeanor defined by state law as a public official who “refrains from performing a duty imposed upon him by law or clearly inherent in the nature of his office.” The crime is punishable by up to a year in jail.
Watkins cited a conflict of interest and forwarded the complaint to Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, whose office will decide whether to appoint a special prosecutor, generally a county attorney from a surrounding jurisdiction, who would decide whether to file charges.
As the clock wound down for Davis on Monday, the tension intensified between dueling groups of protesters outside her office window on the courthouse lawn.
Hexie Mefford has stood on the lawn waving a flag nearly every day for more than two months. The flag is fashioned after Old Glory, but with a rainbow instead of the red and white bars.