POSTED: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 10:19am
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 5, 2011 - 10:54am
GILMER, Texas (AP) - A state panel has suspended indicted Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler in an official oppression investigation that led some residents to protest by covering their mouths with duct tape.
The suspension was announced Tuesday by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.
Fowler attorney Todd Tefteller says the suspension, with pay, is standard procedure when a judge has been indicted.
County commissioners in September decided to stop hearing public comment. A protester in November who put duct tape over his mouth was removed from the public meeting.
A grand jury Dec. 29 indicted Fowler on charges of official oppression and abuse of power. Two other county officials also were indicted. No trial dates have been set. County commissioners on Dec. 30 voted to lift the ban on public