POSTED: Friday, October 14, 2011 - 9:19am
UPDATED: Friday, October 14, 2011 - 12:19pm
Longview, TX — After 10 months of suspension, Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler has been reinstated and will preside over the Commissioners Court meeting this morning.
The State Commission on Judicial Conduct met Thursday to reinstate Fowler after a judge on Wednesday dropped charges of official oppression and abuse of official capacity brought against him by Upshur District Attorney Billy Byrd. The commission suspended Fowler, pending the outcome of a criminal investigation and trial, Executive Director Seana Willing said in January.
Fowler confirmed late Thursday night that he will preside over the Commissioners Court meeting scheduled for 9 a.m. today.
The Commissioners Court appointed Jim Bowling to oversee meetings until Fowler returned to office. With Fowler being reinstated, Bowling legally is no longer the county judge, Fowler confirmed.
Fowler, Sheriff Anthony Betterton and Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree were charged with official oppression and abuse of official capacity after Jimmy Caughron was removed from a commissioners court meeting when he repeatedly wore duct tape over his mouth to protest that public comment had been removed from agendas.
Read the full story here .