Sunday, January 30, 2011

Court To Arraign Three For Official Oppression In February

County Judge, Commissioner charged with abuse of official capacity

Gilmer – Jimmy Caughron didn't like it when three of the 4 Upshur County Commissioners voted to eliminate the public comment part of the court's meetings.

He attended a subsequent meeting and in protest put duct tape over his mouth.

Most country boys say you can fix just about anything with duct tape, and Jimmy Caughron proved it.

Inflamed by his act, County Judge Dean Fowler ordered a bailiff to remove him from the courtroom and video cameras caught it on tape. A Tyler station aired the footage that evening.

That's when the DA filed charges of official oppression and abuse of official capacity on the judge and County Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree.

Sheriff Anthony Betterton is charged with official oppression.

When the Texas Commission on Judicial conduct got wind of the judge's actions against Mr. Caughron, they suspended him hearing juvenile cases, admitting estates to probate and hearing misdemeanor criminal cases. He has been suspended pending the District Court's verdict and sentence.

State District Judge Richard Davis will arraign the trio on Feb. 11.

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