UPSHUR COUNTY, TX (KLTV) – The East Texas officials indicted for banning public comment proclaimed their innoncence to the community Friday in Upshur County.
More than 30 people gathered at the Upshur County Courthouse on Friday, the majority of which appeared to side with the indicted officials.
Jerry Fenton calls the action wrong, but places blame on the commissioners, not Sheriff Betterton.
"Anthony has been a good sheriff, the Commissioner's Court has a lot of problems and I think Anthony got sucked in on it. I think the sheriff was doing what the County Judge told him to do, getting the people of of the meeting," says Fenton.
The press conference comes just a day after the Upshur County Commissioner's Court voted to overturn their September decision to stop hearing public comment.
The Sheriff and two members of the Commissioner's Court were indicted and charged with official oppression after a man was removed from a November meeting when he placed duct tape over his mouth.
The three-month ban on public comment was lifted Thursday following public protest.
Despite the charges, members of the community remain supportive of the officials.
All three men turned themselves in after they were charged. There is a protective order in place, but the lawyers insist their clients are innocent.
"ive seen a lot of sheriffs departments come and go and ive got no doubt this is the best one we've seen in along time"