New charges on Upshur Co. officials

New charges on Upshur Co. officials

GILMER, TX (KLTV) - Upshur County officials, already under fire, have new charges filed on them Tuesday.

The officials are already under indictment on charges of official oppression and abuse of official capacity.

Sheriff Anthony Betterton and Commissioner Lloyd Crabtree were charged with gift to a public servant by a person in his jurisdiction — a class A misdemeanor — while County Judge Dean Fowler was charged with conflict of interest/failure to file an affidavit — also a class A misdemeanor, according to the county's judicial website.

Betterton, Crabtree and Fowler currently face charges of official oppression and abuse of official capacity after a man was removed from a Commissioners Court meeting in 2010 after he repeatedly wore duct tape over his mouth in protest that public comment had been removed from agendas.

A special prosecutor filed the new charges against the officials Tuesday without a grand jury indictment.

New charges against Betterton and Crabtree allege gift to a public servant relating to claims that in December the two officials accepted free legal representation from an attorney, who is representing both men on their other charges.

Fowler's latest charge is related to him not filing a conflict of interest form when the county was doing business with a Gilmer bank.

According to information in the charge, Fowler had a conflict of interest in the county's business because he had previously represented the bank as an attorney.

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