Cleared East Texas county judge returns to work

GILMER, TX

The State Commission on Judicial Conduct has lifted the suspension of Upshur County Judge Dean Fowler, allowing him to resume his duties Friday.

A visiting judge Wednesday decided prosecutors did not prove their case against Fowler. A charge of abuse of official capacity was dropped.

Upshur County commissioners in September 2010 decided to stop hearing public comment. A critic, who wore duct tape over his mouth in protest, was removed from a public meeting last November.

A grand jury Dec. 29 indicted Upshur and two other county officials, who still face trial. Commissioners the following day lifted the ban on public comment.

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