County Judge Dean Fowler should resign his position immediatley. He has clearly mixed business and personal matters to the extent that it has caused questions of his integrity by the District Attorney and the Texas Rangers.
$36,741.95 is alot of money for former attorney Robert Bennett to give Fowler in reimbursement for some trips they took together and for a couple of "referrals." In many industries, payment for referrals is illegal. Leave it to the legal profession to try and make it legal for their purposes.
Fowler also clearly lied to the press when he stated that he was cleared by the Texas Rangers. The Texas Rangers do not clear anyone that's up to the District Attorney or the Grand Jury. Leave it to an attorney, Fowler, to try an twist matters in the press to the public. By this statement, Fowler either lied to the press or he is an incompetent as an attorney. I'll leave that to the public to decide.
By the way, what is an attorney doing in a County Judge position that pays very meager pay by attorney standards? I've looked at his job description and it does not require a law degree. When you add Fowlers pay of $60-70K plus a year and healthcare benefits, plus referral fees that we know and possibly do not know about this could come to quite a substantial sum of money for playing judge in a small town. I've also heard that Fowler awarded the County Insurance program to his brother in law sometime back. I hope Fowler is investigated thoroughly and all possible "referrals" comingled between his "friends" comes to light. As Billy Byrd, DA stated in the Gilmer Mirror's article, "There are rules that govern judges...in regards to those who practice before him," Robert Bennett was on the court appontment list for Dean's court and was paid taxpayer money to represent clients before him."
Well, I'm not a lawyer, but I would say Fowler has clearly used his positon as a County Judge to benefit his wallet.
It's time for Fowler to resign his position. Let's get honesty and integrity back in Upshur County.