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Score another one for the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott in his campaign against corrupt local officials.
A jury in Midland County sent a strong message to out-of-bounds public officials all over Texas this week with their conviction of now former Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts for misuse of official information, retaliation and official oppression.
According to a release from the AG Abbott's office:
"...the sheriff improperly used his position as the county's chief law enforcement official in order to help his friend, Dr. Arafiles, retaliate against the nurses for complaining to the Texas Medical Board about his professional conduct."
The nurses in question had filed anonymous complaints with the Texas Medical Board against Dr. Rolando Arafiles Jr., a physician who worked with both nurses at the Winkler County Memorial Hospital.
Sheriff Roberts, at the request of Dr. Arafiles, requested copies of the complaints from the Medical Board.
"During the trial, Assistant Attorney General David Glickler explained to jurors that Sheriff Roberts improperly shared the confidential complaints with Dr. Arafiles and the hospital administrator. Subsequently, the sheriff executed a search warrant in order to obtain information stored on the nurses' computers and confirm that the nurses were the source of the confidential complaints."
After receiving the information, Arafiles retaliated against both nurses by firing them.
And Roberts isn't the only one in hot water.
"Dr. Arafiles and County Attorney Scott Tidwell were also indicted on similar charges. Last March, former hospital administrator Stan Wiley pleaded guilty to related charges after he acknowledged improperly terminating the nurses' employment after they filed formal complaints against Arafiles with the Texas Medical Board. Under the terms of his guilty plea, Wiley was sentenced to 30 days in the county jail."
Roberts will serve 100 days.
Keep an eye on local government. Want to blow the whistle on local government corruption? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can read the full press release at the link below.
Winkler County Sheriff Found Guilty of Official Oppression, Retaliating Against Nurses | Texas Attorney General