GILMER — Upshur County Sheriff Larry Webb is pursuing a felony assault complaint filed by a worker on the courthouse maintenance crew who says District Clerk Karen Bunn injured him as he performed his job.
An open records request yielded a two-paragraph letter Webb wrote County Judge Dean Fowler and the Upshur County Commissioners Court on Nov. 20 advising them of the investigation.
“There was an altercation that occurred, and we are investigating it,” the sheriff said Friday, declining further comment.
District Attorney Billy Byrd declined to comment on the investigation. He said any elected official in Texas found guilty of a third-degree felony faces political consequences.
“Any official misconduct while in office will immediately subject a person to removal from office,” Byrd said, adding his investigator is in the early stages of the probe. “They have submitted a case to me, the investigation to me. We will look at that investigation and determine what’s appropriate.”
A copy of the complaint by maintenance employee Ricky Freeman was not available from Webb’s office. A clerk there said it would be 10 days before the document would be released.
Texas law requires government documents that are considered readily available and clearly public information, such as daily police reports, to be provided without the 10-day window the government is granted to determine whether the requested information is public.
The complaint arrives 13 months after Bunn unsuccessfully accused Pct. 4 Commissioner Mike Spencer of assault. That incident arose in late October 2017 when Bunn said the commissioner poked her three times in the chest during a disagreement over court record software she sought to replace.
Bunn’s charge was dropped by Webb in November 2017. The sheriff said witnesses provided by Bunn said they did not see the commissioner touch her.
Bunn was working a trial in the 115th District Court on Friday and not available for comment. Freeman declined to comment Friday or describe the incident at the center of his complaint.
“You’re going to have to get that from the sheriff’s office,” he said.
Freeman is alleging assault on a public servant, a third-degree felony carrying two to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 upon conviction.