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Indicted Texas Sheriff Rejects Demands He Leave His Office

March 14, 2004|From Associated Press

DALLAS — The Dallas County sheriff is refusing to resign, despite a felony indictment against him and a demand by 40 of his employees that he leave office.

Jim Bowles was charged Wednesday with funneling between $100,000 and $200,000 in political contributions into his personal bank accounts, the day after he lost a primary bid to keep the job he's held for 19 years.

"If these charges were alleged against us, we would not be allowed to be here," Sgt. Don Roe said Friday at a news conference attended by officers and clerks of the Sheriff's Department.

The employees said the turmoil and uncertainty created by Bowles' indictment made it impossible for him to effectively lead the department, which has 500 sworn officers and 1,285 other employees.

But Bowles, 75, said he would remain in office until his term ends in January.

"I will have a trial before a jury of my peers and expect to be exonerated when the facts of the charges are fully addressed," he said.

The felony charge against the Dallas County sheriff stems from an investigation into whether he illegally accepted gifts from a vendor who later won a jail contract.

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