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Angelina County Commissioner Acquitted on Oppression Charge

Source: My Plainview
Author: My Plainview
Date: May 1, 2002

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A jury Wednesday night acquitted an East Texas county commissioner accused of forcing an employee to have oral sex with him.

The woman, who told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission last summer that Angelina County Commissioner Allen Sumners twice forced her to submit to his demands, sat in the front row and only nodded slightly when the jury's verdict on the misdemeanor official oppression charge was read.

A guilty verdict would have forced Sumners to step down from office and would have carried a sentence of up to a year in state jail.

Several members of Sumner's road crew testified that the woman frequently made comments with sexual undertones.

Sumners said he and the woman were driving down a road when he joked that it'd be a good time for her to give him oral sex.

"This is where I did something stupid," he testified. "I have committed a great folly and bad judgment."

But he denied firing the woman because he thought she might sue. He said he fired her because of budgetary constraints.

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