Texas Sheriff Pleads Guilty, Quits

CARTHAGE (May 17, 2013)—Panola County Sheriff Ron Clinton, who took office in January, has resigned after pleading guilty to a tampering charge.

He was sentenced to three years of probation.

Clinton was arrested on Feb. 28 on charges of tampering with a government record, abuse of official capacity and theft by a public servant after he failed to repay the county a $1,000 travel advance to attend a conference.

Clinton pleaded guilty Thursday to the tampering count.

A judge accepted the plea, but withheld a finding of guilt and put Clinton on three years of deferred adjudication probation.

His record will be cleared if he successfully completes probation.

Clinton must repay the $1,000.

Other charges will be dropped.

County commissioners promoted Chief Deputy Kevin Lake to serve as sheriff until the November 2014 election.

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