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Winkler County Attorney Scott Tidwell, who went on trial in 118th Dsitrict Court last week on charges of two counts each of misuse of official information, official oppression and retaliation will have to spend some time behind bars, as he was sentenced to 120 days in county jail, 10 years probation and a $6,000 fine.
It took the jury approximately three hours Monday to find Tidwell guilty on the charges, which were presented in a Howard County court because of an ordered change of venue by presiding Judge Robert H. Moore III.
Tidwell, former Winkler County Sheriff Robert Roberts and Dr. Rolando Arafiles were charged in connection with the whistle-blowing scandal of two Winkler County Hospital nurses who reported “questionable practices” by Arafiles to the Texas Medical Board.
Tidwell was convicted Monday of retaliating against nurses Anne Mitchell and Vickilyn Galle, who told state regulators in 2009 that Arafiles used herbal remedies and had attempted to use hospital supplies to perform at-home procedures, among other things. Arafiles asked a friend — Roberts, who was then the Winkler County sheriff — to investigate the complaint. The nurses were fired from their jobs at a hospital in Kermit and charged with felonies following the finger-pointing.
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