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Taylor County commissioner arrested for sexual harassment

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ABILENE, Texas - A Taylor County commissioner was arrested Friday morning on a warrant for official oppression, and Taylor County administrators are remaining mum on the subject.

Brad Birchum, who serves on the commissioners' court for Precinct 3, turned himself in at the Callahan County Jail for the warrant, which was issued out of Taylor County. He was released shortly afterward on a bond of $5,000.

However, the details of Birchum's alleged crime weren't made available despite multiple attempts by KTXS to obtain them through several sources. Birchum's indictment is also under seal until Taylor County clerks get confirmation that Birchum's arrest warrant was fulfilled.

According to the Texas Penal Code, official oppression is a class A misdemeanor. Qualifications for the charge include unlawfully and "intentionally subjecting another to mistreatment or to arrest, detention, search, seizure, dispossession, assessment, or lien;" or intentionally denying or impeding another while knowing the conduct is unlawful; or intentionally subjecting another to sexual harassment.

The Taylor County Sheriff's Office said that Texas Rangers are investigating the case. Birchum was a lieutenant with the TCSO before being elected to the commissioners' court.

KTXS left a message for Ranger Danny Crawford, but have not heard back at this time.

Taylor County Judge Downing Bolls would not give comment on the case, nor would he comment on procedure in the event of a commissioner's arrest. His office told KTXS that no commissioner has been arrested while serving Taylor County.

Taylor County District Attorney Jim Hicks said he had no comment on the investigation.

KTXS reached out to Birchum for information. He said, "I have no comment, but I appreciate you calling."

We are working to obtain documents with specific information about Birchum's charge. We will update this article when we learn more.

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