A new district attorney is taking over the investigation into the Ellis County Sheriff Johnny Brown's involvement in an altercation at a Midlothian Whataburger earlier this month.
Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon will serve as Attorney Pro Tem in the matter, by appointment of Judge Bob Carroll of the 40th Judicial District Court.
The assignment comes after the Ellis County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson requested his office be formally recused from the ongoing investigation on Jan. 13, citing his personal and professional relationship with Brown.
The investigation stems from Jan. 1 when Northern Ellis Emergency Dispatch received a 911 call just after 2 a.m. of a "fight in progress" at the Midlothian Whataburger. The restaurant's manager reported a verbal and physical altercation involving several males.
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In a statement issued through his attorney, Brown said he arrived at the restaurant and that the fight was in progress. One of the men involved in the fight was the sheriff's 59-year-old brother.
According to the statement, Brown proceeded to use "the force and language necessary to end the violence," and told an employee of the restaurant to call the police.
Midlothian police responded to the call and no arrests were made at the time. The Midlothian Police Department is responsible for conducting the ongoing investigation.
Ligon's service as attorney pro tem for the investigation will be considered an additional duty to his office and he will not receive any extra compensation.
The investigation, which is being conducted by the Midlothian Police Department, has also been referred to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.