- Associated Press - Friday, October 21, 2016

PALO PINTO, Texas (AP) - A Texas sheriff has been indicted by a grand jury on allegations that he used a tape recorder to secretly record a former girlfriend.

Palo Pinto County Sheriff Ira Mercer was indicted Thursday on two felony counts of unlawful interception of an oral communication.

Authorities say the counts are based two separate incidents last year, one in January and the other in December.

Mercer’s attorney, Tim Ford, told WFAA-TV in Dallas that the sheriff was surprised by the indictment and didn’t know a grand jury had deliberated this week.

Mercer has served as sheriff of the county west of Fort Worth for about a dozen years. A new sheriff takes office in January.

Mercer is allowed to continue in his position as his case proceeds.

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