News Three's Joe Brown will return to the anchor desk on Monday.
Thursday, Brown pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining prescription pain-killers. Authorities say over the course of three weeks, he filled prescriptions with three different doctors for 210 doses of hydrocodone.
Over the course of the last few years, Brown had gone through a pair back surgeries, which is why he had the hydrocodone prescriptions according to his attorney, who also noted the mental trauma of losing his wife, Kimberly, as a factor in the situation. Kimberly had battled with anorexia for a number of years.
Brown was placed on three years deferred adjudication probation, fined $1,000 and must serve 200 hours of community service. As part of a plea agreement, Brown will have the felony charges reduced on his record if he completes his probation.
At the time of his arrest last month, Brown was placed on a 30-day suspension and a concurrent 30-day leave of absence from KBTX. He voluntarily checked himself into a rehab facility according to his lawyers. However, Brown's representatives say he was sent home after just six days when doctors at the facility determined he was not dependent on the medication.
Prior to this incident, Brown spent two years on probation after a misdemeanor DWI charge in 2000.
"Joe is a contributor to this area through his extensive work with people of all ages with alcohol dependency issues," said KBTX General Manager Mike Wright. "While we will stumble like any organization, at the heart of KBTX, we are doing the right thing. We didn't rush to judgment. We stood with Joe throughout this matter. The right thing to do was to bring him back. He is a member of the KBTX family.
"We have all learned from this experience," Wright continued. "Like Joe, we are anxious to move forward and concentrate on continuing to improve KBTX-TV."
Joe will be making his first public comments on the matter on Monday during the 6 and 10 p.m. broadcasts.
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