Constable: Accusations Against Deputies ‘Inconclusive’
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Bucking a trend among other Dallas County Constables, Precinct Five’s Beth Villarreal says accusations against two unnamed deputies are “inconclusive.” And there’s already backlash from the Dallas County Judge who promises Villarreal’s office will get a hard look come budget time. The issues come out of allegation letters from the County Auditor and the District Attorney’s office. The letters, supposedly citing GPS data, suggest deputy constables were falsifying court documents over the number of times—and also where and when—they served eviction notices.
36-deputies were implicated; four of the county’s five constables have fired or forced the resignations of 25-deputies so far. Three more retired. But Beth Villarreal, says her two cases didn’t warrant action. “ No criminal allegation could be determined,” she told a mid-morning news conference. Villarreal revealed one deputy was outright cleared, and nothing could be proven against the other besides sloppy paperwork. “According to our findings, because it was inconclusive the investigation has been closed.”
Her investigators say GPS data cited in allegations from the auditor and DA weren’t timely or helpful. “Overall the GPS—if it’s not programmed right—you’re not going to get a “true” reading,” said her chief deputy Mike Ramirez. The auditor and DA did not respond to CBS 11 requests for comment, but County Judge Clay Jenkins did. “When you look at the totality of the evidence It’s clear you have ample evidence to act on,” he told CBS 11 News. He insists the GPS tracking of deputies was accurate and proves they lied. “You’d have to believe that some people can do some almost super human things and things I quite frankly think are humanly impossible.”
But a representative of deputy constables calls the whole situation political. Renee Christian of the Dallas County Constables Association told reporters, “The pressure is on the constables to go ahead and terminate these officers, because they’re being told ‘if you do not terminate, then we will reduce your budget.’”
Jenkins later confirmed the observation. “You bet we’re looking at that as something we have to consider in our budgetary jobs.” He and Villarreal agree that deputies need to be held to higher standards than some public employees. And both say there were multiple sources of records besides the GPS data; but they reach very different conclusions.