DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia is accusing two sitting city council members of using his photo in a way that violates the city’s code of ethics.
That’s after the city council members circulated campaign ads that the chief and some officers claim violates ethics rules.
One of the ads creating controversy shows incumbent council member Omar Narvaez posing with Chief Garcia in uniform giving a thumbs up.
In another campaign ad, incumbent Adam Bazaldua also posted a photo with himself and Chief Garcia.
Neither ad specifically mentions an endorsement, but city ethics rules prohibit appointed city officials from engaging in political activity on behalf of others.
To the Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata, the ads look like the District 6 and 7 council members are implying the chief supports their re-election campaigns.
“It’s very clear in our code of ethics that it’s improper, so I think it’s an unbelievably poor choice to even attempt to do it in a political mailer and that’s why I think it’s a desperate act by a desperate politician,” said Mata.
Bazaldua defends his ad telling CBS 11 his ad did not violate any rules.
But Chief Garcia disagrees, telling CBS 11 in a statement, “In my role as Chief, it not only violates our Code of Ethics but it lessens the confidence in my role, that the job of Chief of Police is apolitical. Therefore, I do not, and ultimately cannot endorse any candidate. Had I known that my likeness in uniform or title would be used for campaign purposes, I would have respectfully requested candidates from refraining from this practice prior to these incidents.”
Dallas Fire-Rescue also put out a statement Friday, April 30, regarding the use of the fire chief’s image in political ads.
The statement did not say what candidates did so.
“It has been brought to the department’s attention that our Fire Chief and various members of his Command Staffed have had their likenesses used in campaign materials while in uniform. As a matter of policy, uniformed members of Dallas Fire-Rescue cannot endorse or approve any candidates running for any office. Furthermore, it undermines the duties of a sworn public servant to engage in any conduct that would suggest an official preference toward anyone providing a public service to the City of Dallas or its citizens. These acts were done without our knowledge, and had we known it was taking place, we would have immediately requested it to stop.”