Sally Hernandez for Travis County Sheriff – Above the law?

Joe Martinez, the Republican candidate for Travis County Sheriff raises some good points…

I like his no nonsense answers when asked a question, I like that he has experience in the military, law enforcement, AND business owner – I think that the first and third of those qualifications are sadly lacking in most public servants  – especially that pesky budget and financial management stuff.

I already believe that Sally Hernandez is simply not the most qualified person for the job, nor does she historically exercise what I think could be considered “common sense”. If you think otherwise, please read my post (with supporting official documents and/or where to find those documents on your own) and consider carefully the decision making skills that led this woman to lie about being taken in off of the streets as a 15 year old runaway, to marry a man 7 years her senior – when she was  a junior in high school and 17 years old, to marry 4 different men – one of them at least three different times (and one other time, according to the Travis County Clerks records, that would have made her a party to bigamy), and her current marriage, to a former Austin cop with a history of domestic abuse, child support evasion, and beating an illegal alien prisoner he was transporting (Go Sanctuary Sally!).  She makes campaign promises that sound like she is unclear as to what a sheriff may and may not do, but then that shouldn’t really come as a surprise, since she has been willfully and blatantly breaking the law as a Constable:

Rented Out Deputies to Other Municipalities
As Travis County Constable Pct. 3, Sally Hernandez contracted with
municipalities outside Travis County to serve arrest warrants in other
jurisdictions using Pct. 3 constables funded by Travis County taxpayer
resources. She also said she intended to extend the contracts to local law
firms to serve private lawsuits, which could have benefited many of the
attorneys who have helped to finance her political campaigns.

In 2013, this news item appeared in the Austin American Statesman. The first line is a link to the full article, since I am only including what I felt to be the snappiest comments.

 

Travis County May Be Subsidizing Constable Work For Out Of County Towns by  Tony Plohetski – American-Statesman Staff  (May 25, 2013)

When Travis County constables from two precincts head out several mornings a week in their recognizable cruisers, they might not always be working for the local taxpayers who pay their salaries….

Thanks to the Travis constables, cities such as Elgin in Bastrop County, Buda and Kyle in Hays County, and Luling and Lockhart in Caldwell County have collected $300,000 in fines since January…

…Yet the benefit to Travis County taxpayers, who this year will spend about $13 million on five constable offices, is much less clear. At the very least, the time the deputies work on behalf of other cities is time away from the jurisdictions that pay them to work locally. In some cases, deputies might travel an hour away from their districts to serve the outside warrants

…At Precinct 3, meanwhile, newly elected Constable Sally Hernandez said she is considering getting back into the outside warrant-serving business over fear of having her budget cut from the income loss.

Since January, she has signed new contracts with nearby Bee Cave and with Elgin — 45 miles east of her precinct headquarters.

Hernandez said she also has recently reached out to local law firms, asking them to send civil legal documents to her office to serve in another effort to market her precinct’s services…

While that may sound perhaps merely stupid, to take Travis County paid deputies and send them off to run errands for some other city or county, while supported by Travis County insurance, bonds, salary and  authority, it is in fact not legal.

The following is excerpts from the Texas Attorney General’s Office Opinion regarding the subletting of deputies by a Constable. Again, the first line is a link to the full statement, including case law and lots of extra commentary, because I liked these snippets the best.

Texas Atty General Opinion  “…a constable is clearly authorized to deploy regular and reserve deputy constables to preserve the peace within his or her jurisdiction…”

“…peace officers acting within the scope of their official duties may not receive compensation from third parties…”

A regular or reserve deputy constable may not perform official duties in exchange for any type of additional consideration from another governmental or private entity, including contribution to a deputy constables’ association, nor may a constable deploy regular or reserve deputy constables to perform official duties in exchange for any type of additional consideration.

 

Grr. I have saved the Commissioners Court Agendas authorizing payments to Travis County Constables…apparently on one of two other computers that I am not currently at.  I will find those and post them here asap.