Please read this article from this week's Big Bend Sentinel.
The commentary below is my own.
My relationship with Sheriff Danny Dominguez began when I was on City Council and we were having some big problems with the City of Marfa Police Department. That saga is a book in itself, but for me it seemed like the best thing to do was to try to contract law enforcement services with Presidio County and assist them in their budget while improving the accountability and predictability of law enforcement services provided by city revenues.
At the time, the Sheriff and the Police Chief were mortal enemies and I also saw it as a way to extinguish the animosity between the City and the County on the law enforcement level. Additionally, through sharing a force, efficiencies in dispatching, equipment, ticketing and the municipal and justice courts (combining them, for all practical purposes) would be achieved.
The city was also going to save a good bit of money, and I saw Sheriff Dominguez as an ally in this cause. This remained the case for about 3 years until the some misbehavior of a certain deputy got out of control (think harassment of more than a few young girls at night repeatedly) and complaints to the Sheriff's Office were made and were never to be seen or heard of. Quoting Mayor Dan Dunlap at a city council meeting addressing the lack of oversight the time, "there are no complaints, it's great!"
True. No complaints ever....
The contract the City Council and the County had agreed to did call for a committee to be convened that, although it had no power to reprimand or even make a recommendation to the council, it could receive complaints from citizens. This committee was never convened and I made a motion to require the committee in future contracts and to assemble it and meet on a quarterly basis at a council meeting over the vehement objections of both the Mayor and the Sheriff.
I did not get a second on my motion and that was the very moment that the Sheriff put me on his top ten list of enemies. Since then I have attempted to work with his office, both as a councilman and also as Justice of the Peace, and have succeeded in a limited fashion. We get the work done that must be done but I know that I cannot trust him at all, and have to be careful in every way anytime I deal with his office, which is nearly daily.
Of course, when I became a County official and was able to view financial and inventory documents through outside auditor reports, I then understood a degree to the extent that his power runs deep, through statute, longevity, favors, and intimidation. The tactic of threatening citizens with criminal charges if they file a complaint that will ONLY be reviewed INTERNALLY by his office is unreal.
Quoting the paper quoting Teresa Todd quoting the Sheriff,"people's complaints and online comments/allegations are ruining the reputation of his deputies" and that he would investigate any allegations of wrongdoing against (sic) his deputies. Should an allegation against a deputy not be proven,... the Sheriff said he would file Class A Misdemeanor charges of filing false reports, which is punishable by up to $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail."... "The Sheriff stated that complaints against his deputies have dropped 90% since the implementation of the policy."
I mean, is this real? Do we like this?
Please get involved in standing up for your rights as a taxpayer, as you are paying for this unethical behavior.
Sincerely, David Beebe