EDINBURG — Town supplied Cesar Torres the police chief job simply someday earlier than he submitted his employment utility to the web portal utilized by all 38 candidates, in line with data town launched late final week and paperwork beforehand obtained by The Monitor.
Torres was despatched a conditional supply of employment on Dec. 11, someday earlier than the submission date of his employment utility and two days earlier than town spokeswoman beforehand mentioned the appliance interval formally closed.
Metropolis Supervisor Juan Guerra didn’t return a request for remark searching for clarification on the discrepancy between the dates of the conditional supply and the precise submission of the job utility.
The Monitor requested all purposes town acquired for chief of police on Dec. 26. The purposes, nevertheless, weren’t offered till Feb. eight, after town requested a 30-day extension because of “an in depth search of its recordsdata for paperwork…”
Town opened purposes late final yr after Guerra, who was employed in October, demoted former police chief David White to the rank of lieutenant. That demotion got here after Guerra decided White’s job efficiency to be “unsatisfactory” based mostly on on-line public security rankings.
No present or former Edinburg police workers utilized for the division’s high place, one thing Kevin Lawrence, govt director of the Texas Municipal Police Affiliation, mentioned is “extraordinarily uncommon.”
“In a division the scale of Edinburg there may be invariably a handful of people that have been working towards that purpose all through their profession,” Lawrence mentioned. “A superb chief of police will likely be grooming folks for that function. Each group wants a succession plan.”
No such plan appeared to be in place following White’s demotion. Two interim chiefs have been named to the place previous to Torres’ hiring, considered one of whom — Lt. Edgardo “Edgar” Ruiz — stepped down after solely a month on the job citing private causes.
The very fact town acquired no inside candidates for the place “is an indication of one thing fallacious internally,” Lawrence mentioned, noting it reveals both “you don’t have those who wish to step up or there’s a systematic failure to coach up the subsequent leaders.”
Town supervisor chosen Torres, who labored for the Texas Division of Public Security for greater than 20 years, out of a pool of candidates that included present and retired police chiefs from Texas cities in addition to these from departments throughout the nation — New York state, Missouri, Illinois, Arizona, New Mexico and South Dakota.
When requested for the supply of how he realized of the place, Torres, whose first day on the job was Jan. 7, chosen “mates.”
Of the 38 candidates, solely three submitted purposes later than Torres’ Dec. 12, 2018 submission — all doing so on Dec. 13. Nearly all of candidates listed the job website Certainly as to the place they realized of the place.
Candidates from the Rio Grande Valley included Alvaro Garcia, the Palm Valley police chief who was arraigned on a number of counts of tampering with authorities data earlier this month; Michael Kester, the assistant chief of police in Harlingen, who was named interim chief of police in late December; Ellwood “Tom” Whitten Jr., a former Harlingen police chief who left that division in 2013 to work as chief deputy for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Workplace; and Miguel Yerena, an assistant police chief in Pharr. A lieutenant from Palmhurst, in addition to one from McAllen utilized, as did a retired Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Workplace sergeant.
Torres’ hiring has not been with out controversy. He was demoted at DPS from the rank of lieutenant to sergeant in Could 2018 after an inside investigation decided he abused the company’s recruitment bonus program for monetary acquire, The Monitor reported final month.
Town supervisor, nevertheless, mentioned final month the company’s inside investigation “didn’t consider (his) curiosity to rent Torres” to steer town in bettering its public security score.