San Antonio – New details that may play an important role in the upcoming public corruption trial of former police officer Michel Valientes Vera are revealed in a videotape testimony taken by the KSAT12 Defender.
For the first time, details of the working conditions and retaliation faced by Bexar County Precinct 2 agents Leonicio Moreno and Christopher De La Cerda were published in more than eight hours of recorded testimony.
The footage recorded in September 2020 was released by Bexar County earlier this year after authorities settled multiple proceedings with two lawmakers for $ 347,000.
Barrientes Vela’s 33-month rocky tenure ended after she was dismissed in late 2019 and several months later followed by multiple prosecutions. She will be tried at the end of September on two felony charges of falsifying evidence, but the date may be postponed due to the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19.
“The great thing about the law is that there are always two sides, but testimony recording is compelling in itself,” said Adjunct Professor and Assistant Federal Public Defender at St Mary’s University Law School. Dona Corserp said.
Corserp reviews civilian testimony footage almost two years after Valientes Bella and Captain Mark D. Garcia were indicted by a grand jury in Bexar County, and has potential for criminal accusations that Valientes still faces. I analyzed the impact.
“There is no doubt that the facts will come in. They have witnesses to testify. They can bring in circumstantial evidence to help the jury think about what she knows and what she intended. That is, the net will be a little wider than the facts that support a particular accusation, because knowledge and intent, what is in the heart of a person, and it is difficult to prove it, “said Corserp.
De La Serda and Moreno have returned to their leadership roles with the current Constable Leticia Basquez in District 2 after the retirement of Varientes Bella in late 2019.
The pair were separately testified in a downtown conference room on September 23, 2020.
Details of the hot tub case
De la Serda and Moreno, some of the former commanders of Valientes Vera, each testified that they had turned sideways in the first police officer, starting with the incident at the working meeting in Galveston in July 2017. ..
Both lawmakers approached Moreno as Varientes Vera was talking to another woman in the hot tub at San Luis Resort, placed her arms around him, and told the other woman that Moreno was her husband. I testified that I started talking.
Members of the group were drinking alcohol, but not in excess, the agent testified.
“I said,’I’m not your husband, you need to retreat,'” Moreno testified, recalling the hot tub incident.
“Leo says to her,’What the hell are you talking about?’ So she stands up a bit and says,’Hey, don’t touch me.’ And he says, “Well, don’t touch me,” recalled De La Serda.
Moreno testified that the incident shocked him, even after trying to downplay what happened to Valientes Vera the next day.
Delacerda said the incident had a lasting effect on him and Moreno.
“The man in her commander was instructed by her to lie to her husband about where we stayed,” said De La Serda.
See: “The Fall:” Former Constable Michelle Valientes Vera, KSAT12 Defender Special Story
“She wants you”
After returning to work from the trip, De La Serda testified that he and Moreno were treated as exiles, and Valientes Vera was another staff member in the parking lot without the presence of De La Serda or Moreno. He elaborated on how he began to meet.
Both lawmakers testified that after the 2017 Thanksgiving luncheon, former headquarters Elizabeth Duquette said that Varientes Vera was looking for a way to end them.
“All’Y’must look at your back. She wants you all to disappear. She says,” Everyone wants to be fired. ” After lunch, recalling the phone call from Duquette, De La Serda said.
Moreno filed a proceeding in December 2018 regarding the hot tub case against Varientes Vera, accusing sexism and retaliation.
In March 2018, Barrientes Vela terminated both Moreno and De La Cerda in allegations of inflating and tampering with the state’s training hours.
Both lawmakers returned after a few months with no repayments or interruptions in service.
Moreno’s reinstatement took place after an almost one-day hearing at the Bexar County Civil Service Commission.
Moreno then testified that Varientes Vera was set to fail as a Pre-Syncht 2 training coordinator because he forbade him from speaking to his former agency’s former training coordinator, Adjutant Raymond Ford.
Moreno expanded his claim during the testimony of his citizens and testified that Valientes Vera stopped attending training courses run by state governments shortly after he was assigned to that position.
“If I were gone, I probably knew better,” Moreno explained the challenge of maintaining training files for him and other agents without formal instructions.
De La Cerda returned to work shortly after Moreno after signing a settlement agreement with Barrientes Vela.
“We were just not treated like police officers.”
Both lawmakers testified that when they returned to work, they were given limited police duties.
These restrictions include no stun gun being issued, inaccessible patrol vehicles in District 2, not being eligible to enter the building, and not being allowed access to the safe areas of District 2 offices. It is included.
“We weren’t treated like police officers,” De La Cerda testified. He also said he was forbidden to talk to other lawmakers and was not even allowed to take a restroom break while guarding the building.
De La Cerda could be emotional when discussing treatment and had to pause many times to regain her composure.
“At some point, I think I could really see the signs of trauma, their self-image, their image in front of their peers. I tried to get them down to the lowest staircase where they could. Was just like a long period of time, “said Corserp.
Nico La Hood, one of Barrientes Vela’s lawyers, downplayed the contents of the tape after a hearing in her criminal case last month.
“We always warn people to pause whenever someone makes a new claim, as you have categorized, whenever it is convenient for them or opportunistic. Let’s look it up. Once we’ve seen everything, we’ll evaluate it, “said La Hood, who claimed that the company was aware of the tape but was investigating its content.
After Moreno applied to play Valientes Vera in the 2020 elections, the post-return workplace treatment of Moreno and de la Serda was put under public scrutiny in 2019.
A few weeks after submitting the official documents to participate in the race, Moreno’s house was surrounded by fellow lawmakers and he ordered him to hand over his service weapons.
Captain Garcia, who was indicted with Valientes Vera in 2019, called on the sheriff’s office to check Moreno’s welfare separately and named Moreno a “distracted employee,” the deposition statement said.
Moreno then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding his treatment.
Two months later, in late April 2019, Garcia issued a warrant accusing Moreno of making false statements in these complaints.
Moreno was detained while exercising at the gym after the judge signed an exacerbated perjury warrant.
“I’m looking out the window like this, and it’s full of agents, and I’m like,’Okay, I think it’s that day,'” Moreno recalled the details of the arrest. Said.
After his fellow agent postponed Moreno’s reservation, Moreno said he spent 12 hours in bondage before media cameras were able to capture footage of him in jail.
“I was very angry and embarrassed. I think I kept pace with the cell all night,” he said.
Moreno’s arrest was later the focus of another federal civil rights proceeding filed by him and Delaserda against Varientes Bella, Garcia, and Bexar County.
She faces three misdemeanor counts of official oppression. Prosecutors earlier this year dismissed the most serious criminal charges against Valientes Vera, who exacerbated perjury.
Garcia is still facing three counts of his perjury exacerbations and official crackdowns, court records show.
Garcia has set a tentative hearing date in early December.
Civil lawyers representing the two lawmakers did not respond to requests for comment on the story. A civil lawyer representing Valientes Bella and Garcia in a federal proceeding declined to comment.
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Video testimony recording reveals new details on alleged abuse of agents at the center of Varientes Vera’s public corruption case
Source link Video testimony recording reveals new details on alleged abuse of agents at the center of Varientes Vera’s public corruption case