One week after the filing of a civil lawsuit against himself as well as the county of Uvalde, Sheriff Charles Mendeke said on Tuesday that the claims made by former investigator Armando Garcia are slanderous.
“These remarks are totally false,” Mendeke said of the lawsuit that claims he fired Garcia for investigating another deputy for alleged drug use and other inappropriate activities. The sheriff issued a written statement following a request for comment made by this newspaper.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Del Rio, also calls out, by name, other deputies in the sheriff’s employ. In it, Garcia says he was fired after involving the 38th Judicial District Attorney and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Mendeke refutes that claim.
To see more of this story as well as the sheriff's entire statement, log in to view the Uvalde Leader-News e-edition or see the Thursday, July 30 print edition on newsstands.
Two individuals tried to take advantage of a Wednesday night power outage – one that left more than 5,000 Uvalde households and businesses without power – when they forced their way into a convenience store. As law enforcement and local firefighters directedtraffic at the major intersections due to non-functioning traffic lights, would-be intruders were at work on South Getty Street. The incident occurred at the Minit-Mart at 638 S. Getty St. just after 11 p.m., approximately one hour after 5,200 utility customers in Uvalde lost electricity. According to store manager Liliana Silva, after the lights went out two individuals broke the glass on the front door and entered the business.
600 S. Evans St. home at approximately 2:07 a.m. Firefighters battled the lames for more than two hours, but despite their best efforts the home sustained significant damage. Sendejo’s mother, Lucy Guevara, owns the home. Guevara said Sendejo and Sendejo’s three children, ages 14, 12 and8, occupy the home and were all sleeping when the fire ignited
Former Uvalde County Sheriff’s Office deputy Armando Garcia is suing both Sheriff Charles Mendeke and Uvalde County based on claims that he was terminated for whistle-blowing activity related to allegations that Mendeke tried to suppress an investigation into another deputy who was reportedly both stealing and using illegal drugs.
The suit goes on to claim that Garcia, who first began working for the sheriff’s department on Jan. 1, 2009, was told by a citizen on Aug. 22, 2014, that “one of the sheriff’s deputies was snorting cocaine with gang members inside the restroom of a local bar in Uvalde.”
Uvalde City Council is looking into revamping the downtown plaza by restoring the water fountain while looking into the cost to build a replica of the original 1961 fountain. The proposal, which was up for discussion during a recent meeting, was brought to city staff by Councilman Chip King.
With the most recent round of resignations accepted this week, Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District lost two prominent educators in Robb Elementary School Principal Christa Dillard and music director Mark Lyon. The spouses of both Dillard and Lyon – Flores Middle School assistant principal Ivory Dillard and Uvalde High School choir teacher Suvanna Lyon – have also resigned.
Although a contract with collections law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson was up for consideration Tuesday during a Uvalde City Council meeting, council members voted to table the agenda item because numbers regarding successful collections were not provided In 2010, the city of Uvalde contracted with the firm, which was tasked with collecting delinquent municipal court fines. As of April of 2015, 3,400 citations had been resolved. That number represented $262,000 collected and $588,000 in canceled citations.
Councilman Rogelio Muñoz requested updated figures, and Councilwoman Margaret Palermo seconded the request.