Posted: Nov 5, 2012 7:20 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Nov 5, 2012 7:39 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - A Nueces County Sheriff's Department employee is saying Sheriff Jim Kaelin demoted him for political reasons. Elmer Cox is the President of the Nueces County Sheriff's Officer's Association, and has worked in the department for 20 years.
He's filed a federal complaint against the sheriff, after being demoted to a job in the jail.
He says it's because he wouldn't punish another employee for supporting Isaac Valencia's candidacy for sheriff.
6 News obtained court documents where Cox says back in May, Sheriff Kaelin asked him to remove Thomas Burnside from the department's Political Action Committee. Cox says that Kaelin was upset with Burnside for supporting Valencia's candidacy, and that Kaelin demoted Burnside to working in the jail because of it.
Cox goes on to say that Kaelin threatened to demote him to the jail too, if he didn't get rid of Burnside, saying that Kaelin told him, "you are a strong leader, we may need you in (the) jail as well".
The documents say that when Cox decided to keep Burnside on the committee anyway, Kaelin became upset with him over the phone and said, "remember what I said I was going to do".
The documents say that's when Cox was demoted, losing his position on the Drug Enforcement Administration task force and forced to work the graveyard shift at the Nueces County Jail.
We talked with Cox's attorney, Christopher Gale. He says that after what's happned to Burnside and Cox, it's pretty clear that the sheriff is doing.
"The sheriff is pressuring employee's to support his candidacy, and when they don't, he takes retaliatory actions against them," Gale says.
He added that Cox isn't just in this for himself.
"This has been a pattern of practice with Sheriff Kaelin, and my client is interested in, you know, trying to make it stop," Gale says.
Sheriff Kaelin could not be reached for comment today. We left a message with his office, but did not hear back.
Do you have a tip, information about a breaking news story, or a story idea for 6 Investigates? Contact the KRIS 6 News Desk at 361-884-6666 or send us an email.
Look at photos and videos and share them!
| Desktop Weather
Current forecast, hurricane info, and much more!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Website
Get KRISTV.com on your mobile or PDA!
|KRISTV.COM Mobile Apps
Get our mobile apps on your mobile or PDA!
See the latest winning numbers!
|6 News Team
Read about your favorite KRIS-TV personalities!
|FCC Online Public File
FCC Public File of Records, Reports, and more