Posted: Oct 26, 2012 7:43 PM by Andrew Ellison - email@example.com
Updated: Nov 5, 2012 11:40 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI - We have continuing coverage of the Nueces County Sheriff's race where both candidates are now accusing each other of wrongdoing.
Democratic challenger Isaac Valencia accused incumbent Republican Jim Kaelin of witholding evidence in a case and now, the police department is investigating Valencia, because of that accusation.
Valencia took a leave of absence from the department after that announcement, but says he did it to focus on his campaign.
The Corpus Christi Police Department decided to investigate Valencia after Sheriff Kaelin sent a letter to the department. Police Chief Floyd Simpson says, in the letter, Kaelin accuses Valencia of making derogatory statements about a public official.
At a recent forum, Valencia accused the sheriff of committing a third degree felony, accusing Kaelin of witholding information in the Adan Munoz case.
The police department says it will investigate Valencia's claims, but Valencia will also be investigated to see if his accusations against Kaelin violated department policy.
The department has a rule that basically states an officer on or off duty cannot engage in political acts like political speeches, or making derogatory statements about a public official.
But Valencia sticks by his accusations and says he was on vacation leave when he made the comments. He says that means he wasn't officially representing the department.
"I do not believe I broke any CCPD protocol," Valencia says.
First, Internal Affairs will examine Valencia's accusation that Kaelin witheld evidence. They say they will work with an outside agency to do this. If they find that Valencia's claims are baseless, he could be subject to penalty.
We tried to talk with Sheriff Kaelin about his accusation against Valencia. At first he agreed to talk to us, but then he referred us to his Assistant Chief Deputy Peter Peralta, who said they don't comment on another agency's internal investigation.
For now, Valencia remains confident even as his own department investigates him.
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.
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