Posted: Oct 1, 2012 5:59 PM by Caroline Flores - firstname.lastname@example.org
Updated: Nov 5, 2012 11:40 AM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Isaac Valencia, the Democratic candidate for Nueces County Sheriff, picked up an endorsement today. It came from a former state official who has been critical of Sheriff Jim Kaelin.
Two years ago Adan Munoz released information to the media regarding a Nueces County inmate who had committed suicide. At the time Munoz was Executive Director of the State Commission on Jail Standards.
The document he released contained routine information about the dead inmate. But the sheriff says that included the inmate's health information, and he said that releasing that type of personal information was a violation of federal privacy laws. Kaelin filed a complaint with the District Attorney, but a grand jury later refused to issue an indictment saying the complaint was too vague.
But today Valencia was surrounded by supporters as he announced Munoz was endorsing him. It's now clear Munoz is no fan of Sheriff Jim Kaelin.
"Lieutenant Valencia nor I have ever used the authority of our profession to charge or accuse anyone of a crime falsely or unfairly. Lt. Valencia will treat his employees fair and give them ownership of their duties," said Munoz.
Munoz and Kaelin have been at odds over the years, so we wondered if this was the former state jail inspector's way of getting back at the sheriff. So I asked if this was payback. Munoz said, "No. What happened back then is history as far as I'm concerned. And history it is."
But while Munoz says the jail suicide incident is water under the bridge, Sheriff Kaelin thinks otherwise.
"He probably still harbors some ill will," said Kaelin.
While Munoz is backing his opponent. Kaelin has a letter dated May 30th from Munoz, before he retired as Executive Director of the Texas Commission on Jail Standards, that he interpreted as an endorsement. It said that this year's jail inspection "demonstrates your outstanding leadership and the diligent work of your staff in complying with minimum jail standards."
"You can't get a better recommendation then what Adan Munoz gave me. Certainly I'm proud of Adan's endorsement of me as Sheriff," said Kaelin.
But Munoz says that letter was far from an endorsement. He says it was just a polite form letter all sheriffs in the state of Texas get if they meet the minimum jail standards.
"It doesn't say I endorse you for being sheriff. Otherwise I'd be endorsing every sheriff in the state of Texas," said Munoz.
As for Valencia, he is staying on the sidelines and focusing on the race.
"We have made a strong case for a change in command. I'm humbled by the support of all who stand with me in the race to be your next sheriff," said Valencia.
Munoz says his endorsement with Valencia, and Valencia alone, still stands.
Early voting begins October 22nd and the general election is November 6th.
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