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Widow of sheriff's deputy mulling legal options about his death

Nueces County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Raul Salazar dies at 52 of COVID-19 complications
Posted at 4:11 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-19 23:10:49-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The widow of a Nueces County Sheriff’s Deputy who died from complications due to COVID-19 is “exploring legal options” when it comes to her husband’s death.

“I wanted to make a formal announcement in front of everybody almost two months after my husband’s death," Priscilla Salazar said.

Salazar made that announcement Monday afternoon at a news conference at a Corpus Christi law firm. The attorney representing her is from Laredo. Salazar said choosing a local attorney might bring politics into the issue.

Sgt. Raul Salazar died in August at Bay Area Hospital after spending three weeks in the intensive care unit.

“The death of Sgt. Salazar back on August 23 was a tragedy," Nueces County Sheriff John Hooper said.

Salazar's widow is convinced he contracted the novel coronavirus while being forced to work in the Nueces County Jail where the coronavirus was known to be spreading.

She wants to prevent other deputies' families from suffering the same fate.

“My sole priority here is to ensure the safety of the rest of the deputies and the jailers so that no other family has to live this nightmare that I’m going through,” she said.

Priscilla Salazar said her husband informed the sheriff’s office that he was in need of a liver transplant which put him at high risk of dying if he got infected with coronavirus.

With the possibility of his department facing a lawsuit, Hooper chose not to talk about the details surrounding the case.

“Given the fact we’re being told that this might end up in a civil case, there’s not much more to be said about this tragedy at this time,” he said.

Salazar said she doesn't know when she'll decide whether or not to sue the sheriff's office.