Precinct 2 Soap Opera Continues
They’re back in the news again. Ex-Constable Michelle Barrientes-Vela and her administrative support staff at Precinct 2 are possibly facing felony charges. The 24 page search warrant, that was executed on the Precinct 2 Constable’s Office back in September, has finally been released to the public. The individuals named in the warrant are ex-Constable Michelle Barrientes-Vela, ex-Chief Deputy Anthony Castillo, Captain Marc Garcia and Lieutenant Jeremy Miner. Both Garcia and Miner remain with Precinct 2 but have been reduced in rank to regular deputies, by the new constable, and have been placed on administrative leave.
The warrant cites multiple infractions that the Texas Rangers and FBI were looking for evidence on. Those infractions include fabricating charges against a political opponent; delaying his booking so the media could arrive; strong-arming constituents, attending a local park, demanding money; forcing a blood draw on a citizen without consent or a warrant; ordering an employee to shred evidence of their crimes; withholding documents that had been subpoenaed. You can read a fuller explanation of the allegations on the KSAT 12 article. And you can read a quick recap of some of the events here.
Barrientes-Vela Makes Her Disastrous Announcement
Barrientes-Vela was given a copy of the search warrant when she arrived at work in September and discovered her offices were under the control of the Texas Rangers and the FBI with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office providing security. She claimed not to have read it but I suspect she did read it and that warrant is what caused her sudden announcement to run for sheriff. Her whole time in office has been marked by impulsive actions that resulted in negative results. That announcement was no different.
Barrientes-Vela chose to make her announcement as an act of defiance without researching the election laws in Texas. As we all know, from the on-going soap opera that has been the result of Michelle Barrientes-Vela’s term in office, her announcement triggered the Texas Resign to Run law. She then went on to whine and complain about the good old boy system being out to get her, something she has been claiming from the beginning, rather than taking responsibility for her actions.
That she knew what kind of charges were being considered and still chose to run for sheriff is a slap in the face to the constituents of Bexar County. But she’s not the only one. She must have made her ex-chief, Anthony Castillo, aware of the allegations against them and yet he chose to run to become the next Precinct 2 Constable. The man wants to take over the office where he is being investigated for multiple violations of the law, not to mention all the governmental policies they violated.
Neither Michelle Barrientes-Vela nor Anthony Castillo have the interest of the citizens of Bexar County in their hearts. They have gotten a taste of power and are addicted to that heady feeling. These two individuals may mouth words of caring and concern but the reality is they think of power as a tool to be used in their favor rather than a tool to be used to serve. I doubt either one will ever be able to fool the public again, if they even make it as far as an election. It’s more likely that they will end up behind bars.
We can’t say enough about how good a job Dillon Collier has done in his investigative reporting. His reporting was mentioned several times in the warrant that was served on then Constable Michelle Barrientes-Vela. He has made KSAT 12 our go to source on what is happening in our local governmental agencies. Excellent job, Dillon. Keep up the good work.