The turnover in the Sheriff’s Administrative staff is crazy. In this latest round Salazar has forced Chief Deputy Don Tijerina to resign and tried to do the same to Deputy Chief Vela. It doesn’t appear that Chief Vela wanted to play the game by accepting the recommendation that he resign. We figure he was not going to make it easy for them to pretend that he was the problem the way they have done with all the others.
What Sheriff Salazar did to Chief Vela was shameful. Remember, Sheriff Javier Salazar had put Chief Vela on a suspension. The jail inspection was conducted during the time Chief Vela was out. There is no way that they couldn’t have known that they were going to fail. They had already found, through their own inspection prior to the State one, that they had 18 points of weakness. During that timeframe Captain Avery Walker (now Chief Walker) was in charge. How was it going to look if the jail failed its inspection while Captain Walker was in charge and then Sheriff Salazar promoted Captain Walker to the Chief over Detention? He knew that would look bad.
It appears to us that Chief Vela was brought back specifically to be the scapegoat for the failed jail inspection. He was fired Immediately after the jail failed the inspection and just days after he was brought back. There was absolutely no time for him to have fixed anything in that timeframe. If Chief Vela was going to be reinstated shouldn’t he at least have been given time to address issues? That is if they were legitimately reinstating him. That they didn’t give him any time to correct issues sure makes it look like this was all a media stunt to try to cover up the fact that this sheriff is incompetent.
But the really curious thing is the pushing out of Chief Deputy Don Tijerina. Chief Tijerina was part of the original group that helped Sheriff Salazar get elected. He was 100% behind Salazar and enjoyed the number two position in the Sheriff’s Office. Nothing has been said about any issues with him so what happened? This does not bode well. It seems to indicate that there are more problems going on that Sheriff Salazar has been successful in hiding.
You can read the KTSA news article about the two Chiefs being dismissed here. The article ends with the line, “Tijerina will be assisting Salazar with the transition process”. We find that to be unlikely and suspect it is just more media spin by Sheriff Salazar.