Is Sheriff Salazar Abusing His Power?

Sheriff Salazar Calls a Press Conference
Sheriff Javier Salazar

Problems with University Health System

We apparently missed this article by, that came out on the 15th of this month but when we found it, it raised some red flags for us.  First of all, everyone knows that the Sheriff’s Office has had a lot of inmates die in the jail and Salazar is taking quite a bit of heat for it. According to the article, Fox filed an open records request and received a copy of a BCSO letter sent to Mr. Hernandez, with UHS, stating some concerns with issues between the two agencies. The letter was sent on September 9, 2019. It even said that some actions could be criminal.

Suspicious Timing

It’s not totally unusual for two different agencies to be having a bit of a feud but I find the timing of this suspicious. Salazar has been having problems with jail inspections from the moment he came into office. If the medical section was an issue, why did it take three years for him to request the two females in charge be removed? Also, what made Fox look into this now? What did their open records request say that got them this letter as a result? And how suspicious is it that this story, that gives Salazar an opportunity to blame someone else for all the deaths, came out three days before primary voting began?

How Serious is this Allegation?

Sheriff Salazar knows his administration is a mess but he desperately wants to stay in power so suddenly, this letter gets sent out. He says they are investigating but University Hospital released the following statement, “To date, University Health System has not been contacted by the Sheriff’s Office with regard to the alleged investigation mentioned in this letter and there have been no follow-up meetings or further contact to update University Health System on this purported investigation.” Salazar says that they often don’t tell someone about what is going on in an investigation but that just doesn’t make sense here.

First of all, they already told them they are investigating. Secondly, the Sheriff’s Office employees are not medical personnel so they are in no position to make a determination as to whether an individual was treated properly or not. They would need someone at University Hospital to make that determination. This whole thing feels like a fishing expedition in search of a crime. That is, if it’s even really happening. Are they really investigating anything? Sheriff Salazar didn’t even bother telling Commissioners Court there was an issue. There are so many avenues they could have taken to address any problems before they went to a criminal investigation yet they didn’t try any of them.

Why We Saw Red Flags

We haven’t forgotten when officers anonymously complained to Dillon Collier about conditions at the jail and then Sheriff Salazar gave his bombshell statement that deputies might intentionally be releasing inmates and that they would be investigating to see if criminal charges were going to be filed. Wow! In other words, he got pissed off that they ratted him out and threatened to find a way to file criminal charges against them. Did you ever hear anything more about that investigation? Did anyone get charged? No. It all just went away. But I’ll tell you what did happen. He let everyone know that if they gave out information on what was really happening, that he wasn’t above trying to find a way to literally have them arrested. This is major intimidation tactics.

Now we have this red herring accusation of possible criminal charges against University Health System employees. Feel sort of familiar? And it comes at such an opportune moment for him. No real attempt has been made to address the situation by talking with UHS administrative staff. He notified them, so he has a letter to show, but did nothing more from there. And he didn’t go to the people who make the money decisions for both entities, Commissioners Court, either. They could have easily inserted themselves into the process to try to smooth things out. He made no legitimate attempt to solve the problem at all, he just jumped straight to, ‘we’re looking at criminal charges.’ After all, that plays well on TV.

Is He Abusing His Power?

Are these false accusations and was this whole thing set up so that he would have a piece of paper to waive around and say, see, it’s not my fault? I don’t know but it feels very similar to what he did to the officers who told Dillon Collier how bad things were under Salazar. But think about that. If this whole thing is manufactured then this man appears to be willing to accuse people of criminal activity to hide his incompetence. How much of a narcissist do you have to be to not care at all about how much you hurt others as long as you can benefit off of it?

I seriously doubt there will be any criminal charges filed against any UHS employee. I suspect it will just fade away like the supposed criminal activity that he “felt” was occurring in booking. But in the meantime, he just publicly sullied the reputations of two top female employees with the University Health System. That won’t go away. There won’t be any apology coming for them. As long as he benefits from his actions, it seems anything goes. While his actions may not be illegal, they sure are unethical and it definitely feels like he’s abusing his power.

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