Former HPD Captain Mark Aguirre, fired for his role in the K-Mart Kiddie Roundup fiasco, has filed an appeal with an arbitrator to get his old job back. He claims that his firing was personally motivated.
Houston police officials on Monday defended their investigation of a 2002 raid that became a legal fiasco for the department, denying that then-Police Chief C.O. Bradford influenced the probe.
Attorneys for former Capt. Mark Aguirre, who was fired in January 2003 for his handling of the botched raid at a west Houston parking lot, argued that long-standing hard feelings between Aguirre and Bradford may have motivated Aguirre's downfall.
In a hearing before an independent arbitrator, Aguirre's attorneys tried to spotlight a feud between him and Bradford that worsened significantly in the months before the captain's termination.
But Assistant Police Chief Vickie King, who led the investigation while she was a lieutenant in the Internal Affairs Division, said Bradford did not influence the investigation.
"Anyone who tried to manipulate something of this magnitude, there's no way. We had over 500 people giving statements," King said during a hearing before an independent arbitrator, who will decide whether Aguirre should be reinstated. "You'd have to be an incredible puppet master."
King made her comments while being questioned by Aguirre's attorneys. The Aguirre team has promised to unveil some "surprises" about HPD's command staff when the hearing resumes next Monday.