I continue to be surprised at how antagonistic this relationship has been.
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia on Friday released a long-promised “Bill of Rights” for deputies under investigation by the department, but three deputies’ unions criticized the sheriff for not providing the same protections he enjoyed as a Houston police officer.
They insist Garcia reneged on a campaign pledge to quickly protect the rights of employees during internal investigations, one that helped him secure union support during his successful bid to unseat former Sheriff Tommy Thomas in 2008.
“The way cops look at it is, ‘tell me yes or no, not in between. Don’t lie to me,’ ” said Alberto Rivera, president of the Mexican American Sheriff’s Organization. “The calls I’ve got, my guys are saying this is real watered down. For me, its easy: give us the same thing HPD has. That’s where he’s from.”
The Harris County Deputies Organization characterized the six-page document as “vague, contradictory, misleading.”
“It’s kind of amazing. We’re over a year now (in discussions) and this is the best he can come up with,“ said HCDO president Robert Goerlitz. “Most of what he put out is already in state law, or things that we already have.”
I’ve uploaded a copy of the document, which I received as well, here. I don’t know enough about the particulars to evaluate the claims that both sides are making. As I said, I’m just surprised that this is where we are after a year of Sheriff Garcia being in office.