Troubled constable announces run for sheriff; unclear if she's aware of resign-to-run laws
Barrientes Vela made announcement while FBI, Texas Rangers raided her office
SAN ANTONIO – As the FBI and Texas Rangers raided her office Monday, Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela made time to formally announce her run at the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in 2020.
"I've reconsidered my position here to seek another four years. I think with the support of my husband standing right next to me. We are going to go ahead and get formally announced (Monday) that yes, I will be seeking the chair and seat of the Sheriff’s Office within Bexar County," Barrientes Vela said.
The declaration comes less than two months after Barrientes Vela announced she will seek a second term in her current office.
For Barrientes Vela, however, the statement to run for Bexar County sheriff could mean invoking Article 16, Section 65, of the Texas Constitution.
According to the section – which applies to several offices including constables – any officer who has more than 13 months left in their current office but announces their candidacy shall result in an "automatic resignation."
SCROLL BELOW TO VIEW ARTICLE 16, SECTION 65
Barrientes Vela, who has 15 months left as a Pct. 2 Constable, later backtracked when asked about the state law, claiming she was not in uniform when sharing her nomination for Bexar County sheriff.
"I haven't announced anything as far as campaigning. I've never been campaigning when I announced anything in regular clothes," Barrientes Vela said.
Barrientes Vela and several Pct. 2 deputies have been the subject of repeated scandals this year, including a proposed cavity search and warrantless blood draw on a teen, and the delayed booking of her political opponent.
RELATED: After FBI raid of Pct. 2 office, Wolff urges constable to look 'at herself' rather than others
The political opponent was arrested on criminal charges that were quickly dismissed by prosecutors.
Barrientes Vela declined to respond to questions about those incidents Monday.
"This section applies to the following offices: District Clerks; County Clerks; County Judges; Judges of the County Courts at Law, County Criminal Courts, County Probate Courts and County Domestic Relations Courts; County Treasurers; Criminal District Attorneys; County Surveyors; County Commissioners; Justices of the Peace; Sheriffs; Assessors and Collectors of Taxes; District Attorneys; County Attorneys; Public Weighers; and Constables.
If any of the officers named herein shall announce their candidacy, or shall in fact become a candidate, in any General, Special or Primary Election, for any office of profit or trust under the laws of this State or the United States other than the office then held, at any time when the unexpired term of the office then held shall exceed one year and 30 days, such announcement or such candidacy shall constitute an automatic resignation of the office then held, and the vacancy thereby created shall be filled pursuant to law in the same manner as other vacancies for such office are filled."
KSAT COVERAGE OF PCT. 2:
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