10 controversies surrounding embattled Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela
As officials remove the constable, a look back at her biggest scandals
SAN ANTONIO – As Bexar County officials move forward on replacing embattled Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela, we're taking a look back at her biggest controversies since being elected in 2016.
The constable is being replaced because she triggered a state law that forces elected officials to resign from their current office upon announcing a campaign for another office if they have more than 13 months left in their current term.
Barrientes Vela said on Monday that she would seek election as Bexar County sheriff in an exclusive interview with KSAT 12. The interview happened as the FBI and Texas Rangers raided her county office and seized a county vehicle from her home on Monday.
Federal authorities haven't yet said why they conducted the raid, but a look back at her time in office provides some clues.
From lawsuits over alleged sex discrimination stemming from an incident in a hot tub to her a proposed cavity search and warrantless blood draw on a teen, KSAT's Defenders have published about three dozen stories detailing incidents and subsequent fallout.
Here are some of the biggest scandals:
- June 2018: The terminations of Deputies Leonicio Moreno and Christopher De La Cerda are overturned by the Bexar County Civil Service Commission, months after they were fired amid accusations they falsified training records. Moreno testified he was set up to fail as training coordinator because Barrientes Vela forbade him from talking to the agency’s previous coordinator.
- September 2018: The Bexar County Auditor pulls a request from Barrientes Vela to have the county pay for new uniform patches for her deputies after a Defenders' investigation reveals that the phrase on the patch is historically inaccurate. Barrientes Vela claimed to be the first female to hold office. Mrs. S.M. “Indana” Meeks was the first female constable in Bexar County history.
KSAT COVERAGE OF PCT. 2:
WATCH A VIDEO TIMELINE OF SOME OF THE INCIDENTS:
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