County commissioners select BCSO veteran to replace Pct. 2 Constable Barrientes Vela

Leticia Vasquez has been with BCSO for 25 years

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Commissioners on Wednesday named the successor for embattled Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela.

Commissioners selected Leticia Vasquez, a 25-year veteran of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office among five candidates. Vasquez won't be sworn in officially until at least next Friday.

"At the end of the day, it is law. I do know the law. I'm just going to try and figure out what the constable's office is all about," Vasquez said.

Barrientes Vela declined to comment on the appointment, according to her attorney Les Sachanowicz.

"She has chosen not to do any interviews," Sachanowicz said. "She has thought it over and there is not anything that she could add at this time."

The five finalists, winnowed down on Tuesday from 29 people who applied, are: Donald Falcon, Javier Flores, Mary Ruiz, Leticia Vasquez and Debra L. Zerda.

RELATED: 10 controversies surrounding embattled Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela

A Bexar County visiting judge on Monday denied Barrientes Vela's request to stop commissioners from interviewing and naming her successor. However, the troubled constable will remain in office until at least Oct. 11, when a hearing will take place to determine when and if the appointment of her replacement becomes effective.

Barrientes Vela triggered automatic resignation under the state law last week when she first announced to KSAT and later other media outlets that she planned to run for sheriff in 2020. The law stipulates that elected officials who announce plans for another office with more than 13 months left in their current term forfeit their seat.

Her public declaration to run for sheriff came as the FBI and Texas Rangers were carrying out a 10-hour raid inside her Northwest Side offices.

In a statement released over the weekend, an attorney representing Barrientes Vela called the comment "an excited utterance rather than a formal political declaration to seek the sheriff's seat in 2020."

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About the Authors

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

Kolten Parker is digital executive producer at KSAT. He is an amateur triathlete, enjoys playing and watching soccer, traveling and hanging out with his wife.

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