SAN ANTONIO – An officer with the Balcones Heights Police Department expressed concerns to Police Chief Henry Dominguez about Officer Julian Pesina's gang tattoos, documents received Friday by the KSAT 12 Defenders reveal.
Pesina was gunned down in an ambush in May outside a tattoo parlor he co-owned. Several days later, the Defenders began questioning the slain officer's alleged ties to the notorious prison gang, the Mexican Mafia.
One of the documents, a letter written by Officer Kenneth Ortiz, detailed several meetings Ortiz had with Dominguez over concerns the officer had about Pesina.
During a meeting at a Starbucks, Ortiz told Dominguez that Pesina's "gang tattoos are an embarrassment and a liability," the document stated. Ortiz asked Dominguez why the tattoos were acceptable, and Dominguez replied that Pesina "still had much to offer the police department."
At another meeting, Ortiz told Dominguez about an interaction he witnessed between Pesina and a female suspect. The woman said to Pesina, "Oh, you a soldier," which Ortiz told Dominguez is a slang term for the Mexican Mafia. Ortiz said that Dominguez laughed about the interaction, a document stated.
In another instance, Ortiz asked Dominguez if he could attend a gang conference in Austin but Dominguez told him "Pesina was better suited for it," a document stated.
Another document the Defenders received included a letter of no confidence against Dominguez from the Balcones Heights Police Officers Association. The letter eventually led to the suspension of Dominguez.
A third document was a letter sent to the city of Balcones Heights from Mark Anthony Sanchez, Dominguez's attorney. The letter states that Dominguez's leave was based on "false, malicious, and fabricated claims" about Dominguez's knowledge of Pesina's alleged gang ties. Sanchez asked the city to rescind the decision to place Dominguez on administrative leave and permit him to return to work immediately.
During a news conference Friday afternoon, Balcones Heights city officials said the investigation into Pesina and Dominguez is ongoing.
The letters were obtained by the Defenders in a Freedom of Information Act request.
Click here to read more stories about the Defenders' ongoing investigation regarding Pesina and Dominguez.