SAN ANTONIO – A detective at the center of controversy surrounding the San Antonio Police Department’s Special Victims Unit has been fired.
City manager Sheryl Sculley said she supported the decision to fire Det. Kenneth Valdez. San Antonio Police Officer's Association president Mike Helle indicated to KSAT Defender Dillon Collier the union plans to appeal the decision.
“There simply is no excuse for such improper behavior, and Detective Valdez is not representative of the thousands of men and women in our Police Department who are passionately committed to protecting the most vulnerable among us,” Sculley said.
Sculley said the decision was recommended to the chief by a “disciplinary review board made up of citizens and officers who unanimously recommended to Chief McManus that Detective Valdez be terminated.”
The problems with the unit came to light last month. At least one of the cases dates back to 2013.
McManus apologized to the people whose cases were not properly handled.
“My humble apologies go out to the victims whose crime were not properly investigated, my humble apologies. We own that and we will fix it,” McManus said.
Sculley has directed the city attorney and deputy city attorney to conduct an independent review of the unit and all cases that were assigned to it.
The unit is assigned to investigate cases of human trafficking, according to the city of San Antonio's website.
Chief, city manager 'greatly exaggerated' findings from SVU investigation, SAPD union president says
"There is a lot more that I want to say about this, but federal law and provisions in the collective bargaining agreement with the police union prevent me from doing so at this time," Sculley said last month. "Bottom line, we are going to deal with this.”
San Antonio Police Officer's Association president Mike Helle said the findings were "greatly exaggerated." Helle countered Chief William McManus' statements and said the actual number of cases not properly investigated was "closer to a handful."