Fired SAPD detective acted alone in mishandling SVU cases, review finds

More than 12,000 SVU cases included in six-month review

SAN ANTONIO – A six-month independent review of the San Antonio Police Department's Special Victims Unit concluded that fired Detective Kenneth Valdez acted alone in his mishandling of approximately 130 cases.

The review, launched in October after allegations against Valdez came to light, was conducted by eight attorneys who examined more than 12,000 closed felony and misdemeanor SVU cases.

The 22-page audit states that, outside of Valdez, there was no discernible pattern of detectives mishandling SVU cases, which include sexual assaults, family violence and crimes against children.

Independent Review of SAPD's Special Victims Unit

The review also concluded that the unit should strengthen its supervisory oversight and make certain changes to its case workflow and handling of certain evidence.

"This investigation confirms that it's not a systemic problem within the unit, but rather was isolated to him," said City Manager Sheryl Sculley.

Valdez, a 17-year SAPD veteran, who is currently appealing two indefinite suspensions, told internal affairs investigators in October that he was disorganized.

SAPD released footage of the two-hour interview to the KSAT 12 Defenders earlier this month, following an open records request. 

Valdez said during the interview that he was better suited to work in patrol or as part of a tactical unit and that he had told his supervisors that in the past.

He also referred to his caseload as being extreme, at times, stating during the interview that he had been assigned as many as 27 cases in one month.

"Look, I'm not going to make or confirm any statements that have to do with 'Gee, I'm overwhelmed, gee I'm burned out.' I'm not going to affirm any of those statements. If you're in that unit, you've got a responsibility to investigate the cases you're assigned to," police Chief William McManus said.

City officials later said they were limited on what they could say about Valdez since he is appealing his indefinite suspensions.

McManus described the group of attorneys who conducted the review as working diligently in back rooms with stacks of case files.

City officials said two additional supervisory positions will be added to the unit.

Valdez's attorney, Morris Munoz, has not responded to repeated requests for comment related to his client's termination.

Four of the 130 cases assigned to Valdez can no longer be prosecuted, city officials confirmed on Thursday.

McManus said one case remains open.

RELATED: Records on Kenneth Valdez investigation

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.