Municipal court cashier resigns; officials say video shows her stealing cash from register

Theft case filed with SAPD on July 10

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SAN ANTONIO – City and police records provided to the KSAT 12 Defenders confirm that a San Antonio Municipal Court cashier resigned this summer, days after surveillance cameras captured footage of her taking cash from a court register.

Christina Chavez resigned July 5 after being confronted by city court management about the June 29 incident.

A San Antonio Police Department theft report filed July 10 states that Chavez was seen taking $80 and later confessed.

Reached on the telephone last week, Chavez admitted to taking the money, but said it never left the premises and instead was put in her work desk so she would not be written up for having an out-of-balance register.

Chavez said she made several attempts to reimburse the city only to have court officials refuse to take back the money.

Chavez provided the Defenders a copy of her final pay stub, which shows a reimbursement of $80.

"They're not above doing this to people," said Chavez, who described a drawn out dispute with management over a Family and Medical Leave Act claim.

Chavez declined a request for an on-camera interview for this story and said she was unaware that the incident had been turned over to SAPD for possible criminal charges.

The decision to forward the case to SAPD may be an unprecedented move by municipal court officials, despite years of city records showing that registers being out of balance is a nearly monthly occurrence at the courts.

"This is the first time an alleged theft has been referred to SAPD for investigation during my time at Municipal Court. The out of balances report provided to KSAT shows cashier errors, not thefts. All errors are carefully reviewed by examining the cash collection receipt register report, receipts, documents and video. Possible employee discipline follows the City's HR process and rarely results in a referral to SAPD unless there's proof of intentional theft," said Municipal Court Clerk Fred Garcia in a written statement.

The city provided a long list of reasons that cause out of balances to occur, including processing a payment twice in error, receiving counterfeit money and giving a defendant incorrect change.

City officials have declined to release footage of the June 29 incident, claiming it is part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

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