Tampering charge against former Castle Hills councilwoman dismissed

Charge may be filed later, pending investigation

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SAN ANTONIO – A former Castle Hills councilwoman is no longer facing legal trouble for now, according to Bexar County court records.

The Bexar County District Attorney's Office dismissed a tampering charge against Sylvia Gonzalez, 72, on Wednesday.

The charge was dismissed pending further investigation, the court records showed.

In July, Gonzalez was arrested in connection with an alleged scheme targeting City Manager Ryan Rapelye.

City Councilwoman Lesley Wenger, 77, was also arrested on suspicion of tampering with evidence and fraudulent use or possession of identifying information. The case against her is still pending, according to court records.

Before being elected to her council seat in May 2018, Rapelye told Castle Hills police Wenger made it known that her primary agenda was to get rid of him "at all costs," according to the affidavit.

"Wenger launched a campaign of harassment and attacks upon Rapelye in an effort to either get him to resign or to create enough controversy to fire him outright," a detective wrote in the affidavit.

In a City Council meeting May 21, Castle Hills Mayor JR Trevino said he received 26 separate petitions that called for the removal of Rapelye. A resident, however, accused Gonzalez during the meeting of personally going to her home to get her signature on one of the petitions under false pretenses.

The resident said she felt Gonzalez misled her by telling several fabrications about Rapelye that were damaging to his reputation.

Trevino said the following day, the stack of the 26 petitions was gone.

Surveillance footage from the council chambers showed Gonzalez taking the stack of petitions and putting it in a binder, according to a separate arrest affidavit obtained by KSAT.com.

Gonzalez's seat was recently vacated after the city attorney determined her swearing-in ceremony was not properly done within 30 days of her election required by law.  The council appointed Amy McLin in her place.

About the Authors:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.