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Former Precinct 2 deputy constable 'not surprised' by raid of Barrientes Vela's office

Jeff Enochs worked for constable in 2017, was later terminated

SAN ANTONIO – Jeff Enochs was one of the first people to ever speak out publicly against his former boss, Bexar County Precinct 2 Constable Michelle Barrientes Vela.

Looking back, the former deputy constable said he is not at all surprised FBI agents and the Texas Rangers raided Barrientes Vela's office and seized items from her personal residence Monday morning.

Investigators have not yet detailed the reason for the Monday morning raid. Enochs is on a growing list of people who have publicly said that Barrientes Vela has abused her office.

"Her integrity and her word is blown as far as I'm concerned," Enochs said Monday, more than a year-and-a-half after first telling his story to the KSAT 12 Defenders.

FIRST REPORT: FBI, Texas Rangers raid Precinct 2 constable's office, home

In February 2017, weeks after Barrientes Vela took office, Enochs received a verbal reprimand from the constable and two other supervisors.

The incident stemmed from an on-duty Enochs allowing a Leon Valley police officer to handle a minor traffic accident inside Leon Valley city limits.

During the reprimand, which Enochs recorded on a cellphone in his front uniform pocket, Barrientes Vela said "nobody else's rules apply" when she gets on the department radio.

A day after the verbal reprimand, Enochs said he suffered a significant injury to his lower back while lifting a heavy box of ammunition, after being ordered to retrieve a piece of equipment at home.

Enochs later filed paperwork to try to get disability benefits for the injury.

However, Bexar County and Enochs disagreed on not only the specifics of Enoch's injury but also whether it happened while he was on duty.

Enochs was later terminated from the agency.

READ MORE: Video challenges constable's claim that deputy came at her during meeting

That summer, Barrientes Vela traveled to Houston, where Enochs was receiving treatment for his spinal injury, and testified during a Department of Insurance workers' compensation hearing that Enochs had "stood up in a threatening and menacing stance with his fists clenched and came towards her," during the verbal reprimand.

Barrientes Vela's testimony was repeatedly cited by the administrative hearing officer in her decision to side with Bexar County and deny Enochs disability payments, according to case hearing records.

Video of the entire incident, however, shows that at no point did Enochs ever appear to move toward the constable.

RELATED: After FBI raid of Pct. 2 office, Wolff urges constable to look 'at herself' rather than others

Years after the incident, Enochs continues to deal with its fallout.

He still has four herniated discs in his lower back and with his back still damaged, has been unable to resume a career in law enforcement.

Enochs, who has lost at least 20 pounds since he spoke with the Defenders in early 2018, said he lives with constant pain in his back, groin, hips and spine.


About the Authors:

Dillon Collier

Dillon is a Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year. His relentless work includes uncovering the misuse of funds within a local housing authority and prompting a congressional inquiry at Fort Sam Houston.