Castroville police chief fired in unanimous vote by city council

Chris Filline, animal control officer suspected of felony crimes, records reveal

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist, Dillon Collier - Investigative Reporter, Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter

Chris Filline pictured to left

CASTROVILLE, Texas - UPDATE:

In a unanimous vote, Castroville Council fired police chief Chris Filline Tuesday night after KSAT reported Filline was being investigated for his "alleged commission of crimes, including arson, conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud," according to District 5 Councilman Herb Dyer.

On Dec. 29, KSAT obtained employment memos that revealed Filline and Castroville Animal Control Officer Ambrose Rymers were being investigated by the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office.

It is unclear whether the city council discussed Rymers' employment status or what charges they may be facing.

In a Dec. 11 City Council meeting, however, Castroville Mayor Tim Kelley said it's possible that "criminal charges may be brought" against the pair in the future. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

Castroville police chief Chris Filline and Castroville Animal Control Officer Ambrose Rymers are under investigation by the Bexar County Fire Marshal's Office, which suspects the pair each committed three felony crimes, employment memos obtained by the Defenders revealed.

According to the memos, which are dated Dec. 11, Castroville officials were informed Dec. 10 that Rymers and Filline were the focus of an investigation for their "alleged commission of crimes including arson, conspiracy to commit arson and insurance fraud."

READ AMBROSE RYMERS' MEMO

READ CHRIS FILLINE'S MEMO

While it's unclear if the two are being investigated in connection with the same incident, both memos state the city became aware of the investigations on the same date and that they are suspected of the same crimes.

On Dec. 10, Bexar County spokeswoman Monica Ramos confirmed the Fire Marshal's Office was investigating an arson case from July 16, 2016, involving Filline. In that case, Ramos said a car belonging to Filline was found intentionally burned at a property in the 7800 block of Masterson Road.

The vehicle sustained $20,000, according to authorities. Authorities declined to release any more information about the case.

Filline and Rymers have not been charged in connection with the incident; however, Castroville Mayor Tim Kelley said during a Dec. 11 City Council meeting it's possible that "criminal charges may be brought" against the pair in the future. 

"As a result of this information, the city administrator and I have directed an internal investigation be initiated," Kelley said during the meeting, where officials went into closed session and decided to place the pair on paid administrative leave during the duration of the investigation.

According to the memos, Filline and Rymers both face the possibility of disciplinary action up to termination of employment.

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