Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar fired more than 100 deputies during his first term, very few were reinstated

BCSO paid less than $4,700 in total back pay between 2017 and end of 2020

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar fired more than 100 deputies during his first term in office and only a handful were able to win back their jobs, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders show.

The termination records, which cover 2017 through the end of last year, show that 102 deputies were dismissed from the agency.

Only five deputies were ever reinstated, either through civil service or a court order, the records show.

The data set does not include deputies who resigned in lieu of being terminated by the agency.

“I’ve made no secret of the fact that we’ve got people employed here that probably should never have been hired, some of them probably should have been fired years ago,” said Salazar during a recent interview.

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Critics of Salazar have for years said that he rushes to punish deputies, putting the county on the hook for significant back pay if terminated employees are reinstated.

The data, however, does not back up this assertion.

The county paid out less than $4,700 in back pay during Salazar’s first term.

The money went to a detention deputy who was fired and then reinstated in 2019.

Only two of the reinstated deputies, Sgt. Keith Goodell and Deputy Maria Galeazzi, were still employed with BCSO as of last month.

“If something needs to get done, as distasteful as it is, let’s get it done. And so, that’s what we do in every one of these cases,” Salazar said.

Goodell was fired as a narcotics lieutenant in 2018 after a BCSO investigation determined that he delayed telling superiors that a deputy under his command was pressuring a confidential informant to illegally buy drugs.

Goodell was later reinstated with a demotion to sergeant and was reassigned to court security as part of a settlement agreement, according to a previous Defenders report.

Goodell now also serves as vice president of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County.

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Salazar said he has instructed BCSO internal affairs investigators to build cases against deputies that can stand on their own and prove wrongdoing even if a separate criminal investigation falls apart.

“I’d rather work a man short than work with the wrong man,” Salazar said.

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.

Joshua Saunders is an Emmy award-winning photographer/editor who has worked in the San Antonio market for the past 20 years. Joshua works in the Defenders unit, covering crime and corruption throughout the city.