‘Outstanding’: Schertz police chief praised officer accused of secretly recording teen, records show

Chief Michael Hansen admonished officers who ‘spread gossip’ about felony investigation of Cpl. Ricardo Aleman

Ricardo Aleman (left) and Chief Michael Hansen (right). (Courtesy)

SCHERTZ, Texas – As Texas Rangers last year issued a felony warrant for a Schertz Police Department corporal accused of secretly recording a teen in her bedroom and bathroom, the head of the police department the corporal had just resigned from was praising his work and admonishing fellow officers who ‘spread gossip’ about the investigation, email records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders Wednesday reveal.

Corporal Ricardo Aleman, 42, was arrested Jan. 17, 2020, and charged with felony invasive visual recording, after admitting to investigators he had been recording the girl for over a year using a series of pinhole cameras installed in the attic of the home where she lived, an arrest warrant states.

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Records show as a judge was signing off on the arrest warrant that day, Chief Michael Hansen was drafting an email that would both laud Aleman’s contributions to the department and sharply criticize officers who had already passed judgment on the corporal.

That draft was sent at 1:15 p.m. to Schertz Police Captain Manny Casas and Schertz Police Lieutenant Kelly Kallies, both of whom are members of the agency’s command staff.

Aleman had resigned just hours earlier, records show.

Manny Casas (left) and Kelly Kallies (right). (Courtesy)

The final version of the email was sent by Hansen to all police employees at 3:09 p.m. and does not appear to have been edited from its draft version.

In the email, obtained by the Defenders following an open records request, Hansen told the rank and file “we unfortunately have a few members that cannot help but gossip about things they know nothing about.”

Hansen then informed his officers that Aleman had resigned, effective immediately, and was under investigation by the Rangers and FBI for illegal conduct.

“This conduct did not occur on-duty. This conduct has absolutely nothing to do with his employment here. This conduct has absolutely nothing to do with Clemens or any school or any student,” wrote Hansen, referring to Aleman’s assignment to Samuel Clemens High School as a school resource officer.

Hansen, who referred to Aleman as “Ric” in the email, said the corporal cooperated with the investigation and was forthcoming.

“He is obviously embarassed and very sorry for what has occurred. Ric has been an outstanding member of this department for years. He has many friends here and is respected in the community. These actions in no way dissipates the service he has provided,” wrote Hansen. “Obviously, I am very disappointed in Ric, but I am equally as disappointed in those that so quickly judge and spread gossip about one of our own.”

Hansen and other Schertz city officials did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday about the chief’s email.

Bexar County prosecutors earlier this year dismissed the invasive recording charge against Aleman, after he was indicted on federal child pornography charges, which carry a much steeper range of punishment.

Aleman is accused of coercing a teenager into engaging in sexually explicit conduct between mid-April and late August 2019, according to his federal indictment.

He is also accused of possessing a portable hard drive that contained child pornography, records show.

A continuance in the case was granted earlier this week, pushing Aleman’s tentative trial date to May 10, federal court records show.

About the Author

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.

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