COMAL COUNTY, Texas – A Comal County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and deputy lost their jobs earlier this year after failing to disclose to their administration that they had been involved in a sexual relationship, personnel records obtained by KSAT Investigates show.
Sgt. Kellie Metz, a nearly six-year veteran of CCSO, was terminated on January 19 for rules violations including professional conduct, employee fraternization and use of body-worn cameras.
Deputy Patrick Byrne, a two-year veteran of CCSO, departed the agency the same day. The head of his most recent employer, the Somerset Police Department, said Byrne was fired from CCSO for being untruthful when first asked about the relationship by CCSO internal affairs investigators.
CCSO officials released the records earlier this summer after the Texas Attorney General’s Office ordered them to.
“Moaning sounds like sexual gratification”
In early December, CCSO began investigating rumors that Metz and Byrne had sexual encounters while on duty.
In May 2022, a suspect identified as David Brakhage told deputies he had thrown a rock at the windshield of Byrne’s patrol vehicle while it was parked near Metz’s patrol vehicle after “he heard moaning sounds like sexual gratification coming from the area of the patrol units,” CCSO records show.
The incident, which took place in the parking lot of the Antler Cafe, led to Brakhage being charged with criminal mischief, records show.
Byrne’s vehicle, however, was never reported to CCSO for a damage assessment and an investigation revealed that neither Byrne nor Metz had turned on their body-worn cameras during the incident.
Brakhage, who was in the Bexar County Jail on unrelated charges when KSAT attempted to speak with him earlier this year, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing for the windshield incident after a non-prosecution affidavit was filed in his case on Jan. 12, records show.
While questioned separately by investigators, Byrne and Metz each denied having sex while on duty.
Metz said she was teaching Byrne how to properly conduct felony traffic stops.
“You see how things just aren’t looking good, when he goes to a small allegation now a big old can of worms are opened up? It doesn’t look good,” an IA investigator told Metz during a taped interview in early January.
Metz, while being questioned by IA, did admit that she and Byrne were intimate at her residence twice between October and November 2020.
She said she did not report the relationship to the CCSO administration, despite being an agency supervisor, because “the two meetings were isolated meetings and there was no intention to pursue anything further,” Metz told IA in an audio statement.
Byrne, while questioned by IA, first denied having been intimate with Metz before changing his story and admitting to the relationship, records show.
The off-duty sexual encounters took place while Metz was in a supervisory capacity and just months after Byrne joined the agency, according to his LinkedIn page and state law enforcement records.
Multiple fellow deputies told internal affairs they became aware of the relationship after Byrne bragged about Metz’s sexual prowess during a BBQ.
Two deputies repeated to IA the exact verbatim of a crass phrase used by Byrne to describe Metz’s ability to perform a specific sex act, records show.
“I’m not going to lie. I want to keep my job.”
Byrne revealed to investigators that he and Metz met in late December and he revealed to her that he had been questioned about their past sexual encounters.
He told IA investigators Metz asked him to be untruthful.
“I’m not going to lie. I want to keep my job,” Byrne told investigators during an audio statement recorded after he met up with Metz.
“He’s gone on tape and he’s pointing the finger straight at you. This is just a sad state of affairs,” the investigator told Metz on Jan. 4.
Metz eventually admitted to speaking to Byrne about the IA investigation. She told them she felt she was being targeted and had been trying to protect Byrne.
Metz did not respond to a request for comment left by KSAT at her home last month.
Comal County Sheriff Mark Reynolds declined multiple requests to be interviewed for this story.
Byrne, after leaving CCSO in January, was hired in early March as a reserve officer with the Somerset Police Department, law enforcement records show.
Somerset PD Chief Gary Reeves defended the hiring of Byrne in a lengthy written statement, telling KSAT:
“We were aware that current Somerset Volunteer Reserve Police Officer Patrick Byrne was a subordinate non-supervisory Deputy with the Comal County Sheriff’s Office and he admitted to being romantically involved off-duty (never on-duty) twice in 2020 with one of his female supervisors who was, at the time, a Corporal and Field Training Officer who was later promoted to Sergeant. Patrick Byrne further informed us he had been employed with the Comal County S.O. for approximately 8 months at the time of the two above-mentioned off-duty incidents and he stated he was not married, and neither was the female supervisor at the time of the incidents as well. Patrick Byrne informed us he initially denied having any romantic relationship with the female supervisor during questioning by Comal County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs. Patrick Byrne further informed us he later admitted to being romantically involved on two occasions with the female supervisor during the same questioning session and he was ultimately terminated from his employment for being untruthful at the beginning of his questioning. Patrick Byrne also stated to us he was no longer romantically involved or dating the female supervisor at the time of his Comal County Sheriff’s Office Internal Affairs questioning. Patrick Byrne disclosed the information on what happened during his background investigation with us and we felt the fact that he was a subordinate Deputy and not in a position of supervisory authority within his agency and the fact that he was only with his agency for 8 months when this occurred were mitigating factors. The two above-mentioned off-duty incidents allegedly occurred in 2020 and from what we know, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office didn’t investigate and terminate/discipline any of the involved Deputies until January of 2023 and that was also a mitigating factor. As far as we know, Patrick Byrne has never been accused of illegal or criminal misconduct regarding this incident or any other incident(s). If there are any criminal accusations against Patrick Byrne, we respectfully request to be informed so that we may conduct our own internal and/or criminal investigation.”
Reeves’ statement included an incorrect timeline of the sexual encounters, as they took place between four and five months after Byrne joined CCSO.
Reeves confirmed to KSAT late last month that Byrne has since separated from Somerset PD.