McManus defends SAPD’s handling of sex-on-duty allegations against officers

Ofc. Jonathan Reyes suspended five days for neglect of duty, amid complaint he had an affair on-duty with SAPD’s physical fitness coordinator

SAN ANTONIO – A decorated San Antonio Police Department SWAT officer served a five-day suspension this fall after an internal affairs investigation showed he left work in the middle of his shift and spent close to three hours at a Southeast Side hotel.

Officer Jonathan Reyes, a 12-year veteran of SAPD, served the suspension in late September.

The minimal punishment as well as records from Reyes’ subsequent divorce have caused some to question the officer’s integrity in the workplace and whether the department should have issued harsher discipline.

A forensic analysis of Reyes’ work cellphone showed the officer on Aug. 24, 2022, created a route from SAPD’s Academic Court, his assigned duty station, to an Embassy Suites in the 7600 block of S. New Braunfels Ave., more than eight miles away.

Internal affairs investigators recovered a paid invoice from Reyes’ stay at the hotel, discipline records show.

The allegations included in the final suspension, however, were whittled down significantly from the original complaint lodged against Reyes and SAPD’s physical fitness coordinator, Officer Tammy Ayala, in a letter sent to the department last spring.

Reyes repeatedly paid for hotel stays in San Antonio, admitted to affair

SAPD officials confirmed to KSAT that Reyes and Ayala were accused of violating the department’s policy on sexual misconduct.

SAPD Chief William McManus declined to name Ayala during an interview with KSAT, citing state law that prevents him from doing so because she was not disciplined following IA’s investigation into whether sexual encounters occurred between her and Reyes while they were on duty.

SAPD’s sexual misconduct policy, which prohibits officers from engaging in sex while on duty, also prohibits officers from having sex with those they serve over in a mentoring capacity.

Ayala oversees Reyes’ physical training hours, according to records obtained by KSAT.

McManus said that sort of training relationship is not the intent of the policy.

“It’s about an academy instructor who’s got cadets that are being schooled in the academy,” said McManus.

McManus defended his department’s overall handling of the allegations.

“That case was thoroughly investigated by internal affairs and the allegations that he was charged with were the only ones that could be proven and that’s why they were the only ones he was charged with,” said McManus.

McManus also defended his decision to issue Reyes a five-day suspension, which was much shorter than the suspension recommended by the chief’s Complaint and Administrative Review Board.

SAPD Chief William McManus speaks with KSAT about the Ofc. Reyes suspension. (KSAT)

The board is made up of sworn officers and private citizens who hear misconduct cases against officers.

After several rounds of voting, a majority of officers settled on a recommended 30-day suspension for Reyes, while all but one citizen in the hearing recommended a 15-day suspension, CARB voting sheet records show.

Additionally, several members of the panel voted for Reyes to be relocated from his position on SWAT, the records show.

McManus, however, issued Reyes a contemplated suspension of five days, kept it at five days after meeting with the officer and chose not to remove him from SWAT.

“It’s within the range of what was considered,” said McManus.

“Reyes has a good record. Good work performance, so that’s taken into account before a contemplated is issued. There’s nothing whatsoever wrong with his job performance, so he was left in his current assignment. Not everybody is going to agree with decisions that are made, but that happened to be my decision based on discussions with command staff and what I thought was most appropriate,” said McManus.

Financial records obtained by KSAT from Reyes’ contested divorce show he paid for hotel rooms in San Antonio seven times between August 2022 and February 2023.

Financial records show Ofc. Reyes paid for seven hotel rooms in San Antonio between August 2022 and February of this year. (KSAT)

That timeframe appears to coincide with the date Reyes’ affair with Ayala began until Reyes’ wife learned about it after receiving anonymous text messages in late February.

IA specifically looked into Reyes’ whereabouts on at least nine days during that period of time, records obtained by KSAT show.

The affair took place while Reyes’ wife was in the last weeks of her pregnancy and for several more months after the birth of his daughter, text and medical records obtained by KSAT show.

McManus said Reyes provided an explanation during his formal Loudermill hearing for the hotel visit that the chief deemed acceptable.

“I wouldn’t have accepted it if it weren’t,” said McManus, who declined to discuss on camera what Reyes told him during the meeting.

1,445 pages of text messages

In all, KSAT reviewed 1,445 pages of text messages between Reyes and his wife and between Reyes’ wife and an anonymous texter who tipped her off to the affair.

“Do you know Tammy?? She’s been (expletive) Jon for months,” an anonymous text sent to Reyes’ wife reads.

After the texter provided Reyes’ wife information on how the two officers were attempting to conceal the affair, Reyes’ wife texted Reyes on Feb. 24, saying, “It seems like you’re only reminded of how much I/we mean to you when you bring another woman into our world.”

Reyes at first denied the affair before admitting to it a day later, text records show.

“I’m so (expletive) up. I seriously have a problem,” Reyes texted his wife.

Reyes attempted to conceal Las Vegas trip from union benefits coordinator

Family and Medical Leave Act paperwork shows Reyes took a month of paternity leave beginning Jan. 2, to help care for his then-infant daughter.

Two weeks into the leave, however, Reyes traveled to Las Vegas without his wife and daughter for a sport shooting and hunting show.

SAPD sources said Ayala was spotted with Reyes during the out-of-state trip.

Reyes, who was pictured on social media attending the show, attempted to conceal the trip from a benefits coordinator for the San Antonio Police Officers Association, text records confirm.

After Reyes’ wife texted him about hospital bills, Reyes shared the contact information for the benefits coordinator on Jan. 16.

Reyes followed up the message by telling his wife, “Don’t tell her I’m in Vegas,” text records show.

McManus told KSAT he did not know if Reyes’ trip was a violation of FMLA, before an SAPD spokeswoman interjected and said the department could not discuss specifics regarding Reyes’ leave from the agency.

In a Christmas card from Reyes to Ayala shared with Reyes’ wife after the affair was discovered, Reyes listed the then-upcoming trip to Las Vegas as one of his gifts to Ayala.

“Vegas - spending time with you is better than any gift,” the letter reads.

“Merry Christmas my love! I cant wait for the day we are waking up together with the kids,” the letter reads.

In a Valentine’s Day card dated Feb. ‘23, shared with Reyes’ wife after the affair was discovered, Reyes wrote, “Tammy you give me life. I want and need to be in your life forever! I cant wait until the day we are with our babies under the same roof.”

“It occurred to me this morning that you were in the thick of it with her, when I was on my maternity leave, at home, with OUR newborn, IM mentally hurting, physically torn and bleeding, and my back excruciating pain, trying to figure out how to mom, find myself, eat, breastfeed, and maybe if I have time, shower and brush my teeth,” Reyes’ wife wrote to him via text message March 2.

“What father does that to his innocent newborn baby????What husband does that to a woman who just bore his child????You chose her over your family. You chose yourself over us,” Reyes’ wife wrote via text the same day.

“I messed up beyond words or actions. I have to live by myself in hell forever,” Reyes responded via text message.

Reyes’ wife filed for divorce less than two weeks later, Bexar County court records show.

Reyes ducks KSAT cameras

During a divorce hearing last month that was open to the public, Reyes made several attempts to avoid KSAT’s cameras.

Reyes remained in presiding court long after his case had been farmed out to 438th District Court and later had a sheriff’s deputy escort him up a back stairwell to the second courtroom.

A BCSO deputy escorts SAPD Officer Jonathan Reyes to a back stairwell last month. (KSAT)

During the hearing, the attorney for Reyes’ wife described the divorce as a contested case in which the two sides “don’t agree on anything.”

Reyes’ divorce attorney falsely accused his wife of calling the media to be at the tense hearing.

The date of the hearing was listed in public court records.

After the hearing, Reyes did not respond to questions from KSAT asking if he engaged in the affair while on duty or if he had upheld the SAPD badge well.

“It appears very clear that he may have been on duty while part of the affair was occurring,” said Joe Hoelscher, the attorney for Reyes’ wife.

Hoelscher told KSAT Reyes’ actions raise ethical concerns about the SWAT officer’s credibility to testify during criminal trials in the future.

“You have somebody who’s supposed to be a witness in court that can be trustworthy to support allegations against a private citizen, it’s important that they’re not lying about their private lives,” said Hoelscher. “This is particularly problematic in this case because a significant portion of the affair occurred while the husband was allegedly at training with the mistress.”

Hoelscher claims evidence demonstrated the hotel stays were during work hours, which suggests the affair may have taken place while Reyes was on duty.

KSAT is not aware of any evidence confirming who was in those hotel rooms or what took place, and Reyes denied that he engaged in the affair while on duty.

Hoelscher told KSAT the internal affairs investigation was hampered by a short window to investigate and “good lawyering” from Reyes’ legal counsel.

Attorney Joe Hoelscher (left) walks with Dillon Collier. (KSAT)

IA lacks subpoena power, and some evidence, including footage from the hotels, was likely recorded over by the time IA dug into the sexual misconduct allegations.

“The divorce and the personal issues that Officer Reyes was involved in is an entirely separate issue, but unfortunately that issue clouds what the allegation was. People will make judgment, not only on the allegation, but make a connection to the off-duty incident that was taking place,” said McManus.

Ayala, in her own divorce case in late July, admitted to committing adultery with Reyes during her marriage, public court records show.

Reyes’ divorce trial was heard before a private judge at the law offices of Reyes’ attorney earlier this month.

Moving the case in front of a private judge kept the media from being able to attend the trial, which concluded the first week of December.

Ayala was called as a witness on day one of the trial.

SAPD Officer Tammy Ayala walks into a law office to testify in the divorce case of Officer Jonathan Reyes earlier this month. (KSAT)

Judge Stephani Walsh is expected to release her final order in the case in the coming days.

The judge’s initial order, the language of which will likely be tweaked, bars Ayala from having any contact with Reyes’ daughter for 90 days.

“Father is ORDERED to ensure that there is no contact including any ‘accidental meetings in public areas,’” the order states.

Reyes was also instructed to pay back his wife $507 “as reimbursement for funds wasted in Las Vegas,” according to the order.

“That’s not the case.”

McManus said claims from officers that he goes light or takes steps to protect the department’s image when hearing sex misconduct cases is not accurate.

“That’s not the case,” said McManus, who asked KSAT for a list of examples.

San Antonio Express-News investigative reporter Emilie Eaton published articles earlier this year showing McManus rejected a recommendation to discipline his driver in a May 2021 sexual misconduct case.

According to Eaton’s reporting, internal SAPD records obtained by her confirmed Officer Robert Gonzales Jr. admitted to having a sexual encounter with a woman while he was in uniform in a vehicle parked outside police headquarters.

SAPD’s policy prohibits officers from engaging in sexual conduct while in uniform.

The officer portion of the review board voted 5-1 to recommend a 30-day suspension for Gonzales, while the citizen portion of the board did not sustain the allegation in a split vote, Eaton’s reporting showed.

Gonzales was transferred out of the chief’s office following the incident, Eaton reported.

McManus told KSAT that state law prevents him from discussing the Gonzales case since no formal disciplinary action was taken.

In the fall of 2018, KSAT Investigates revealed an SAPD captain was allowed to retire in lieu of being disciplined, after an internal affairs investigator determined he repeatedly had sex on duty, while on city property, with a subordinate employee.

Taped phone calls obtained by KSAT included audio of the then-commander of IA telling the investigator SAPD administration did not want the incident to get out to the public.

City officials declined to make Deputy City Manager Maria Villagomez, who oversees SAPD, available for an interview for this story.

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.

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