Leon Valley councilman cleared of criminal wrongdoing in incident involving now-fired police chief

Felony, misdemeanor charges against Joshua Stevens dismissed April 16 due to insufficient evidence

Leon Valley City Councilman Joshua Stevens. (Courtesy)

LEON VALLEY – Bexar County prosecutors have dismissed all criminal charges against a Leon Valley city councilman accused of assaulting the city’s then-police chief early last year.

A felony charge of assault of a public servant and a misdemeanor charge of interfering with public duties filed against Joshua Stevens were dismissed Friday, Bexar County court records confirm.

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The dismissals come just over two months after a Bexar County grand jury indicted Stevens. He was accused of elbowing the chest of then-Leon Valley Police Chief Joseph Salvaggio during a skirmish at city hall in January 2020.

Salvaggio complained that his chest was hurting after the incident, but he refused medical attention, an incident report states.

Both subsequent criminal charges filed against Stevens were tossed out due to insufficient evidence, court records show.

The felony dismissal was signed by Christine Del Prado, Chief of the Public Integrity and Cyber Crime Division for the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office.

Stevens was elected to city council Place 2 in November, after beating incumbent Dr. Catherine Rodriguez by four percentage points.

The dismissals end another bizarre chapter in the years-long political saga that has enveloped the San Antonio suburb.

Salvaggio was fired by acting city manager Crystal Caldera on March 5 and only paid for the time off he had accrued, just weeks after Salvaggio demanded a six-figure settlement in exchange for not pursuing legal action against the city.

“I am prepared to take legal action under the Whistle-blower Act if it doesn’t stop, if my [state law encorcement] license is stripped or if I am dismissed for actions taken in the past,” Salvaggio wrote in a memo, obtained by KSAT through an open records request.

Joseph Salvaggio is no longer the police chief of the Leon Valley Police Department. (KSAT)

Weeks later, on Feb. 24, Salvaggio penned another memo, saying he was withdrawing the initial agreement entirely due to the actions of council members Stevens and Will Bradshaw, who Salvaggio said continued making insulting comments about him and placed an agenda item intended to evaluate Salvaggio and hear complaints against him.

“I told you then, if this stayed on the agenda, the offer would be pulled,” Salvaggio wrote to the council. “It stayed on the agenda and was heard in executive session on February 24, 2021, which caused a political theater before and after the meeting.”

Salvaggio wrote that he would only consider future departure agreements if the money settlement started “at five times the amount” of the initial offer, meaning more than a half-million dollars.

KSAT 12 News has also requested Salvaggio’s personnel file, but Leon Valley officials are seeking a ruling from the attorney general’s office to withhold the records.

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.

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.