SAN ANTONIO – An officer and a civilian employee were forced to resign from the North East Independent School District Police Department last fall after an investigation determined they used their school district email accounts to arrange late night meet ups, a district official confirmed to the KSAT 12 Defenders.
The rendezvous occurred at least once while the officer, Josue “Josh” Terrazas, was on duty.
Additionally, the father of the civilian employee, NEISD Associate Superintendent Ron Clary, resigned last week after district emails obtained by the Defenders showed him strategizing about how to help get his daughter a job with another police department.
NEISD Police Chief Wally McCampbell remains in his position, but is the focus of an ongoing investigation into why he recommended Clary’s daughter, Jessica Clary, for the other position three days after her resignation from his department took effect, a district spokesperson told KSAT 12.
“Every individual supervisor has the right to decide whether to submit a letter of recommendation for a former employee. But it is safe to say all aspects of this situation are under review currently,” said Aubrey Chancellor, NEISD Executive Director of Communications.
“On my way from Lee”
The spokesperson said the district’s human resources department began investigating Jessica Clary and Officer Terrazas after Superintendent Sean Maika received an anonymous letter in September.
The letter alleged that a police department employee was having a relationship with an officer during work hours, Chancellor said.
The subsequent investigation found more than 1,500 emails sent between Terrazas and Jessica Clary, who worked as a security access technician.
Since the school district email servers are maintained with taxpayer funds and operated by a government agency, they are subject to public records requests.
A copy of emails obtained by the Defenders shows the duo arranged hook ups, often in emails sent late at night and early in the morning, off and on for more than a year.
District investigators focused in on a series of emails sent between the couple on April 5-6, 2020.
During that exchange, Terrazas informed Jessica Clary he was waiting to punch in around 10:40 p.m., to which she replied, “I would say come over but I don’t want you to get in trouble.”
Terrazas answered, “Yeah I thought about it,” to which Jessica Clary responded, “You can if you think you can get away with it.”
Records show the couple again began emailing each other after midnight, with Jessica Clary at one point writing, “If you can’t make it tonight come over another night your (sic) working.”
Terrazas replied, “Ok i (sic) want to but trying to figure how to hide the unit.”
Jessica Clary answered that she could run out and open the gate and that he could park the vehicle on the side of her building.
“There is actually a spot open next to my car that would hide it,” wrote Jessica Clary at 2:21 a.m.
Terrazas answered, “On my way from Lee,” an apparent reference to Legacy of Educational Excellence (LEE) High School.
LEE High School and the apartment complex Jessica Clary lived at during the night in question are approximately seven miles from one another.
“That was enough for us to confront him with that evidence and he did resign,” said Chancellor.
Personnel records show Terrazas was placed on administrative leave Sept. 22.
He then resigned effective Oct. 1, citing a “personal reason”, records show.
Terrazas did not respond to a request for comment left at his last known address.
Jessica Clary was placed on administrative leave Sept. 16, then submitted her resignation nine days later, writing in her separation email, “I think that it is best that I just remove myself from the situation and resign.”
Jessica Clary’s resignation took effect Sept. 30, records show.
She did not respond to a request for interview sent to a personal email address for her included in the district’s release of records.
Chancellor confirmed during an interview this month that both employees would have been terminated if they had not resigned their positions.
She said district officials did not determine whether Terrazas was on duty for more than one of the encounters because HR essentially paused the investigations after Terrazas and Jessica Clary resigned.
Chancellor said personnel investigations continue after an employee leaves the district if it involves a criminal allegation, involves minors or students or contains information that would need to be reported to state education officials.
She added that none of those circumstances applied to these investigations.
“The district is certainly less concerned with what occurred during the personal relationship. What we are concerned about is that at least on one occasion, we have proof that the police officer was supposed to be on duty, and did not clock out before that meet up,” said Chancellor.
Terrazas, who had served as an NEISD police officer since early 2013, has not worked for another law enforcement agency since his resignation last fall, state records show.
Chancellor confirmed the district gave Terrazas a “General Discharge” on his license separation paperwork. This type of designation makes it more difficult for an officer to be hired somewhere else, since it means he or she resigned while under investigation or because of a documented performance problem.
“Which would be a certain red flag for future employers because it does state that he left employment during a disciplinary investigation,” said Chancellor.
A spokesperson for Southside ISD told the Defenders Terrazas has worked for that district since December — checking vehicles when they enter school grounds at one of its campuses — but it does not appear to be an employment position that requires a peace officer’s license.
“I feel she would be an asset to you and the Unit.”
Jessica Clary, on the other hand, received significant internal assistance in trying to find another job after her forced resignation, records obtained by the Defenders show.
Just three days after her resignation took effect, McCampbell emailed a civilian supervisor with the San Antonio Police Department’s Juvenile Processing/Missing Persons Unit and recommended Jessica Clary for a position.
“She is reliable and a self-motivator. She learned the Access Control System really fast and was very accurate. If given the opportunity, I feel she would be an asset to you and the Unit,” wrote McCampbell in an Oct. 3 email to Michelle Willingham sent from his district email account. The email was obtained by the Defenders through a public records request.
After Willingham days later responded that Jessica Clary’s lack of work with juveniles could prevent her application from moving forward, McCampbell forwarded the thread to Ron Clary’s district email address.
Ron Clary that same day responded, and asked McCampbell via email if his daughter could say that she had frequent interaction with juveniles as part of her former position, records show.
Email records also show Jessica Clary reached out directly to Willingham and wrote, “Wally McCampbell let me know that you had some questions on my resume.”
The same records show that Jessica Clary later updated her resume, and after Willingham confirmed she received the updated resume Oct. 9, Jessica Clary forwarded the exchange to her father’s work email address.
SAPD officials confirm Jessica Clary was interviewed Oct. 14, but was ultimately not offered a position.
Chancellor gave no timeline for when the human resources investigation of McCampbell will be completed, but added that Superintendent Maika is being updated each step of the way.
Chancellor confirmed district leadership, including Maika, was not aware of the Chief McCampbell-Ron Clary communications regarding Jessica Clary’s job application with SAPD until after the Defenders requested the records earlier this year.
“This was not something that should have happened, despite the fact that Mr. Clary was acting in the capacity of a dad looking out for his daughter. Regardless, that email communication should not have happened,” said Chancellor.
Ron Clary had worked for NEISD since 2000, most recently serving as an associate superintendent.
An online biography of Ron Clary, which has since been taken off of the district’s website, stated that he oversaw operations including the district’s police department.
Chancellor said district officials have been able to confirm that Ron Clary did not coerce McCampbell or direct him in any way to submit a job recommendation on his daughter’s behalf after she stepped down.
Jessica Clary enrolled in the Alamo Area Regional Law Enforcement Academy in January and is scheduled to graduate in early July, according to a spokesman with the Alamo Area Council of Governments.
The spokesman said academy officials were unaware of the circumstances of Jessica Clary’s resignation from NEISD.
“The AARLEA does not employ or license these applicants/cadets/graduates; the AARLEA is a school that provides a curriculum and training. Once an individual graduates from the AARLEA, to become a Law Enforcement Officer the individual must take an exam sanctioned by Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, become a State of Texas Peace Officer, and apply with a jurisdiction inside the State of Texas. Those jurisdictions would execute their respective background checks, employment history, and any other vetting process they deem necessary,” the spokesman said via email.