Records that Fair Oaks Ranch officials attempted to keep hidden reveal bitter dispute between city, fired officer

Richard Davila terminated in late Oct., now suing his former department

Fired Fair Oaks Ranch Police investigator Richard Davila. (Rebecca Salinas, KSAT)

FAIR OAKS RANCH, Texas – Records that Fair Oaks Ranch officials attempted to keep hidden from public view for months detail an ugly dispute between a fired officer and members of the city’s police and human resources departments.

Investigator Richard Davila was terminated in late October after officials said he angrily confronted a fellow city employee outside City Hall.

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The employee, a female staff member with the city’s human resources department, told officials Davila “aggressively” approached her after she asked why it took him so long to get to work after attending physical therapy sessions for a work-related injury.

“It is not your job to question me, and you will accept my times and submit them for payment and that is it,” Davila is accused of saying to the woman.

Davila, in a subsequent employment lawsuit, instead claimed he was actually terminated for reporting possible illegal activity within the police department.

Davila, an 16-year veteran of the department, tore his bicep in June 2020 during an in-service training event, according to the suit filed against Fair Oaks Ranch in late March.

He claimed in the suit that it was the female staffer who was aggressive during the encounter, describing it as an interrogation over his Texas Worker’s Compensation Claim.

Davila’s attorney, Karl Brock, did not respond to multiple requests seeking comment for this story.

In a letter to the female employee confirming Davila’s firing, Fair Oaks Ranch Police Chief Tim Moring wrote in late October, “The values and honor of the men and women who serve here are above reproach and any failure or shortcoming is immediately corrected.”

City Manager Tobin Maples affirmed the decision to terminate Davila in early February, records show.

Davila then appealed directly to the city’s mayor, writing in a letter that he had been unfairly retaliated against before proposing that he be brought back in a city marshal-type position, which would allow him to accrue enough years of service to properly retire.

The KSAT 12 Defenders became aware of the ongoing discord in early March, when Fair Oaks Ranch officials made a vague post on Facebook claiming they stood behind the decision to terminate a police officer.

Although the post claimed city officials were continuing a strategic goal of being transparent, it did not include Davila’s name or any information related to why he was terminated.

After the Defenders confirmed the fired officer was Davila and requested his personnel file, Fair Oaks Ranch officials then attempted to block the release of those records, claiming in a letter to the Texas Attorney General’s Office that the files were confidential.

The AG’s office late last month ordered Fair Oaks Ranch to release hundreds of pages of records to the Defenders.

“Then you are useless, get the f--- out of here!”

Those records reveal significant infighting with the department, long before Davila was terminated.

In June 2020, after he was injured on the job, Davila was asked to inventory the department’s property and evidence room.

After Davila told Moring he was injured, he claims Moring told him, “Then you are useless, get the f--- out of here!”

Moring, in a statement refuting Davila’s account of what happened, said that Davila had called himself “useless” after being asked to inventory the property room.

Moring responded that if Davila was useless then why was he at work, according to his statement about what took place.

Moring added that Davila launched into a tirade about his treatment at work and that he heard Davila shout at another supervisor that Moring treated people like (expletive).

Multiple other officers provided statements refuting Davila’s account of the confrontation, claiming that he was the one who cursed.

One sergeant described Davila as “out of line and unprofessional,” records show.

Davila’s personnel file also details past allegations he made regarding the handling of evidence in the property room.

Davila, in a written complaint, said another officer once took seized drugs from the property room from current criminal cases and gave them to a canine officer for training.

Davila also claimed that jewelry and drugs had disappeared from police custody without proper maintenance, records show.

In June 2019, records show Davila was passed up for a promotion to sergeant and then weeks later filed a records request for paperwork related to the selection process.

In July 2019, Davila accused Moring, when he was a lieutenant, of unholstering his firearm months earlier, in early May 2019, and pointing it at another officer.

Months later, Davila was informed that his complaint against Moring had been rejected by both the Texas Rangers and Bexar County District Attorney’s Office and would also be closed internally.

Davila, according to a letter from the then-police chief, was reminded that personnel complaints must be submitted within 30 days of an alleged incident, records show.

In August 2019, a female police clerk filed a complaint against Davila, accusing him of belittling her and using a demeaning tone, records show.

The records do not indicate if any action was taken against Davila.

Moring and Maples did not respond to repeated requests for an interview for this story.

An attorney representing the city released the following statement Friday afternoon:

“The City is vigorously defending the claims asserted in this case and the City’s legal positions are asserted in pleadings and motions on file [or to be filed] with the Court. Other than referring you to the information on file with the Court and because the litigation is ongoing, the City has no further comment.”

Maples then thanked the attorney via email minutes later and, with this reporter CC’d, wrote, “I will let you know if he shows-up at city hall.”

Maples did not respond to a follow up email Friday asking for clarification on what he meant.

Davila’s lawsuit remains pending, Bexar County 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.