Bexar County commissioner worried about ‘public relations fallout’ in boxer’s robbery case, records show

Commissioner Tommy Calvert called District Attorney Joe Gonzales about Jermall Charlo, according to voicemail records

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County Commissioner Tommy Calvert went all the way to the top of county law enforcement in an attempt to discuss the case of a world champion boxer charged with robbery, records obtained by the KSAT 12 Defenders revealed.

Claiming he was concerned about the “potential public relations fallout” regarding boxer Jermall Charlo, Precinct 4 Commissioner Tommy Calvert left a voicemail for District Attorney Joe Gonzales on Aug. 24 asking to speak with him about the developing case. Charlo turned himself in to authorities hours later on the morning of Aug. 25.

“I’m trying to get an understanding. A little concerned about the potential public relations fallout,” Calvert said in the recorded voicemail, provided to the Defenders following an open records request.

Calvert added that he wanted to speak with Gonzales or someone from his office that night.

Listen to the voicemail below:

World champion boxer facing felony robbery charges in San Antonio

Gonzales did not receive the voicemail until two days later, at which point he responded back to Calvert via text message that he would not speak about it, since its his policy not to discuss pending criminal investigations with anyone except the attorney of record for a defendant, according to a copy of the text message released by the DA’s office.

Gonzales added via text to Calvert that the DA’s Chief of Litigation, Christian Henricksen, had attempted to return Calvert’s call several times without hearing back.

Calvert, in a written statement released Monday afternoon, wrote that he called the DA in an attempt to “find out the facts of the matter” and “stepped back” after he was provided that information by the San Antonio Police Department.

Charlo, a 31-year-old middleweight and light middleweight champion, turned himself in at the Bexar County Courthouse the morning of Aug. 25 on three felony warrants for robbery stemming from a July 16 incident at a Northwest Side bar.

San Antonio police responded to the Privat Martini Bar & Social Club, located in the 5100 block of UTSA Boulevard, after receiving a call around 2 a.m. that Charlo had assaulted a waitress and taken off with her tips, according to an SAPD incident report.

The incident happened after a credit card Charlo attempted to use to pay his tab was repeatedly declined, the report states.

After Charlo accused the waiter of trying to steal his credit card, Charlo grabbed two black waiter books, removing his identification from one and cash from another, according to a warrant for his arrest.

Charlo and members of his group then “pushed their way out of the building and left the location” in a limousine bus, according to the warrant.

A waitress suffered a lower leg injury after a member of Charlo’s group stepped on her as they left, records show.

Charlo, who has a mailing address in Missouri City, outside Houston, was released on bond and is currently awaiting indictment, according to Bexar County court records.

Records show the warrants for his arrest were filed Aug. 7. Authorities have not said why it took nearly three weeks for Charlo to turn himself in.

His attorney, Kent A. Schaffer, also confirmed to the Defenders that he spoke with Calvert shortly before Charlo was formally charged.

“I got the feeling he’s a fan of Jermall’s and said if there’s anything he could do to help then to let him know,” Schaffer said via email.

Schaffer added that the call ended a short time later after he determined the commissioner could not “really help.”

Charlo’s twin brother, Jermell, himself a world champion super welterweight champion, fought Brian Carlos Castano to a draw at the AT&T Center on July 17, a night after the alleged incident at the night club.

There is no evidence to indicate Jermell Charlo was involved in the July 16 incident.

The twin brothers were honored by the city of Houston earlier this summer, according to multiple reports.

Calvert released a statement Monday afternoon that included the following:

“In my response to questions on my call to the DA’s office concerning an incident at a club, I will say that I called with the intent to find out the facts of the matter, and found the facts by calling the Police Department. It has come to light through all of these conversations that the constituent had given me misinformation. I stepped back as soon as I found out. I hope this clarifies my voice message left to the District Attorney and closes this matter.”

Calvert wrote that he reached out to law enforcement after he got a call from a “frantic constituent” about an incident at a club involving a boxer over an unpaid bill.

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.

Andrew Wilson is a digital journalist and social media producer at KSAT.

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