Former Uvalde Police Department lieutenant’s discharge status hearing abated

‘The ongoing investigation into possible wrongdoing by Mr. Pargas continues,’ a City of Uvalde representative wrote.

UVALDE, Texas – The less-than-honorable discharge hearing for a former Uvalde Police Department lieutenant has been delayed.

KSAT 12 News received the following statement from the City of Uvalde:

“The City gave Mariano Pargas a general discharge designation when he resigned from the City due to the ongoing internal investigation into his conduct on May 24th.

“Mr. Pargas has appealed that designation and requested an honorable discharge. The City continues to fight that request.

“The ongoing investigation into possible wrongdoing by Mr. Pargas continues, therefore, the City asked that the case be abated until the City can complete its investigation of Mr. Pargas’ actions the day of the incident.”

Mariano Pargas was the acting police chief for UPD in the May 24 mass shooting at Robb Elementary, where 21 people were killed.

Pargas received a general discharge from the department when he left in November 2022.

His exit came after it was revealed he knew children were in the classroom with the gunman but failed to act on or share that information.

Pargas is appealing that discharge status and hoping to have it changed to honorable.

Per Texas Commission on Law Enforcement policy, when a member of law enforcement leaves an agency, an F-5 Report of Separation of Licensee is filed, and that officer will receive either an honorable, general, or dishonorable discharge status.

Texas 2036, a state-level policy organization, broke down each of those categories.

Honorably: Separated from agency in good standing.

Generally: Separated from agency, and it was related to a disciplinary investigation or for a documented performance problem.

Dishonorably: Separated from agency and it was related to allegations of criminal misconduct or due to insubordination or untruthfulness.

Luis Soberon, a policy advisor on justice and safety issues with Texas 2036, shares it’s significant that this level of fight is happening over a discharge status.

“Whenever an officer said, ‘I want to get a new discharge, a better discharge status,’ those cases would go uncontested, and by default, they would get the honorable discharge that they were asking for. So there’s something to be said for the fact that Uvalde PD in this case is actually contesting it,” Soberon said.

Former Uvalde CISD police chief Pete Arredondo successfully appealed his general discharge from the district police force after the district failed to respond in the required amount of time in February.

However, Uvalde CISD Police Department filed a motion for rehearing the same month. The next month, March, that motion for rehearing was granted.

About the Author:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.