Former Floresville police officer sues city, supervisors for retaliation

Floresville City Council voted to hire an outside firm to investigate Chief Lorenzo Herrera day before lawsuit was filed

FLORESVILLE, Texas – Christopher Perez’s Floresville Police Department badge still looks pristine.

“I gave everything for it, and I lost everything in return,” Perez said.

Perez said he only served as a Floresville police officer from November 2022 until March 2023.

During that time, Perez said he reported what he believes are numerous violations of department policy made by his direct supervisor — Sgt. Thomas Silvas.

Now, Perez has filed a federal lawsuit against the city and three of his supervisors, claiming he was being retaliated against.

Lets shout "Good Luck" to our newest Patrol Officer Chris Perez on his first day of FTO with Sergeant Silvas ! #nightshift #FPD #protectandserve Good Luck Officer Perez !! KEEP OUR CITY SAFE!

Posted by Floresville Police Department on Wednesday, November 16, 2022

In the lawsuit, filed on Aug. 11, Perez accuses Silvas of trying to stop him from making a drug-related arrest, using racial slurs at a traffic stop, and bragging about violating an arrestee’s civil rights.

“That’s not how you should behave as a police officer,” Perez said.

Perez said those complaints made their way to Lt. Billy Herrera and Police Chief Lorenzo Herrera.

Happy Birthday to our Chief L. Herrera! Let’s all wish him a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY 🥳 🎊🎁 🎂

Posted by Floresville Police Department on Thursday, June 22, 2023

Thank you Jessica and Danielle from Floresville Rehabilitation Center for dropping our Officers off some goodies. Officer B Zuniga, Lt. B Herrera, Officer D Garcia & Police Clerk Chevy

Posted by Floresville Police Department on Monday, May 15, 2023

“I had supporting facts in the things I said,” said Perez. “I have witnesses to everything.”

Perez said he felt like he was not believed.

In March 2023, Perez said Chief Herrera fired him.

According to the termination letter, “it was determined and evident that Officer Perez is not willing to except [sic] direct to orders from Sgt. Silvas.”

The letter said Perez had violated three department policies: false reporting, truthfulness, circulating stories or criticism.

“This piece of paper cost me a good amount of my life,” Perez said as he looked at the termination letter.

Perez provided KSAT a copy of his separation of licensee document from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement. It shows he was honorably discharged from the Floresville Police Department.

Perez also filed a complaint with the EEOC. He hopes his lawsuit helps give him his life and reputation back.

The lawsuit names the three officers and the city of Floresville, claiming they violated Perez’s civil rights by retaliating.

On Aug. 10, Floresville City Council voted to hire an outside firm to investigate Chief Herrera.

The decision came one day before Perez’s lawsuit was filed.

Several supporters, including Chief Herrera’s wife, spoke against the decision.

“This has become an issue of harassment to my family,” Bernadette Herrera said during public comment.

Perez told KSAT he’s glad Herrera is being held accountable.

“His conduct wasn’t right,” Perez said. “He’s held to a higher standard.”

Perez is now wearing a different patch. He works as law enforcement for Floresville ISD.

“I love the kids,” he said. “It’s it’s a type of law enforcement that is really — it’s rewarding seeing the kids.”

Perez said it’s even more rewarding standing up for what he believes is right.

“I’m doing this, not just for the community, not for myself, but I’m also doing this for my daughter,” he said. “I love her to death.”

Floresville City Manager Andy Joslin shared this statement with KSAT:

“This case is in its very early stages, and the City and its attorneys are in the preliminary evaluation of the case. Otherwise, the City has no further comment on this pending litigation.”

KSAT also reached out to Chief Herrera, Lt. Herrera, and Sgt. Silvas via their city-issued emails but have not heard back.

About the Authors:

Daniela Ibarra joined the KSAT News team in July 2023. This isn’t her first time in the KSAT newsroom– the San Antonio native spent the summer of 2017 as an intern. Daniela is a proud Mean Green alum, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas.

Adam Barraza is a photojournalist at KSAT 12 and an El Paso native. He interned at KVIA, the local ABC affiliate, while still in high school. He then moved to San Antonio and, after earning a degree from San Antonio College and the University of the Incarnate Word, started working in news. He’s also a diehard Dodgers fan and an avid sneakerhead.