Questions arise amid police chief retirement

Local News

MERCEDES, Texas – The retirement announcement of Mercedes Police Chief Olga Maldonado seems to have raised some questions about recent disciplinary action against the chief. Some say they want answers before she can resign.

“The conducted an evaluation and that there was disciplinary action by the city manager against the police chief.”

Mercedes City Commissioner Leonel Benavidez

Mercedes City Commissioner Leonel Benavidez says a quote by the City Manager Sergio Zavala in the Monitor Newspaper stating Police Chief Olga Maldonado was not suspended is not accurate and says she was indeed suspended after an open meeting last month.

“There was some policy violations that were made public and these violations have been ongoing for years.”

Mercedes City Commissioner Leonel Benavidez

Benavidez says after the quote was published, he spoke with Zavala who stated the actions taken against Chief Maldonado in his view was not a suspension.

“Apparently there is a difference here and I am curious to what is the truth, suspension or not suspension. If she was suspended what was the disciplinary action and was it carried through.”

City Commissioner-Elect Jose Gomez

City Commissioner Elect Jose Gomez says he has filed an open records request to find out about any suspension and disciplinary action but says Zavala sent his request to the city attorney for review.

Resident Velda Garcia who showed up to city hall to protest the chief’s retirement says the public wants answers.

“I mean she owes it to the taxpayers. She’s been here, she’s put her kids through college with our tax dollars, so I think she owes an explanation to the city and to the community.”

Velda Garcia, Resident of Mercedes

We did walk into both City Hall and the Police Department but neither City Manager Zavala nor Chief Maldonado was in their office and neither returned our request for comment.

“We provide public service and that involves the public and then part of that service is them being informed accordingly and that is my effort.”

Mercedes City Commissioner Leonel Benavidez

Commissioner-Elect Jose Gomez will be taking office next week and he says intends to investigate this incident further.

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