The Lone Star Review - State

FIRED: 1 Cameron County Sheriff Deputy was Deceitful in Background Investigation

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FIRED: 1 Cameron County Sheriff Deputy was Deceitful in a Background Investigation

The Cameron County Sheriff’s Office has let go one of its deputies due to answers provided on the mandatory requirement to complete a personal history statement by newly elected Sheriff Eric Garza.

You may remember Sheriff Garza mandating all of his deputies to complete a personnel history statement within a short window of time. This requirement was installed soon after he took office. It was also documented in a federal deposition.

It turns out, one deputy was untruthful with what he submitted in the background investigation; at least, that is what the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office is claiming.

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Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Unit, Retrieved From Sheriff Garza’s Professional Facebook Page

Federal Polygraph Leads to Deceptive Statements

Cameron County Sheriff Deputy Joel Flores took a federal polygraph on April 1, 2021. The polygraph was related to an employment process and was administered in McAllen, Texas.

It turns out, Deputy Flores informed the prospective federal employer about his criminal activity. Specifically, Deputy Flores indicated he committed domestically violence, theft, and reckless driving.

Cameron County Sheriff Deputy Swears to His Criminal Conduct

Deputy Flores provided the federal agency with a sworn statement:

In 2017, [Deputy Flores was] involved in a physical altercation with [his] current girlfriend/cohabitant. [He] admitted that the both of [them] began arguing which led to a physical altercation. [He] then pushed [his] girlfriend making her break her nose on a nightstand. After, [he] went to an emergency clinic so she could get treated. She informed the hospital it had been an accident and that her dog had hit her on the nose with her head. During the same year, [he] grabbed her hair while [he was] driving and slapped her behind the head with [his] hand during an another altercation.

This took place while [he was] employed by the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office as a sworn Peace Officer.

In 2014, [he was] involved in a physical altercation with [his] ex-girlfriend. While arguing, [he] threw a phon charging block at her which made a cut on her left arm.

On another occasion, [he] gave her a head but on her forehead. [He] also pushed [her] while arguing [,] making her hit the back of her had against the wall.

In 2012, [he was] involved in a physical altercation which another ex-girlfriend. [He] admitted that on one occasion, [he] pushed her causing her to cut her lip. On a couple of occasions, [he] got on top of her and placed [his] hands on her throat for approximately three to five sections.

In 2008, [ he] shoplifted an auxiliary cord from Wal-Mart valued at approximately $50.

In 2009, [he was] arrested by La Ferris, TX Police Department for reckless driving. [He] spent the night in jail and saw the judge the following morning. [He] paid court fees and charges were later dismissed.

In 2009, [he was] arrested by the Harlingen, TX Police Department for reckless driving. [He] spent the night in jail and saw the judge the following morning. [He] paid court fees and charges were later dismissed.

Statement said to be sworn to by Deputy Flores during employment application with a federal agency – Received from the Cameron County Government

Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Personal History Statement Discloses Deception

On January 2, 2021, Deputy Flores signed a personal history statement (PHS) which provides the following warning:

[P]ersonal history statement is a government document. Be truthful, as there are criminal consequences for lying on a government document.


[A]ll statements made are true and complete to the best of [the applicants] knowledge and belief. [The applicant] understand[s] that any misstatement of material fact may subject [the applicant] to disqualification, or, if [the applicant has] been appointed, May disqualify [the applicant] from continued employment.

The PHS completed by Deputy Flores also asks the following questions:

  • Within the past seven year or at any time after [the applicant was] first employed in law enforcement, [has the applicant] ever committed any of the following misdemeanors:
    • Assault (use of force or violence upon another)
    • Assault on a family member (use of force or violence upon a family member)

Deputy Flores’s response to those two questions, per the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office, was no.

Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Claims Violations of Law and Policy by Deputy Flores

In the proposed disciplinary action provided to Deputy Flores, he was accused of the following violations of law:

  • Texas Penal Code 22.01, Assault
  • Texas Penal Code 31.03, Theft
  • Texas Transportation Code 545.01, Reckless Driving

And Deputy Flores was accused of violating the Cameron County, Texas Civil Service Commission Rules & Regulations 3.02 Just Cause for Disciplinary Action:

  • Criminal conduct, whether on or off duty such as but not limited to:
    • Certain conduct off duty that could constitute criminal misconduct if chargeable by prosecuting authorities and/or which could bear a negative public perception about he qualifications of that employee to serve the County
  • Any other conduct, either in connection with County or departmental business or of such a public nature that it adversely reflect on the County or the employee’s ability to function satisfactory as a County employee in his or her particular work environment.

Cameron County Sheriff’s Department Separates Deputy Flores

Deputy Flores was provided an opportunity to respond to the allegations made to him. He received the letter of proposed action and signed.

However, after the twenty-four hour response time, Deputy Flores did not respond. The Cameron County Sheriff’s Office decided, by signature, to separate Deputy Flores.

The reason set out for this decision was because Deputy Flores did not respond to the proposed action.

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may enjoy reading about a prior Cameron County District Attorney that had an unregistered private investigation company.

Or you may like to learn about a prior Cameron County Magistrate’s claims of libel, slander, and/or defamation.

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