The Field Review - Local

Prior Palm Valley Police Chief’s Appeal of Conviction is Abated

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this publishing or on this website should be taken as legal advice.

Prior Palm Valley Police Chief’s Appeal of Conviction is Abated

On August 24, 2023, the Court of Appeals for the 13th District of Texas ordered abatement of an appeal filed by Alvaro R. Garcia. Garcia is the prior Palm Valley Police Chief convicted of tampering with government records in the 138th District Court of Cameron County.

As the story goes, the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office alleged Garcia falsified and submitted documents saying three officers took a training course in person. The training course required 10 officers to be in the training for Garcia to get paid $850. quoted Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz as stating the following:

“I think the jury got it right,” said Cameron County District Attorney Luis V. Saenz, commenting on the verdict. “The facts were pretty clear as to the bad conduct that the officer engaged in. It’s unfortunate when a police officer gets in trouble, but the public expects and demands accountability on behalf of the police officers. I commend them (the jury), and I hope the message goes out that nobody is above the law.

Jury finds Palm Valley police chief guilty of tampering with government records, By Laura Martinez, dated February 16, 2023.

Garcia was assessed a punishment of two years in state jail, but it was probated to five years. As a condition of his probation he had to serve 3 days in county jail.

Prior Palm Valley Police Chief’s Appeal

On March 30, 2023, Garcia filed his appeal of the conviction. On May 22, 2023, he filed a motion in the trial court to obtain a free copy of the courts record for his appeal. The court set the hearing for August 1, 2023. On August 6, 2023, a filing indicated Garcia was is not indigent.

On August 16, 2023, Garcia’s trial attorney (John T. Blaylock) requested the 13th Court of Appeals to allow Blaylock to withdraw as the attorney of record in Garcia’s appeal. The filing indicated notification to Garcia on July 17, 2023, of Blaylocks intent to withdraw as counsel for Garcia.

The motion mentions Garcia will attempt to seek representation as an indigent or represent himself as a pro se.

The motion also states Blaylock withdrew as Garcia’s attorney of record in the 138th District Court on July 31, 2023. It is not clear if Garcia represented himself in the August 1 hearing.

What is clear is the August 24, 2023, order of the 13th Court of Appeals to abate the appeal due to circumstances indicating Garcia may be indigent. Now the trial court will have to determine if Garcia is represented by another attorney or if he is entitled to court-appointed counsel.

Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to Revoke the Prior Palm Valley Police Chief’s Peace Officer License

A meeting scheduled for August 25, 2023, will revoke the peace officer status of Garcia. This is a normal process when someone is convicted of a felony and possesses a license issued by TCOLE.

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may be interested in reading our publishing on the latest campaign finance reports for the Cameron County Sheriff candidates.

Or you may find our publishing on the Cameron County Jail, of interest.

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