THE FORMER POLICE CHIEF OF PATTON VILLAGE FILES A LAWSUIT!

 

Press Release:

On Friday, August 3, 2012, Chief Joe Schultea sued the City of Patton Village in Harris County district
court alleging violations of the Texas Whistleblower Act. On March 14, 2012, during a scheduled council
meeting, Mayor Pamela Munoz (currently under indictment on numerous felony official misconduct
charges), along with Council Members Lynda Delaney, Patricia Orr, and Margie Sprayberry, demanded
Chief Schultea’s resignation or he would be fired. The Mayor and Council Members told Chief Schultea
that they had lost confidence in him because he had reported to the Montgomery County District
Attorney’s office official misconduct of two Patton Village police officers. These officers were indicted at
the same time as Mayor Munoz. Having been told that his choices were to resign or be terminated,
Chief Schultea immediately submitted his resignation.
Chief Schultea’s attorney attempted to submit an official grievance, but the City did not respond within
the sixty days permitted by the Texas Whistleblower Act. Chief Schultea has therefore filed suit.
The lawsuit alleges that in November 2011, the Patton Village Police Department was audited by the
Texas Department of Public Safety. This routine audit focused on the Department’s use of a computer
system allowing access to criminal history information.

The lawsuit further claims that the audit revealed that two police officers had improperly accessed the system to obtain criminal history information about the children of one of the officers. According to the suit, an internal investigation revealed that searches about one of the children had been done in connected with a civil proceeding the child was involved in. Because this conduct violated Department and DPS rules, Chief Schultea
terminated one of the officers and suspended and demoted the other. Chief Schultea then referred the
matter to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for investigation of this potential unlawful
activity. In February 2012, the District Attorney’s Office obtained indictments against both officers
based upon Chief Schultea’s report.
In the lawsuit, Chief Schultea seeks reinstatement to his position as Chief of Police, along with back pay,
legal fees and other damages.
Chief Schultea said, “This is not something I wanted to do, but in light of a Mayor and City Council who
feel that they do not have to follow the law and who seem to be running rampant ‐ not operating in the
best interests of the city, I felt it best to take appropriate action to correct these issues, protect my
name, and regain my position as the Chief of Police.”
Andrew S. Golub, Chief Schultea’s lead counsel, said “No Texas peace officer should be threatened or
fired simply for reporting suspected wrongdoing by public employees to the District Attorney’s office.
Fortunately, the Whistleblower Act exists precisely to address Chief Schultea’s situation. We anticipate
a prompt trial and that Chief Schultea will be promptly reinstated to his job.”