Patrick Greene of San Antonio filed a formal complaint Tuesday against Officer Paul Stephens in reference to the incident on August 5th. Greene has asked that his four-page complaint to the San Marcos Human Resources Department as well as his letter to the District Attorney be posted here
August 26, 2008
Human Resources Department
630 E. Hopkins Street
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Job line: (512) 393.8290
Fax: (512) 393.8074
Telephone: (512) 393.8060
Howard Williams, Chief of Police
To: Carolyn Liner Civil Service Director:
I wish to file a formal complaint against San Marcos Police Officer Paul Stephans, for violating Civil Serice Regulations. Officer Stephans, through his actions on August 5, 2008, while in the process of stopping
a privately owned vehicle which was speeding on I-35, did violate Local Government Code Chapter 143.
Through his actions, and words, Officer Stephans stated that he did not have any interest in the dogs’ life or death physical condition. Also, Officer Joyce Bender examined the dog, and concluded the animal was dead. This officer had no veterinary training which qualified her to make a medical conclusion like that. However, Officer Stephans
reacted to her conclusion and treated the situation normally.
Officer Paul Stephans did act:
2. With discourtesy to the public
3. Showed lack of good moral character(showing complete disinterest in the dogs health)
4. Acting prejudicial to good order(actions which had negative response from the entire country)
SUBCHAPTER D. DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS
§ 143.051. CAUSE FOR REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION. A commission rule prescribing cause for removal or suspension of a fire fighter or police officer is not valid unless it involves one or more of the following grounds:
(1) conviction of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude;
(2) violations of a municipal charter provision;
(3) acts of incompetency;
(4) neglect of duty;
(5) discourtesy to the public or to a fellow employee while the fire fighter or police officer is in the line of duty;
(6) acts showing lack of good moral character;
(7) drinking intoxicants while on duty or intoxication while off duty;
(8) conduct prejudicial to good order;
(9) refusal or neglect to pay just debts;
(10) absence without leave;
(11) shirking duty or cowardice at fires, if applicable; or
(12) violation of an applicable fire or police department rule or special order.
Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.
In addition, Mayor Susan Narvaiz, in her public statement of August 21, 2008, which is attached, stated that Officer Paul Stephans is a veteran of the Iraq War. I seems to me that his mental health may have played a role in his actions in this matter.
§ 143.081. DETERMINATION OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS. (a) This section does not apply to a municipality with a population of 1.5 million or more.
(b) If a question arises as to whether a fire fighter or police officer is sufficiently physically or mentally fit to
continue the person’s duties, the fire fighter or police officer shall submit to the commission a report from the person’s personal physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, as appropriate.
(c) If the commission, the department head, or the fire fighter or police officer questions the report, the commission shall appoint a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, as appropriate, to examine the fire fighter or police officer and to submit a report to the commission, the department head, and the person.
(d) If the report of the appointed physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, as appropriate, disagrees with the report of the fire fighter’s or police officer’s personal physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, as appropriate, the commission shall appoint a three-member board composed of a physician, a psychiatrist, and a psychologist, or any combination, as appropriate, to examine the fire fighter or police officer. The board’s findings as to the person’s fitness for duty shall determine the issue.
(e) The fire fighter or police officer shall pay the cost of the services of the person’s personal physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist, as appropriate. The municipality shall pay all other costs.
Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch. 149, § 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987. Amended by Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 1, § 26(h), eff. Aug. 28, 1989; Acts 1989, 71st Leg., ch. 890, § 1, eff. Aug. 28, 1989.
Police Chief Howard Williams, in a taped interview, stated that Officer Stephans was given a letter of reprimand, and a counseling from his superiors. After watching the video of the actual confrontation between Officer Stephans and the civilians, I feel that this matter was not handled properly. Considering that Chief Williams did not even mention the Civil Service Regulations.
In the future, when my wife and I drive to the San Marcos area, I trust that your decision in this matter makes our trip to your city an enjoyable one.
Thank you very much
Hays County District Attorney
110 E. MLK Dr.
San Marcos, Texas 78666
Dear District Attorney Tibbe:
I am writing to you concerning the incident on August 5, 2008.
It was San Marcos Police Officer Paul Stephans who stopped Michael Gonzales and his girlfriend Crystal Hernandez, from getting emergency veterinary help for their dog.
Officer Stephans should have given them a police escort to the veterinarians office. Instead he used his personal opinion of animals to delay the help until it was too late. This was not only unprofessional, it was criminal.
I have contacted the city to bring charges of animal cruelty against Officer Stephans. They refuse to. Mayor Susan Narvaiz has stated that Officer Stephans will be reprimanded and given sensitivity classes. This is definitely not enough, for the crime that Officer Stephans committed.
I am making this formal request to your office, to bring animal cruelty charges against Officer Stephans.
This action by Officer Stephans violated Texas Penal Code Section 42.092 (3), (8)(b) (1)(2)(3). These are attached as page 2.
Patrick GreeneEmail | Print