San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

August 26th, 2010
Updated: Sheriff’s former chief investigator plans to sue Hays County [PRO]

UPDATED AUG. 30: Ficke filed a lawsuit in a Hays County district court on Friday, naming as defendants the sheriff’s and district attorney’s office as well as Tommy Ratliff and Sherri Tibbe as individuals. The Hays County Commissioners Court is expected to discuss the litigation in executive session at their regular meeting on Tuesday.

» Download Ficke’s lawsuit here [pdf]

by BRAD ROLLINS

Sheriff Tommy Ratliff’s chief investigator abruptly quit his job this summer after District Attorney Sherri Tibbe said his felony charge 17 years ago of tampering with evidence discredited him as a witness for the state.

Now former Lt. Kevin Ficke is poised to sue the county for wrongful termination, saying his 1993 charge in Uvalde County became fodder for an ongoing feud between Ratliff and Tibbe. His attorney, Chad Dunn of Houston, said this evening that Ficke would file suit on Friday.

“All he’s done for 20 years is protect Central Texas citizens from criminal elements. He’s essentially become collateral damage for a public spat between two public officials who should know better,” Dunn said.

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10 thoughts on “Updated: Sheriff’s former chief investigator plans to sue Hays County [PRO]

  1. Another fine mess Ratilff has gotten the Sheriffs department into. why would he hire an officer who plead guilty to tampering with evidence and put him in CHARGE of the evidence room?

  2. Suing for wrongful termination? He quit. No one forced him out, they only pointed out the truth, he plead No Contest to tampering with evidence. He never should have been hired in the first place.

  3. I’m glad Ficke’s background has been brought to the forefront! I have problems with the entire Hays Co Sherriff’s dept! Maybe if they can get the bad apples out our family can get the answers we need on our case

  4. Such arrogance! “I’m a cop and I got me a employment contract. Who is this woman to figure that ain’t good enough?”

  5. Seems to me the district attorney is doing her job and trying to protect citizens and the judicial system. She does not want to take the chance that some criminal will be walking the streets because a smart defense attorney convinced a jury that a key sheriff’s officer was not credible. She has a difficult enough job without law enforcement officers making it even tougher.

  6. A cop who pled to tampering with evidence while on the job, allegedly to cover the rear of a colleague charged with a crime, is relevant when he is an investigator in charge of the evidence. The DA’s office has a constitutional obligation to disclose that information, and Ms. Tibbe is correct in doing so.

    The DA’s office – not a judge – also has the absolute authority to “tak[e] a blanket position that he is not a credible person and she would never be able to use him as a witness.” The CLEAT attorney is wrong.

    Finally, references to Hollar’s criminal case file that allegedly “disappeared from the county clerk’s computerized records system” is easily found on the county website. Perhaps the writer should have checked the DISTRICT clerk for felony cases.

  7. How many taxdollars are at risk for a quitter, trained hypnotist who steals evidence for friends?

  8. Sheriff Daniel Law had police misconduct complaints filed against him in 1999 and 2001. He failed to disclose his prior history. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s office was sued by three former officers who were wrongfully fired by Law after reporting tampering with records (Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office vs. Barbara Crider, Jacqueline Jackson and Joshua Verdecanna). Once again Law’s Office is being sued by Katharina Harper after she reported misconduct. What does she Tibbe do to address his failure to disclose information from his employment in Hays County?

  9. Sheriff’s former chief investigator plans to sue Hays County is very important post.
    Seems to me the constituency notary is doing her job and trying to guard populace and the judicial system. She does not want to take the probability that some unlawful will be walking the street because a smart guard attorney influenced a jury that a key sheriff’s bureaucrat was not convincing. She has a difficult enough job without law enforcement officers making it even tougher.
    thanks for sharing…..

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