Hays County Sheriff’s candidate Tommy Ratliff has provided copies of two letters that he says prove he is innocent amid allegations that he assaulted his wife in 1988.
In the first letter, a friend of the couple claims that Ratliff’s then-wife, Ann Harral, admitted to him that she had not told the truth to investigators when informing them that Ratliff had thrown her to the ground during an argument, breaking her collarbone.
In the second letter, written by Harral and dated Jan. 16, 1989, Harral claimed she cooperated with a Department of Public Safety investigation because she thought it would convince Ratliff to seek marriage counseling, not because she wanted him to be punished.
“It would seem apparent to any reasonable person that with my own career and capabilities, were Tommy the ‘wife beater’ that he has since been portrayed, that I would not be willing to continue working towards a resolution of our marital differences and our getting back together,” she wrote.
Harral also said her collarbone could have been injured during one of the “innumerable” times she had been thrown while training young horses.
“Although I fell on my left side, I cannot, nor can the radiologist say with certainty, that the lesion in question occurred on the night of September 25, 1988,” she wrote.
The two letters and the results of a lie detector test failed to convince Ratliff’s supervisors to overturn the punishment against his appeal. He was placed on six months’ probation and worked desk duty for about two years before he was allowed to return to the field as a Texas Ranger.
Ratliff served two years as Hays County’s sheriff and is running against Sheriff Gary Cutler in the May 29 Republican primary.