LIBERTY CO 3/4/2020
JENNIFER BERGMAN UPSETS 'STATUS QUO'
In a campaign that could only be called by the book with the fair campaign practices act, JENNIFER BERGMAN, Cleveland attorney and daughter of long time Cleveland business man, Louis Bergman clinched a win over her troubled opponent in yesterday's race for the District Attorney of Liberty County. A breath of fresh air in a political environment that has been reeking of corruption gives the good folks and honest politicians of Liberty County a ray of hope on the horizon. Plagued with multiple shortfalls in the justice system of late ranging from an office that filed false charges, ignored criminal activity of several and told of the moral failures of the incumbent, Liberty County voters said strongly, "enough is a enough" and propelled the young lady to a well deserved victory. Congratulations young lady.
UPDATE LIBERTY 8/1/2019
GEO THEFTS CONTINUE
A letter from an inmate confirms that not only is property in possession at the time of arrest is being stolen but also property brought in by the family of inmates is also subject to theft. The letter confims one jailer was fired for theft. High dollar prescription glasses have been 'replaced' with Dollar Store readers when the family brought them in for the inmate and they came up missing.
LIBERTY CO JAIL 2/25/2019
INMATE PROPERTY BEING PILFERED
Multiple complaints of property being stolen from inmates after booking into the jail that they don't realize until their release may have been verified by a recent termination at the facility. With the recent scrutiny, sources say, the complaints came to light and the action was taken.
PATROLMAN NAMED EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH AT LIBERTY COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPT
At this month’s Liberty County Sheriff’s Departmental staff meeting Chief Deputy Don Neyland announced that Patrol Deputy Ruben Garcia has been selected as the June Employee of the Month for his outstanding accomplishments in many fields of his assignments within the agency. Deputy Garcia is one of those deputies who goes about his duties in a most unassuming way but yet displays an outgoing personality and humor that makes him a joy to work with. His quick wit is matched only by his quick actions in time of crisis and according to his supervisor is an excellent addition to the small team of deputies who patrol the fast- growing housing developments around the Plum Grove area of north Liberty County.
It was pointed out that within the last five months Garcia has answered 288 calls for service in that area and made over 132 traffic stops. His close attention to details and suspicious situations has resulted in a reduction of over 200 burglaries a month in that area to only one or two reported cases per month. He, along with the few other deputies assigned to that area, has resulted in a tremendous reduction in felony crimes reported to the Sheriff’s Office but, as Garcia himself stated, much more manpower is needed for this rapidly expanding area of Liberty County.
One of Garcia’s most recent major accomplishments pointed out by his supervisor is the fact that through his usual precise and meticulous investigative technique he was the key individual who recovered a critical piece of evidence in a recent bomb threat to the Cleveland Independent School District. The recovered evidence will be instrumental later in a court of law setting.
This is an interesting parallel as Garcia’s prior career field was training to become a teacher before deciding to become a Peace Officer. Teaching and instructing is still his eventual goal within the Sheriff’s Training Division. His approximate 348 hours of in-service training in the two-year period he has been with the Sheriff’s Office as well as his Associate degree and soon to be Bachelor’s degree is quickly putting him on that road leading him towards that goal.
Although a hard-working and dedicated deputy as his supervisor pointed out, he is no less dedicated to being a true family man. Married and with five children his primary off-duty focus is on family and their activities. On his off-duty time Garcia is an avid motorcyclist and is, in fact, heading up the June 22nd motorcycle event for the benefit being held for fellow Deputy Richard Whitten who, just this past week, was shot and remains in critical condition while attempting to arrest a murder suspect.
So much of the time calls for service are critical and have little room for humor or life-changing experiences for a deputy, but there are times when situations and circumstances do find their way into a call that has an eye opening and rude awareness for an Officer. So it was with our Employee of the Month when he was still a “rookie” with only three months on the street. According to Deputy Garcia’s own account what appeared, at first, to be a very serious vehicle one car roll-over wreck resulted in the fact that Garcia was quickly made aware he was neither Superman nor a movie star with super human abilities. The vehicle was resting on its roof with a woman trapped inside. She was in frantic mode but otherwise uninjured. Garcia saw a very small opening in a broken window and in an attempt to reassure the woman that she was not hurt and would be brought out of the car soon, he had to remove his bullet resistant vest and gun belt to squeeze through the small broken out window. Once inside and with the woman now calmed down he said he was going to do what he had seen done many times in the movies and on T.V. In his mind it would be a very simple task of kicking the windshield out and both crawling out safely to the cheers of the gathering crowd. That was his plan “A” but quickly found out that the rest of the alphabet would soon have to come into play before he was able to rescue this damsel in distress. Garcia said he started kicking the wind shield as hard as he could but to his amazement it did not shatter like he had seen in the movies. For fifteen minutes he continued to kick the wind shield until his leg felt numb and sweat was bathing both himself and the woman he was trying to help. In his mind, this was not working out quite as dramatically as he thought it would and he was quickly made aware that he was neither Superman nor a movie star, and it was getting to the point that both of them needed to be rescued.
At this point a large red fire truck pulled up to the scene and a Fireman walked over to the car and with one pull of what is known as a Halligan tool, simply popped the wind shield off the car allowing our valiant Deputy and the driver to crawl out unhurt, except perhaps for Deputy Garcia’s pride. This is another example of Deputy Garcia’s wit and humor because he says if you can’t laugh at yourself that life would be very boring.
Therefore, it is with appreciation and respect that the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office asks the public to join them in a salute and a tip of the hat to Deputy Ruben Garcia for being selected as Employee of the Month for June, 2019. (END)
Capt. Ken DeFoor
Public Information Officer
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office
SHERIFF RADER SHOULDERS BLAME
"We were hoping for a new facility soon and tried to repair that old unit" Sheriff Rader admitted since its untimely failure required a new install, "But what you don't understand is that if the jail has no AC, neither do we". He went on to explain that though he had given his office staff ladies time off during the worst of it that Dispatch had to work right through the week long breakdown despite the unbearable conditions. "We did bring in some coolers and fans here and in the jail but it was a miserable time for us all", Sheriff Rader continued.
We touched on the topic of medical concerns for the inmates and pills being documented as delivered to the inmate that are not making it to the inmate. Although the Sentinel did lay the blame right at his feet, we do recognize that as a department administrator, Sheriff Rader has to rely on reports and official records for his infomation. If he infact did not ever see our message last week, it is a perfect example of where failures in that process can reflect badly on an administrator who is otherwise doing the right thing.
Liberty County S.O. was doing a lot of the right things yesterday as a lone gunman terrorized parts of west Liberty County. "I hope you understand that I was at the hospital with my deputy who was shot until late yesterday", Sheriff Rader stated. His department's efforts to apprehend a mad man to protect the people are a perfect illustration how the great men and women in law enforcement put their very life on the line to do their duty. The K-9 played a vital role in locating the suspect.
We did drift over a few more topics but a persistant lack of communication with The Sentinel despite my efforts was discussed. Admittedly my headline was . . . . attention getting in design but it did exactly that finally. Considering the staunch oppostion The Sentinel has taken against the last two Liberty County candidates for our State Rep Dist 19, we understand Sheriff Rader having a political difference with us and we did discuss it, agreeing communication was ultimatly more important than those differences. Long time Sentinel readers will remember that we opposed the prior SJC candidate in favor of John Otto of Liberty County before Ernest Bailes running at Otto's retirement.
We appreciate an extremely busy man taking a few minutes to address the issues we raised and we pray for the speedy recovery of his deputy and that truth and justice be served.
UPDATE 3 hours later
COUNTY JUDGE STEPS IN - TAKES ACTION
Liberty County Judge Jay Knight heard our plea even though he was out of town and he took time to take care of business. Between his quick and decisive response and the same from Brandon Wood, Exec Director of The Jail Commission, the major hurdle has been repaired. Our source within the jail called moments after the Judge's office emailed to let us know the AC was up and running again and confirmed the same. That was the problem affecting the most people but the medical needs are another issue. We will follow up on that REGARDLESS of whether Sheriff Rader steps up to the plate or not.
LIB CO SHERIFF TORTURES INMATES
In an absolute dereliction of duty, Liberty County Sheriff Bobby Rader has allowed unbearable conditions to persist in the private county jail facility. Despite multiple calls and complaints from family members of inmates, the unacceptable conditions have been allowed to persist. The inmates were subjected to 'Hot Box' torture reminiscent of prison camps during the war. Broken AC is one thing but allowing it to fester for a week without repair is another. Multiple complaints from family of inmates being denied necessary medication is another.
One epileptic inmate has had multiple seizures but is still being denied his medication. There is an outbreak of staff infection that if not treated and contained will spread. Inmates with prescriptions for NECESSARY medication are not being treated.
An April 22, 2019 report filed by the Texas Jail Commission outlines several law violations that Sheriff Rader, The law enforcement officer is allowing to persist at the jail. When the jail was called on the carpet by the Commission, the issues, including the lack of maintinence had not been addressed yet. A phone call last week from The Sentinel putting Sheriff Rader on notice that we were monitoring the situation was not heeded or returned. Todays call was to Brandon Wood, Exec Director of the Texas Commission on Jails Standards. He had the inspector back in the jail within thirty minutes of our call making a follow up inspection. "We had them appear before our commission May 2nd", Director Wood assured The Sentinel. "And they were directed to bring the facility into compliance" was his summation.
It is impossible to reach the administrator of the private jail facility. Their circular phone answering system is an insult to the population and family of inmates. No one is ever available to take your call and when you are routed to the voice mail, the computer voice informs you that there is not enough space to record your message and it promply hangs up on you. UNACCEPTABLE. Then when you call the sheriff, it is nearly the same thing. A robot voice and a voice mail. We did leave a message with the Sheriff's voice mail and then called dispatch and left a message with a human. So far, no answer as to when the unbearable conditions and ILLEGAL denial of medical condtions will be addressed. The Sentinel then called the County Judge's office. The ladies there did assure us they would get our message and the questions as to when the conditions will be corrected to the judge. He is at a seminar. We will see who steps up to do their duty and alleviate the unjust suffering of the accused in the jail. The buck stops with Commissioner's Court.