Hays County Commissioners Court confirmed the appointment of a new reserve deputy constable for Hays County Constable Precinct 3 office and approved several items for the Hays County Hazmat team this week.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the Hays County Commissioners approved and confirmed the appointment of Alex Villalobos as a Reserve Deputy Constable for Hays County Constable Precinct 3.
Constable Ray Helm said Villalobos, as a reserve deputy constable, will be assigned to the Hays County Judge’s office for a protection detail.
Villalobos served as a Texas State University Police Officer for over ten years.
In November 2017, he was elected to the Kyle City Council District #4 seat; he is also the president of the Hispanic Police Network, according to his LinkedIn page.
Constable Helm said he spent three and a half months doing background checks and reviews on Villalobos and went through the records with a fine-tooth comb.
“I spent many days up at the university police department talking to people up there,” Constable Helm said. “Ninety percent of people up there gave him a very favorable background and what kind of character he is. I know who he is, and he isn’t perfect either. None of us are.”
Hays County Judge Ruben Becerra said three police chiefs who Villalobos has worked under gave their recommendations for his appointment.
Constable Helm noted that Villalobos is listed on the “Brady List,” which is a composited list of law enforcement officers who have been found to have been untruthful or to have violated codes of conduct.
The list comes from the 1963 U.S. Supreme Court case, Brady V. Maryland, which established the Brady doctrine, a pretrial discovery rule that requires the prosecution to turn over all exculpatory evidence to the defendant in a criminal case.
An officer, who is untruthful on anything, can be added to the Brady List, according to Helm.
“Most of the people, I’d say 50 or 60 percent of the people, that are on it are on for policy issues not for testifying in court,” Helm said.
Villalobos said he left UPD on his own accord and for his own reasons.
“I did run for office in the City of Kyle,” Villalobos said. “I spoke with three different attorneys, one being Mark Kennedy…and one being an ethics attorney, who looked at it 50 different ways and advised me and gave me clear guidelines on what is considered to be a conflict of interest…they have given me their approval to do so, and that’s what I’m here to do today.”
Commissioner Walt Smith said he appreciated Villalobos’s openness regarding his efforts to make certain the appointment would not be a conflict of interest.
“I’m going to support Alex today,” Smith said. “But I would ask that whenever we have a discussion and you, [Judge] have discussions in your office regarding the setting of the budget for constables in the future, whenever we talk about policies directly related to the constable, I would like it if you would voluntarily recuse yourself from any and all discussions.”
Smith said the request was to ensure a conflict of interest did not arise in the future. Villalobos agreed to the request.
“We have judges, elected officials, all over the country getting assaulted, shot,” Helm said. “It’s just a little added protection. This county is growing; it’s not 1985 anymore.”
According to Commissioner Lon Shell, security at the Hays County Courthouse is under the Hays County Sheriff’s authority; Hays County Constable Pct. 1 David Peterson was granted the authority to maintain security by Sheriff Gary Cutler.
Helm said he had reached out to Constable Peterson Monday night about the appointment, but the constable and Sheriff Cutler had not been fully advised on the issue yet.
In other news, the Hays County Commissioners approved a request from the Hays County Office of Emergency Services to purchase replacement supplies for the Hazmat Response Vehicle.
According to staff, the Hazmat team has responded to several incidents since January and replacement consumable items are needed to continue operations. The requested $2,400 would come from the county-wide contingencies in the general fund.
The agenda stated future expenses would be covered through the Hazmat Billing Company once a contract was executed.
Commissioners approved the form of an interlocal agreement between Hays County and Fire Departments throughout the county to protect the public, property or the environment from the adverse effects of hazardous materials, chemicals or substances.
The interlocal agreement is “for the purpose of participation in the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Explosive Regional Response Team hereinafter called the (CBRNE RRT).”
The agreement will give the county the capability to respond to emergency incidents throughout Hays County and the Capital Area Council of Governments region.
Finally, commissioners voted to authorize the County Judge to execute a contract with First Responders Solutions LLC to bill for the HazMat incidents in Hays County, which will allow them to recover costs associated with HazMat incidents that occur throughout the county.
Following an executive session, commissioners adjourned with no actions made on any executive session items.