Tommy Ratliff Guilty Of Defamation Of Character, Malicious Lies?

block-quote-verticle-purple-bar-7x100With the media and community members in suspense, Ratliff held tight to a spiral notebook containing his speech notes and an unmarked envelope with documents inside he called evidence and proceeded to tell a tall tale.

  by, Chauntel Seminerio

Local resident Tommy Ratliff, a former Texas Ranger, (as he likes to remind us all as frequently as possible) has once again decided to run for Sheriff of Hays County.

This will be Ratliff’s’ third attempt at unseating his opponent incumbent Sheriff Gary Cutler.

On Thursday Jan 14th at 10:00 am on the steps of the Hays County Historic Courthouse, Ratliff held a press conference to reveal criminal allegations regarding Sheriff Cutler.

When asked about the allegations, Ratliff stated, “As a retired Texas Ranger and a former County Sheriff, I have personally investigated and put men behind bars for far less.”

The press conference was a joke.

With the media and community members in suspense, Ratliff held tight to a spiral notebook containing his speech notes and an unmarked envelope with documents inside he called evidence and proceeded to tell a tall tale.

Ratliff utilized his undivided attention from the media and local residents to accuse Cutler of “obstruction of justice” by not making an arrest of a former Internal Affairs officer (IAO) who threatened his son-in-law, nor filing charges against the IAO’s daughter who allegedly struck her husband upside the head.

To set the record straight, Corridor News investigated this case and the facts state:

The former Internal Affairs Officer’s name was Bruce Boardman, his daughter was Mrs. Headland (at the time) and her husband, (the son-in-law) was Mr. Headland.

On July 20, 2014 while assigned to uniform patrol, a Hays County Deputy, was dispatched to contact Mr. Headland by phone. Hays County dispatch advised that Mr. Headland was in California and his wife, Mrs. Headland, was residing at their residence without his consent.

The deputy contacted Mr. Headland by phone and he advised that he was in the process of getting a divorce from Mrs. Headland. Mr. Headland advised that he had exclusive rights to the property during the course of the divorce. Mr. Headland advised that he is currently in California and had requested that Mrs. Headland house sit while he was away. Mr. Headland advised that he had provided Mrs. Headland with a key to the property prior to his departure to California. Mr. Headland was under the impression that Mrs. Headland was living at the residence. Mr. Headland advised that Mrs. Headland had no residency rights to their property and requested that she be issued a criminal trespass warning.

See where Cutler comes in yet? We’ll get there……

By 12:21 AM a Hays County Sgt. arrived at the residence, observed Mrs. Headland leaving the property, she stopped and spoke with the Sgt. Mrs. Headland advised she and Mr. Headland are still married and the house belongs to both of them. She explained that she and Mr. Headland are going through a bitter divorce and that he has mental issues and is currently staying in a California rehab facility due to these issues.

Mrs. Headland advised the Sgt. that she had been staying with her parents, who live down the street, further advising she had learned earlier that same evening that her husband was upset about her staying at the residence. Lastly, Mrs. Headland advised she did not speak to Mr. Headland but learned this information from her father, Bruce Boardman.

Where is Cutler? Almost there….

The Sgt. continues in his report Mrs. Headland believed that her husband had someone else checking on the residence. The Sgt. noted she became “extremely nervous” and her eyes attentively followed a vehicle that passed by her residence. The Sgt. offered to follow her to her parent’s residence and Mrs. Headland accepted the offer.

In the time it took the Sgt. to follow Mrs. Headland down the street he was advised by dispatch that Mr. Headland called back (from California) to report that Bruce Boardman had threatened his life over the phone and that he wanted to file criminal charges.

Enter Cutler.

Upon the Sergeant’s arrival at Bruce Boardman’s residence, he requested to speak with Mr. Boardman.  

Mrs. Headland promptly escorted the Sgt. to the Boardman’s backyard where he met with Bruce Boardman and Gary Cutler. < There he is right there!

The Sergeant’s report unabridgedly states:

“[Sgt.] noted Bruce Boardman appeared highly agitated due to the events that were unfolding with his daughter and Mr. Headland. Bruce Boardman had contacted his neighbor, Gary Cutler, and asked him to come over to talk about the situation. I note that I am also familiar with Gary Cutler and know him as the Sheriff of Hays County. I began speaking with Bruce Boardman and inquired about any threats made and I noted that Bruce Boardman admitted to threatening Mr. Headland. Bruce Boardman advised, he told Mr. Headland that if he ever came back to Texas, he would kill him. I noted that Bruce Boardman was very agitated while talking about this issue but he eventually calmed down and explained that Mr. Headland was very abusive towards his daughter and that’s why he became so agitated. I noted that Bruce Boardman requested that Mr. Headland be instructed not to contact him anymore and that all correspondence be done through an attorney.”

Now that you have the official story behind Tommy Ratliff’s tall tale, you know no one was struck in the head to which Cutler witnessed.

You now know there were no other DPS officers present to have been “shoved” by Bruce Boardman in front of Cutler as Ratliff stated on Jan 14 during his press conference.

You now know that the “Federal Offense” of threatening someone’s life over the phone, across states, Ratliff raved about had absolutely nothing to do with Gary Cutler.

There is no evidence he was even present for the phone conversation.

Furthermore, there is no evidence or report of any kind of physical assault or witness thereof.

Every means of open records requests per the 2016 Public Information Act have been utilized in obtaining these facts. All documentation regarding this case has been received and thoroughly reviewed.

Ratliff was asked by Corridor News at his January 14th press conference, “Why not bring this out before filing for office?” Ratliff stated, “Well by the time I got it, it was time for me to file and I was barely able to get it out and filed at the last minute.”

When in fact Tommy Ratliff had been trying to make this a case, file charges, and actually had the claimed documents by October 2014.

Why lie about timing?

On January 21, 2016 Ratliff sent another mass email to the media and an unknown number of undisclosed recipients subject titled “Sheriff Cutler’s Mistruthful Responses”.

Ratliff’s email states:

I have read all the articles written on Sheriff Cutler’s Cover-Up, and I’ve investigated his responses. He has not been truthful to the media. Here are at least four instances where he lied to the media.

Austin American Statesman staff writer Phillip Jankowski 11:59am 1/14/16

Cutler responded to the allegations by stating that the case that occurred in July 2014 was “addressed” internally and additionally by Hays County DA Sherri Tibbe who concurred with closing the matter.

According to a source when asked about this Ms. Tibbe stated that she did not review nor address this case which would indicate that Cutler did not tell the truth in his response.

Austin American Statesman staff writer Phillip Jankowski 5:43pm 1/14/16

Regarding the second related incident in which the I/A investigator Bruce Boardman admitted to threatening to kill his son-in-law, Cutler had stated in his response that Tibbe agreed the incident didn’t need to be prosecuted.

According to Ms. Tibbe she did not review this case nor talk to anyone at the Hays County Sheriff’s Office reference this incident. This again indicates that Cutler’s response was untruthful.

Cutler stated that the incident regarding the physical assault committed by Boardman’s daughter to her then-husband Jesse Headman, in which he sustained a concussion, had been investigated by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

According to the victim DPS was not on the scene when the incident happened or any time after that.  It’s been my experience with the Department of Public Safety that they do not investigate cases involving family violence. Those cases would fall under whichever agency has the jurisdiction.

San Marcos Daily Record staff writer Anita Miller & David Short 1/15/16

Cutler told the San Marcos Daily Record that the then Hays County DA Sherri Tibbe had reviewed the case involving the threat made by Boardman. Cutler also denied the charges pertaining to his handling of the domestic violence incident involving Boardman’s daughter.

Sources who spoke to Ms. Tibbe indicated that she never reviewed any such case.  The victim said he was diagnosed with a concussion as a result of the assault by Boardman’s daughter, furthermore, when he contacted the Hays County Sheriff’s Office in order to file charges they refused to take action.

Corridor News spoke with former District Attorney, Ms. Sherri Tibbe in an exclusive interview and her rebuttal is:

“Yes, I remember the assault case. I did review the case and found there was not enough evidence to the level of further investigation. I never told anyone I did not review the case. No one has ever contacted me about the case. Tommy Ratliff has never contacted me for comment on this case.”

Did Tommy Ratliff misquote Tibbe or have did his “sources” have the gall to make up a statement from a former DA?

There is an obvious trend in Ratliff’s statements; he likes to cry “sources” without illuminating further.

Corridor News, having collected actual documented evidence of all above allegations can illuminate further.

Tommy Ratliff graduated Southwest Texas State University in May 1975 with an agriculture degree (not criminal justice or related study).

He was appointed a Patrolman-Trainee with Department of Public Safety October 1975. He was ranked #49 out of 97 fellow trainees’. March 1976 he was assigned to Highway Patrol service in Midland Texas, he requested a transfer to San Antonio in May 1980, another transfer in October 1980 to New Braunfels and another transfer to Lubbock in ’84. Effective September 1, 1987 he was promoted to Texas Ranger stationed to Pampa, Texas.

By 1989 Ratliff received 11 written commendations and 3 formal complaints.

Complaints have been filed against Ratliff continuously over the course of his career. They include improper use of government property, abusive and profane language, erroneous violations, aggressive behavior, harassment of the public, assault during an arrest and the list continues.

It has been rumored and written Tommy Ratliff assaulted his ex-wife while residing in Pampa, Texas. He has continually dismissed these allegations as “lies.”

According to several internal investigation documents released through open records requests the rumors and stories are true.

September 25th 1988 several reports and corroborated statements illustrate exactly how Ratliff threw his wife “forcefully” to the ground on more than one occasion, and suffered “swelling of the brain” and a “broken collarbone”.

On October 3rd, 1988, Ratliff called Bruce Casteel, Captain of the Texas Rangers Pampa, TX and stated “he realized that what he had done to Ann (wife) was wrong and whatever [they] needed to do, to just go ahead.”

The internal investigations include statements from medical examiners that treated the victim and statements from every level of Ratliff’s former Chain of Command.

Ratliff’s documented assault on his wife resulted in suspension and psychiatric evaluation, per Captain Casteel. Fellow Rangers are quoted in these investigation documents stating Ratliff was known to have “a bad temper.” By the time the news had circulated through the Rangers that Ratliff had assaulted his spouse, the entire “company” determined “they would find it very difficult to continue a professional relationship with him.”

This sentiment is apparently shared amongst our current Hays County officers, some who have claimed they would quit the force should Ratliff become Sheriff again.

Ratliff’s fellow Ranger Company wanting nothing to do with him ended with Casteel’s statement:

“The relationship that a Ranger has with the law enforcement community and other people that he works within a geographical area must be untarnished for the Ranger to be effective in his duty station. Given the situation, [I am] convinced that Ranger Ratliff’s reputation has been severely damaged and he cannot effectively perform the duties of a Texas Ranger in Pampa, Texas. I have a belief that his actions [have] brought discredit to the Department of Public Safety. Therefore, it is my recommendation that he be transferred to another duty station to determine if he can perform the duties required of a Texas Ranger.”

Ratliff was transferred “for the good of the service” according DPS Director Joe Milner.

Consistent with his instigative nature currently displayed with the Sheriff Cutler allegations, Ratliff pressed the issue of his transfer at every level within the chain of command in the Texas Rangers.

Casteel replied to Ratliff, “you fail to present evidence to convince me that the injuries caused to your wife were not committed by you. There is a proper complaint on file. I believe there was sufficient evidence to file the complaint based on the investigation that was conducted” and the victim was “coerced or misled in making a statement; this point is a total fabrication.”

The Chief of Criminal Law Enforcement, W.M. Pruitt recommended in an administrative review, “you [Ratliff] should be placed on six months’ disciplinary probation in order that your compliance with DPS policies and procedures’ be more closely monitored.”

The case was closed on February 24, 1989.

By 1992 Ratliff started receiving complaints from Austin residents. A retired DPS chief filed a complaint after Ranger Ratliff harassed him at his residence. Ratliff stated he had a warrant for someone, and repeatedly insisted the former Chief “had to know” where he was.

The complaint states Tommy became extremely agitated, paled, and began to tremble. “Frankly, I feared for my physical safety during this confrontation, as my weapons were in another room and I was faced with two people carrying weapons and one of them appeared to have totally lost emotional control.”

Another documented incident is of demonstrated road rage to which two other troopers gave statements and described him as having “remained in the violators face as if he [were] a drill Sergeant.”

This list goes on and on. By now, you get the idea.

Vote “For a Sheriff who stands for honesty and integrity, you can trust Tommy Ratliff. I will bring transparency back to this department and manage tax payers’ dollars with the utmost responsibility.” -Tommy Ratliff 


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One Comment

  1. I remember Tommy Ratliff when he was a DPS Trooper in Lubbock, Texas. I was an ER nurse at UMC. My girlfriend was a friend of his wife and we attended several parties at their home. He was always friendly and respectful. I am surprised by these allegations.

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