Weslaco asst. police chief sues for defamation, $750K
Fri, 15 Apr 2011 04:11:29 GMT —
He may be cleared of any wrongdoing, but Baudelio Castillo feels he's still looked upon as a washed up, crooked cop.
False allegations against the former Weslaco assistant police chief have ruined his reputation and put his livelihood, not to mention, personal safety, in jeopardy, according to Castillo.
A defamation lawsuit filed by him seeks to change that.
Carlos Hernandez is one of his attorneys who spoke to Action 4 News on his behalf.
"Anytime someone's told they're working in a criminal enterprise, drug dealer type situation that's going to cause a tremendous amount of danger to the individual," Hernandez said.
According to the suit, a competing union, which did not want to see Castillo rise to the top, fabricated statements and criminal allegations against him and reported them to city leaders in May 2010.
The allegations included how Castillo was on the payroll of the organized crime world in Mexico, and that helped illegal drug shipments safely travel in the city.
Castillo's attorney said the retaliatory and unsubstantiated claims were then leaked to a local TV station to make him look "dishonest" and "corrupt."
"People who had seen the story run on your competing network have come to the conclusion that he was someone who was 'betraying the badge' and not living up to the image of law enforcement," he said.
Castillo was placed on suspension with pay shortly after accusations were raised.
Some 9 months later in February 2011, he voluntarily resigned.
But not before a confidential city memo was released exonerating Castillo of any wrongdoing.
It cited how he "did not violate any city rules" and the investigation against him was "closed," according to the memo.
Hernandez said the city should have done more to protect their police administrator.
"The city was aware the Mr. Castillo was innocent of these charges and that they were brought in bad faith... And the city did nothing to stand up for Mr. Castillo," he said.
Reporter: Some people are going to say look... He wanted to get out of this [investigation] so he could get off the hook... and here he is now crying foul."
Attorney: "Anytime you've got a criminal investigation going on I don't think you can get off the hook by entering into a civil deal to resign... There would have been criminal allegations the FBI would have been brought in."
Castillo was honorably discharged with the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education.
He's seeking $750,000 in damages.
Some of the defendants listed in the case included: the City of Weslaco, Weslaco Police Department, a member of Texas Municipal Police Association, Weslaco Municipal Police Union members, and a local TV station.