Santa Rosa alderman 'fires back' in police chief controversy

Ex-Police Chief Xavier Martinez

Santa Rosa Alderman Erasmo Villanueva, is smack in the middle of a showdown with the city's ex-police chief, Xavier Martinez.

Villanueva wanted his story told on Action 4 News, but he did not want his face shown on television.

Reporter: "You do know this look a little bizarre that you're not showing your face and you're an Alderman?"

Erasmo: "I really don't care... I just want people to know what's coming out of my mouth... I want them to know what I'm telling them is the truth... nothing but the truth."

And the truth, he said, is that Martinez was fired for one reason: incompetence.

"He needed to go because this guy wasn't doing his job," Villanueva said. "We had no confidence in the man."

But instead of going quietly, Martinez is legally fighting for his job back. He has accused Aldermen, like Villanueva, of corruption, harassment and abuse of power.

"He's ruining my reputation," he said. "This is the time for me to come out... like they say... payback is a b*tch... and he's going to get what he deserves."

A secret recording Action 4 News exclusively obtained appears to show another Alderman, Oscar Ovalle, interfering with a police officer's duties.

Villanueva said he had nothing to do with that.

He believed the former chief feels he was fired because of a perceived love-triangle involving him and not the secret-recording.

"He brought it up asking me that I was talking about it and that I was going to go after him... because he had done this with my boys mom went out with him... and I didn't know what the hell he was talking about... you know what I mean," Villanueva said.

Martinez was eventually put on a 90-day probationary period, when Villanueva says the ex-chief blew it by turning to the media with false accusations against city aldermen.

An attorney representing the former chief of police has appealed his client's termination on a number of grounds including that it was done in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act and/or in violation of the policies of the City of Santa Rosa.