Is Ballesteros the Constable We Need?

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This is a user post and does not necessarily reflect the views of Burnt Orange Report. All users are welcome to register an account and post a user diary. If you're reading this to find out more information about the 2012 Democratic primary candidates for Precinct 2 Constable, make sure you read our coverage of Michael Cargill as well. — Eds.

When the Austin Central Labor Council made its endorsements for the upcoming 2012 election a few weeks ago, one of the more controversial picks was their endorsement for Constable, Precinct 2. Jaime Adan Ballesteros, who defeated Bob Vann in 2008, was endorsed over all other candidates, despite a very shady history that many voters remain entirely unaware of.

The fact is, Ballesteros was previously discharged from DPS over a number of activities in 1991 which resulted in his being charged with counts of allowing thousands of kilograms of marijuana and cocaine to be smuggled into the U.S., assisting in the distribution of said cocaine, accepting cash gifts from his informant, and failing to make timely and accurate reports to his superiors. While the investigation did not sustain the marijuana smuggling charge, all other counts against Ballesteros were sustained.The Department of Justice declined to prosecute Ballesteros, but the amount of evidence brought against Ballesteros caused U.S. Attorney Gaynelle Jones to express concerns about ever endorsing him as a witness in a criminal case  under normal circumstances, and Ballesteros was terminated by DPS in late 1998.

After his termination, Ballesteros began working for Constable Bob Vann, only to be terminated again by Constable Vann in 2007 after Ballesteros's history came to light. Ballesteros then ran against Vann in 2008 and won the election. Shortly afterwards, Ballesteros filed a lawsuit against Vann, seeking compensation for illegal retaliation, deprivation of property without due process of law, violation of first amendment rights, defamation, and tortious interference with his contract. However, this case was dismissed with prejudice, as it was determined Vann had terminated Ballesteros through due process of law.

After investigating these events, it becomes clear that Ballesteros's viability for Constable needs to be reviewed before the 2012 election cycle. This is not simple mud-slinging as we often see in politics these days. In fact, these concerns were brought to light prior to Ballesteros's election in 2008, right here on the Burnt Orange Report (http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/5038/). I have since looked into the DPS records relevant to this issue, and found that these claims against Ballesteros are in fact true.

With a resurgent Republican party anxious to reclaim whatever they can in 2012, perhaps it would be prudent to reconsider whether or not Ballesteros should be treated as the front-runner for Constable in this election cycle. While tossing out the incumbent of one's own party may seem counter-productive, there are enough alternative candidates up for consideration that choosing to support them instead of painting a target on ourselves by supporting Ballesteros may be a wise decision.

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  1. Lets Get the Facts Straight!

    First, RShackleford has never posted here before this article, and his account was created for the sole purpose of helping a candidate with no law enforcement experience, voted republican previously (admitted in a public forum) and with no real agenda to whats going to be better if he is elected. If Shackleford actually looked into anything instead of regurgitating old articles, then he is a liar by stating they are true. I do believe this is called mud-slinging RShackleford!  Show me your evidence….I'll show you mine.  You link to an opinion piece, I link to facts! Give us the Link to the DPS article you are referencing, I guarantee my information is more recent and in fact shows your DPS article was found to be WRONG.    

    FACT: APPEAL No: 98-027341-1-1-0498 Texas Workforce Commision

    “….The evidence does not support a finding this claimant was discharged for misconduct connected with the work as defined by the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act. No Disqualification is in order under section 207.044 of the Act. ….”

    Texas Workforce Appeal Tribunal  04/17/1998

    FACT: In a sworn deposition Texas Ranger Joey Gordon states: Ballesteros “will not be a part of something like that” and “is a fine fellow”. In this video deposition he also states that he remembers a conversation where Ballesteros is instructed to find a way to terminate an employee who had filed a sexual harassment claim against a superior.



    FACT: Austin Chronicle Reports: “There's no clear evidence Ballesteros ever did anything wrong”

    “…. According to Ballesteros, when he was promoted to lieutenant at the Austin Narcotics Training Center in 1993, he was told by supervisors to fire a female assistant who had filed a sexual-harassment complaint against his predecessor. “Make her miserable,” he says he was told. He refused and ran afoul of DPS's old-boy network.

    …. Still, there's no clear evidence that Ballesteros ever did anything wrong; in 1998, when the DPS appealed to the Texas Workforce Commission for permission to cease paying benefits to Ballesteros, the TWC rejected the appeal, noting that the DPS investigation was both belated and unpersuasive. ….”

    Austin Chronicle February 22, 2008

    by Jordan Smith

    FACT: Ballesteros is a three time recipient of the Barack Obama Presidential Community Service Award. That's outstanding community service.



    FACT: Ballesteros beat Vann even with all the regurgitation of lies you are posting.

    FACT: Ballestros stood up for what was right, even though it cost him personally, and continues to stand up for workers rights.

    • Riposte!
      For someone who is accusing me of writing against Ballesteros for the sole purpose of supporting a different candidate, you appear to be very dedicated to a political campaign yourself. Do note that I recommended the analysis of alternate candidates (note the plural), and did not single out any specific one.

      Secondly, your sources are misleading. They are all in regards to the lawsuit that I already mentioned in which Ballesteros accused Vann of illegal retaliation, deprivation of property without due process of law, violation of first amendment rights, defamation, and tortious interference with his contract due to acting as a whistleblower on a sexual harassment case. This case was dismissed with prejudice, and has little to do with Ballesteros's involvement in criminal activities. These documents are freely available via a Freedom of Information Act inquiry, as are all documents that I referenced.

      Here are the facts:

      Ballesteros WAS discharged from DPS as a result of hearings on August 12th and 13th, 1998. This hearing was in regards to allegations contained in the Statement of Charges served on Oct. 21, 1997, which were brought against Ballesteros after an investigation report was filed on July 25, 1997 (see DPS Interoffice Memorandum from James W. Brubaker to Mike Scott, Subject: Complaint of Commander Walter C. Eeds concerning Lt. Jaime Adan Ballesteros, July 25, 1997).

      The facts admitted in evidence during this hearing “fully supported the allegations contaned in the Statement of Charges served October 21, 1997”, which “supports and justifies the discharge of Jaime Adan Ballesteros” (see DPS Interoffice Memorandum from Eliseo de Leon to Mary Ann Courter, Subject: Discharge of Jaime Adan Ballesteros (IA #C96-076), Sept. 14, 1998).

      The only reason why Ballesteros was simply discharged instead of prosecuted was because the U.S. Department of Justice declined prosecution of Ballesteros “for his participation in and knowledge of the unlawful importation and subsequent distribution of approximately two thousand kilograms of cocaine during July and August of 1991.” The DoJ did not believe that they would be able to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt of Ballesteros's involvement due to “the age of the case, the perceived credibility problems of the two main witnesses, and the lack of prosecution against the other two participants, as well as the apparent lack of motive for Ballesteros to unlawfully assist in the importation and subsequent distribution.” Nonetheless, the existing evidence was enough for U.S. Attorney Gaynelle Jones to note that “it would be difficult, if not impossible, for this office to sponsor Ballesteros as a witness in future criminal cases without providing this information to defense counsel as Giglio or impeachment material against him” (see letter from U.S. Attorney Gaynelle Griffin Jones to Mr. Thomas A. Davis, Jr., Sept. 11, 1996).

      Fact of the matter is, there is plenty of evidence implicating Ballesteros's involvement in the drug charges that were brought against him. While there may be “no clear evidence that Ballesteros ever did anything wrong” in regards to the sexual harassment case, bringing it up in this light is the equivalent of doing little more than tossing a red herring into the fray, and a very obvious one at that.

  2. Ballesteros is exactly what we need!
    Ballesteros is exactly what we need!

    Shackleford seems like you must have a horse in this race, I am thinking your horse is not of the democratic party. Your trying to discredit one of the hardest working Constables in Travis County. Now the issues are the same issues Vann used. WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE. We read the articles ADAN was right Vann LOST!. I find it amazing that you had the nerve to try it again, Is that really INTEGRITY before POLITICS. A person with integrity would campaign about issues or what your candidate can do better. But your candidate can not do better seems how you will try to win by using information that was proven false. I agree with this Ookla person.

    Tell me how can you save Tax Payer Dollars? Do you know an easy way to file civil cases on line, And can you increase school attendance. What programs can you start that will benefit the community. And will you accept that all persons need to be treated with Respect and Courtesy. CAN YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS? BALLESTEROS CAN!

    Now, you know readers have access to this same information, But I read so much more information that you did not mention. See I did my research, you posted just SOME of the information, Let see if I can finish this for you.

    Ballesteros was cleared! Ballesteros sued DPS, you said he lost, So why did they continue to pay him! I read TWC they said DPS was wrong. You confuse readers about the complaint you listed was in 1991 DOJ complaint, so Why did they promote him to LT. Balleteros, im confused Rshackleford you said to read and I did, your information is not right. This ookla guy said it all.

    Im done and Rshackleford you have no grounds to stand on. The old allegation was dumb, and you show your class trying to use the Bob Vann information against Ballesteros. Sounds like a Vann former employee.

  3. SAVE YOUR BREATH
    Cargill has been arrested and incarcerated before.  Do you really want someone running a county office who can't even balance his check book.  

       

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