Longtime Precinct 6 Constable Victor Trevino was indicted Friday, accused of failing to report cash campaign contributions, diverting money from his youth charity for personal use and using deputies to serve eviction notices and then keeping the delivery fees.
Trevino was charged in four felony indictments alleging abuse of official capacity, misapplication of fiduciary property and tampering with a government document. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted, said Harris County District Attorney’s Office prosecutors who investigated the constable for more than a year and interviewed 165 witnesses.
Defense attorney Chip Lewis said Trevino will not step down as he fights charges he described as a hodgepodge of technical violations.
“What you see today is a product of what I call old-school law enforcement meets modern-day regulations,” Lewis said. “All of the allegations involve either inadequate bookkeeping, (or) failure to technically satisfy very technical laws.”
[County Attorney Vince] Ryan declined to address whether his office would seek to remove Trevino. The county attorney represents the state in a removal trial, which can be brought against any county officer on allegations of official misconduct, incompetency or intoxication.
[County Judge Ed] Emmett said Trevino should step aside until the case is done, though he did not call for the constable’s resignation.
“Being a law enforcement officer, him being under a cloud really complicates his ability to serve, I think,” Emmett said. “The best thing for him to do at this point would be to step aside and turn over operations of the precinct to somebody else until it gets resolved.”
Not been a good year for Constables, has it? We had now-former Constable Jack Abercia’s resignation and arrest to kick the year off, and this is like a bookend to that. Ryan released a report on the Constables’ offices in May that didn’t go into much detail but which was apparently used as part of the investigation of Trevino. I agree with Judge Emmett, it would be best if Trevino took a leave of absence or something, and let someone else handle the daily operations until this matter is resolved.