- Kenneth L. Valdez
The former San Antonio Police Department detective who was fired in November for allegedly failing to properly investigate dozens of crimes, is now appealing his termination, according to a letter obtained by mySA.com.
Detective Kenneth L. Valdez was fired from SAPD for allegedly mishandling dozens of cases — most involving sexual assault — he was tasked with investigating during his time in SAPD's Special Victims Unit.
In the letter from Valdez’s lawyer to the city's Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Civil Service Commission, Valdez denies the allegations against him, requests an arbitration hearing, and asks for lost pay and benefits, arguing that his firing was “clearly excessive considering the mitigating circumstances.”
Prior to his termination, SAPD alleged that from August 2016 to August 2017, Valdez failed to submit forensic evidence to the Bexar County crime lab for the 27 cases he was assigned to investigate over that time period — including 17 cases that specifically required forensic testing.
According to the report from SAPD, Valdez “failed to act” on crucial information given to him from the crime lab about potential suspects in his cases, including one case in which he allegedly concealed the information he received and closed the case without his supervisor’s approval. Valdez also failed to properly take care of evidence, and inspectors found unmarked cell phones, DVDs, CDs, unmarked envelopes containing saliva swabs, and cash in his office.
In October, SAPD Chief William McManus called for an external investigation into the department's Special Victims Unit after an internal audit found more than 130 SVU cases had "not been properly investigated." SVU handles cases involving human trafficking, domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and other sex crimes.
Valdez appears to be the only detective who was fired after the investigation, though McManus confirmed in October other officers had been transferred from the department.