Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza held a press conference on Wednesday where he addressed the recent court’s ruling that dissolved a temporary restraining order petition filed against him and denied the commissioners court’s petition for a temporary injunction.
“In [Tuesday’s] ruling … the court affirmatively acknowledged that the sheriff’s office has full legal authority to take control over courthouse security,” he said. “As sheriff of Cameron County, I have faith in the rule of law and our judicial system, as such; I always expected the court to rule in our favor.”
Garza said since the beginning of the dispute, the decisions by county commissioners have always been politically motivated and lacked any basis in law or fact. He added he will not bend to political pressure.
“My office has always attempted to resolve any concerns that the county and/or the commissioners court had, but at the end of the day, I cannot and will not bend to political pressure,” he said. “As I have always stated, I will follow the law, comply with any orders from the court and perform all my statutory and constitutional duties to the best of my ability.”
Garza said he believes the lawsuit has been “painted” by the commissioners court as an issue of their authority to regulate courthouse security but that this is false. He said this is about political power.
“As is clear by the court’s ruling and by commissioners court’s own statements and press releases, this was never about needing more time to follow the ‘process,’ but was always about political power,” he said. “The commissioners court will not dictate how I serve the residents of Cameron County and politics will not prevent my office from successfully executing its constitutional and statutory duties.”
The commissioners court civil legal division filed the TRO petition against Garza on April 14, alleging he had acted beyond his official capacity as sheriff in making budget decisions for the commissioners court, disregarding civil service regulations and unilaterally terminating a memorandum of understanding the sheriff’s department under Omar Lucio made with Precinct 2 Cameron County Constable Abelardo Gomez Jr., which involved Gomez’s officers providing courthouse security.
On Tuesday, Judge Gloria Rincones, of the 445th state District Court, denied the commissioners court’s petition for a temporary injunction against Garza and dissolved a temporary restraining order filed by the plaintiff.
“You all sit down and figure it out,” Rincones said, during the hearing.