What follows is a timeline of events leading up to the current conflict between Edinburg Police Chief Cesar Torres and the city of Edinburg.
Dates link to appropriate articles when applicable.
Nov. 9, 2018, Former City Manager Juan Guerra demotes former chief David White
Dec. 7, 2018, Assistant Chief Peter De La Garza appointed interim chief following White’s demotion
Dec. 11, 2018, Cesar Torres receives conditional offer of employment
Dec. 12, 2018, Torres submits his application for the job
Dec. 20, 2018, Edinburg swears Cesar Torres in as its new police chief two months after White demoted for low public safety rankings, according to websites like wallethub.com
Jan. 7, 2019, Cesar Torres’ start date with the Edinburg Police Department
Jan. 9, 2019, The Monitor reports that the Texas Department of Public Safety demoted Torres in May 2018 from lieutenant to patrol sergeant after finding he “coerced a recruit applicant into signing a department recruiting form so that (Torres) could receive a pecuniary benefit.”
Jan. 21, 2019, Torres asks then EUPOA president Juan “Jay” Hernandez to amend the Meet and Confer Agreement to allow him to hire an assistant chief from outside of the department.
Feb. 19, 2019, The Edinburg United Police Officers Association votes down Torres’ proposal to amend the Meet and Confer agreement to allow him to hire an assistant chief from outside the department.
March 11, 2019, Juan “Jay” Hernandez is promoted by Torres from patrol to Assistant Chief. Hernandez supported Torres’ proposal to hire outside the department for an assistant chief. Hernandez steps down from being president of this union.
May 10, 2019, EUPOA meets to discuss union finances and discovers unapproved spending by Hernandez, according to a letter Celedon wrote Torres.
May 16, 2019, EUPOA votes to investigate Hernandez’s purchase of J-Lo concert tickets with the union credit card. At this time, Celadon is still president of this union.
May 20, 2019, Then-EUPOA president Celedon sends Torres a letter informing him of the vote and telling Torres Hernandez was not authorized to purchase the tickets with the union credit card.
July 2, 2019, Internal Affairs investigation into Hernandez closed with no disciplinary action
July 12, 2019, Armando Celedon placed on administrative leave without pay
July 24, 2019, Torres fires investigator Armando Celedon, who is the former EUPOA president
July 31, 2019, Edinburg police arrest Celedon and charge him with official oppression and tampering with a government record
August 6, 2019, Torres reassigns officer Eric Salazar, EUPOA board secretary, from investigations to patrol. He is the subject of the future lawsuit.
August 8, 2019, Torres reassigns officer Arnaldo Ysquierdo, EUPOA board trustee, from investigations to patrol. He is the subject of the future lawsuit.
August 15, 2019, Salazar files a grievance.
August 22, 2019, Ysquierdo files a grievance.
August 27, 2019, Hidalgo County grand jury no-bills Celedon
September 9, 2019, Torres fails to respond to the grievances
Sept. 28, 2019, Torres places White, the former chief who was running for City Council, on administrative leave with pay on the man’s last official day as an officer for campaigning at a retirement event held for him.
October 18, 2019, Celadon sues the city of Edinburg, making a whistleblower claim for reporting Hernandez and seeking his job back.
Nov. 5, 2019, White is elected to City Council
December 10, 2019, Torres investigates a complaint that a cadet has a close personal relationship with him and with Hernandez. Torres determined the complaint was unsubstantiated.
December (exact date unknown) Hernandez “unappointed” from his position as assistant chief.
Jan. 6, 2020, an unidentified council member reports to the interim city manager that Torres sought their “blessing” to demote Hernandez from assistant chief and back to patrol.
Jan. 6, 2020, Interim City manager Richard Hinojosa receives a report that his predecessor is under investigation over a domestic assault allegation involving another former city employee.
January 10, 2020, Torres placed on a five-day suspension for three incidents, investigating a claim against himself; seeking a council members blessing to demote an assistant chief; and for failing to report in a timely manner to former interim city manager Richard Hinojosa allegations of domestic abuse against his predecessor.
January 13, 2020, the city settles and Celedon gets his job back.
March 6, 2020, EUPOA sends a demand for arbitration on behalf of Ysquierdo and Salazar to the city of Edinburg
April 9, 2020, EUPOA sues the city of Edinburg
May 28, 2020, the city of Edinburg removes the litigation from state to federal court
June 12, 2020, City Manager Ron Garza provides Torres with a written warning for two incidents, the first being on March 18, 2020, for sending an email alerting police that DHR was treating a COVID-19 patient. That information was wrong and reached the public. The second being allowing a police officer to appear in a rap video in uniform using a patrol unit that was published on YouTube.
September 22, 2020, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez orders the city of Edinburg to arbitrate Ysquierdo and Salazar’s claims.
October 9, 2020, Garza provides Torres a second written warning for mismanaging the city’s Ice Cream Truck effort to increase Census participation, which resulted in a violation of public trust.
December 9-12, 18, 2020, the city of Edinburg arbitrates Salazar and Ysquierdo’s grievances with the EUPOA.
January 8, 2021, Garza, the city manager, provides Torres with a written process improvement plan listing four goals for him to produce that must be removed before implementation.
January 18, 2021, Torres responds, saying he would “present all of this” the following week.
January 25-February 12, 2021, Garza says Torres fails to deliver
April 7, 2021, A neutral Arbitrator rules Torres not only discriminated against Ysquierdo and Salazar for union activities, but that he showed a pattern of discrimination against officers for union activity.
April 8, 2021, Garza, the city manager, meets with Torres and tells the chief he needs to resign or he will be fired. Torres asks for some time to think about it.
April 12, 2021, Torres meets with Garza to give that decision and instead hands a proposed settlement for his resignation and threatens a whistleblower lawsuit if his demands aren’t met. Garza then places Torres on administrative leave with pay.
April 26, 2021, Garza sends Torres and proposed settlement for his resignation.
April 27, 2021, Torres’ attorney rejects the settlement and demands that the city accept Torres’ settlement proposal or be sued.
April 29, 2021, Garza sends Torres a memo of initial determination for termination and sets a May 6 deadline at 3 p.m. for Torres to respond in writing or in person.
May 5, 2021, U.S. District Judge Micaela Alvarez upholds the arbitrators ruling and dismisses the EUPOA lawsuit.
May 5, 2021, Torres files the lawsuit against the city of Edinburg, claiming he is being fired for reporting Celedon to the FBI over insurance fraud allegations.
May 6, 2021, State District Judge Bobby Flores grants a temporary restraining order in Torres’ favor, prohibiting the city from firing the chief for the time being.
May 13, 2021, Torres files a second lawsuit, this time against the city, former chief and current city council member David White and former interim city manager Richard Hinojosa
May 17, 2021, Torres and the city of Edinburg are scheduled for a court hearing on the temporary restraining order.