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Barrientes Vela ordered to vacate office, Vasquez sworn in as new constable

UPDATE 6:10 p.m.:

Former Bexar County Precinct 2 constable Michelle Barrientes Vela says she is running for Bexar County sheriff in a news conference after the judge’s ruling.

UPDATE 5:15 p.m.:

Bexar County judge Nelson Wolff said the county immediately swore in interim Bexar County Precinct 2 constable Leticia Vasquez after the Wednesday afternoon hearing, making her the official constable effective immediately.

The county staff is in the process of getting her systems and technical infrastructure in place for her to be ready to get to business by 8 a.m. Thursday.

ORIGINAL:

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — Bexar County Precinct 2 constable Michelle Barrientes Vela was ordered by a Bexar County judge to vacate her office by 8 a.m. Thursday.

While the FBI and Texas Rangers raided her office late last month, Barrientes Vela told reporters outside her office that she was “officially announcing” a run for Bexar County sheriff.  According to state law, that statement along with the amount of time she still had to serve in office meant she had automatically resigned from her role as constable.

At first, she argued the announcement was not valid because she was not in uniform.  Later, she and her legal team argued it was not a valid announcement because she had not announced a treasurer for such a campaign.

In a Bexar County courtroom Wednesday afternoon, the Bexar County Criminal District Attorney’s office — which was representing the county government in this case — said the judge determined the court had no jurisdiction over Barrientes Vela’s claims and dismissed the entire lawsuit.

The judge also dissolved the temporary restraining order permitting Barrientes Vela to continue to serve.

Now, the Bexar County Commissioners Court is permitted to swear in its new interim constable Leticia Vasquez.

Barrientes Vela agreed to vacate her office at 8 a.m. Thursday.

The district attorney’s office said a criminal investigation continues against Barrientes Vela and her office.  It is not clear if she is still planning to run for Bexar County sheriff.



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