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San Juan police chief placed on paid administrative leave

3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 July 14, 2020 8:27 PM July 14, 2020 in News - Local

The San Juan City Commission placed longtime police Chief Juan Gonzalez on paid administrative leave Tuesday.

After meeting in executive session, the City Commission placed Gonzalez on paid administrative leave Tuesday afternoon, said City Manager Ben Arjona.

Arjona said he couldn't provide any details about the decision, which he called a personnel matter.

"The mayor and City Commission are looking out for the best interests of the city," Arjona said, adding that paid administrative leave didn't necessarily indicate any wrongdoing by the chief.

Gonzalez released a statement on Wednesday morning.

"I have worked for the city 10+ years. Total of 30 + years in LE. As the Chief Police for San Juan I have had no disciplinary actions not even a documented verbal counseling in all my years as Police Chief," Gonzalez said in a statement. "I take my job very seriously and I put 110% to it everyday. My attendance, performance and conduct has been exemplary. I have been a career street cop that moved up the ranks in Pharr Pd through the civil service process and then hired in San Juan Pd. I have always taking care of police officers on and off duty. My work ethic protecting the community speaks for itself. I have build San Juan Pd to become one of the best law enforcement agencies in south Texas and build numerous local, state and federal partnerships that have help our city build a new police department with asset forfeiture funds, and also purchased 95% of our fleet with asset forfeiture funds. I appreciate all the calls of support I have received from many law enforcement leaders, faith based leaders, San Juan residents and my own officers, and staff. I respect the process in this personnel matters."

Arjona said the city didn't appoint an acting police chief.

Capt. Reymundo Casarez may handle day-to-day decisionmaking, Arjona said.

Gonzalez spent 20 years with the Pharr Police Department before becoming the San Juan police chief in February 2009, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records.

He created a regional SWAT team, graduated from the FBI National Academy and served as interim city manager.

This story was updated on Wednesday with a statement from San Juan police Chief Juan Gonzalez.

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