This is a follow-up to
Following an investigation, the Coffee City council voted to fire Police Chief Portillo and temporarily “deactivate” the entire police department, according to a local CBS station. The city’s investigation confirmed allegations that Portillo had received a DUI prior to being hired as police chief, which he did not disclose in his job application, according to the outlet.
Mayor Jeff Blackstone told the outlet that the city decided to disband the police department rather than conduct individual investigations into every officer. Any officer who wants to stay with the department must reapply once the city hires a new police chief, CBS reported.
“We’re going to have a new police department that everybody in the community can trust,” Blackstone told the outlet.
“There’s not much to Coffee City, Texas,” KHOU 11 reporter Jeremy Rogalski wrote last month. “Two liquor stores, a couple of dollar stores, a pizza joint, and a motel. But this town, which is three hours north of Houston, has quite a reputation among those who drive through.”
Now, after the scandal, residents are looking to have their traffic tickets dropped, according to a report released Thursday, September 21, by Fox News affiliate KETK. “I intended to come up here with the hopes of getting the ticket dismissed since they dismissed all their policemen,” Steve Prather, who was at Coffee City Hall to oppose his violation, told KETK.
Now, the news outlet says residents are questioning whether they should pay the fines or contest them as the City Secretary said traffic violators must pay the fines or have the officer, who is likely either suspended or terminated, to testify to the lawfulness of the ticket. One man, according to KETK, questioned how these subpoenaed officers can be trusted. “How can they [have] a policemen being a witness that they’ve terminated or suspended or whatever you call it, what quality of a witness would that be?”