The Pleasanton City Council denied to pay the $1,000,000 in damages demanded by a letter from Paul D.Barkhurst Jr., the lawyer representing Ernest Trevino and family, regarding defamation, a pattern of harassment and violations of their civil rights.
Trevino is the father of one of four young men who were charged with a Class A Criminal Mischief on March 12. The charge was allegedly for several egging incidents in Pleasanton.
The decision came after the council, with J.R. Gallegos recusing himself, deliberated during executive session at the May 1 meeting.
One of Trevino’s complaints was the amount of the surety bond imposed by Pleasanton Municipal Court Judge Elsie Guerra. He felt the $8,000 fee for each of the four boys was an exaggerated amount.
Calls to surrounding entities found that the fees are in line with Pleasanton’s fees. Jourdanton’s Municipal Court Judge Dolores Cordova said their fees are exactly the same. The minimum would be assessed in both Class A and B Criminal Mischief. If there was a fear of flight, the amount could be increased. Poteet’s fees are $4,000 for both Class A and B. In Somerset, their bond is the amount of the fine, doubled. Floresville’s Municipal Court does not have a fee schedule for Class A and B. Since the range is broad, the amount is assessed on case by case for an acceptable amount of fine.
In the March 12 email Mr. Trevino sent to the City Manager Bruce Pearson, Trevino warned the city to “stand down”. He further stated that his son was “magistrated for a criminal offense that was blown up into a bogus charge for Criminal Mischief.”
According to the State Penal Code, the alleged eggings of homes and vehicles would fall under Criminal Mischief. If the eggs did damage the paint on a vehicle(s), the amount could be a Class B misdemeanor if not a Class A, depending upon the extent of damage.
The code states:
28.03. CRIMINAL MISCHIEF. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner:
(1) he intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys the tangible property of the owner;
(2) he intentionally or knowingly tampers with the tangible property of the owner and causes pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person; or
(3) he intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner.
(b) Except as provided by Subsections (f) and (h), an offense under this section is:
(1) a Class C misdemeanor if:
(A) the amount of pecuniary loss is less than $50; or
(B) except as provided in Subdivision (3)(A) or (3) (B), it causes substantial inconvenience to others;
(2) a Class B misdemeanor if the amount of pecuniary loss is $50 or more but less than $500;
(3) a Class A misdemeanor if:
(A) the amount of pecuniary loss is $500 or more but less than $1,500; or
(B) the actor causes in whole or in part impairment or interruption of any public water supply, or causes to be diverted in whole, in part, or in any manner, including installation or removal of any device for any such purpose, any public water supply, regardless of the amount of the pecuniary loss.
As for as the complaints Mr. Trevino has alluded he has made to different entities, i.e. State Commission On Judicial Conduct, FBI, Texas Rangers, a call into the State Commission on Judicial
Conduct could not confirm or deny one had been received. Executive Director Shawna Willing stated “once a claim has been filed, it becomes confidential until it is resolved.” She further explained that it could take up to six months, depending on the extent of the investigation.
In an email to the city on April 1, Trevino notified the city manager Bruce Pearson that a formal complaint had been filed on the Pleasanton Police Department, namely Chief Ronald Sanchez and Captain Johnny Gonzales as well as Elsie Guerra, Municipal Court Judge. These complaints are being looked into, according to Pearson.
The City of Pleasanton has, so far, filled each Open Records request from Trevino that is available totalling 1,000 pages so far.