Embattled Police Chief Paul Cardenas of the small town of Mart near Waco responded to a citizen complaint against him Monday, saying he did not help start a social media fight by releasing her private information.
Elizabeth Andrews told the Mart City Council that Cardenas provided information to a friend that was later posted on Facebook to belittle her, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Andrews said the Facebook discussion reignited fears about a man who previously assaulted members of her family before fleeing the U.S.
Cardenas denied the accusations, saying Andrews was not being truthful and that he doesn’t even have a social media account.
“This is a social media storm that was created not by me, by everyone,” Cardenas said, according to the newspaper. “Both parties and we try to defame each other using negative rhetoric and proxy people, and I’m sorry that you want to link me to that, but you can’t.”
“I’ve done everything fairly, honestly. I’ve abided by a lot of things and I’ve upheld that oath that you gave here tonight and I’ve done that faithfully,” he added.
The council took no action on the complaint Monday, but Mayor Len Williams said the council planned to speak further with city attorney Charles Buenger on the issue.
Cardenas will soon be the only law enforcement officer in Mart, when the resignations of four of the department’s five officers become official in the next few days. Those officers cited concerns with city official corruption and payroll issues in their resignation letters. Cardenas previously told the Waco Tribune-Herald he plans to report possible criminal activity among city officials to the Texas Rangers.
City officials are scrambling to find adequate police protection for the town of 2,400 residents. McLennan County Chief Deputy David Kilcrease told the newspaper that his deputies met with city leaders about assisting with law enforcement coverage temporarily.