Police Chief Paul Cardenas is now the only law enforcement official in the small town of Mart, east of Waco, after four of his officers resigned this week.
The officers, Robert Pollard, Jaycee Steiner, Stephen Steiner and Anthony Seng, cited payroll issues and disagreements with the city council and city manager, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. In their resignation letters, the officers said they had suffered from the results of multiple payroll errors.
City Manager Kevin Schaffer told the newspaper that he wished the officers had gone through a formal process and let the city address their concerns.
“We have not been made aware of their complaints or grievances until they resigned, and we did not have a chance to address them, but we are sad they feel like this was their only option,” he said.
Cardenas declined to comment to the Tribune-Herald this week, but he had previously sent an email to the newspaper in which he said he intended to forward information to the Texas Rangers about possible criminal activity among Mart city officials, including allegations of falsified city wastewater logs, conspiracy against a candidate for city office and improper use of city equipment.
Jaycee Steiner alluded to those allegations in her resignation letter, the Tribune-Herald reported.
“Not only am I resigning because I am disheartened with the unethical, immoral and criminal acts of the city officials, but I also have proof that I am being targeted in retaliation [for] the ongoing criminal investigation into criminal mischief” by certain officials, she wrote.
Schaffer and Mayor Len Williams said they have reached out to nearby law enforcement agencies to help police the town of about 2,400 until more officers can be hired.