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New revelations of past complaints prompt council to reconsider Rivera
In the wake of new revelations regarding the background of recently selected Police Chief Milton Rivera, Dilley city councilors have scheduled a special meeting to discuss their next move.
“I am talking to people to see what we are going to do with the latest developments,” City Administrator Juan Estrada said in a phone interview Tuesday morning. “I talked to legal counsel and I cannot discuss the details.”
Rivera has 11 years of law enforcement experience and is currently an investigator for Child Protective Services in Palacios, Texas. He spent the majority of his police career at the Harris County Pct. 3 Constable’s Department, where he was promoted to chief deputy.
The chief deputy was fired from his job following an internal investigation launched by a new constable on allegations of sexual harassment.
“It was a political conflict with the new elected official,” Rivera said in a phone interview Monday morning.
Prior to his employment with Harris County, Rivera resigned from the Clute Police Department after a mere three months on the job following an internal investigation alleging he threaten to plant narcotics.
“That situation was misconstrued,” the newly hired chief said.
At Dilley City Hall, Estrada said a ‘360-reference check’ was conducted by the city administration prior to Rivera’s hiring as the new police chief.
“TCOLE requires that we only do one reference check,” the city administrator said. “We did more than that. Zertuche [interim chief] did the TCOLE background check.”
Prior to his law enforcement career, Rivera served in the United States Marine Corps as a drill instructor and earned two Navy achievement medals for his valor. Rivera later served with the Texas State Guard as a lieutenant, a position that earned him a military master of emergency management certification.
Rivera said he plans to develop community relationships early so that he can better understand the current issues Dilley is facing.
“I want to implement Silver Santa, reading a book with a cop, and the ‘Are You Okay’ program,” the chief said.
Rivera stressed what he believes is the importance of having an officer on school campuses and said he plans to continue with the program implemented by former Chief Armando Romo.
“It is very important that we find out what the school needs are,” Rivera said. “My expectations are to go into the school, eat lunch with the kids, let them know we are there.”
The newly hired chief comes with a slew of honors and accreditations that include certified fraud examiner, forensic interviewer, mental health peace officer, crisis intervention instructor, firearms instructor, standard field sobriety instructor, sexual assault family violence instructor and a special investigator certification.
A special meeting by the Dilley City Council regarding Rivera’s employment is scheduled for Thursday, July 9. The chief is slated to take his official oath of office on Monday, July 13.