Contact Jeremy Payne by phone at (210) 875-8142 or by email at jeremy.payne@dsabc.org.

As county jail faces staffing crisis, deputy insulted, told to quit after raising complaint.

San Antonio, TX, March 10, 2020 – A Bexar County Deputy Sheriff resigned his position yesterday at the county jail after he raised concerns about working conditions. Former deputy sheriff Spencer Fadorsen, who served as a detention officer, was told by Deputy Chief Jamie Rios, in front of 30 colleagues, that if he didn’t like it, he could quit and that it was “no sweat off me, you’re just a number.” It is important to note that Chief Rios was brought in specifically by Sheriff Javier Salazar to address staffing issues and to help improve morale and working conditions at the jail.

Mr. Fadorsen’s resignation comes at a time when the Bexar County Jail is facing a severe staffing and officer morale crisis. Currently, there are more than 200 officer vacancies at the jail, which has resulted in over-worked (some deputies are currently working up to 64 hours per week) and over-stressed deputies who are having to do an already tough job in increasingly dangerous conditions. In 2019, there were a record 16 “erroneous” releases from the county jail and 9 inmate deaths. And last December, two deputies were brutally assaulted by inmates.

“As we continue to face a major staffing crisis that’s led to unsafe conditions for deputies, inmates, and our community, this is completely unacceptable behavior on the part of Sheriff Salazar’s senior leaders at the jail,” said Jeremy Payne, President of the Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County. “No deputy who raises an issue or complaint should be insulted in front of his colleagues and certainly not be told that he’s ‘just a number.’”

Deputy Chief Rios’ treatment of Mr. Fadorsen, the staffing shortage, and other problems at the county jail, are due to poor leadership and mismanagement by Sheriff Salazar and his senior leaders, all of which has created a climate of mistrust and low morale. Just last week, for example, the Sheriff had to fire his “Community Liaison,” Robert Vargas, from his taxpayer-funded position in the Sheriff’s Office, after Mr. Vargas called Bexar County Republican primary voters “racists.”

The Deputy Sheriff’s Association of Bexar County calls on Sheriff Salazar to reprimand Chief Rios for his unprofessional actions, which undermine one of his primary assignments at the jail and resulted in the resignation of a promising young deputy. We further call on Sheriff Salazar to take proactive measures to fix the staffing issues at the jail so that we can keep our officers and our community safe.

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