Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 15, 2013

Police chief sought

City of Trinidad looking to fill vacancy

Athens — Trinidad is in the interview process for a new police chief to fill the position that has been vacant since March.

The city council held a special meeting Tuesday night to interview two prospects. City Secretary Terri Newhouse said the council will continue to schedule interviews.

“We have a group of applicants we are working through,” Newhouse said. “The day we’ll make a decision is not set. We just want someone who is the right fit for the city.”

The police chief position became open March 28. The city council voted to terminate the contract of Dennis Causey due to a lack of confidence following the revocation of his peace officer's license by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. TCLEOSE said Causey filed a false or untruthful report to the commission.

Trinidad Mayor Larry Estes said the city had a good relationship with Causey during his 5-year stay there, but without a license, the city had no choice but to end his employment as police chief.

“He was a fine chief and a fine man as far as I know,” Estes said. “It was a foul up that had gone unnoticed.”

The TCLEOSE staff brought action against Causey in September  2001 before the State Office of Administrative Hearings to revoke his license. The action concerned a report Causey filed in November 2011 stating that he had received a Bachelor’s degree from Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn. TCLEOSE contended that he did not have a Bachelor’s degree from the college in Minnesota, but instead had received a diploma from Concordia College and University of St. John, Virgin Islands.

According to a document from the SOAH, Causey testified at the September 2012 hearing that he  admitted that the report contained false information, but contended it was a mistake. 

Causey testified that when he submitted the report, he believed the two educational institutions were affiliated, but admitted that he later learned that no affiliation exists.

Causey’s diploma came from a school that is not accredited by an accrediting body accepted by TCLEOSE.

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