The Texas Rangers are investigating a possible bribery case involving the Denton County sheriff, a former political opponent of the sheriff and a former deputy.
The former deputy, Kevin Bragg, is currently serving as a Runaway Bay police officer.
Bragg is involved in a nearly four-year legal battle with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office. The case alleges wrongdoing by former sheriff Benny Parkey. Bragg also alleges he was wrongfully terminated after acting as a whistleblower.
In the new criminal investigation, court documents suggest the new sheriff, William Travis, offered Bragg a position with the department if he would drop the current civil suit.
An affidavit contained an email allegedly from Travis to Bragg indicating possible bribery.
“If you did file a suit and you wanted to come back to work at Denton County Sheriff’s Office, a couple of things need to be done. The lawsuit has to be dropped, and I have to see a judgment reflecting this by Nov. 5, 2012,” read the email.
The former political opponent is Jesse Flores, who ran against Travis in the Republican primary last May.
Travis allegedly told Flores he would give him a job in the sheriff’s department if he dropped out of the race, according to Bragg’s account in court documents.
Last year Travis won the election with 54 percent of the vote, while Parkey, the incumbent, took 35 percent. Flores came in a distant third with 11 percent.
Local Texas Ranger Jim Holland has led the investigation into the alleged bribery.
Travis told Holland that he made no job offer to Flores in exchange for dropping out of the race. He added that the communications with Bragg were a “misunderstanding.” Flores has also denied that Travis attempted to bribe him.
The case is still under investigation.