Ken Kalthoff, NBC 5 News
Dallas County will push ahead with a plan that could eliminate most deputy constables after a federal judge denied an injunction to stop it.
Dallas County constables lost a round in their federal court fight to stop a plan that could eliminate most constable deputy positions.
The plan would transfer most constable warrant-serving work to the Dallas County sheriff.
The constables sought an injunction blocking county commissioners from voting on the plan.
Senior U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson granted a temporary injunction a month ago but lifted it Thursday and stayed further court action until county commissioners act.
County Judge Clay Jenkins, the leader of Commissioners Court, said he would put the plan to a vote on Tuesday.
"If people look at the data and look at the cost savings, public safety and doing the right thing by the taxpayers, I'm confident that we’ll have a unanimous vote," Jenkins said.
Constables Roy Williams, Ben Adamcik and Beth Villarreal filed the lawsuit to stop the plan, claiming it is whistle-blower retaliation against deputies who provided information about county officials in the past.
Constable Derick Evans and former Constable Jaime Cortes have been indicted on election code violations. And County Commissioner John Wiley Price is under investigation by the FBI.
Constable deputies provided information about Price’s KwanzaaFest charity in depositions.
"I would say it's retaliation," Williams said. "It's to fire the whistle-blowers. It's to finally get rid of them."
Williams said he and other constables have offered alternatives that could save the county more money that Jenkins' plan does.
"If it's just about the numbers, then it's not the right decision," Williams said.
Jenkins denies retaliation has anything to do with the plan. He only took office in January and said the issues cited by the constables occurred before he was there.
"I'm extremely confident that there is no wrongdoing here and we're looking out for the best interests of the taxpayers, and this plan does that," Jenkins said. "Any reduction in force will be done on a strictly by seniority basis, so there's no opportunity to retaliate against anyone."
Williams said the constables would return to federal court to fight for their deputies if the plan passes next week.