Marlin City Council takes no action on interim police chief

Posted at 9:45 PM, Sep 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-09 20:13:42-04

A controversial candidate for Marlin interim Police chief has withdrawn his application from consideration. 

Yost Zakhary who resigned from Woodway Public Safety amid allegations of sexual harassment sent the city manager an email saying he did not want to continue to be considered for the position. A Woodway employee filed a lawsuit earlier this year but it has been dismissed. According to court documents, both parties agreed to settle all claims.

On Tuesday, the city council discused the applications of two other candidates during is scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. Marlin Police Sgt. Albert Rene Cavazos has almost 20 years of experience and served as a constable in Kleberg County is one of the candidates. The other applicant being considered is Henry Porretto with nearly 30 years of experience was a police chief in Galveston and Mathis Police departments. He is currently a consultant to the Mathis Police Chief.

After reviewing the applications in executive session, the council said it was taking no action.

Two weeks ago, the council held a special meeting to make a new hire or ink a deal with the Falls County sheriff for police protection.

It was important to Debra DeCamp, who worries about police response time in emergencies.

She worries if the Falls County sheriff takes offer law enforcement in Marlin, response times will suffer.

"There have been numerous 911 calls and they’ve taken as many as five hours," DeCamp said.

With Marlin’s police chief retiring Monday, city leaders gathered to set some sort of direction for the city.

"It was extremely important to get someone in that department. Every day we don’t, it costs us more and more," said Marlin Mayor John Kieffer.

That’s why city and county leaders met in an "informal meeting" late Friday to hammer out an "agreement in principle" for the sheriff's department to take over policing in Marlin.

But the hard-fought deal with the county didn’t play well when it crossed Fortune Street and landed in the hands of the city council.

Most of the trouble centered on sheriff Ricky Scaman's instance on maintaining his ties with local towing companies and not with a couple of Marlin businesses.

So the deal with the Scaman didn’t have the votes to pass.

Then, the council took up its other option, controversial former Woodway City Manager and Police Chief Yost Zakhary.

The council voted to table action on Zakhary due to interest from new applicants.

"We do have another applicant, several other applicants that we can look at and so it made sense to table it so we can look at all options. So Mr. Zakhary isn’t the only game in town...besides the sheriff," said Kieffer.

And that made Debra DeCamp happy.

She doesn’t want Marlin leaders to rush into anything they, and the people might regret.

"I hope that the people in Marlin get help and everybody stand together and make this city right," she said.

She believes that’s what Marlin needs most.

Marlin's city council will take up its next step to address it's police department's future next week.

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