KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH Local Houston and Texas News

KTRH-AM covering local news from Houston and across Texas.


Bexar County deputy fired over January 6th wins $395,000 settlement

The January 6th Capitol incident has become one of the county's most divisive issues. The day was set to be a just a simple rally in the wake of the controversial 2020 election. Instead, it devolved into a group of Americans running into the United States Capitol building. Half the country sees it as an act of violence, the other half sees a patriotic display.

Whichever side of the fence you fall on does not matter, but the aftermath of those riots brought about double standards, ridiculous firings, and jail time for people who did not even play a massive part in the issue. One of those people who lost their job was former Bexar County Sheriff's Office Lieutenant Roxanne Mathai, who was present for the rally. She did not participate in the storming of the building, or any other incidents from the day.

Yet, Sheriff Javier Salazar inexplicably fired Mathai for simply being in the area during the event. A career tossed to the fire for simply being in the vicinity of the unrest.

"I went to a rally thinking it was going to be a rally like any other...then other stuff happened, which I had no control over," says Mathai.

She had posted photos online from the rally for former President Donald Trump, but the images were taken before anyone had entered the U.S. Capitol.

But that was enough for Salazar, who saw the posts and decided to terminate her the next day. He added that he intended to make sure Mathai 'never entered a Sheriff's Office again." Big words from someone facing massive illegal immigrant trafficking issues in his own county.

That, though, is just the kind of guy he is, according to Mathai.

"Anything that will mean he can get into the spotlight or in front of a camera, he will run to that well before doing anything to fight crime or enforce the laws...it is just ridiculous the amount of spotlight he feels he needs, when he needs to do his job," she says.

So, of course, she sued Bexar County, and rightfully so. Mathai said in the lawsuit that she recorded and photographed the rally because she believed she 'was a witness to history” and wanted to 'create a record for posterity.'

The ensuing legal battle brought three years of hard lessons, financial struggle, and uncertainty. Ultimately, she says she decided to settle to just get on with her life.

However, there would have been no settlement if they had a case against her. Which, they did not.

"They definitely want this to go away, because they knew if we went to trial, it was probably not going to go their way," she says.

Bexar County officials approved in April a $100,000 payment to an insurance carrier to take over defense in the case, with the insurer set to cover the remainder of her settlement.

As for the money? While it is not enough to retire on, Mathai says she plans to invest it, and have it work for her.

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