MOUNT ENTERPRISE, TX (KTRE) - Mark Johnson believes he was fired from the Mt Enterprise city marshal office because he refused to take cash bonds on Hispanics and people of Non-Caucasion descent.
Johnson says the order on how to conduct traffic stops came from city marshal David Collins.
"I knew it was wrong," said Johnson.
Just to make certain, Johnson's attorney hired former Texas ranger Pete Maskunas.
He's now a private investigator. After reviewing state law, Maskunas wrote in his report, marshal Collins was taking fines at the side of the road without providing due process of law and in direct violation of the ccp, short for Texas code of criminal procedures.
"He said he's been doing it over 20 years and no one said anything about it yet. I said, just because no one said anything about it doesn't make it right," said Johnson.
The investigator called upon his professional experience to determine if law enforcement best practices were followed.
The former DPS trooper utilized the DPS highway patrol policy manual as a model.
It says cash money can be accepted only when money orders, cashier's and traveler's checks aren't convenient.
Further, Maskunas found Mt Enterprise had no forms for allowing pleas and cash payments, no policy,and no evidence of compliance by the city court in regard to cash bonds.
Also noted was the majority of the receipts that were provided were written to people with Hispanic surnames.
As far as records on Johnson's performance reviews, Maskunas found few.
He wrote this 'would appear to demonstrate no organization, a propensity to cut corners and no adherence to accepted practices of police management."
"He's got some explaining to do, "said Johnson.
In a phone conversation this afternoon, Mark Johnson said federal and state regulatory agencies are investigating the case.
We also spoke to marshal Collins by phone.
He said he couldn't comment upon the advice of the city's attorney.
That would be Joe Shumate who said today the city is standing behind its marshal.
Shumate said at the end, Collins will be vindicated.
Shumate said the case remains off the docket and he doesn't expect it to go to trial for at least 90 to 120 days.