Lt. Pete Maskunas resigns from Angelina sheriff's office

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - A retired Texas Ranger has resigned from his position as lieutenant of the Angelina County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Greg Sanches confirmed Pete Maskunas resigned on Tuesday.

Maskunas declined to comment on the resignation. He said he did not know what he would be doing next as far as his career.

Sanches said the resignation came after Maskunas threw a glass case full of needles and a small amount of drug residue out of a patrol window after a felony raid.

"We had a felony warrant raid and they found that case but Pete didn't think it was rightfully obtained," Sanches said. "It would've just been a Class C amount even if we did pursue it. So he told the deputy not to take it but the deputy did anyway. When Pete saw it, he grabbed it and threw it out the window. He made a mistake."

Sanches said they took the case to the district attorney to make sure Maskunas did not commit a crime. He said the DA's office said there was no crime committed.

"It's not a tampering with evidence offense because it wasn't being taken as evidence," Sanches said. "It wasn't theft because we were confiscating the needles and property. But we always want to be sure there wasn't anything wrong so we took it to the DA."

Sanches said Maskunas' position as lieutenant put him at a higher standard and with more responsibility.

"That's why he had to resign," Sanches said. "He made a mistake, but it wasn't a crime."

"With his background, he added a lot to the department," Sanches said. "His contribution was appreciated. When he left, he had no ill will. He was very humble and generous. He said goodbye to all his personnel. He helped us with all transitions and all the details we needed."

Sanches said the position, which is over the criminal investigations division, will not be filled for another month, because of the comp time Maskunas built up.

Copyright 2015 KTRE. All rights reserved.