MCALLEN, Texas (Border Report) — The FBI on Monday raided the offices of the Webb County Sheriff’s Office, located in the border town of Laredo, Texas.
In a Facebook post on Monday afternoon, Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar said: “The focus of the investigation is on Assistant Chief Ricardo ‘Rick’ Rodriguez.”
Cuellar said the probe centers around Rodriguez’s disinfecting company, Disinfect ProMaster, which Rodriguez operated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cuellar said agents have asked him questions about employees going to daycares, churches, and county buildings to disinfect for coronavirus. Cuellar said this service was provided through the sheriff’s office, and not through Rodriguez’s company, according to the statement.
Cuellar said his department is being transparent and turning over all and any documents requested by the FBI.
“All employees are held to higher standards, whether on or off duty. They must follow policies and procedures when performing secondary employment duties, such as clocking in and out of the county time clock. If an employee does something wrong, it is on them,” said Cuellar, who is the brother of U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Democrat from Laredo. “While I cannot monitor their behavior 24/7, their behavior must match the oath of office to which they swore.”
According to the Laredo Morning Times, Rodriguez has been in trouble with the law recently. On May 4, he was served with an arrest warrant charging him with assault on an EMS worker. He is out on bond on that charge and has been on administrative leave from the sheriff’s department.
FBI agents on Monday also met with district officials, “regarding the award of a service contract in 2021 to Disinfect ProMaster,” the district said in a statement.
“The District has fully cooperated with the FBI and will continue to comply with their investigation and any request for information. The District is confident that all applicable laws and District policies were adhered to when the service contract was awarded to Disinfect ProMaster,” the district said.
The United ISD board recently held a meeting regarding Rodriguez’s arrest but voted unanimously not to take action on removing him from his post, according to the Laredo Morning Times.
The district said Monday that they have called a special meeting for Thursday “to discuss this matter further.” District officials added that “neither the District’s administration nor the Board of Trustees has the legal authority to remove Mr. Rodriguez from the Board.”