BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Cameron County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Robert Gracia filed a lawsuit against county commissioners on Tuesday. Gracia tells ValleyCentral that the Sheriff’s Office has been treated unfairly by Cameron County.

“The Sheriff’s Department including myself face obstacles from the Commissioners Court on a daily basis,” Gracia said. “Everything that we ask for is denied or they find a reason to say no.”

The lawsuit states commissioners have refused to provide the Sheriff’s Department with legal counsel after a separate lawsuit was filed against his office.

Gracia tells ValleyCentral the reason the Commissioners Court has been refusing to help the Sheriff’s Office is due to last year’s court battle. After the Commissioners sued the Sheriff’s Office in 2021 over who should be controlling security at the county courthouse, the court ruled in favor of the Sheriff.

Now Gracia believes not getting help is a payback tactic by Cameron County.

“They said that they were refusing to pay for the lawsuit because I was not officially on board when in fact since day one, I was introduced by Sheriff Garza as his Chief Deputy,” Gracia said.

The lawsuit also states the Commissioners are not following the Texas Local Government Code which requires the county to provide legal defense to its employees.

“As an employee of Cameron County and also as a citizen, I have endured and concurred those expenses for a year and a half out of my pocket,” Gracia said. ” I’m protecting not only myself in my individual capacity but I’m also paying legal fees to protect the county.

But Gracia hopes both the Sheriff’s Office and the Commissioners can put aside their differences.

“The goal of this administration and any law enforcement office is to work hand in hand with our commissioners,” Gracia said. “We need to be together in answering the requests, the safety, and whatever else is needed by the community.”

ValleyCentral reached out to the Cameron County Commissioners Court but they have not yet been served with lawsuit papers and will not be commenting at this time.