La Joya Police Chief Geovani Hernandez resigned on Friday, less than a year after taking over the small-town police department.
Hernandez, though, said he completed the one-year commitment with the Police Department and planned to start two private ventures: a security consulting company and a treatment center for substance abuse.
I TMm very proud of my work, Hernandez said, adding that he TMd enjoyed running the department but had decided to enter the private sector. I TMm very proud of the people who supported me.
City Administrator Mike Alaniz confirmed Hernandez submitted a letter of resignation on Friday afternoon. Alaniz said Hernandez left La Joya on good terms.
Perhaps best known for challenging former Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio during the Democratic Party primary two years ago, Hernandez took over the La Joya Police Department in February 2014.
Hernandez hadn TMt previously managed an American law enforcement agency.
His longest stint with a single agency was a nearly four-and-a-half year run with the Pharr Police Department from June 1999 to November 2003, according to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
During the interview process, Hernandez touted his management experience with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo during the early 2000s. He rose through the ranks to become the team leader of the Economic Crime and Corruption Investigation Section, according to a letter of recommendation included in Hernandez TMs old personnel file obtained from the City of Weslaco.
Hernandez also submitted an application listing several college degrees, including a master TMs degree in psychology.
After Kosovo, he returned to the Rio Grande Valley and worked for several small-town police departments.
Now 40 years old, Hernandez lives in Weslaco with his wife.
Hernandez eventually became a well-known ” and controversial ” law enforcement figure in Hidalgo County.
When he applied to work at the Weslaco Police Department, a background investigation revealed that he was once kidnapped and robbed in Mexico.
Geovani was taken by force demanding he provide the gunmen with more money, according to the October 2008 background investigation obtained by Action 4 News from the City of Weslaco. Geovani was able to escape and was shot in the process.
The report doesn TMt say how Geovani escaped or how he returned to the United States afterward.
Further controversy erupted when Geovani challenged then-Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevio in the March 2012 Democratic Party primary.
During the campaign, the Sheriff TMs Office distributed an Officer Safety Alert about Hernandez, warning any deputy who came across him to use extreme caution.
The alert recounted how Hernandez approached a reserve deputy at the La Olla restaurant in Edinburg, a popular hangout for politicos.
If I ever find out that some deputy or anybody is pulling me over for political reasons, wait to see what I have in store for them, Hernandez said, according to the alert. Come, let me show you.
Hernandez walked over to his truck and showed the reserve deputy an AK-47, according to the alert.
The rifle was between the passenger seat and the center console and it had an extended ammo magazine attached to the rifle, according to the alert.
Hernandez said the reserve deputy mischaracterized the conversation and dismissed the alert as dirty politics.
After he lost the 2012 Democratic Party primary, Hernandez largely vanished from public view until he joined the La Joya Police Department.
I TMm happy that people from La Joya were happy with my services, Hernandez said. I gained the trust of a lot of people. We ” myself and my team ” saved many lives out there.”
Hernandez briefly received national attention last month when the department received a 911 call from someone claiming to have kidnapped a Border Patrol agent. The claim appears to have been unfounded.
On Friday afternoon, Hernandez said he was headed to a business meeting with some associates.
They plan to start a substance abuse treatment center for children, Hernandez said, which would be a separate venture from his private security company.