The El Paso Tribune - El Paso Texas Political Commentary
Date: March 8, 2004

De Angelis weights in on Carlos Leon

There is no contest, race, or challenge for Sheriff in El Paso County. The voters have a very clear and simple choice: Leo Saminiego. To imply there is a race or a challenge, presents a picture of two equally qualified candidates that possess the talent, integrity, and leadership skills to win. Nothing could be further from reality.

When I started my career 28 years ago with the El Paso Police Department, I remember sitting wide-eyed listening to my instructor for the day. His last name was Saminego, and he was talking about the importance of ethics, and integrity, at a time when these words were not part of police training. He made a lasting impression on made at that moment. He was very emphatic and sincere as he taught us not to abuse our authority, to always tell the truth, and to serve with pride.

As the years passed and I progressed through the ranks, I never forgot those words, especially the heartfelt sentiments that were expressed. I applied these concepts, beliefs, and values, to the best of my ability. Looking back now that I retired as assistant chief, and amidst the controversy of telling the truth as opposed to reinforcing the blue wall of silence, Sheriff Samaniego played such a key role in my development as a person and a law enforcement officer. Without his realization, he was my mentor and role model. Throughout my painful ordeal with Chief Leon and The City of El Paso, the desire to uncover the truth was never a priority with them. Not once, did either ever contact me to find out how I was enduring, how my family was holding up, and to offer any support. After all, we were on the same team. No one, that is, except, my mentor, my role model, who happened to be the Sheriff of a law enforcement agency that I was not a member of. Sheriff Saminiego and his Chief Deputy Jimmy Apodaca called several times during my ordeal not to discuss the merits of the situation, but to offer me and my family emotional support. I remember the sheriff telling me I had nothing to be ashamed of; that I did my duty, and telling the truth is never wrong in law enforcement.

I must admit that was a very emotional moment for me. I only wished Chief Leon had said that. But he didn't. There are a lot of things he didn't say and a lot of things he did not do that the citizens of El Paso do not know the entire truth about. He had every opportunity to make things right but did not.

The voters of El Paso really have a no brainier decision when it comes to the Sheriff's campaign. The only real candidate is Leon Samaniego.

Sincerely, George De Angelis, retired Assistant Chief of Police


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