Central Texas sheriff has 20 days to contest license suspension
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Falls County Sheriff Ricky Scaman, who was named in a five-count indictment on Sept. 21 charging one count of sexual assault, two counts of assault on a public servant, and two counts of official oppression in connection with an investigation by the Texas Rangers has 20 days to seek a hearing after the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) suspended his license.
Scaman was notified of the suspension Monday in a letter from TCOLE Executive Director Kim Vickers in which Vickers wrote “a licensee arrested or indicted for such offenses constitutes an immediate peril to the public health, safety and welfare.”
The letter advised Scaman his license has been suspended pending the outcome of the criminal proceedings against him.
Scaman’s attorney, Hoagie L. Karels, calls the suspension “invalid” and “unconstitutional.”
“They got the cart before the horse,” Karels told KWTX Tuesday.
“They suspended before the hearing.”
While he and his client disagree with the suspension, it’s being followed, Karels says.
“Ever since he received notice of the suspension, he has followed that, he is not acting as a law enforcement officer, out of an abundance of caution,” said Karels.
Karels said they would be filing an appeal with TCOLE Wednesday and plan to file other matters in the next week.
Scaman bonded, out of the Bell County Jail the night of his arrest.
Since then, the sheriff has reportedly been going to work and was spotted campaigning at the Falls County Republican Party’s Fish Fry on Saturday.
Despite his bond conditions, which state he can’t be within 500 feet of the workplace of alleged victims in the case, Scaman has been going into work, even though at least one alleged victim works for him there, in the same facility, as a sergeant at the jail.
Sources say a Falls County Sheriff’s Office administrator called alleged victims last week and told them they must call the sheriff’s office ahead of time to see if Scaman was on-site before going to work.
“I have extreme concerns for the safety and well-being of any victims who may still be employed with the department and anyone that the sheriff may have supervisory authority over,” said Julian Frachtman, a lawyer representing multiple victims, both current and former employees of Scaman, in the case.
“The commonality between them, sadly, is that to some degree or another, they have all experienced some type of sexual harassment, gender based discrimination, and retaliation.”
The Houston-based attorney’s firm focuses on labor and employment law.
“All these women are fighting for the same thing: justice, stability in their careers,” said Frachtman. “Some of these officers have spent years of their lives towards serving the public, and they stand to have any kind of professional advancement or culmination of their career put down.”
Frachtman describes Scaman as a man who bends the rules to his own whim.
“We have department heads who are essentially drunk on their power,” said Frachtman. “They have little to no effective oversight, and they have begun to act outside of the bounds of the very laws they’re sworn to uphold.”
Scaman, for his part, denies the allegations and questions the timing of his arrest.
“The allegations and the timing of them, are a concerted effort on the part of several persons to damage my reelection in an attempt by those same persons to extort money from me and the people of Falls County," Scaman said in a statement released Tuesday through his attorney, Hoagie Karels.
"While this matter works its way through the court system, I will continue as Falls County Sheriff and will continue to protect and serve the citizens of Falls County. I look forward to a trial, at which time all the true facts will be presented, and when a jury will render a verdict of not guilty and put an end to this extortion attempt and clear my name.”
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