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  • FBI requested for officer investigation

    FBI Seal on Red BackgroundFBI Seal on Red Background | Courtesy of https://www.fbi.gov/

    PCE Staff

    Via social media, the Polk County District Attorney announced his office has requested an FBI investigation for the possibility of federal charges against a former employee at the Polk County Jail.

    District Attorney Lee Hon messaged through Facebook that a complaint was received Feb. 23 by Polk County Sheriff’s administration regarding improper use of force by Polk County Jail Captain William Jerry on an inmate at the jail.

    Texas Rangers investigated that incident and the inmate was reportedly transported to another jail. Investigations have uncovered additional alleged incidents involving Jerry.

    According to Hon’s post, “The matter was promptly reported to this (district attorney) office and the Texas Rangers for an independent criminal investigation. In the initial investigation conducted by Texas Ranger Sgt. Ryan Clendenen, information was received alleging Jerry’s involvement in other instances of the improper use of force against inmates. Due to these additional allegations and the expanding nature of the investigation, on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, this office requested that the FBI assist in the investigation for consideration of any potential federal charges.”

    Hon also encouraged those with relevant knowledge of the circumstances in the investigation or other allegations of improper force against inmates at the Polk County Jail to contact Texas Ranger Sgt. Ryan Clendenen at 936-327-6836 or the Polk County District Attorney’s Office at 936-327-6868.

  • Former Police Lieutenant indicted by Polk County grand jury

    400 moore070220MUGSHOT Gabriel Phillip Moore

    By PCN Staff

    A former Onalaska Police Lieutenant who was arrested in July of 2020 has been indicted by a Polk County grand jury.

    Gabriel Phillip Moore, 44, was indicted on the Class A misdemeanor offense of official oppression, which is punishable up to a year in the county jail and $4,000 fine.

    Moore was arrested by the Texas Rangers in July after they began an investigation in May of 2020. He was later released after posting a $2,000 bond. The Magnolia resident worked at various police agencies in Polk, Montgomery, Chambers, and Harris County since 2002.

    The victim spoke to the Enterprise in an exclusive interview, saying he sought assistance from
    the chain of command. When he believed no action was taken, he contacted the Texas Rangers.

    A few weeks after the arrest, Moore was fired from his position in a city council meeting and Onalaska Police Chief John Maddox was placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation. Maddox later resigned in August, submitting a letter to City of Onalaska officials.

    Reportedly, Moore inappropriately touched an officer on several occasions. The officer was under Moore’s supervision and new to the department.

    The lieutenant began to purchase items such as a ballistic vest, a polo shirt for work, handcuffs and clothes for the new officer, which the victim said could all be construed as helping a new employee with items needed for the job.

    After multiple attempts to put a halt to the advances and seek assistance within the chain of command, the victim decided to file a complaint with the Texas Rangers.

    The indictment handed down last week and filed in the 411th District Court of Polk County alleges that Moore, “while a public servant and acting under the color of his office or employment as a peace officer for the City of Onalaska, Texas intentionally subjected [the victim] to sexual harassment, to-wit: the defendant did then and there subject [the victim] to unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, submission to which was made a term or condition of [the victim’s] exercise of any right, privilege, power, or immunity, either expressly or implicitly.”

    The case, which is being prosecuted by Polk County District Attorney William Lee Hon, will be scheduled for arraignment before 411th District Judge John Wells in the coming weeks.

  • Jailer abuse under investigation

    logoDPS file photo

    From the Polk County Sheriff’s Office

    A Polk County jailer was put on leave last week after a complaint of excessive use of force was filed.

    On Feb. 22, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a complaint where a jailer allegedly used excessive force on an inmate in the jail. PCSO administration notified theTexas Rangers and requested the Rangers’ assistance in conducting the investigation.

    The jailer was placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.