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A proposal to eliminate all five Dallas County constable traffic units as a budget-cutting measure is drawing concern from some county officials and others who fear it could be a hidden attempt to get rid of deputies who gave written testimony against their bosses.
County Judge Jim Foster, who helped initiate a civil investigation of Precinct 1 Constable Derick Evans and former Precinct 5 Constable Jaime Cortes, said it would be a mistake to eliminate the jobs of those who came forward to report wrongdoing.
Deputies say they were promised protection when they agreed to give sworn statements to Danny Defenbaugh, the county's constable investigator. They say they've been betrayed.
Defenbaugh completed his investigation earlier this year. He found that Evans may have abused his office by requiring his deputies to help with his re-election campaigns. And he concluded that Cortes abused his office by accepting bribes from a towing company and by mistreating his employees.
A special prosecutor was appointed in June to investigate criminal allegations. That probe is ongoing. So far, one arrest has been made: a former Cortes lieutenant who is charged with sexual assault, bribery, official oppression and other offenses.