CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A Corpus Christi police officer who would often work as a security officer for West Oso ISD in his off-time resigned from his position March 18, a spokesman for the department confirmed today.
The sudden resignation of Gilbert Cantu comes amid accusations of the former officer allegedly falsifying his timesheet.
West Oso ISD superintendent Conrado Garcia said he was informed of the discrepancy about two or three months ago by the district’s chief of security, James Lerma.
“Once we discovered that, I put a stop to that payment — we never paid the police officer for that time that he was requesting to be paid for,” Garcia said. “We have to be good stewards of the public monies, meaning we have to account for every dollar that we spend.”
A spokesman for CCPD would not comment any further on the matter.
According to Garcia, employees at West Oso ISD submit their hours via a timeclock app that requires users to be within a certain physical distance of the district.
“That’s the only way that I accepted the system — you have to be within a suited radius of the district,” he said. “All operations, you rely on humans being honest to do the right thing and thank God that 99.9 percent of us do the right thing.”
A security officer has since replaced Cantu. Although Garcia said he was disappointed with the news of a city police officer trying to take money from the district, he said he isn’t letting that affect his relationship with CCPD.
“It has not caused me to lose faith in the police department of course,” Garcia said. “I mean this is one incident that we dealt with here and I was assured that CCPD would take care of it, I have no reason to doubt that.”
Cantu had been an officer with CCPD for nearly nine years.
According to a news release from April 4, 2018, Gilbert Cantu was one of two officers placed on administrative leave after his involvement in an officer-involved shooting at the 2300 block of Capitan Drive. Previous reports state 34-year-old Adan Rene Marrero was shot by officers and died at the scene.
In late March 2019, Cantu also fired several shots at Richard Salazar in the 200 block of Torreon Street while working as a field training officer.
Salazar, the victim, had been mistaken for a suspect while him and a trainee were looking for two suspects involved in two separate robberies at the Hi-Ho Store.
Previous reports state Salazar was shot three times — once to the hand, the side of his chest and his stomach. Salazar did survive.
At the time, CCPD Chief Mike Markle said that the man’s injuries were “a very unfortunate chain of events.” A grand jury in Nueces County ultimately decided not to indict the officer.
That accident, led the city having to pay out $428,358.39.
According to previous reports, Salazar received a $2.9 million settlement, the bulk of that paid by the city's insurer.