By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Mike Dupree, the Dallas County constable already accused of sexually harassing Hispanic men and deporting his Honduran lover in a jealous pique, is now the subject of a sworn statement that says he conspired to frame his political rivals on false drug charges.
Last week, Leslie Glenn Willie, a deputy for Dupree for more than six years, gave an affidavit claiming that the Oak Cliff-area constable wanted him to plant cocaine on his 2006 campaign opponent Jaime Cortes and two of Cortes' supporters, Kenneth Hines and Domingo Garcia.
"Constable Dupree, on several occasions, instructed me to take narcotics (cocaine) out of the property room and make traffic stops with the intent to plant these illegal drugs on his campaign opponents, Jaime Cortes, Kenneth Hines and Domingo Garcia," Willie said in his affidavit. "Furthermore, there have been several incidents where Constable Mike Dupree instructed me to take my patrol assault rifle, and to fire it into his personal vehicle, causing extensive damage. Constable Mike Dupree would then file a false report with the Dallas Police Department naming his opponent, Jaime Cortes, as the shooter."
Dallas County Commissioner Ken Mayfield, who asked the Dallas County District Attorney's Office to investigate Dupree after the constable admitted to deporting his boyfriend to Honduras, says he thought he had seen it all.
"That somebody would come up with these things to win an election is incredible," he says. "It's kind of sick too."
Willie also touched on a recurring theme of Dupree's recent heartaches: the constable's weakness for impressionable young Latinos.
In his affidavit, Willie claims that Dupree instructed him to dismiss tickets for young Hispanic males. "This was to be done so the constable could see them socially," Willie said. "He would also have these young Hispanic males do community service like cleaning the office and washing cars at the office. He would personally supervise them and have lunch with them."
John Weddle, Dupree's attorney, says that Willie's affidavit is completely untrue.
"We're fortunate that the constable has a habit of making real good notes and tape recording conversations, and I think we'll be able to very clearly show that everything involved in this is absolutely a lie..."
If his client really did ask Willie to frame his political rivals, Weddle asks, why didn't he come forward at the time?
"If that occurred, why didn't he go to public integrity right then and say what happened," Weddle says. "The reason why he didn't is because it didn't happen."
But Dupree has other things to worry about besides Willie's affidavit.
Last month, three other employees of Dupree filed a petition to remove him from office, portraying the constable as a manipulative boss prone to using his authority to make sexual advances toward young Hispanic males. This would happen both inside the office and in his Oak Cliff-area precinct. The employees, Leo Armendariz, Rafael Hernandez and Robert Aaron McCarty, gave sworn statements claiming that their boss fostered a hostile work environment at his office. He touched them inappropriately, asked them out on gambling trips and invited them to his home.
"Over the course of the last six years I have literally lost count of the times in which I had to deal with Constable Dupree's advances and the awkward situation in which he placed me in," says Leo Armendariz, a 29-year-old deputy constable. "This list has gone from everything to asking to hold my hand, to asking for hugs, to having to reject his many invitations to go out."
Weddle though says that like Willie, the three plaintiffs all have an ax to grind with Dupree.
"It's going to be interesting to watch how this unfolds. I'll tell you, what I think will happen is that he'll finish out his term of office with no problem and several of these people will be indicted, depending on how far it goes."
After the employees filed their petition, Willie contacted attorney Dan Wyde, the former criminal judge who, along with Lee Westmoreland, is representing the plaintiffs. Later, he gave his sworn statement to Westmoreland. The state attorney general's office, which is conducting a criminal investigation of Dupree, is reviewing Willie's affidavit as well.
Jaime Cortes, a sergeant with Constable Derrick Evans, who ran against Dupree in 2002 and 2006, says that "the allegations don't surprise him." During the campaign, he heard rumors that Dupree was conspiring to plant drugs in his car, but at the time he didn't take them seriously.
"I'm going to take the high road and pray for him," he says.
Domingo Garcia, whose wife, Dallas City Council member Elba Garcia, supported Dupree in his re-election campaign, says he plans to see what the district attorney does before he acts. "I was shocked that a law enforcement officer would think of planting drugs for political purposes."
Willie's affidavit also details how Dupree used the constable's office to keep tabs on his Honduran lover, Angel Martinez. In one example, Willie says that the constable ordered his deputies to repossess Martinez's car, which supposedly belonged to Dupree.
Earlier this year, Dupree garnered widespread criticism when he admitted to the Dallas Observer that he arranged for Martinez's deportation in a bid to save the young man from drugs and gangs. Dupree said that he had been intimate with Martinez, who was 19 at the time, but ended their romance so he could act more like a father to the young man.
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