BANGS— The Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas requested the City of Bangs to restore the job of former BPD officer Cody Coudron, whose firing they say violated state law.
Lubbock-based attorney Terry S. Boone, representing CLEAT, stated in the letter to BPD Chief Jorge Camarillo and city attorney Mark Bressent that Coudron’s termination in 2018 violated state labor laws and urged his reinstatement as well as a change on his discharge from dishonorable to honorable.
“It is our understanding that you failed to show Officer Coudron a copy of the signed written complaint against him regarding the accusations you based disciplinary action on,” Boone stated. “Your actions do not comply with the strict requirements of Tex Govt. Code 614.021-023 and make your discipline of Officer Coudron an act in violation of state law. These acts, your refusal to allow Coudron to contact his union counsel and subsequent termination of Coudron for his membership in CLEAT indicate that his discipline, and subsequent termination are in violation of state law … We therefore urge you to reconsider this decision and reinstate Officer Coudron.”
The letter, dated Dec. 4, 2018, did not specify whether CLEAT had any intention to take legal action, but the Bulletin received a copy of the letter with a post office date of Dec. 31, 2018. Chief Camarillo said he was unaware of any legal action taken by Coudron and said his termination came after a dispute regarding his latest assessment.
In August, Coudron was one of three officers hired to replenish the ranks of the depleted Bangs Police Department. Camarillo had been the lone member of law enforcement, along with limited assistance from the Brown County Sheriff’s Department, for more than four months before hiring Coudron and fellow officers Sam Sadler and Corey Lockett. Coudron came to the BPD after serving with a department in the Houston metropolitan area, graduating as a member of the 28th class of the Gus George Law Enforcement Academy in Houston. Camarillo said the description of the events outlined in CLEAT’s complain is inaccurate and Coudron’s termination came as a result of an outburst during his evaluation.
“This happened a few months back. He was asked to resign and he refused,” Camarillo said. “… The reason he left was he was on probation and that was for a year and he didn’t even make it three months. The reason he left was because he wasn’t doing his reports, he wasn’t showing up to work on time. When he would come to work there were issues I can’t have like putting your feet up and falling asleep.”
Camarillo said many of the issues he had with Coudron were easily correctable, highlighting how a correction to Lockett’s performance potentially saved his life after an alleged drunk driver struck Lockett as he made a traffic stop in December. Camarillo said Coudron may have anger issues, potentially resulting in complaints from residents and area businesses.
“There were two write-ups he was going to get and he said ‘I’m not going to sign that. I’m going to get my attorney. I said ‘all right’ and as he left, I said ‘at this time you can pretty much resign or be terminated,” Camarillo said. “ He said ‘You’re not doing either one,’ then and walked out and later on turned his equipment in. That was it … He started yelling and screaming and kicking in doors. I’m not going to have that as a chief. The office people were getting scared and I said ‘at this time you need to take your stuff and leave, just go. I’m not going to have this. All this is is a write up on your performance evaluation. That’s it.’”
Camarillo said following Coudron’s departure from the Bangs PD, officers with the Brownwood Police Department had Coudron under investigation, but did not specify specific charges. He said any complaints of false termination typically go before the Texas Education Commission of Law Enforcement and was unsure of the purpose of CLEAT’s letter. The Bulletin reached out to Bangs City Attorney Mark Bressent, but was unable to receive a comment in time for publication.