Dallas County Constable Jaime Cortes resigns

Constable Jaime Cortes

Credit: WFAA-TV

Dallas County Constable Jaime Cortes

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on May 12, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 12 at 11:40 PM

NEWS 8 INVESTIGATES

DALLAS — Embattled Dallas County Precinct 5 Constable Jaime Cortes resigned late Wednesday afternoon.

Cortes lost in a re-election bid amid an investigation into alleged wrongdoing and an ongoing News 8 investigation.

He tendered his resignation to Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins around 5:30 p.m.

Cortes quit rather than face a removal hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday.

Cortes has been the subject of numerous allegations by current and former deputies accusing him of several indiscretions, including harassment, intimidation, misuse of office, and sexual harassment.

He was being sued by several deputies who had sought his removal from office.

"The district attorney's office was aggressively working on removing Constable Cortes from office," said Jamille Bradfield, a spokeswoman for District Attorney Watkins. "There was a hearing scheduled for tomorrow, and the district attorney's office subpoenaed Constable Cortes as a witness for that hearing. In lieu of that hearing, Constable Cortes has tendered his resignation from office, which is effective in 60 days."

Bradfield said the resignation effectively resolves the civil removal action.

Cortes had been defeated in a primary election runoff by Beth Villareal, so he would have had to vacate the office in January.

The constable still could face charges of criminal wrongdoing, but the  district attorney's office had no comment on that issue.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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