Former Yorktown police chief begins jail sentence

Paul Campos

Former Yorktown Police Chief Paul Campos will spend most of the next three months alone inside a cell at the DeWitt County Jail.

"Being stripped of his badge was probably the most humiliating thing that has ever happened to him," said District Attorney Rob Lassmann, who successfully prosecuted Campos for tampering with a government record.

On Jan. 1, Campos, a 22-year veteran of the Yorktown Police Department, stripped off his street clothes and, after being fingerprinted and searched by jailers, donned a green, two-piece inmate's uniform before taking his place in an isolation cell, said DeWitt County Sheriff Carl Bowen.

In August Campos was sentenced to 90 consecutive days in the county jail and lost his peace officer's license after a month-long undercover investigation by the Texas Rangers in July 2016.

Lassmann said Campos illegally logged bogus community service hours for a woman he asked to bare her breasts in exchange. According to court records, the woman, who cooperated with Rangers, also alleged Campos made arrangements for her to perform sex acts at a hotel for additional credit. Rangers refused to allow her to follow through for fear of her safety, Lassmann said.

Although Campos remains in isolated, protective custody, he will receive no special treatment, Bowen said.

"That is nothing above and beyond what we would do if we had any inmate that we felt was at risk," Bowen said.

And like the other dozen or so jail inmates serving time in isolation, the former police chief will spend most of his time in a small cell furnished with a cot, toilet, shower and television.

"It's not very comfortable," Bowen said.

Campos will be limited to that room, where he will take meals, and an indoor recreation area, where he can shoot basketball hoops and stretch his legs - albeit alone.

For Lassmann, putting Campos behind bars, rather than simply giving him probation, was essential, he said.

"I felt that Campos had to do some jail ... time because of the message it sends," Lassmann said. "It lets everyone know that no one is above the law."

Campos will be required to serve all 90 days in jail without any possibility for early release, but his charge will be dismissed upon the successful completion of his probation, which includes 80 hours of community service and a $1,000 fine.

Although Yorktown Mayor Rene Hernandez said Campos must pay the price for his crimes, he added, "I don't want to see anyone in jail."

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Jon covers crime, public safety and the courts at the Victoria Advocate. Born in Huntsville, Ala., he grew up in Atlanta, Ga. and obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism at Texas State University.

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