A former Refugio County sheriff’s lieutenant who pocketed a $50 bill from an investigation scene will never again serve as a peace officer, prosecutors said Friday.
On Tuesday, Jeffrey Jo Raymond, 51, permanently surrendered his Texas Commission on Law Enforcement certification as part of an agreement with the office of District Attorney Rob Lassmann, who serves Refugio, Goliad and DeWitt counties, according to a district attorney news release.
In accepting that deal, Raymond’s charge of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony, was dismissed, according to Assistant District Attorney Tim Poynter and court records.
This outcome does not send Raymond to jail or prison and does not give him probation. He also did not plead guilty. As a third-degree felony, a conviction would have subjected him to two-10 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Poynter said Raymond had a lapse of judgment and that this outcome was the right one since the family of the deceased man found at the investigation scene had input in the agreement.
“After having consulted with the family of the deceased, witnesses, investigators and reviewing Mr. Raymond’s 20 years of service to the citizens of the city of Refugio and County of Refugio, it was determined that justice was best served by ensuring that (Raymond) would never again be a law enforcement officer, “ according to the news release
Neither Sheriff Raul “Pinky” Gonzales nor Raymond’s attorney, Gregory Cagle, of Austin, could be reached for comment Friday.
Raymond’s May 2020 arrest came months after he pocketed a $50 bill found outside a home of a deceased homeowner after family members asked authorities to check on the man.
At the time, Raymond was acting as supervisor on the call.
According to the district attorney’s news release, the $50 should have been marked as evidence and released to the homeowner’s family.
Lassmann also commended the Refugio County deputies who subsequently reported Raymond’s actions to supervisors.
After the resulting internal investigation by the sheriff’s office, sheriff’s officials reassigned Raymond to patrol duties. Raymond cooperated with that internal investigation, according to the news release.
A separate Texas Rangers criminal investigation resulted in an indictment for tampering with evidence, the charge for which Raymond surrendered his license.