A former Hill County sheriff’s deputy, the father-in-law of suspended Hill County Sheriff Mike Cox, was placed on deferred probation after his guilty plea to three felony counts, including theft.
Judge Lee Harris of 66th State District Court in Hillsboro placed former deputy Alan Markwardt, 60, on felony probation for five years, fined him $1,000 and ordered him to permanently surrender his peace officer’s license after Markwardt pleaded guilty last week to felony theft, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and tampering with a governmental record.
Markwardt, of Bynum, managed the sheriff’s office’s property room.
He pleaded guilty to stealing $560 that was seized in a criminal case in October 2013 and then deleting any reference to the seized funds on offense reports using a county computer.
His actions surfaced when the wife of the man whose funds were seized asked that the money be returned.
Officials thought she was lying about the money because there was no report of it being seized, according to records filed in the case.
Hill County officials called in the Texas Rangers to investigate after the woman produced a copy of the sheriff’s office report, which reflected the seized assets.
Markwardt’s attorney, John McLeod, of Waco, declined comment.
Markwardt is the father-in-law of Cox, who was indicted in May along with his former chief deputy and a captain on charges stemming from a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement investigation into an alleged officer-licensing scandal.
Cox; his former chief deputy, Mark Wilson; and a former captain, Leroy Rodriguez, all were charged in multicount indictments with tampering with governmental records and other charges.
The charges, which remain pending, are related to alleged irregularities in testing procedures to obtain law enforcement certification.
Cox, a former Hillsboro police officer who became sheriff in January 2013, was removed from office temporarily by court order after his arrest.