A Mart police officer turned himself in Thursday morning at Falls County Jail on an official oppression charge related to an arrest in November, when he was an officer in Marlin.
Mart suspended Officer Sergio Collazo without pay after his arrest on the Class A misdemeanor indictment filed by special prosecutor W. Coty Siegert. Siegert, Robertson County’s district attorney, agreed to prosecute the case after Falls County District Attorney Jody Gilliam recused her office.
The indictment states Collazo acted in his official capacity to unlawfully arrest, detain and search a woman Nov. 25, 2018, and denied her right “to be secure in her home against unlawful entries, searches, and/or seizures.”
The document, closely following statutory language, states Collazo knew his action was unlawful. It states the incident happened in Falls County but does not provide a specific location or any other information about the allegation.
Former Marlin Police Chief Nathan Sodek fired Collazo in the spring for several reasons, including untruthfulness and insubordination, said interim Marlin Police Chief Cedric Davis, who also serves as city manager.
Collazo appealed his termination, claiming it violated his civil rights, and the termination was overturned after a hearing in June, Davis said. Collazo resigned shortly thereafter, Davis said. Collazo was the first officer Mart Police Chief Albert Cavazos, a former Marlin officer, hired when he started rebuilding the Mart Police Department after he was hired in June. Cavazos declined comment Thursday after Collazo’s arrest.
Sodek, meanwhile, killed himself last month when Texas Rangers went to his house in relation to a then-active criminal investigation into Sodek, officials have said.
Davis is serving as interim Marlin chief while the city searches for a new permanent chief.
“We are doing a major overhaul, and I am proud of the overhaul we are doing here,” Davis said. “I can’t speak for (Collazo’s) arrest, but you will be happy with the work we are doing here.”
Mart City Manager Kevin Schaffer said the city had been unaware of any investigation into Collazo. When Collazo was hired in the end of June, his paperwork from the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement stated he was given an honorable discharge from the Marlin Police Department, Schaffer said.
“We had no idea of any kind of investigation,” he said. “The city was unaware of any current investigation.”
He said Collazo was suspended without pay after his arrest Thursday.
Collazo also was suspended from the Marlin force in January after officials said he bought counterfeit currency during a trip to Dallas. At the time, the city attorney said Collazo reported the purchase immediately and made the buy in an effort to build a case against the person he bought the counterfeit money from but that his actions were not authorized and were inappropriate. It is unknown if that incident was related to his departure from the Marlin Police Department.
Collazo has been released from Falls County Jail on bond listed at $30,000.