On Tuesday, Slaton officials released the name of their former police officer under investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Rick Lewis was a first lieutenant with the department for 10 years, but now finds himself in the middle of a federal investigation.
Right now facts are limited. Mayor D.W. Englund and Police Chief Royce Goodson say even they don't know what Lewis is being accused of. All documents are sealed as federal investigators gather facts.
"Nobody can tell us anything, nor are they allowed to tell us anything," Englund said.
Goodson said he was first notified that Lewis was a part of a federal investigation last Tuesday.
"It totally shocks everybody," Englund said.
Englund said Lewis resigned the day after he handed in his resignation.
"I think he made the decision that he wanted to spare the department from any negative publicity because of the investigation," Goodson told us.
"He was one of the backbones of our department and we don't understand the investigation whatsoever," said Englund.
Many think of terrorism with the Department of Homeland Security, but Goodson says that's not the case here. "It has nothing to do with the security of Slaton. It has nothing to do with any person in Slaton harmed or at risk. It's strictly something this officer may have been involved in," Goodson said.
A computer Lewis used at the department was searched and returned, but no one knew what authorities were looking for. Goodson also said Lewis cooperated with officials.
Englund and Goodson say the city and department will do whatever they're asked by authorities. They say other officers in the department have been investigated for different violations before and that no one is above the law.
"If there are officers that violate the law in any way or violate a person's rights then they will certainly be held accountable," Goodson said.
No charges have been filed against Lewis. We called the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Carl Rusnok with Immigration and Customs Enforcement returned our message and said he couldn't release any information.
KCBD NewsChannel 11 will continue to follow this developing story and bring you the very latest.
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