Suspended Zavalla police chief Jim Hodges is not under investigation by the Texas Rangers, according to local authorities.
Although Hodges, 69, is the subject of an in-house investigation by city officials, he is not the target of a Texas Ranger investigation, according to Texas Ranger Steve Rayburn.
Rayburn said he was contacted by Hodges to assist with a third party investigation to ensure a fair and impartial investigation into a criminal matter.
“I’m not investigating any administrative matters in the city of Zavalla,” Rayburn said. “I came in at the request of Chief Hodges to conduct a third-party investigation into criminal allegations brought to the police department by a community member.”
In a phone interview Tuesday, Hodges confirmed he did call the Ranger in to investigate a criminal matter but could not comment on the details of the case.
“I did request the Ranger assist in the case as he’s an unbiased party,” Hodges said.
Hodges was suspended with pay Monday night, following a Zavalla city council meeting, according to Zavalla Mayor Greg Fletcher. Fletcher said he expects the in-house investigation to take about a week, after which a decision will be made about Hodges’ status with the department.
“We’re just at a standstill right now until the investigation is done,” Fletcher said.
Hodges has been with the department since the end of May, taking on the role from former chief Bobby Epperly, who accepted a chief position with the city of Huntington. Hodges has more than 30 years experience in law enforcement, having spent 27 years with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office. Before that he got his start in Harris County.
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