Convicted constable fighting judge's donation order

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Convicted ex-lawman Victor Trevino escaped jail time during his sentencing last week in a Harris County court -- and the biggest penalty given to him by the judge was an order to donate $30,000 to a state approved-charity.

Trevino is now fighting the court's order and wants out of paying a specific amount to charity, according court papers filed Monday.

That's in sharp contrast to Trevino's comments on Nov. 17, after 185th District Criminal Court Judge Susan Brown handed down his sentence.

"I'm here to fulfill the wishes of the court," Trevino said. "I've also been very respectful of our judicial system and I will continue to do so."

Trevino's guilty plea followed charges that he misused tens of thousands of dollars of money donated to CARE, a charity he controlled designed to help needy East End kids and seniors.

"I know it looks bad, that's why I pleaded guilty," Trevino said at sentencing.

The constable-turned-felon blamed poor record keeping and his lack of oversight as the as the cause of nearly $200,000 in missing money.

Brown ordered Trevino to serve 10 years probation, to pay a $1,000 fine, serve 150 hours of community service and donate $30,200 to a state-approved charity. The judge wanted the donation made anonymously by Trevino so he couldn't get any credit for it.

The $30,200 figure comes from the "actual amount of loss that we can attribute Mr. Trevino going into his accounts," according to the judge, referencing testimony from prosecutors.

In papers filed with the court Monday, Trevino attorney Chip Lewis argued that the law "includes a section expressly authorizing a one-time $50 payment to a crime stoppers organization but does not expressly allow this court to increase that amount by over $30,000 and change the charity organization to one not authorized..."

Essentially, Lewis said Trevino could be forced to pay money back to CARE, but Trevino disbanded the charity in the run-up to the indictment.

So now, Lewis said, the only option is to remove the donation stipulation altogether.

Read Lewis' court filing here.

In court, prosecutors connected cashed CARE checks to deposits in Trevino's personal bank accounts that were closely timed to Trevino casino junkets.

Prosecutors also said Trevino's charity records were so bad and so much of the money was intentionally spent in cash, that it was impossible to trace most of the money. That's why Trevino was charged with misapplication of fiduciary property, rather than theft, they said.

Heliodoro "Henry" Martinez, Jr., a veteran police lieutenant with Houston Community College System, will serve out Trevino's remaining term.
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