One of two Smith County Constable deputies being investigated for theft and abuse of office has been fired, employment records show.

Former PCT. 1 Chief Deputy LaQuenda Banks was arrested in November, along with Pct. 1 sergeant. Derrick Holman and their supervisor Smith County Pct. 1 Constable Curtis Traylor-Harris, charged with abuse of official power, official oppression and theft of property. The officers all left the Smith County Jail after their arrest.

The arrests stem from charges that the three of them stole money, ammunition, sunglasses and watches while serving an eviction notice, according to an affidavit of arrest.

A December 3 letter signed by Traylor-Harris and current Pct. 1 Chief Deputy Roy A. Logan says that after reviewing the facts surrounding her arrest, Banks should be removed from her post effective immediately. The document also claims that Banks admitted Traylor-Harris’ allegations.

“We wish you the best in your future endeavours,” the letter read. “If you have any questions, please make an appointment with the Administrative Assistant to speak with Constable or Chief Deputy Logan.”

Traylor-Harris confirmed Banks’ firing on Thursday and said it was because Banks admitted to stealing items and then returning them.

Regarding the criminal charges, he said the investigation is ongoing and the Smith County District Attorney’s Office is handling it.

The documents indicate that the termination takes priority and that the theft is the reason. Banks has been requested to be removed from Smith County Pct. 1 Constabulary Department webpage on county website.

Dec. 3 is also the day a spokesperson for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement said Traylor-Harris, Holman and Banks were told their peace officer licenses would be suspended. The suspensions went into effect Monday, said Gretchen Grigsby, director of government relations for the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.

Due to the suspension, Banks and Holman cannot work or exercise authority as peace officers.

This suspension does not remove Traylor-Harris from office, and he can still exercise the authority he has as an elected constable, Grigsby said.

“Removal proceedings would be initiated at the county level,” she said. “TCOLE has open files on these people pending the decision of their criminal proceedings.”

An affidavit of arrest obtained last month details body camera footage of Traylor-Harris, Banks and Holman searching a Tyler residence in late January while the occupant, who received an eviction notice, was away.

In February, the resident reported several missing items, including four watches, a partial box of .22 caliber ammunition, a box that could contain Apple Air Pods, Oakley sunglasses, Ray-Ban sunglasses, makeup and a safe containing old coins, a collector’s quarter, military medals, a diploma, a birth certificate, and a social security card. More than $750 in cash was also missing, according to the affidavit.

Texas Ranger Chris Baggett wrote in the affidavit that a member of the Smith County District Attorney’s Office gave him a flash drive in October containing Banks’ body camera video from the house.

While signing the eviction notice, Traylor-Harris and constable employees found drugs, drug paraphernalia, firearms and cash. Tyler Police were called by members of the Constable’s office, and officers later took over the drug-related investigation and arrested the tenant.

In Banks’ body camera video, the recording begins in a bedroom or bathroom with Banks telling Traylor-Harris in a low voice, “I cut it,” followed by the tone of a body camera being turned on. , according to the affidavit. Banks was heard saying “wait, don’t come here” as Traylor-Harris tried to hand him the watch case.

Traylor-Harris carried the watch case into a closet while continually trying to hand it to Banks. She followed Traylor-Harris who is heard saying “take that (expletive)” referring to watches from a display case. She removed four watches from the case and placed them in her shirt, according to the affidavit.

The document details several instances of Traylor-Harris, Banks and Holman going through drawers and other areas of the residence.

Recent stories you might have missed

Previous

Pima County deputy chief to sue Mercedes for $15 million after SUV's self-closing door cut his thumb

Next

Idaho Chief Assistant Secretary Chad Houck Withdraws From SOS Primary | Idaho

Check Also