San Antonio, TX– On February 13th, ACT 4 SA filed an Ethics Complaint against the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) for violating Title 15 of the Election Code and Texas Ethics Commission rules.
According to the Texas Ethics Commission complaint, SAPOA illegally used union dues to make two direct campaign expenditures to a private company in an effort to oppose Proposition B – a local measure on the San Antonio ballot in May 2021 designed to hold San Antonio Police Officers accountable to the public. This direct infringement of Section 253.096 of the Election Code is a clear violation of the law, and a misuse of union member funds that were not allocated for political purposes. It is still unclear if the union members are aware their funds were being used for illegal purposes.
The complaint also states that SAPOA’s current treasurer, Mr. Jason A. Sanchez, further violated the law when he filed the Direct Campaign Expenditures Campaign Finance Report in his own name instead of SAPOA’s name – at a time when he wasn’t officially the treasurer on file for the organization. This is a direct violation of Texas Ethics Commission rules 20.53, “Disclosure of True Source of Contribution or Expenditure.”
The facts show that SAPOA made illegal political expenditures totaling $600,720.00 to oppose Proposition B, a charter amendment aiming to increase safety and transparency, which was supported by the San Antonio community.
And now, two years later, leadership within the police union has voted to again illegally use member dues in a political campaign to oppose the San Antonio Justice Charter – a community-driven charter amendment focused on police reform. SAPOA leadership has agreed to utilize $1.8 million in general funds for targeted political expenditures against the charter amendment. It is expected that these funds will again be illegally allocated through payments to private companies.
“Once again, SAPOA is planning to flood local elections with millions of dollars in efforts to sway an election. Instead of focusing on their job of upholding the law, they plan to spend $3 million over the span of two election cycles to influence policy and mislead the public. The police union will stop at nothing to gain political power and fight the community’s clear demand for more accountability, transparency, and a true sense of safety.” – Ananda Tomas, Executive Director of ACT 4 SA
The Texas Ethics Commission is now investigating the 2021 allegations and SAPOA’s actions to determine if any further action needs to be taken.
About Act 4 SA:
ACT 4 SA empowers the San Antonio community through year-round base building, grassroots actions, educational campaigns, and more to achieve the accountable, compassionate, and transparent public safety system we all deserve.