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City manager has no plans to place San Antonio police chief on administrative leave

San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley said she has no intention of placing San Antonio Police Chief William McManus on administrative leave.

San Antonio City Manager Sheryl Sculley said she has no intention of placing San Antonio Police Chief William McManus on administrative leave.

On Monday, San Antonio Police Officer Association President Mike Helle called for an investigation and leave for McManus because of his handling of a smuggling incident on Dec. 23.

Twelve immigrants were found in the back of a truck, taken to San Antonio Police Department headquarters for questioning and then released to the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services and Catholic Charities.

Sheryl Sculley release the following statement:

"I fully support Chief McManus handling of the smuggling case and have no intention of placing him on administrative leave. No rule, directive, regulation or law was broken or circumvented. The Chief acted within his jurisdiction and, as acknowledged by federal law enforcement, had no real authority to hold the 12 individuals after they were questioned. On Dec. 23, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) was notified early in the SAPD investigation. One HSI agent responded to the scene, was present at SAPD headquarters and was provided access to the 12 individuals. At no time did SAPD restrict or prevent HSI from taking custody of the individuals."

Helle believes an investigation into the scene will reveal there are discrepancies in how the incident was handled.

He sent this letter to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and city council members:

Catholic Charities CEO Antonio Fernandez said they often provide shelter for immigrants, but admitted that the Dec. 23rd incident was the first time he got a request specifically from the police department.

Among the immigrants picked up by Catholic Charities was a 16-year-old girl, who we're told was treated just like the others.

"We provided them with shelter, clothing, with food, equally to all of them," Fernandez said.

He also said the mission is the same no matter the origin of the individual; they're here to serve people.

Food, clothing and shelter are at the top of the list of the basic human needs being filled at Catholic Charities, but they also have 45 programs including ESL classes, legal services and immigration services.

According to Hernandez, those who recieve services at Catholic Charities are neither judged nor questioned. He leaves the vetting up to the authorities.

"If the chief of police is giving me these people, I assume that the chief of police is already taking care of these good people, that they're not criminals," Hernandez said.

A statement released by the city manager explained that while the immigrants were questioned, they were not given background checks or fingerprinted.

Chief McManus declined our request for an interview.

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