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Just The Facts -

Rickey Stokes

Viewed: 4155

Posted by: RStokes
Date: Apr 11 2018 3:55 PM

HOUSTON COUNTY:   Recently a off duty Houston County Sheriff Deputy was walking their lab dog. The dog got loose and ran into a yard where a pit bull dog was located. The dogs started fighting.


The off duty deputy and another person took a board and attempted to break those dogs up. They were unsuccessful. The dog fight continued to get brutal with the pit bulldog winning.


The deputy loved animals as most people do. The deputy was extremely upset. The deputies dog, as I am sure the pit bulldog owner loved their dog. 


Someone handed the off duty deputy a gun and they shot the pit bulldog. The homeowner got home and the deputy offered to carry to pit bulldog to the animal hospital with theirs but the home owner said no that her son or grandson would be home shortly.


Then the manure hit the fan later with facebook posts starting. It being election year the rhetoric started flying bring in Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza into it.


A complaint was made to the Sheriff. Sheriff Donald Valenza assigned Internal Affairs Investigator Barry Tucker to investigate. Tucker is a retired Captain of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Tucker, as Sheriff Valenza has extreme integrity, above reproach.


Sheriff Donald Valenza placed the off duty deputy on Administrative Leave pending the investigation. 


Investigator Barry Tucker did a two prong investigation: (1) administrative - was there any policy and procedures of the Houston County Sheriff Department violated (2) any criminal laws of the State of Alabama violated.


Sheriff Donald Valenza and Investigator Barry Tucker made it clear - this Deputy Sheriff or any other member of Houston County Sheriff Department would be treated NO DIFFERENT than anyone else.


At the conclusion of the Internal Affairs Investigation, it was determined that: (1) the off duty Deputy did not violate any rules and regulations of the Houston County Sheriff Department, and (2) in consultation with the 20th Judicial Circuit District Attorney, no criminal laws were broken. But as in many cases the investigation would be presented to a Houston County Grand Jury for review.


With that in mind, Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza had no choice other than to remove the off duty Deputy Sheriff from Administrative Leave.


Both Sheriff Donald Valenza and the off duty Deputy Sheriff are animal lovers. 


Since that time there has been a lot of Facebook Rhetoric, most especially since this is an election year. A lot of the rhetoric has been driven by political opposition of Donald Valenza.


Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza has 39 years of service to the people of Houston County. He has never been swayed by politics in the 39 years of service.  And even though the political season is causing a lot of political rhetoric, Sheriff Donald Valenza is not going to address this issue with anything other than FACTUAL INVESTIGATIVE RESULTS and make a legal, morale and ethical decision from the investigative results.


Sheriff Donald Valenza is not going to make a decision based on politics or social media comments.


Those questioning the investigation, ask anyone about Barry Tucker, retired Alabama Bureau of Investigation Captain. He is going to conduct a thorough and detailed investigation and let the chips fall where they might fall. Tucker and Valenza are honorable law enforcement officers, men of integrity and strong morale character. Neither of these two law enforcement professionals would ever treat a law enforcement officer any different than an average citizen in the performance of their job and decisions made.


This situation is sad. Everyone involved loved animals. The off duty deputy loved their dog and it is awful when the two dogs were in a fight. As with most dog owners, they are like your children. What do you do when you lab and a pit bulldog are tied up and you see your animal being killed? A split second decision that everyone has hours to debate.


Add to that, it is election time.


But those questioning Donald Valenza, his character, his leadership, his love for animals, those making threats against Sheriff Donald Valenza and his pets, do not know Donald Valenza.


I admire Donald Valenza for making a INFORMED DECISION and not basing his decision on Social Media or it is election year.





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