Dallas Sheriff, commissioner battling over diversity on command - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Dallas Sheriff, commissioner battling over diversity on command staff

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Two Dallas County leaders are battling over diversity in the sheriff's command staff.

Sheriff Lupe Valdez wants to promote a white man to fill a slot left open after a black woman left the department.

That puts her at odds with fellow Democrat, Commissioner John Wiley Price.

Valdez wants to promote Captain Jason Hartgraves to the position that former Assistant Chief Deputy Cheryl Wilson held before leaving to lead Lancaster's police department.

That would change the command staff's complexion, leaving one African-American among the sheriff's top leaders.

Price says that brings up an issue of diversity.

"We have expectations that there is a pool of individuals that either exists or that you cultivate for diversity to make sure that we get an opportunity," said Price. "It's real simple."

In an email statement, the sheriff wrote,

"We appreciate Commissioner Price's concern and understand his frustration since we share the mission to continuously promote diversity and inclusion...I have selected the best qualified person."

Valdez has the support of the lone Republican on the court, Mike Cantrell.

Commissioner Cantrell says commissioners should not micromanage the sheriff's decisions, and he backs her in this command staff controversy.

"In this particular instance, Sheriff Valdez has had that opportunity to look at the entire pool of who she will promote up, and she selected Mr. Hartgraves, and that's who she put forward and that's who I'll support," said Cantrell.

Last week, commissioners decided to discuss the command staff controversy behind closed doors.

Tuesday, the sheriff and commissioners will address the promotion in open court

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