• December 9, 2016

Outgoing Nolanville police chief files defamation lawsuit

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Posted: Friday, December 2, 2016 4:30 am

GATESVILLE — Outgoing Nolanville police chief and Copperas Cove City Council candidate Gary Kent filed a defamation lawsuit against one of his former employees who said Kent assaulted her on the job and falsified government records among other allegations.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by Kent’s lawyer, Dan Corbin of Corbin & Associates, in the 52nd Judicial District Court in Gatesville alleges Kathryn Alaniz “published a statement by oral communication asserting as fact statements against Plaintiff which were known by Defendant to be false” and injured Kent’s political and professional career.

Kent is seeking $100,000 in restitution including attorney fees, according to the suit.

Kent resigned as chief of the Nolanville Police Department on Nov. 17, saying he was merely retiring from the department after 21 years of service to the city and not in reaction to mounting allegations against him from former employees.

Alaniz and Erin Crawford, both former Nolanville police officers, filed complaints with Nolanville City Manager Karen Escajeda separately this year that claimed Kent behaved unprofessionally on the job.

Alaniz spoke before the Cove City Council on Nov. 22, alleging Kent assaulted her, sexually harassed women, falsified government records and abused official capacity.

Kent, of Copperas Cove, is currently in a runoff against Jay Manning for the place 4 seat on the council.

In an interview with the Herald on Nov. 17, Kent said the allegations against him are false and had no sway on his decision to retire. He is a former Cove councilman and last year ran for mayor of Cove.

Kent’s last day as the Nolanville chief is Dec. 9, but he is using accumulated vacation days until then.

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