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I-TEAM: Bexar Co. judge-elect urged to explain time-card discrepancies

Time card records and video show JP-elect out of the office, but still on the clock.
Robert Tejeda outside Somerset city court on June 19.

SAN ANTONIO -- On June 19, Robert Tejeda left work at 3:52 p.m.

On its surface, there does not appear to be anything problematic about that statement.

However, Tejeda is a Bexar County employee required to punch in and punch out from his job as a juvenile case manager inside the offices of Bexar County Justice of the Peace Precinct 1.

He is also a judge-elect in South Bexar County, who ran unopposed in March to take over as Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace when Judge Edmundo Zaragoza retires at the end of the year.

Time card records for Tejeda show he punched out on June 19 at 4:00 p.m.

How is that possible?

Precinct 1 lead court clerk Joan Jackson provided some insight: "I didn't know if it was illegal, but I knew it wasn't right."

Jackson told the I-Team during a recent interview she witnessed Tejeda's wife Lynn, another clerk at precinct 1, punch her husband in and out for the day on a regular basis.

June 19, punch times for Lynn and Robert matched, even though he left the office eight minutes before she did.

"I would see her punch in and hit the button and then punch in again and hit the button," Jackson said, referring to the county's Legacy time card system.

Jackson documented the Tejedas' time card discrepancies, part of her duties as time card administrator for the office, then presented what she found to the precinct one court manager in 2012.

"I brought it to my court manager's attention, who I understand brought it to the judge's attention. My court manager informed me that I was no longer going to be doing timekeeping," said Jackson, who has worked for Bexar County for 19 years.

Jackson continued to document time card incidents even after being stripped of her duties, and provided those notes to KENS 5.

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During a recent phone interview with the I-Team, Judge Edmundo Zaragoza acknowledged knowing about the time card discrepancies, but said he was not capable of monitoring the work hours of all of his employees.

"I thought this was solved a couple years ago. If there's something that he's doing illegal, he needs to answer to that," said Judge Zaragoza.

Last November, tension over the time card issues led to a physical altercation between Lynn and Joan.

Criminal investigation into fight involving wife of Precinct 1 candida...

The Bexar County Constable's Office for Precinct 1 investigated the incident, but no criminal charges came from the incident.

Robert Tejeda, a former JP and county commissioner in South Bexar County, denied any wrongdoing during an interview with the I-Team June 19 in Somerset.

Tejeda is a part-time judge for the city of Somerset, another position formerly held by Zaragoza.

"If you can prove it, I'd like to see it," Tejeda said in reference to Jackson's claims that his wife punches him in and out.

Following an open records request from KENS 5, Bexar County turned over nine months of time card records for Robert and Lynn Tejeda

We found that 89 percent of the time, Lynn and Robert punched in and out for the day within one minute of each other.

As of Wednesday, the county had not responded to an open records request seeking mileage reimbursements and Travel Checks given to Robert Tejeda for work done outside the office.

Jackson, who has worked for JP Precinct 1 since 1999, said she has been targeted by the Tejedas because she exposed the time card discrepancies.

"It is physically taking a toll on me to go to work somewhere and wonder what's going to happen next, wonder what are they going to come up with next," said Jackson, who claims Lynn recently filed a frivolous sexual harassment claim against her.

KENS 5 spoke with a Texas municipal law expert for this story. He pointed the I-Team to Section 39 of the Texas Penal Code, which covers abuse of power.

According to the Texas Penal Code, it is a crime if someone "misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant's custody or possession by virtue of the public servant's office or employment."

We also reached out to the Bexar County District Attorney's Office. A spokesman said a county employee falsifying a time card would be committing a theft of services.

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