HEMPSTEAD, Texas – Hempstead is a small town where, if someone doesn't know you, they most likely know of you.
The people who know now-former Waller County Sheriff's Deputy Dormic Smith say he's been wrongly accused of inappropriate behavior with a female who was under arrest in Waller County for DWI in March.
On Monday, Sheriff Glenn Smith, who is not related to Dormic Smith, fired the deputy, who had been with the Sheriff's Office for 2 1/2 years.
"Even when he became a deputy, still the same person as he's always been," said longtime acquaintance James Jackson. "I mean, that's hard to believe, that he'll do something like that."
Longtime friend and former neighbor Keith Thomas was even more emphatic, saying, "You hearing it from me: not true. And I'm saying it from the bottom of my heart. Not true. That ain't true, man. No, sir."
Dormic Smith's termination came after the Sheriff's Office conducted an internal investigation. The sheriff said the woman did not come forward herself. He says she told a friend who works in law enforcement and that friend contacted the Sheriff's Office.
Dormic Smith's family and friends are defending the former deputy.
"I can vouch 110 percent for that man's character. Not true," Thomas said. "And I'll put my life on the line for him. It's not true."
Dormic Smith's name also came up in the Sandra Bland death investigation.
According to the custodial death report filed by the state attorney general's office, Dormic Smith was one of the jailers who was on duty the night Bland hanged herself. There are published reports that say he took to social media to vigorously deny any wrongdoing.