Deputy suspended with pay following arrest in South Houston

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

SOUTH HOUSTON - Local 2 Investigates has learned a veteran Harris County deputy has been suspended with pay following his arrest in the City of South Houston.

Deputy Alberto Rivera, 45, was not charged with a crime following the incident. Instead, according to South Houston Police Chief Herbert Gilbert, Rivera was released to the custody of his Harris County Sheriff's Office supervisor.

Rivera was last assigned to work "undercover" on a special drug task force and served as President of the Mexican American Sheriff's Organization. He has been employed by the Harris County Sheriff's Office since 1993.

"The officers felt like they didn't want to jeopardize his position or his safety for what he does for the county," Chief Gilbert said.

Gilbert reports that on Jan. 3 at 6:30 a.m., Rivera was found asleep in his county-issued vehicle on the 500 block of Michigan in South Houston. Officers found alcohol in the car and said that Rivera was initially uncooperative.

The car was in close proximity to a strip club called "XTC Cabaret."

"Apparently they startled the individual in the vehicle and there became a little bit of an altercation," Gilbert said.

Moments later Gilbert said Rivera made an initial effort to flee the scene but thought better of it.

"He moved his car a few feet," Gilbert said.

Rivera was taken into custody, but officers never performed a blood alcohol test and never charged Alberto Rivera with a crime, eventually releasing him to other Harris County Sheriff's deputies, according to Gilbert.

"Deputy Rivera is still employed with the HCSO. However, he is currently suspended with pay pending the outcome of an IAD investigation," HCSO spokesperson Christina Garza said.

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