Arbitrator upholds firing of Bexar County Sheriff's Office lieutenant who was at Jan. 6 Capitol riot

click to enlarge Insurrectionists tangle with police during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. - Shutterstock
Insurrectionists tangle with police during the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
An arbitrator has upheld the firing of a lieutenant with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office who lost her job after sharing Facebook photos of herself near the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol, KSAT reports.

BCSO terminated Lt. Roxanne Mathai, 47, in June. Her dismissal came after Sheriff Javier Salazar said he'd forwarded the eight-year department veteran's Facebook images to the FBI and Washington police.

In comments to local media in January, Salazar confirmed that the lieutenant had already been on leave since last October, pending a probe into whether she'd had an inappropriate relationship with an inmate.

In her appeal of the firing, Mathai told an arbitrator she was only present at a historic event, KSAT reports. Even though five people died and dozens of police were injured in the riot, Mathai's attorneys previously told the TV station she was unaware of the violence taking place that day.

“I just thought it was the most ridiculous thing I’d ever heard," Salazar told KSAT of Mathai's defense during a Monday interview. "It’s not like you’re standing there for the signing of the Declaration of Independence. That’s a historic event. You’re there when fellow Americans lost their lives. That’s nothing to be proud of."

Mathai's attorneys didn't respond to KSAT's request for comment. However, they previously told the station they plan to file a wrongful termination suit. As of the station's Monday night press time, its staff found no petitions filed in state or federal court. 

In her Jan. 6 Facebook posts, Mathai allegedly claimed she was "in the crowd at the stairs" but didn't enter the Capitol building itself because she was worried about "catching a case," according to earlier press reports.  

“Not gonna lie.....aside from my kids, this was, indeed, the best day of my life. And it’s not over yet,” the former BCSO also allegedly posted from her account.

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