The Premont City Council fired Chief of Police Celso Villarreal IV after two years due to "lack of confidence" at their regular meeting on Tuesday night.

In executive session, the council was scheduled to discuss previous and current orders or instructions issued to Villarreal concerning the management of the Premont Police Department and allow the chief to inform the council of what measures he has taken to improve and correct the deficiencies within the department.

When the council returned to open session, motion was taken on the item concerning the chief.

According to a city council member, Councilman Richard Belasquez motioned to relieve Villarreal of his position for lack of confidence. Council member Idolina Perez seconded the motion and Raul Garcia voted for his termination while Irma Martinez and Mandy Johnson were against. 

Villarreal is a native of Premont, and has served as a commissioned peace officer for more than 22 years. He started with the Premont Police Department in 1991 and went on to work in Robstown and at the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department. Before accepting the Chief of Police position in Premont, he was employed by the state with Child Protective Services as a special investigator.

When Villarreal was hired, he suffered a pay cut which left his salary at $39,000.

At this time, Villarreal is waiting to speak with his attorney before speaking to the Alice Echo-News Journal.

Other agenda items included authorizing the city attorney to prepare an ordinance on use of city property and code of ethics.

The city council also moved to allow Mayor Tullos to sign all documents necessary related to the property being purchased outside city limits located on County Road 431.

The next City of Premont regular city council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 1.