Former Bexar sheriff now is U.S. marshal for West Texas

August 29, 2018

The U.S. Senate has confirmed former Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau as the new U.S. marshal for the San Antonio-based Western District of Texas.

The voice vote of the lawmakers late Tuesday makes Pamerleau the first woman to run the Marshals Service in the district that was created 173 years ago, according to the local district’s web site that lists the names of the 32 prior marshals.

She replaces a now-retired interim marshal who filled the post after the last politically appointed marshal, Robert Almonte, stepped down in 2016.

“I am extremely honored by this pending nomination from the President to serve in this role and to continue serving my community,” Pamerleau said in May, when President Trump announced her nomination. She also was the first woman to be elected to serve as Bexar County sheriff.

The Marshals Service, an arm of the Justice Department, is the country’s oldest federal law enforcement agency. Its duties include judicial and courthouse security, fugitive apprehensions and asset forfeiture. The Western District of Texas was formed in 1845 and is one of the busiest in the country. Besides San Antonio, it includes Austin, Waco, Del Rio, Alpine, Midland/Odessa, Pecos and El Paso.

Pamerleau raised her public persona in Bexar County after defeating then-Sheriff Amadeo Ortiz, a Democrat, in the 2012 election to win the law enforcement seat. After a top-to-bottom review of the office, she implemented policies to modernize the office and ran it more like a corporation, making improvements that included digital record keeping, vests for jail guards that could withstand stabbings, and improved communications within the jail, according to prior newspaper reports.

But her policies and practices riled some of the rank and file. In the spring of 2016, the Bexar County Sheriffs Association called for a vote of no confidence on her. Of the 1,600 deputies in the sheriff’s office, 219 voted no confidence. And in the November election that year, Pamerleau narrowly lost to current Sheriff Javier Salazar, another Democrat.

Pamerleau served 32 years in the Air Force, and retired in 2000 as the director of Personnel Force Management at the Air Force’s headquarters at the Pentagon. From 2001 to 2007, Pamerleau served as vice president and senior vice president for USAA in San Antonio. Pamerleau currently serves on the board of directors for Government Personnel Mutual Life Insurance Company, and also on the boards of several non-profit agencies in the area.

Pamerleau holds a master’s degree in public administration from Golden Gate University, a bachelor of arts in sociology from the University of Wyoming, and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Executive Institute.

Guillermo Contreras covers federal court and immigration news in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read him on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | gcontreras@express-news.net | Twitter: @gmaninfedland

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