AUSTIN — The gun issued to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez while she was Dallas County sheriff has been located after it was reported missing earlier this year. A search this week uncovered the Beretta 9 mm pistol in the department’s property room, according to a statement from the Dallas County Sheriff’s office.
The gun had been turned in on January 2, but wasn’t entered into inventory at that time, the release said. A previous audit had failed to locate the firearm.
“Sheriff (Marian) Brown and the Sheriff’s Department offer their sincere apologies to former Sheriff Lupe Valdez for any distress and hardship that was created as a result of the Department’s mistake,” the statement said. “The Sheriff’s Department is in the process of reviewing how this oversight occurred and will be taking steps to implement measures to insure this type of incident does not occur again.”
The Dallas Morning News first reported earlier this month that Valdez’s department-issued pistol had gone missing. Critics attacked Valdez’s credibility and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s campaign posted an online video questioning whether she was responsible enough to lead the state.
ABBOTT’S ATTACK : ‘She can’t even keep track of her gun’
Valdez’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But in a recent statement, Valdez said she took full responsibility for the handgun, which she said was misplaced after she “followed protocol” to return it to the department.
Valdez was first elected sheriff of Dallas County in 2004. She stepped down in December to run for governor and won the Democratic party primary in a run-off.