Maldonado takes major’s job at Willacy sheriff’s office

Lyford narrows applicants for police chief’s position

RAYMONDVILLE — A veteran lawman has taken a top position at the Willacy County Sheriff’s Department after leaving his job as Lyford’s police chief.

After nearly five years as Lyford’s top lawman, Andres Maldonado has taken over as major at the Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s great,” Maldonado said yesterday. “It gives me a chance to expand my horizons.”

Maldonado, hired at a salary of $39,099, began working Sept. 21 as an administrator overseeing the department’s patrol communications.

“The sheriff and I get along very well,” Maldonado said, referring to Sheriff Larry Spence. “It gives me a chance to work with more people in the county.”

In January 2015, Maldonado took Lyford’s police chief job after retiring following a career as a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper.

At the Sheriff’s Department, Maldonado takes over for former Maj. Ernie Garcia, who resigned to run as a candidate for the sheriff’s position.

After 34 years as the county’s top lawman, Spence has announced he won’t seek re-election as he battles cancer.

Four applicants vie for Lyford police chief

In Lyford, four applicants are vying for Maldonado’s old job, Mayor Wally Solis said yesterday.

“They look good,” Solis said, referring to the applicants for the job offering a salary of $36,000 plus benefits.

Solis said the applications show the four lawmen have climbed the ranks during their careers.

“They have good schooling and training and all the requirements,” Solis said.

Maldonado’s decision to leave his job as Lyford’s police chief comes months after Solis wanted him to take on patrol duty in the department made up of the chief and three police officers.

“I regret he’s leaving,” Solis said. “If he wanted to find a better job, everybody does that.”