EL PASO, Texas -- Allegations of El Paso County Sheriff's deputies gambling using betting boards on county time surfaced Tuesday.
Former deputy Joe Kluge initially made the claim in a social media post that Sheriff Richard Wiles was made aware of the gambling and turned a blind eye to it. He also alleged in an interview with ABC-7 that that high-ranking and command staff have participated in the scheme.
According to Kluge, "a current deputy lieutenant has been running a gambling scheme by selling Super Bowl squares at $350 a square."
Sheriff Wiles told ABC-7 that he's not aware of any gambling within the Sheriff's Office, and added that no formal complaint has been filed.
However, Kluge says he submitted information about the alleged gambling to the Texas Rangers, who in turn, turned the information over to the El Paso County Attorney's office.
Wiles says gambling is illegal in the state of Texas under penal code 47.3 and would be treated as an illegal activity even in his office.
Wiles adds that Kluge's allegations are politically motivated. He says he demoted Kluge several years ago for questionable behavior. Wiles indicated Kluge eventually resigned and took a job with one of his opponents running against him for sheriff of El Paso County.
Kluge adamantly denies his allegations are politically motivated.
The sheriff said he consulted with legal staff to make sure there is no ongoing investigation regarding illegal gambling.
Wiles tells ABC-7 that his office will be sending an email out to all of his employees reminding them that this type of activity is both a violation of the law and a violation of department policy, adding employees should refrain from it.