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HOUSTON (KIAH) — Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez stated that he was not involved in a domestic violence incident that has threatened his hire to become the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

An affidavit that states that Gonzalez was abusive to his wife, Melissa, was released by a Republican senator that has again delayed his vote to become the new ICE director.

“It’s false, it’s all politics,” Gonzalez told CW39.

U.S. Sen. James Lankford, a Republican from Oklahoma, released the affidavit as the Senate was preparing to vote on Gonzalez to become the new director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pulled the vote that was supposed to be set for this week.


“Because of the severity of these allegations, the vote on this nomination should be postponed until it can be determined whether or not these allegations are true,” Lankford told The Hill.

“If these allegations of physical and violent domestic abuse are true, they are disqualifying for a law enforcement officer at any level and raise significant questions about the nominee,” he wrote.

Both Ed and Melissa Gonzalez have denied the incident took place, and no complaints or charges were filed against Gonzalez for the incident.

The incident was documented in an unrelated lawsuit. The affidavit was filed by Frederick Portis, who was an Houston Community College police officer from 2014 to 2020. He signed it on June 30, 2021 and was notarized Sept. 16.

Portis alleges that he was called on an unknown date to HCC Chancellor Cesar Maldonado’s office for an alleged domestic abuse incident between Gonzales and his wife, Melissa, who was the vice chancellor and chief of staff to Maldonado.

The affidavit said that Portis and another officer entered the office and Chancellor Maldonado telling the officers that Melissa Gonzalez, who was in the room, wanted to file a complaint against her husband “because of suggested violence” by the sheriff at their home.

The police asked Maldonado to leave the room to interview Mrs. Gonzalez, but he refused to do so and, according to Portis, intimidated and threatened officers with their jobs by allegedly saying, “You know I’m your boss!”

Maldonado stayed in the room while officers interviewed Mrs. Gonzalez, Portis said in the affidavit. Portis also said that Maldonado was coaching Gonzalez on how to answer the officers’ questions and what to say. Mrs. Gonzalez allegedly told officers that Sheriff Gonzalez became “physical or violent” with her after he found out that Mrs. Gonzalez was having a romantic affair with Maldonado, according to the affidavit.

Portis then said that he took the report and the bodycam footage to HCC police chief Greg Cunningham and had no further involvement in the case. He also said that he was not aware of any criminal charges against Sheriff Gonzalez.

Portis also claims that the incident was recorded on his body camera and was uploaded to the HCC computer system, but the video and his report on Sheriff Gonzalez is password-protected.

Jason Spencer, who was Gonzalez’s spokesperson until last fall, said on Twitter that “a politically ambitious lawyer peddled a salacious story to every news outlet in Houston. They all reviewed his ‘evidence’ and they all reached the same conclusion: It was bunk.

“No one ran with the story. No one in a city with a competitive news market where anyone would love to be first to report allegations of domestic violence against the sheriff,” Spencer continued. “They spiked the story because it didn’t pass minimal journalism standards. Let that sink in.”

Spencer then accused Senate Republicans of using the affidavit to “torpedo a true servant leader’s appointment based on a weak allegation that journalists in newsrooms across our city determined wasn’t fit for publication.”

President Joe Biden renominated Gonzalez to lead ICE in January after the Senate failed to move on his nomination last year. The president first nominated him in April of last year.

The Hill contributed to this report.