Orange County Precinct 4 Constable Matt Ortego addresses return to work

Published 12:17 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

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Orange County Precinct 4 Constable Matt Ortego is back as of Monday.

The Orange County District Attorney cleared Ortego after an investigation by Vidor Police Department in connection with an incident that occurred Nov. 26, his attorney Cory Crenshaw said in a Facebook post.

Ortego made a statement on social media where he said he underwent a very rough time in his life that was the “culmination of many different things coming together to form the perfect storm.”

An incident report released by Vidor Police Department shows a call made at 1:05 a.m. Nov. 26 from a woman who said her child called her crying and that said her ex-husband, Matt Ortego, pulled a gun out and threatened to shoot her child and other children in the home and that Ortego was “extremely intoxicated.”

Crenshaw said in a previous news release that investigation showed no threat was made to anyone other than the one Ortego made to himself. He added there is zero evidence the weapon was discharged or pointed at any child.

Ortego entered a mental health facility for treatment following the incident.

On Monday, Ortego addressed the issue saying he received much needed help and was declared to be of sound mind and released to return to work.

He said he came to realize he needed help with the unhealthy coping mechanism he used to deal with the stress of his life, alcohol. He also pointed out this is not uncommon for law enforcement officers and he never drank on the job while performing his duties as constable.

Addressing his job as constable, he said when he took office he wanted the office to be more than a court bailiff and process server; he wanted to make the office a full blown law enforcement agency “for the good of my people in Precinct 4 and Orange County as a whole.”

“We all, as a community, need to support our law Enforcement officers as this tends to be a very stressful occupation,” Ortego said. “We often never know the struggle with this until it is too late to intervene or otherwise do anything about their situation. I, for one, consider myself among the most fortunate.”

Several calls were made to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office regarding the clearing of Ortego but weren’t immediately returned.

— Written by Mary Meaux