Cedar Park to investigate police procedures following Greg Kelley hearing

The Cedar Park City Council has decided to call for an independent investigation into the police department's policies and procedures following convicted child sex offender Greg Kelley's writ hearing.

Kelley was back in court last week, three years after his conviction, for a hearing over new evidence and possible suspects in his case. Thursday, council members immediately called an executive session to discuss the police department's handling of the investigation.

One week ago, supporters of Kelley filed into a Williamson County courtroom to hear what new evidence had surfaced. Kelley has always maintained his innocence, but was sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of performing lewd acts with a child at an in-home daycare.

During the writ hearing, Cedar Park Police Sgt Christopher Dailey, the lead investigator in Kelley's case, was slammed with accusations that he failed to look into evidence pointing to another suspect, Johnathan McCarty, the daycare owner's son.

"He never came to my house and knocked on the door, he never called our phones, he never interviewed my son," said Greg's mother, Rosa Kelley during Thursday's council meeting.

Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell, who is investigating the reopened case, said he found pictures of naked children on McCarty's phone and computer. He also said McCarty's friends claim they heard Johnathan admit to the crime.

"Johnathan teared up, or his mood drastically changed, and he started saying over and over that he's the one that did it, the wrong person is in jail, something like that," Mitchell said during Kelley's hearing. 

"My client is innocent. He's absolutely innocent of this case, he's innocent of all these charges, he is innocent. He's been a convienant scapegoat all along," said McCarty's lawyer Kellie Bailey.

Kelley's supporters said his case is one of many that have been unfairly investigated by the Cedar Park Police Department. They feel it's beyond time for City Council to hold officers in the department accountable.

"It's absolutely overdue, it's three years overdue in this case, but there's been reports of things in the Cedar Park Police Department that haven't been right for years, even before that, but this has really drawn a lot of attention to it and we're just hoping that action will finally take place,"  said Kelley supporter Mike Lapaglia.

After Kelley's conviction in 2014, Cedar Park Police Department Chief Sean Mannix released a statement blasting Greg's supporters and media coverage of the trail.

It said in part, "The Fight for GK movement has taken on a cult like appearance.."

It went on to say, "No other suspects were sought and the investigation stayed focused on Kelley because that is how a proper investigation is conducted in all cases in which the perpetrator is known to the victim and positively named and identified as the assailant."

That's just one more reason Kelley's supporters said the city needs to investigate the police department.

"The City Council members, the leadership of Cedar Park has had this information for three years now. We've written them letters, they've had the letter, the statement from Chief Mannix three years ago when he called our group a cult and he said that Sgt. Dailey's work was some of the best he's ever seen, and, obviously if you've got a leader of the police department who says that a sergeant's work is the best he's ever seen when he didn't even do an investigation, never went to the scene of the crime, never took pictures, never interviewed any other suspect, all he did was make two phone calls and then ignored the advice of a sitting judge, right now, that he should never have taken this case any further, I mean it speaks for itself, and actions should've been done yesterday," Lapaglia said.

"At this point, I want to ask for the termination of Chief Mannix and the termination of Chris Dailey," Rosa said from the podium Thursday.

In a statement City Manager Brenda Eivens said in part, "Providing professional public safety services and maintaining the trust of our community are our cornerstones. I will continue to monitor this matter and evaluate information as it becomes available. Regarding the ongoing legal proceedings, I must respect the integrity of the process and cannot comment further."

Mannix said he cannot comment on an open investigation being conducted by another agency, but did tell FOX 7 "[his] focus remains on the child victim in this case."

Texas Ranger Cody Mitchell said there is also a third unnamed suspect in the case.

A federal district court judge is expected to decide whether to let Kelley out on bond August 18.

It will be up to a court of criminal appeals to decide whether to exonerate him.

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