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New Bexar County Jail Administrator Makes His Introduction

Eileen Pace

Bexar County Sheriff Susan Pamerleau finally introduced new jail administrator Raul Banasco today, who said one of his first goals is to get jail staffing up to 100 percent and to make the command staff more visible.

"I am not an individual that micromanages, but it's important that the staff sees a presence and they feel comfortable enough with you to share some concerns," Banasco said. 

After taking office at the beginning of the year, Pamerleau said selecting the new jail administrator would be one of her most important decisions. She complimented Deputy Mark Thomas, who acted as interim jail administrator, on initiating a staffing study and leading the jail to its best  inspection in several years.

Banasco said in the week he’s been here, staff have engaged him in conversation and emails with ideas and seem hopeful about the new administration.

The Bexar County Jail saw high turnover during the last administration under Amadeo Ortiz, and since the first of the year under the new sheriff has been the subject of several incidents including inmate deaths, detention officer fights and other allegations of staff misconduct.

Banasco comes to Bexar County with more than 20 years of experience in corrections agencies, most of it in Florida.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.