the disgraced former Burleson County district attorney has been traveling the state, and the nation, he says, advising law enforcement organizations and teaching courses to peace officers.
The negative publicity over a case that even Gov. Rick Perry has called a "great miscarriage of justice" hasn't cost Sebesta a single client, he claims: "I've got as much as I can do."
Kelly Siegler, the special prosecutor in the case who has accused Sebesta of, among other things, manipulating witnesses, fabricating evidence and misrepresenting facts to the jury in the Graves case, called his current teaching role "disgusting."
"The last person you want telling your guys what to do at 3 o'clock in the morning is Charles Sebesta," Siegler said.
Not only is Sebesta teaching, but he's been passing himself off as a state-certified instructor and the staff "training coordinator" for the Sheriff's Association of Texas. The title appears on Sebesta's online bio, and, before I began asking questions, on the association's website. Sebesta told me this week he's the coordinator who "signs the papers."
When I called the sheriff's association, Executive Director Steve Westbrook said Sebesta was not the coordinator and wasn't even on staff. Westbrook said Sebesta was just a contractor who, for a decade or so, has taught two, maybe three courses a month across the state.
"He may call himself the training coordinator, but he's not," Westbrook said. "I don't know if Charles gave himself that title. Maybe it sounded better."
When I called the commission, the director of education and credentialing, Kim Vickers, maintained it wasn't his job to raise concerns. It's the responsibility of each organization's training coordinator to hire qualified instructors, he said.
Vickers also disputed that Sebesta is the coordinator, saying he knows the real one and it ain't Sebesta. He added that, like most instructors, a training coordinator is required to be certified.
Sebesta maintains that he is certified, and at least one county that hired him believed he was. It's not hard to get a certificate: you just have to pay $25 and pass a 40-hour course.
But state records show Sebesta has no such certification.
It's not surprising that Sebesta's story doesn't mesh with the others. He seems to have always had trouble with the facts. When the evidence against Graves wasn't there, he apparently made it up.
When he was told over and over again by different parties that Graves was innocent, he continued not only to prosecute but to seek death.
Sebesta has no business instructing anybody on the law. Even a class on civil process would require him to give guidance on good judgment and ethical standards, two things Sebesta doesn't seem to know the meaning of.
There may be only one course Charles Sebesta is truly qualified to teach: How to steal 18 years of an innocent man's life and get away with it.
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