The city of Pharr announced that Police Chief Jose A. Luengo has been reassigned, effective Thursday.

Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez confirmed the news Thursday afternoon and spoke highly of Luengo.

“Chief Luengo is a family man and a well educated man. In my book, he is a wonderful human being and has been an outstanding chief of police officer who has done wonders for our great city of Pharr,” Hernandez said. 

Hernandez referenced the Texas Local Government code which allows for the city manager to appoint or remove individuals at his or her leisure.

“He (Edward M. Wylie) elected to remove Chief Luengo today and go in a different direction strategically as well,” Hernandez said. 

Luengo was demoted to his former rank of lieutenant and remains with the department, according to a source.

Assistant Chief of Police Edward Chavez will serve as the interim police chief while the city decides how the position will be filled.

Hernandez said that item will be discussed during the city commission meeting on Monday.

When asked for the reason behind Luengo’s removal, Hernandez said that he is currently unaware, but he did say that it was not related to the former chief’s three-day unpaid suspension in May.

“The city commission rarely … we don’t get involved with personnel matters,” Hernandez said.

Luengo, who was named interim chief of police in October 2017, had served as the police chief since January 2019.

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This story was updated at 6:18 p.m. for clarification regarding Luengo’s reassignment.